It’s unavoidable. With all new practices come many of the same old problems: limited visibility, scarce recognition, and a lack of an established patient base. Fortunately, direct mail combined with precisely calibrated social media and Google pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns can quickly and painlessly cure these ailments.
Plus, a well designed website is essential for the success of all your marketing campaigns. An easy to use website that is accessible and properly formatted for all modern devices is an absolute must-have today. Without a proper website, all of your marketing campaigns will suffer—even those that are offline.
Old and New School Tools
With direct mail, the key is to identify which households your practice best suits and target them with postcards or other mail on a regular basis. (Consistency is the key here.) This will help to familiarize your target audience with your practice and increase your brand recognition. The more familiar they are with you and your practice, the more likely they are to pick up the phone and make an appointment.
Remember, your direct mailing lists can be segmented by a variety of variables, including age, zip code, household income, and family size. To maximize impact, it’s important to focus your efforts.
For example, rather than sending a postcard to 10,000 houses once, it’s better to target a limited but carefully selected audience and send out 3,000 postcards multiple times to the same targeted households. Also, these postcards must grab the audience’s attention with a unique image and state a clear benefit to the prospective patient with sharp wording.
Facebook also can be finely calibrated to target a precise market segment in your geographic area. It can let you instantaneously share your practice’s unique personality through the images and content you post and through your friendly, helpful public interactions with your audience. And, Facebook allows you to easily run campaigns that target your preferred audience and get them to take action on a specific ad or follow and like your practice’s page.
PPC ads provide another useful means of measuring market needs. Using PPC ads, you can investigate what kind of searches are being performed in your area, and at what frequency. If executed carefully, PPC marketing on the major search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo is a highly effective method of getting in front of the people who are searching in your area for the services and products your practice offers.
And as I started earlier, your website is the foundation for all of your marketing efforts both online and off. There are a few extremely important elements to an effective dental website.
First, make sure your website is mobile-friendly! Most searches are conducted on cell phones. In fact, in the United States, 94% of people with smartphones use their phones to search for local information. This is a big audience you shouldn’t ignore.
Next, create copy that is interesting and easy to understand while resonating with your current and potential patients. Make sure your message grabs your visitor’s attention and represents your practice’s personality. Don’t be too technical and only talk about your services and features. Instead, describe the benefits your services have on your patients.
Finally, one of the most important features on your website is the call to action (CTA), which includes your phone number, a button to book an appointment, or a newsletter signup. Tell your potential patients what you want them to do. Don’t assume they know.
Also, place your CTA in a very visible area on the homepage and repeat it on the subsequent pages. Make it stand out and easy to find. The last thing you want your potential patient to do is to go on a hunt for your phone number and become frustrated.
What You Should Do
You can use plenty of marketing channels to solve the common problems associated with opening a new practice and driving new patient growth. Because every practice is unique and every situation is a little different, your goal should be to identify the strategies that are most suitable for you and most apt to help your practice grow. Get in front of new patients and raise community awareness about you and your new practice by utilizing these tips. You can’t afford not to.
With over a decade of experience in corporate dental laboratory marketing and brand development, Jackie Ulasewich decided to take her passion for the dental business and marketing to the next level by founding My Dental Agency. Since starting her company, Jackie and her team have helped a wide variety of business owners all over the nation focus their message, reach their target audience, and increase their sales through effective marketing campaigns. When she isn’t helping dental practices reach their full potential, she can be found at the beach with her three dogs or immersed in everything food-related with her large Italian family. For more, call (800) 689-6434 or email Jackie@mydentalagency.com.