How New Patient Acquisition (Done Well) Magically Props Production

Focused stand-out zebra with black, white, and red stripes looks directly into the camera

The graphs in this blog are actual results from our current active dental clients, pulled directly from Practice ZEBRA dental software. This data reveals the relationship between consistency in marketing and the impact it has on the consistency of new-patient activity.

With ZEBRA dental software, no one must rely on anecdotal information, manual tracking, or guesswork to understand if marketing efforts are working.


What’s really cool is that it doesn’t matter if you’re currently connected to ZEBRA or not. The moment you get connected, you’re able to view any date range for any metric you want to measure. ZEBRA is the coolest dental software on that front because it focuses on key actionable metrics and doesn’t overwhelm. You’re able to see all your past trending metrics in easy-to-understand graphs, which allows for a 30,000-foot view. It’s always great to pull yourself back and take an overall look at what happened in your practice while you were engaged in different marketing activities and while you were busy running your business to take the time to deeply analyze what impacted one month’s results versus another. This truly makes a much easier and much more effective decision-making process for the longer-term growth, security, and positive valuation of your dental practice.

Practice valuation is all about beating last year’s numbers. And beating last year’s numbers takes a good flow of new high-value patients. New patients are important to dental offices because existing patients move, change providers, or leave the practice for various reasons. Pre-covid average attrition was around 20% annually. On an active base of 2000 – that’s at least 400 patients that need to be replaced just to stay status quo. And new patients contribute much higher revenue to the practice than existing. On average, an active patient is worth $1000/year, while a new patient is worth $1800. Not only do new patients drive revenue, but a steady flow also helps build brand awareness and brings more high-value new patient referrals. The importance and contribution of new patients can’t be underestimated.

Scan down to check actual client results. If you ran direct mail in the past and wonder if it worked – you can know for sure by connecting to Practice ZEBRA and checking out all trending graphs for your practice. Practice ZEBRA dental software isn’t called a game-changer by industry leading dentists and consultants for no reason. And we offer FREE connection so you can check it out.

According to an article in Inc. by Eric Holtzclaw, “consistency” is the difference between failure and success for five key reasons:

    1. Measurement
    2. Accountability
    3. Reputation
    4. Relevance
    5. Your Voice

Holtzclaw says, “Until you have tried something new for a period of time and in a consistent manner, you can’t decide if it works or not. Business growth requires a track record of success. You can’t establish a track record if you are constantly shifting gears or trying new tactics. Many efforts fail before they get to the finish line, not because the tactic was flawed or goals weren’t clear. All too often I see businesses adopt a campaign or initiative only to end it before it gains traction. When something doesn’t work, I look back and ask some serious questions. Most of the time, the reason tracks back to lack of consistency.”

Does this resonate with you? It’s hard work to be consistent in everything you do. That’s why New Year’s resolutions are often never achieved. 50% of us make resolutions and 80% of them fail. You see it all the time in practice with patients’ oral health, their fitness, the recommendations you’ve given that are not followed through for brushing, flossing, quitting smoking, etc. But what about your consistency when it comes to business? When it comes to marketing and new-patient growth?

As a dental marketing agency, we have seen hundreds of times the impact that consistency can have on dental practice success and growth. Repetition builds recognition and that has a major impact on the success of a dental office and their marketing results. According to leadership guru John Maxwell, “Small disciplines repeated with consistency everyday lead to great achievements gained slowly over time.”

When it comes to direct mail, you may or may not have been consistent. If you have been consistent, your practice will be reaping the rewards right now … and our clients are reaping! On average, Patient NEWS’ dental clients are pacing at production that’s 30% HIGHER than industry average. That’s our “average,” meaning we have clients doing much better than that, and some, sadly, due to inconsistency, are much lower.

Let’s take a look at the impact of consistent direct mail marketing versus inconsistent.

CLIENT A: This client has consistently mailed monthly coming out of COVID closures … some ups and downs, but a very steady flow of new patients and an excellent flow of reactivated patients (those who had not had an appointment in over 2 years)!

Think direct mail for dentists is dead? Think again!

CLIENT B: Below are the results for a dental office that launched their first mailing in July and carried on for 6 months, not an even keel but GOOD trendlines, but … they pushed the hold button in February, and what happened? Decline. So now, after three declining months, they have decided to get back to it monthly, with added targeted households, to help pull their numbers back up.

CLIENT C: This example is a client that’s been an on-again and off-again mailer, which is hard to understand when you look at how dramatically their new-patient flow is impacted every time they skip a mailing or two. They must feel it in the practice because when they remain consistent, trends are upward, and every dip – no newsletter in market.

CLIENT D: This final example is a rawkstar dentist who is focused and consistent. They have been consistently committed to their marketing campaigns for the long-term, and in December of 2020, increased their targeted distribution list. You can see the ebbs and flows of patient activity, that’s normal, the impact of covid, yet they stayed the course through out and have realized steady growth – and solid market share gains.

And with this consistent effort toward new-patient generation via consistent (well-done) direct mail, it has “magically” led to production growth, practice security, and a thriving practice that is consistently beating last year’s numbers.

If you want your production trend line to look like that, you need your active patient trend lines to look like this.


Client D is hitting on all metrics. The average patient value is $1800 per year, their new-patient contribution $2500 per year. They schedule at almost top-industry average of 66%, and their front desk team does a phenomenal job answering over 90% of their inbound calls and converting 61%. This dental office is rawking it out of the park with consistency.

The team at Patient NEWS is standing by to help your practice stand out in your community with consistency. There is incredible opportunity for dental offices to gain market share and grow practice production RIGHT NOW! Start by scheduling a FREE DEMO of your practice in ZEBRA and check out your KPIs and trend lines.