Mother and her daughter.

When you set aside time to develop your next dental marketing campaign, identify your main business objective first. For many dentists, patient acquisition is a priority, as an increase in patients-of-record delivers higher profit margins and helps grow a practice. To increase your chances of attracting a high number of new patients to your business, your dental advertising materials need to target decision makers who schedule appointments for their entire families. Statistics show women make the majority of healthcare decisions for their loved ones, and your marketing initiatives should speak to that demographic especially.

A recent poll conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of location-based marketer Placecast found that parents rely on print media to save money. Approximately 31 percent of the survey's respondents say they depend on direct marketing mailers for savings, and a similar percentage rely on print media for educational information. The study shows that direct mail remains an essential practice in lead generation, and quality patients can be acquired when you create mailers that convey lifetime value in your services.

In addition, Marketing Week recently published a report that shows public resistance to any format other than mail and email. In fact, no more than 6 percent of people are happy to be contacted on any subject via channels like social media, according to the latest Marketing-GAP report, carried out by Fast.MAP. This discovery is far below the average marketer's expectations. Professionals estimated that 19 percent of people would be happy to receive content through social networks, which is 13 percentage points higher than what was indicated by consumers. Unsurprisingly, consumers indicate that they trust direct mail most.

You need to consider how certain promotional verticals produce varying results. Consumers aren't convinced social media is a space where advertising should exist just yet, so the bulk of your patient acquisition efforts should be allocated toward direct mail. When you send your target audience educational mailers that provide information recipients can use to immediately improve their oral health, you position your practice as an authority in the field.

Garnering new patients-of-record is difficult if you don't have a definite game plan. Therefore, make sure your patient acquisition program focuses on consumer education, speaks to a female audience and delivers on your professional promise.