The Complete Dental Digital Marketing System

Posted on by Neil Sanderson

How To Increase Your Flow Of New Patients

new patientsNew patients are the life blood of any dental practice. Just as new customers are the life blood of any other business, so how do you ensure that you get a steady supply of new patients?

Well first of all you need the obvious which is a dental practice. Ideally you will be located where people can find you easily. In an ideal environment this would be a high street, the more visible you are the better.

However many dentists don't enjoy this luxury so in this case you have to let people know that you exist.

Word of Mouth

Word of mouth from your patients is one of the best ways to attract new patients. So to maximise on this method you need to make sure your patients know that you would like them to recommend you. This can be as simple as putting posters up in the practice asking patients to recommend you.

Whilst some practices give rewards to patients who recommend new patients. Simply thanking someone for recommending you is just as good, and in many cases better. But you must ensure that if a patient recommends a friend or relative to you, you personally thank them, this is extremely important.

Recommendations for new patients are great, but you have very little control over this. So the next thing you need to consider is advertising. There are lots of different ways to advertise. I won't go into advertising to existing patients as this article is about getting new patients. Maybe we'll cover that later.

There are many ways to advertise and they are many and varied. They include TV, radio, newspapers/magazines, direct mail, leaflets, Google Adwords, Facebook advertising, blogging, social media posting etc. etc.

What media you should use

Here are my recommendations in ascending order as to how you should spend your hard earned cash on these different forms of advertising.

  1. Google Adwords, this is without doubt the most targeted and cost effective way to advertise. For a start your ads are only shown to someone who has searched for it e.g. dentist in (your location). Your ad will be displayed but you only pay Google if that person then clicks on the ad and comes to your website. Without doubt the best way to get new patients.
  2. Facebook advertising Facebook have come on in leaps and bounds. Their pay per click is cheaper than Google but not as targeted and only 50% of the population is on Facebook. You can specify who you want to see you ads by location, gender, age, interests, etc. well worth trying.
  3. Social Media Posting This is also effective but in order to reach new patients you have to get them to "like" your page on Facebook or "follow you" on Twitter. This can take a great deal of time and effort. Ideally you should not advertise when you post, this is about getting people to know you exist and who like what you post/tweet.
  4. Direct Mail is incredibly effective, but because you are sending stuff through the post is not cheap. You can buy lists of people in your area who fit the profile you want to attract e.g. people over 40 who are affluent.
  5. Leaflets Not as targeted as direct mail but much cheaper. A letter will cost you in the region of 60p each, you can have leaflets delivered for around £60.00 per thousand, again worth a try.
  6. TV and Radio very effective but seriously expensive. If you are a small business which you almost certainly are, I would leave this to the big boys.
  7. Newspapers & Magazines In my opinion this is probably the least effective of all the above media. Firstly many people don't even read newspapers any longer. If they do they have to (a) scan through the paper until they find your advert (b) be interested in what you are saying (c) take action at a later date.

Contact me

I hope this helps you decide how you are going to develop your strategy to get new patients. If you would like more information, call me on 01767 626 309. Email me at sales@dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk. Visit the website at www.dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk. View our Facebook page.

Posted on by Neil Sanderson

Free Marketing For Your Dental Practice

free marketing

Neil Sanderson Dental Marketing Expert

Free marketing! Is there such a thing you might ask? Well the answer is most definitely yes, we just it referrals and if you are pro-active at getting them it can quite literally be your biggest source of new patients and it's free marketing too.

You don't need me to tell you that patients who are referred to you are without doubt the best you get, they tend to spend more money with you and they are more loyal.

Referrals aren't just about people casually mentioning to their friends and family that they use you. You have to have an active referral programme or process in place and if you do, it will pay dividends and as I said its free marketing.

If you use social media you already know how powerful this can be. But one of the most powerful ways to use social media is to get your patients to do this for you.

Lets assume that you do some good work for a patient and they are really happy about it. Why don't you simply ask them to recommend you on their Facebook or Twitter pages, it is incredibly powerful free marketing.

The average person on Facebook has between 50 and 150 friends, so let's be prudent and assume they only have 50.

If you can get just ten patients per month to refer you on Facebook, that's 500 referrals per month, the same applies to Twitter.

If only 10% of these people call you, it means that you will receive 50 new patient calls per month, and if only 10% of these calls turn into new patients it's five new patients per month all for free.

The average new patient spends around £700 in their first year, this means that those patients could be generating £3,500 of revenue and all you did was ask your patients to refer you on Facebook.

But let's be a little more generous, maybe 25% of those patients would call you, giving you 125 new patients calls and 12 new patients, its all free marketing working for you as a process.

It will only take your patients a couple of minutes to send out a post on Facebook, they can even do it on their mobile phone whilst they are still in the practice.

If you are really savvy you can offer your patients a reward for getting you a certain number of  new patients e.g. a John Lewis or M&S voucher etc. (although then I guess it isn't free marketing).

Why don't you give it a try and see how you do.

If you would like to know more about how you can get more patients into your practice call me on 01767 626 398 or email me at enquiries@dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk or visit our website at www.dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk or visit our Facebook page.

Posted on by Neil Sanderson

Market Your Practice

market your practice

Neil Sanderson Dental Marketing Expert

It has to be said that the majority of dental practices do little or no marketing and as a result they get by. I'm often told especially by NHS practices that we don't need extra patients and as a result we don't need practice marketing.

