It’s both a sad and happy fact for every dentist, business owner, patient, and person, for that matter—everything changes eventually.
Right now, your dental practice may be thriving, with patients booked for months. Maybe you’re expanding and having trouble keeping up. You might even wake up every morning feeling like you’ve won the dental practice lottery. But realistically, it won’t last forever. It’s completely normal for every business to go through highs and lows.
The same goes if your practice is tanking. If the patient chairs are often empty, and your slots aren’t booked, you shouldn’t despair. Things can always get better, and they probably will. Everything changes.
The key is to be proactive in your approach to making the good times last for as long as possible. A steady system for attracting and retaining new patients can make a once empty dental practice full again and thriving for years to come.
Even if your practice is doing great right now, don’t get complacent. For a multitude of reasons—moving away, change of insurance, even death—you may see a drop in your patient count. Whether business is up or down, you always need to be thinking of ways to bring in new customers to sustain your practice.
New Mover Marketing
Constant change is why I encourage dentists to actively engage in new mover marketing, regardless of their practice’s current state. Our Town America, the franchise founded by my late father, targets new movers by direct mail and has a proven business model that specializes in attracting and keeping new customers.
In today’s digital age, you may scoff at the idea of direct mail. But time and time again, it’s proven to attract new movers to local businesses. When a family moves into a new neighborhood, they likely don’t know where anything is—the dry cleaner, gym, grocery store, pizza joint, and, yes, dentist’s office.
The first few pieces of mail can actually be exciting for new movers. It’s a sign that you’ve arrived. You really live here. Meanwhile, email advertisements, more often than not, go directly to a spam folder without even being seen by the intended recipient.
New mover direct mail marketing is the perfect way to let potential patients know where your offices are located. New movers want to know which local businesses are nearby. New movers are looking to establish new “regular” spots and basic necessities, including a dentist.
By getting your name in front of those new residents so quickly, you are likely beating out your competition and appealing to a portion of the population who are actively looking for a new dentist. New movers truly are an ideal demographic to target with your marketing efforts.
Paying Attention to Potential Patients Pays Off
When you send a mailing to potential patients, you can increase the odds of them coming in for a checkup. This is true even more so if you give them an incentive, such as a gift certificate for your services or a small gift. You can be creative as long as the offer is appealing. We encourage you to think beyond a measly 10% off coupon. The better the offer, the more likely a new customer is to give you a chance.
By appealing to new movers through direct mail, you’ll earn a reputation as a local business who cares. Your offer will come as a part of a bigger welcome package. Your practice may be featured alongside a beloved pizza joint, a favorite hairstylist, a florist shop that locals love, a respected autobody repair shop, and more.
And, of course, when you’re appealing to a new set of new movers every month, not just once, that’s when you begin to have a sustainable practice. A constant influx of new patients means a steady stream of revenue for your practice. Just don’t forget to offer quality services to go along with your stellar offer. After all, the key to keeping patients coming back is a great experience, and perhaps even a followup offer to say thank you for stopping by.
Marketing isn’t all that different from taking care of your teeth, really. If you want good results, you must be invested and in it for the long run. Over time, investing in marketing will pay off. Just whatever you do, don’t ignore new movers. If you do, you may walk into your dental practice one day and realize it’s not your patients’ teeth decaying, but rather your patient roster.
Mr. Plummer is president, CEO, and CTO of Our Town America. A US Army veteran and Certified Franchise Executive, he has more than 15 years of experience as a senior-level franchise executive and IT professional in the direct marketing industry. For more than 40 years, Our Town America has been providing new movers with traditional hospitality by mailing warm housewarming gifts from local neighborhood businesses in a premium welcome package.