Your Biggest Asset – Your Patients!

It’s not complicated and it isn’t expensive but it takes some energy and commitment to ensure your patients don’t go elsewhere. So what can you do?

Smile Marketing Virtual Marketing Manager

  • Communicate with them more often. This is crucial. Provide interesting information to them on an ongoing basis. Stay in your patients’ minds.
  • Every practice should have a newsletter, either targeting patients or referring practices. For a printed monthly newsletter it only costs about £1 per customer per month, including postage. Send e-newsletters to patients that prefer paperless.
  • Sell more to your patients. This may go against the grain, but a good way to keep patients is tempt them with treatments they may want – a smile makeover or whitening perhaps.
  • Ask your patients opinions. Is there any aspect of your ‘patient journey’ that could be improved? Even if you provide the perfect patient experience, your patients will be pleased to be asked.
  • Surprise them.  Hand your patients a ‘goodie bag’ of dental accessories – toothpaste, brush, tepes, mouthwash – and thank them for coming to your practice, or send them a postcard to thank them. Little surprises create a warm feeling towards your practice and they’ll tell others about you, the lowest cost marketing there is!

For help with setting up a successful patient communications plan, contact us.

Of course, talking, writing and emailing your patients forms part of your brand communications, and we can review these for you and advise best practice.

FREE Marketing Health Checkcall 0845 287 3051 to book and we’ll cover exactly how you can increase your fee revenue and practice profitability. Includes tips on ‘no cost, low cost marketing’ techniques.

Improving your Patient Recall

A few weeks ago I was reviewing a Smile Marketing clients recall and sales letters. They were similar to many letters from other dental practices - matter of fact, lacking warmth and personality. There was no headline, no call to action and the copy didn’t flow. However, my main concern was that letters were not going out regularly, if  at all.

But our client isn’t alone, is he?

So why are recall letters not being sent?  A lack of process and responsibility for getting it done, regularly, is a big reason – so get it done, delegate or outsource. Make a start.

As with dental websites, which are indefinitely under construction whilst someone tries to make them word-perfect, sales letters are often stuck in the draft stage. It’s important to realise that good is good enough, don’t wait for perfect – better to send something good than nothing at all!

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So what holds people back?  Often it’s fear of failure or having time to get it done. You’ll never find the time, you have to make the time.

I’ve worked with lots of practice owners, one of the key factors for success is the ability to pragmatically get things done.

So get that recall letter written, get treatment promotions designed and work on your website. 

Make a start.

For help with marketing planning or copywriting that sells, call 0845 287 3051 or email info@smiledentalmarketing.co.uk.

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What is Marketing?

Marketing is a general term, but what you really need to consider is what does marketing mean for your practice. There are so many different mediums available to get your practice out there, but the things you really need to consider are:

  1. Marketing business salesWho do you want to reach?
  2. How do you want to present your practice?
  3. How can you reach them most effectively?

The first two are really up to you and (hopefully) these should be clear to all of the members of staff at your practice. The answer to the third point is more complicated, so it might be time to call in some help to create your Marketing Plan.

If you’d like to get in touch with us at Smile Marketing we can discuss your practice and decide the best methods for you to implement. Then we’ll help you implement them. It’s as simple as that, then you can expect to see an increased income to the practice. Don’t take our word for it, check out our testimonials or consider taking out a Results Based Payment plan. (call for details: 0845 287 3051)

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Happy Birthday.com

 

It’s hard to believe that the internet was created by Sir Tim Berner’s-Lee only 25 years ago. This medium has, in one generation, become such a huge aspect of modern life it’s difficult to remember an existence without the world at our fingertips.

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This week is a time to remember the screech of a dial up modem and the novelty of being able to speak to anyone across the world without a three figure phone bill. From Google and Social Networks to online shopping the world has become a much more digital place than anyone imagined.

If the amount of development from the last 25 years is anything to go by, the next 25 years should be pretty interesting in terms of online marketing. Are you already feeling a little lost in the Digital world? If you’d like help getting your practice online, sorting out your website, Social Media or e-newsletter then get in touch – 0845 287 3051. happy_25th_birthday_gifts_with_balloons_mousemats-rb7ff9b812d1c445da771ce762cbb1f19_x74vi_8byvr_512

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To Test or Not to Test

There’s nothing more important in Marketing than R.O.I. (Return on Investment) and the dawn of digital introduced hundreds of ways to measure and test your marketing.

Now we find ourselves wading through the mountains of data collected and wonder if it was really such a blessing. The answer is undoubtedly yes, but you need to be fussier about what you pay attention to with so much information available.

Before you even consider any marketing you need to decide what your objectives are. Getting the right data starts before you implement your strategy. You must decide when devising your door drop/online advert/website listing how you’re going to measure the outcome.

The most common examples are to put a code on a coupon or a reference to quote in an online listing. Many companies ask every single customer ‘Where did you hear about us?’ Please remember that any patient will tell you the most recent or most prominent way they have heard of you, not all the various aspects of your marketing they have seen.

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The most accurate way to know what’s working and what isn’t is to run a split test. Without getting too technical it means running two promotions with one difference, then recording the results. That may be the medium, for example, with the same offer both online and on a door drop, each using a different code. Then you simply see which code is redeemed more frequently.

As always if you love the sound of this but don’t want to do the leg work Smile Marketing are here to help, we can assist you from decision making right through to implementation. Click here to get in touch or call 0845 287 3051.

