What to do when people move

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According to a recent survey by Lendingtree, over 40% of consumers are considering a move in 2022, half within their current city. Those moving further are going warmer!

There are tactics you can implement and/or strengthen now to secure the patient base you have, control potential practice production losses, capture more new patients as they move into your area, and increase profit.

Realtor data shows that inventory is increasing which will make it a more buyer-friendly market. People hoping to move, more housing inventory availability, work from home, the great resignation … these things mean that your patients will be on the move.

USPS data shows that over 80% of people who moved last year moved within the same area – but that doesn’t mean their former dental office is still close by and that they won’t be lured by competitive offers that are closer to their new home.

This also means you could have many new residents around your practice that don’t even know about you yet – unless you’re actively engaged in direct mail marketing to every household nearby.

That’s right. To combat the fluctuation of people in and people out of an area, direct mail will ensure that your practice OWNS your area. The single most effective way to BE THE DENTIST that is recognized and respected is to target your prime households with quality direct mailings each month.

Why? Because it’s the only way to reach 100% of households. Let me say it again. Direct mail is the only way to reach 100% of the households that house your current patients, and the households of people you want to be your patients. And, when your name is in that mailbox month after month, it doesn’t matter if people come or go. That household gets to know your name.

And over 90% of people read their mail daily. Consumers of all ages look forward to daily mail. Here’s an example of one practice that hadn’t been focused on direct mail prior to, or post, pandemic, but when they recommitted to their community last June, have had an incredible response to their newsletters and average monthly new patient numbers.


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The impact of this increase in new patients virtually DOUBLED their average monthly production, and that is growing because of the influx of new dentistry into the office. Their average new patient adds $2600 in revenue. For the average dental practice a new patient is valued just under $2,000. It’s truly worth investing in direct mail to attract more of those high value patients in now, not to mention staving off the competition.

The exit from city center to suburbia is expected to continue. During the pandemic something like 80% of cities saw more people leave than enter, versus 90% of suburbs which saw more incoming than outgoing. If you are in a suburban location and you have capacity, you are set for success.

Dental offices that sent monthly direct mail during 2021 reported 25% higher production than industry average. Even today the ADA is reporting that the average dental practice is only at 90% of pre-pandemic activity levels. A lot of this is staff driven, but you’ll want to run the numbers and look at potential new patient blocks and what you can manage to add so that you continue to bring in strong revenue patients versus filling time with lower value visits that won’t contribute to bottom-line profits … and growth.

Millennials are also starting to spend on dental, so now you have Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials driving practice production. They’re all looking at positive lifestyle changes, to areas with good schools, outdoor spaces, and quality, accessible healthcare – and working from home allows for choice.

This provides dental offices with a tremendous opportunity to be noticed in mailboxes.

People want to buy from people. They want to get to know their providers, connect with the values of the organization, learn benefits, and trust who they choose. Consumer expectations really have been shaped by the pandemic. A Mastercard® study showed that 74% of consumers are more likely to buy from brands that demonstrated concern and provided excellent care during the pandemic – you did just that. Your community should know about it.

Content marketing, like you get with an educational newsletter format versus a quick and dirty postcard, will improve brand awareness, strengthen patient relationships, and elevate the practice reputation in the targeted area.

There are excellent opportunities for growth for dental offices that take action. Celebrate your practice and the people in it and share the benefits of your services with households in your area. Dan Kennedy published that every dentist should be hitting patient doorsteps with a newsletter every month – “preferably a real, printed, newsletter,” he says, because print has more value than other types of advertising. Not that a multi-channel approach isn’t important – but direct mail is tangible, it’s long-lasting, and it’s appreciated. It’s truly proven to have more than double the impact of any other type of advertising.

Then also consider the people in your community and their access to dental education. Maybe they find out something when they visit their dental office. Or on a toothpaste ad. But outside of that, how often is a consumer learning how oral health affects their heart health, or how gum disease relates breast cancer. Truly, consumers have very few opportunities to receive quality oral health information, true education about the importance of oral health, and its impact on overall health.

Investing in a monthly newsletter program to households IN YOUR TARGET AREA can not only make a massive difference to the health and prosperity of your dental office and team, YOU can make a true and impactful difference to the overall dental health in the community that you serve.

Direct mail marketing has a response rate that’s 10-30 times higher than digital, and right now digital fatigue is a factor.

This is why more and more dental offices are investing in mail, so to succeed and stay ahead of the competition, you want to make sure your practice is there and more than visible. You can truly stand out with a monthly newsletter and set your practice apart. Direct mail mistakes are made by many of your competitors, cheap postcards that fall under the pizza flyers, mailing haphazardly, not presenting a quality, consistent image. Not mailing quality content that is so great that patients keep it around for many months and even save parts of the content.

The fact is, more and more people are moving or considering a move, consumer fickleness for service and quality is increasing, and dental offices can be proactive.

It’s not only homes that are flipping owners. Dental offices are changing hands. Group ownership is expanding. That dental office down the street that hasn’t been bothering you too much up until now could switch hands next week and, all of a sudden, be offering convenient after-hours appointments and new elective options.

The right direct mail strategy can not only hold practice production steady but increase production and market share – which will increase practice valuation, because, at the end of the day, every practice owner is thinking about that one. The things your potential buyer will be looking at are gross production, active patients, monthly new patients, area demographics, and opportunity. We can help with all of that.

Work now to own your backyard (your prime target area), generate a growing patient base, add a steady flow of high-value new patients every month, and you will build practice security and profit – in the short and long term.

Direct mail works. We do it the best for dentists. Contact us for a free market evaluation and find out what your direct mail strategy could look like.

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