Dental Marketing: Mining For New Patients

Your prospects’ media habits … and how to reach them

By Joanne Bishop |  May 1, 2018

Business man in blue suit mining for gold

Are you frustrated that more people in your area aren’t aware of your practice?

There are a few simple ways to attract more new patients.

  1. Build practice awareness
  2. Generate interest
  3. Make choosing your practice easy
  4. Ask for referrals.

Build Practice Awareness

The patient journey starts with awareness. First the patient needs to understand that they have a dental need. Then they need to prioritize that need. And then they need to be able to find your practice. 

There are a variety of ways to increase awareness: participation in community events, great signage, and dental marketing with direct mail

By far the most proactive and effective way to reach the exact people you want to attract to your practice is by filling their mailbox. Adults of all ages want, appreciate, and respond to direct mail

To raise your practice to the top and put your name above the rest so that patients will turn to your practice, direct mail works

For dentists, the most effective direct mail format is not dental postcards. It’s a four-page customized dental newsletter. Think about how you would like to be represented to patients and prospects. As a dentist, you want to educate people about their oral health and help them make the right choices. 

According to Google’s zero moment of truth, the average buyer needed more than ten pieces of content before making a buying decision. Now there’s new talk of a “personal moment of truth” – consumers want to know the personality behind a brand. 

Dentists have an incredible opportunity to stand out from the crowd – make sure you’re using your “neighborhood newsletter” to its fullest!

Generate Interest

The latest ADA statistics report that adult dentistry remains in decline. The primary reasons? Adults “think” they’re healthy and they “perceive” that costs are too high. They are prioritizing other items in their lives. Women will spend hundreds of dollars every month on their hair, their nails, and their skin – and on whitening toothpaste – before realizing they have missed their recall and now need a root canal.

These adults need education. Not only for their oral health, but also about the esthetic improvements available to them – ones that they don’t even realize they can have and ones that they will prioritize once they become aware. They’ll put smile improvements on their wish list.

You can snag their interest by reminding wives, girlfriends, and daughters that men are the biggest neglectors of oral health. Men are twice as likely to get oral cancer. People don’t understand the “silent” disease or the connections of poor oral health and heart disease and many others. You have lots of ways to generate interest at community events, speaking engagements, and via direct mail

Make Choosing Your Practice Easy

Think about the patient journey and how new patients will find you – and stay with you. 

  • Keep your name front & center. 
  • Make sure your website is responsive, up-to-date, & appealing. 
  • Have everyone who answers your phone well trained & welcoming
  • Answer your phone! Did you know that on average dental offices miss 20% of their calls? And then they only convert 50% to appointments?!
  • Have convenient hours & appointment times
  • Treat everyone with respect & courtesy
  • Send thank you cards & follow-up promptly. 

Remember, your patients are receiving dental marketing sent by other dentists all the time. The number-one reason patients defect is perceived indifference. Show patients you care and keep your name in homes consistently and continually with email and direct mail.

Ask For Referrals

When a new patient books an appointment, ask if they have anyone else they’d like to bring with them. After they have a great experience in your practice, tell them you welcome new patients and appreciate referrals. Give them a “care to share” card. Always include a referral article in your patient newsletter. Have fun seasonal contests (where applicable – not all states allow rewards). Respond to patient reviews online. Act on feedback. And always recognize and thank your referring patients. 

Do you know how your practice is doing with referrals? Check your average guarantor household count. If the area average is 3 people per household and you’re averaging 1.4, you’ve got some work to do. If you don’t have these metrics top of hand, ask your Account Manager about hooking up with our Marketing Performance Dashboard PRO.

April showers bring May flowers… Here’s to increased production for May! 

We can help your practice Stand Out and grow. Get more dental marketing advice at www.patientnews.com or call your Account Manager today.