Written By Shawn Byrne / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Dental marketing is a practice that promotes dental clinics and similar businesses in the hopes of bringing in more patients. Marketing helps businesses become more visible ensuring their growth and success.
Before the digital era, dental clinic marketing was done primarily through traditional techniques. Businesses handed out flyers, came up with TV and radio commercials, printed ads in magazines and newspapers, billboards, and direct mail.
Today, digital marketing has grabbed the spotlight from traditional strategies. Many dental clinics focus more on promoting their services online via social media channels, through their websites, and various digital platforms. However, there are still several dental businesses that believe in the power of traditional marketing. Several ages-old strategies still work despite the dominance of digital marketing.
Direct mail is one of the most popular traditional marketing strategies. Here’s how it works: marketing teams create physical materials such as brochures, letters, packages, and postcards, and these are then sent by mail to consumers’ homes.
This strategy may sound dated, but it works for several dental businesses. Direct mail records higher ROI, particularly when compared to online ads and paid searches. It also has higher response rates compared to email. This fact can be surprising for some people, but research results reveal that at least 76% of Americans trust traditional mail messages and ads over those sent through their emails.
Dental businesses can send out brochures that showcase their new services or procedures. Flyers announcing discounts and free vouchers can also help increase interest and bring in patients.
Technically, postcards are part of the direct mail strategy. They’re one of the things marketers send out to consumers via traditional mail. This marketing technique uses cards, just like the ones you receive from friends and relatives traveling around the world.
Postcards appeal not only to older, more mature consumers but also to the younger ones. According to the United States Postal Service (USPS), about 82% of millennial consumers prefer printed ads over digital marketing ads, believing that such materials are safer than those delivered online.
The secret to a successful postcard marketing campaign is using real images on the cards, not stock photos. People like to see something they can relate with, not something that’s staged or imagined.
Text Messages and Phone Calls
Although most dental clinic clients are probably Smartphone users, several still like to receive appointment confirmations and reminders via text messaging. Dental assistants should send the message a day before the schedule, so clients have enough time to prepare. This method gives off a personal touch; it’s like a dentist saying, “I care about you, so I’m reminding you to come to your appointment tomorrow.”
Also, even if phone calls can be irritating, taking time to get in touch with a client gives off a genuine message. Just make sure that the dental assistant - or the dentist himself - makes the call, not a machine with a pre-recorded message.
Additionally, if clients call for an appointment or ask about services, they shouldn’t be put on hold, especially when there’s nothing but silence on the other end of the line. AT&T conducted a study that revealed around 60% of the callers put on hold grow impatient and hang up. If there is no choice but to put clients on hold, ensure that you have creative and engaging on-hold material such as a popular song or a narrative ad.
Scripting helps dental staff learn how to communicate with and respond to clients. It’s a marketing technique that acts as a guide in case a phone call-related situation arises.
Making a script for your communication plan is just like writing a story or a script for a show. Be sure to prepare different scenarios so your staff will be ready for any situation.
Also, talk to your team and ask them to familiarize every scenario and script. Remind them that the script is just their guide; they must know and understand what they are talking about. Whoever handles the calls and inquiries shouldn’t sound like a robot or a machine.
Instead of relying solely on blogs and internet content, you should also hand out physical newsletters to clients. These materials can be part of your direct mail campaign and delivered to patients’ mailboxes.
Of course, you can always choose to send newsletters via email, but keep in mind that you have clients who are not comfortable or familiar with internet technology. These people will appreciate reading all dental clinic updates without having to navigate the World Wide Web.
Make your newsletters more interesting and engaging by including fun content such as mini-games, trivia, high-quality photos, illustrations, and human interest stories. Refrain from filling the newsletter with marketing stuff from the first page to the last.
Traditional dental clinic marketing strategies can still work and bring in the attention and customers that your business needs. For better results, combine the techniques mentioned above with proven digital strategies. You can also talk to a dental marketing expert about creating a detailed campaign.
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Shawn Byrne, founder and CEO, started My Digital Dentistry after years of developing and executing successful marketing strategies for venture capitalists and business owners in and out of the medical field. He saw a growing need for quality digital marketing specifically in dentistry, and had the foresight to create an agency specializing in understanding and solving the unique problems of dentists and their practices from general dentists to endodontists.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.
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