The problem with this argument isn't that they need more patients its normally that they need more patients who will purchase private treatment to boost profits.

Having an NHS contract is a great comforter and obviously keeps the cash flow positive, the down side is that it doesn't grow and as overheads continually increase, this puts ever more pressure on your bottom line or profits.

So this is why you need to think how you can market your practice using every tool available to you.

It's reasonable that if you have a good supply of NHS patients, the vast majority of them have absolutely no idea what you offer privately unless you or one of your colleagues tell them. Whilst you the principal may well introduce your private treatments, do your associates?

This is why EVERY practice should embrace marketing as a way of life, it is a constant investment that will give you a payback month in, month out. There are very few things that give you a return on investment but when you market your practice, this is one of them.

Knowing how to market your practice isn't just about knowing how to get an advert into the press or get a leaflet produced, just think about all those patients who visit you every day who have little or no idea as to what you can do for them, so here are some essentials you need to consider when you market your practice.

  1. Social media is a must, 50% of the British public spend 30 minutes every day on Facebook alone, that's thirty million people. This is the ideal platform for you to tell your patients and prospective patients just what you can do for them.
  2. In-practice marketing. The most under utilised area to market your practice is your waiting room. Just about every dental waiting room has a TV which inevitably is showing some daytime TV channel instead of showing a video or video's of what you can offer your patients.
  3. Your Mobile App. This is probably the most cost effective way for you to communicate with your existing patients. The dental app is the ideal tool to generate referrals, encourage loyalty and return visits, it also showcases your treatments like nothing else. The mobile app is the ultimate word of mouth tool you can deploy.
  4. Email Marketing. Email is still one of the most cost effective ways to communicate with your patients on a regular basis. You don't have to bombard them with endless special offers, but a regular update from you giving your patients updates on what you do and the services you have is invaluable.
  5. Text Messages. Whilst most dental practices have embraced text messaging for appointment reminders, hardly any use it for marketing and text messaging is a fantastic tool to do this. It's cheap and gets a very high read rate. Test messaging is a great way to market your practice.
  6. Direct Mail. Yes we all know that direct mail isn't cheap, but it's incredible effective, especially to your own patients. If you can get 20% of the emails you send out read, you are doing pretty well, whereas direct mail will get closer to a 90% read rate.

So just because you are very busy doesn't mean that you can't improve the profitability of your dental practice when you market your practice. Just think what an extra 10% profits would make to you!

We have just launched a new service that is going down a storm, it's called the Complete Dental Digital Marketing System and it handles every aspect of marketing your practice. For more information, call me on 01767 626 398 or email me at enquiries@dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk or visit the website www.dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk You can also find us on Facebook

Posted on by Neil Sanderson

Introducing The Complete Digital Marketing System

The digital marketing system

It would be great wouldn't it, if all you had to do was create a website for your dental practice and forget about it. New patients would flock to your door and your existing patients would tell you just how much they enjoyed the content on your site.

Unfortunately that isn't how things happen in the real world, if you don't actively promote your site it will simply be a waste of your money. This is why you need a digital marketing system. To drive traffic to your website and convert that traffic into paying patients.

Here are the consequences of not being pro-active on the web!

  1. You won't be found on Google desktop, your website will almost certainly not be on page one.
  2. Your patients won't visit your website because there is no reason for them to do so.
  3. Your mobile rankings will fall and so you won't be found on a mobile device either.
  4. Anyone who does find you won't have a reason to do anything when they arrive.

The fact of the matter is that most dental practices may as well not have a website at all, simply because people can't find it and when they do, there is no call to action!

This is what a digital marketing system does.

You need to ensure that your website is on the first page of Google and ideally Bing and Yahoo too. There are two ways you do this (a) search engine optimisation and (b) advertising with Google/Bing/Yahoo. This means you simply have to have a digital marketing system in place.

Search engine optimisation makes your site relevant and vibrant, the search engines see that your site's content changes regularly, that there are relevant links back to it and that it is mobile ready.

Google advertising pretty much automatically gets you to the top of the search engine rankings, this is particularly crucial with mobile search.

Social Media You have to be active on Social Media. Whether you like it or not, Social Media is a reality, 50% of the UK's population spend 25 minutes every day on Facebook, and that doesn't include Twitter, Instagram etc. Quite literally if you're not on Social Media you are missing out on a massive opportunity.

Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to get your message out. When we build a website we build in an auto-responder, which will automatically start sending out a series of emails to people who have visited the site, this is crucial for high value treatments such as implants, veneers and straightening.

Video is the new phenomenon that is driving the web forward. If your site doesn't have the right type of video you are simply not in the game. A site with video is 80% more effective at generating business than one that doesn't have video, particularly in dentistry.

Remarketing This is a new technology available from Google and Facebook, it works like this. When someone comes to your website we put a cookie on their computer. When they then visit sites like The Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Sky, Ebay, Facebook (Google has millions of partners) your advert will be shown to them, they think that you have a massive advertising budget and you are all over the web, whilst in fact your ads are only being shown to people who have visited your site. This technology is making a massive difference to the conversion levels.

So if you are really serious about building your dental practice and increasing the number of new patients that you register you need a digital marketing system, so call me today on 01767 626 398 or email me at enquiries@dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk you can visit our website at www.dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk or click here to go to our Facebook page.