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Is Snail Mail more effective than ever?

Several years ago the general consensus was that the internet would kill off the need for print, especially the costly and time consuming efforts such as Direct Mail. It was also once said that TV would kill the radio. We’re here to tell you neither is dead.  

We all have to make our budgets stretch, with so many online opportunities there’s almost too much choice. We’d just like to say that you should still keep a portion of that pie back for Direct Mail or door drops.

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The reason that it was so celebrated before the digital age really took off was simple, getting your message directly into the hands of potential clients. Over the years the amount of junk mail became almost unbearable, so the medium became somewhat abandoned.

Now that most people have taken to the internet with such ferocity (and rightly so) many have completely given up on Direct Mail. With less clutter you are much more likely to get your message through, so now is the ideal time to use this to your advantage by mailing your patient database or running a targeted door drop. This is a great way to reach new and existing patients, especially if you have an offer or discount to entice them!

If you’d like help planning and/or implementing a Direct Mail campaign or door drop why not send us a message? Or call us on 0845 287 3051.

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Social Media for Dental Practices

Are you on all the Social Media channels at home but just don’t know how to apply that to your business? Or do you shy away from all aspects of this internet based nightmare? Either way it’s often best to consult with an expert before you start down the road of Social Media.

The bottom line is that Social Media will not go away and it cannot be overlooked. The first question you need to ask yourself is who will you be trying to get in touch with? There’s a distinct difference if your trying to reach GDPs or new patients. Then you need to find out what Social Network(s) they are likely to be using.

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Once you’ve decided where you need to be, consider who will be posting your messages and how often. This depends on who has the time as well as who is most knowledgeable about the Social Network or Networks you have chosen to use. Sometimes it’s a good idea to split the responsibility between a few members of the team, having different set days to post on.

The next hurdle is often the biggest: what do we want to say? There’s no hard and fast rule as to how you should be putting your Dental Practice across on these platforms, but our top tips are:

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  1. Positive: keep your posts light and upbeat.
  2. Punctual: Respond quickly to enquiries, not just to impress the potential patient you’re talking to, but for all the other potential patients reading it.
  3. Perceptive: If you’re going to comment on social events or a piece of news, have your own take on it. No one likes to read the same thing over and over again from various companies.

For further assistance or some hands on help in setting yourselves up on Social Media give us a call on 0845 287 3051.

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Double Your Practice Income in 2014

As the economic climate continues to improve those dental practices with a clear business plan will be able to make the most of upcoming consumer trends – whether the increased take up of dental implants, lingual braces, All on 4 or cosmetic dentistry. Smile Marketing can help you to make 2014 a success.

Don’t take our word for it, Joe Dwyer from Sunlight Orthodontics had this to say after Smile helped with Marketing Planning, local promotions, GDP marketing and joint venture promotion.

“I have been very impressed with Smile Marketing. Prior to working with them, we had tried to find our own way through the marketing minefield and had wasted much time and money. With the help of Smile Marketing, we have implemented a more professional and effective marketing strategy which has seen the private gross of the practice more than double. The service is excellent. They are approachable and always available for advice, responding to questions with a speed I have not experienced with any other company I have worked with, marketing or otherwise”… “I would recommend Smile Marketing to anyone who has ever wondered whether practice marketing can be effective. With Smile Marketing, it can.”

Make 2014 the year you have a clear roadmap to increased income by giving us a call.

 

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Rebecca Joins the Smile Team

Graduation

We are delighted to announce that Rebecca Cockman, who has a wealth of digital marketing experience, joins Smile Marketing as Marketing Executive. With considerable project management skill, Rebecca will be helping to launch new websites for dental practices as well as assist with various online opportunities – from patient e-newsletters and promotiona to Social Media and Google Adwords.

There’s never been a better time to assess your own practice marketing strategy, if you have one at all. Now you can get a Free Marketing Consultation to see where you are and where you need to be going. We deal in a huge range of marketing services so we can recommend what fits best with you, your business and the patients or referrals you intend to target.

Feel that you’re in need of much more assistance? A Lunch ‘n’ Learn for 5 or 6 employees with tips about what marketing you should be working towards, what strengths you should be playing to and getting you on the road to higher income, might be just what you need. Get in touch for more information.

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Two new reasons to smile in May

We are fast approaching National Smile Month (20th May – 20th June), always a great opportunity for dental practices and referral centres to add some momentum to their patient communications and provide valuable oral health information, advice and tips.  

Involvement with National Smile Month enables dental practices to raise their profile through well targeted PR activity,  advertorials and their ‘internal marketing’ (newsletters, waiting area literature, posters, etc) 

As an agency dedicated solely to the dental industry, we are naturally joining in with Smile Month too, not only by helping our clients with their PR and internal marketing but also launching our new consultancy retainer package which includes payment by results.  Yes, it’s unheard of isn’t it? We’ll be including a proportion of our fees based on forecasted results, pre-agreed with clients. Whether new patient enquiries, appointments, practice income or bottom-line performance, we’ll work closely with dental practices and businesses, on a strategic and tactical level, to ensure they receive the return on investment they require. 

With clear business and marketing planning, we are confident we can help improve practice performance.  The excellent feedback we have had from award winning clients gives us the confidence to be flexible with our fees. 

To find out more, contact us.