How To Increase Your Flow Of New Patients
New 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the website at www.dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk. View our Facebook page.