woman smiling touching her mouth

The first thing many people see when meeting with new clients, old friends or family members are their teeth. When a person's smile isn't shiny and white, others tend to notice, which is why so many consumers put high priorities on keeping their pearly whites bright and bold. Dentists understand this first-hand, as they aid their patients-of-record in the fight against plaque and stained or unhealthy teeth. However, since so many dentists are competing for the dental dollar, they’re communicating many messages to consumers their versions of the latest trends in oral health care making the dental sector cluttered. Many practicing professionals look for effective ways to retain current patients, and direct dental marketing may be a solution that doesn't break the bank.

Patients want to feel confident in the care they receive at their appointments, and while they may be satisfied immediately after the checkup, a future deal down the line by a competitor may lure them away. In order to prevent that from occurring, dentists need to engage with their patients-of-record and communicate the value in remaining loyal to the practice. Professionals can accomplish this goal in a variety of ways, and while sending dental postcards with discounts or special deals can be an easier starting point, a more thorough approach is needed to truly remain competitive.

How to keep patients loyal
Consumers are easily distracted, and when a special deal comes along, they're eager to take advantage of the discounts. As a business owner, when you discover that your competitor is offering a free cleaning with every new appointment, you may fear that many of your patients will leave to pursue that opportunity. While you may not be able to afford such an offer, you can implement unique dentistry marketing strategies that inform your patients why your practice delivers more for their money than a free cleaning at another practice.

Regular dental newsletters show that a dental practice is committed to providing much more than a one-time deal, as these regular mailings host a wide array of articles that delve into the nuances and intricacies of dental care. The information can educate patients-of-record and explain to the latest procedures, techniques to better oral health and keep them up-to-date on the latest trends in the industry and ensure they remain engaged and connected to the people at your practice.

In addition to creatively designed newsletters, dentists can hand out dental brochures to each patient as he or she leaves the office. This booklet of information can explain procedures in detail and cover content that you and your patient were unable to discuss in the time allotted at an appointment. Brochures are a great way to complement conversations and leave lasting impressions on your patients.

Retention can also lead to more business
Your main goal may be keeping your patients loyal, but after you've spent time and resources building rapport with them, you need to explore various expansion opportunities. Patients who believe in the value of your practice solutions are great marketing tools - they may even be your best asset. In fact, if you want to generate higher profit margins and build your book of patients, you need to feel confident in your ability to encourage your clients to refer their friends and family.

Referral cards can be given to patients along with dental brochures as they leave the practice, even more effective when you follow these up with convenience by inserting them with your educational newsletter – that always asks for referrals. The additional print pieces will encourage people to reach out to their loved ones and speak kindly of your practice, especially if you've already supplied them with supportive documents. After all, when you send direct mail to one patient, he or she is likely to pass along the information to a friend, at a rate as much as 4 to 1 - significantly increasing the reach of your campaign without breaking the bank.