Older woman in pink shirt answering a cell phone.

Historically dentists have been cautious about marketing - and their teams might not like the idea of "selling" dentistry - but the fact is your dental practice is a business, and every business needs a marketing plan and a sales strategy. 

If you own your own oral health care practice, your first order of business might not be implementing a dental marketing strategy, but it should be. And there are ways to accomplish this in a manner that you and your team might be more comfortable with. Like patient and neighborhood newsletters - a very educational approach to selling. Whether you need to improve patient acquisition rates or increase patient loyalty through retention programs, the materials you send need will be personable and informative. While you may think dentistry marketing is meant to promote new products or services only, campaigns can also make significant impacts when content is geared toward education.

When current and prospective patients receive content from you directly that talks about the latest developments in oral health care, they are more likely to consider you the authority in the field. This will help your practice garner a reputation of being a credible and friendly organization, full of professionals who put the health of their patients before everything else. Once you've decided to implement a new campaign meant to educate and inform your target audience, you will need to conceptualize how you will structure your efforts.

Common direct mail materials
In the dental world, you will want to harness the power of patient newsletters. These mailings include a diverse array of content types that speak to the needs of your current or prospective patients. Each newsletter is highly customizable, and you can tailor the information to achieve certain goals. If you feel your current patients would benefit from new procedures you offer, you can introduce those concepts through a casual newsletter. Conversely, when attracting prospective patients, you might take the opportunity to communicate the advantages of your professional oral health care team - cite any recent industry achievements you may have received in the past year.

Team Training
One of the most overlooked areas for continuing education is the front desk reception and telephone handler, yet this person "is the practice" to a new patient caller. If they're not trained in the most effective customer service systems, then many new patient appointment opportunities will be lost. In fact, it's estimated that up to 50% of all potential new patients are lost at the front desk. And it's really not rocket science. Make sure everyone in your practice is trained on how to answer, the goals for each call, and is well versed on the doctor and practice credentials. They should also be familiar with all marketing materials and offers that are in the marketplace so they can answer questions with authority.  

As a dentist, you need to continue to evolve how you conduct business in order to remain competitive. There will always be a new practice around the corner vying for your customer base, and if you want to prevent a large population of people from switching dentists, you need to take an active role in their lives. Direct mail gives you the opportunity to create a marketing effort with a 100 percent reach. Through this channel, you will find it's much easier to develop a superior reputation in the market than you originally thought, and your current and prospective patients will feel confident in your ability to provide the type of health care people want in their lives. 

Call your account manager to  find out more about our one of a kind neighborhood newsletter program including team training and call tracking and what your new patient acquisition rates skyrocket!