To mail or not to mail…

That is the question.

Letterbox stuffed with mail

Figures from the Royal Mail* show that more than 92% of direct mail is opened and 48% of adults took action after receiving direct mail last year:

  • 14.2m bought something
  • 10.5m used a voucher or coupon
  • 2.8m tried a new product or service
  • 3m made an enquiry by phone

You are of course looking for patients and referrals, so think about the type of people you are targeting. Are they more likely to respond to a banner advert of a local website, an email or a letter through their door?

Direct mail has an amplifier effect when used in tandem with other advertising channels, so using direct mail can improve your existing practice marketing.

If you’re lost at sea with the amount of options available then get in touch, not only can we help you to decide the best media to put your money behind, we can also help you to implement the most cost effective marketing tactics.

Sometimes all you need is some guidance in the right direction.
Why not send us a message?
Or call us on 0845 287 3051.

*http://www.royalmail.com/node/19353839

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New App ‘Facebook at Work’ Launched

Now that Facebook has a firm hold on billions of users personal interactions they are expanding into the workplace, so contacting your colleagues with notes, articles and files will be as easy as messaging your friends and sending photos. Facebook state:

Facebook at Work is a tool for co-workers to communicate and collaborate in a professional environment on Facebook.

This new app has been recently launched to ‘pilot partners’ (selected businesses) for testing.

Unlike LinkedIn, Facebook at Work is for internal communications within your practice, not to connect with other businesses or your patients. This new app could eliminate the need for endless emails, calls and notes with the overall usability of Facebook enabling staff to collaborate like never before.

Most importantly photos of you at the weekend won’t be visible from your work account. Phew!

Your personal and work accounts are separate but you can log in using the same username and password, making it easy to switch between accounts.

The app set up is done by your practice, then you can open employee accounts which will already have name, job title and work contact info. You can personalise your account with profile picture, cover photo and other details without changing your personal account.

So what could this do for your dental practice?

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When you need to let all the dental nurses know about a change in routine you can tag them in a post on your page and they will all receive it to their phones. If you have some news about the practice you can post it on the news feed for everyone (including your social media manager) so they can share this news with your patients.

There are hundreds of possible ways to use this new app, in our opinion anything that improves communication in your practice should be welcomed with open arms!

Do you think ‘Facebook at Work’ could help your practice staff keep up to date? Let us know what you think on our Facebook page.

When to use radio for dental practices

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We get asked this a lot. Well, for many practices, it’s a sound business opportunity!

Typically, and in our experience, radio works best for:

  • Practice launches – reaching as many people as quickly as possible to build a patient base
  • Promoting a unique service in your catchment e.g. cosmetic treatments not offered by competitors
  • Communicating convenience e.g. children’s braces without NHS waiting list
  • Promoting an event e.g. practice open day (often at launch)
  • Seasonal offers e.g. teeth whitening for summer and the “wedding season”

Regional radio stations with a good % of local people listening can work really well. You just need a creative advert with a strong message and clear call to action (your phone number, web address or text number)

Ah, my “ideal patient” I hear you say. Everyone should have a profile of who they really want in their practice but that’s a subject for another day.

There are best practices in buying radio advertising or sponsorship and it’s always best to consult a professional marketing company for assistance.

Next time, we’ll dispel the myths of radio advertising, for example it doesn’t have to be expensive – in fact it can be extremely cost effective if you look at the cost per thousand of reaching your ideal patients.

For an initial no-obligation phone consultation with us to discuss your practice future, call 0845 287 3051 or email steve@smiledentalmarketing.co.uk.

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What’s Your Return on Investment?

From the very start of my marketing career it became apparent that direct response marketing was a crucial component of business; that is to test, measure and ensure that your marketing activities are judged in terms of ROI.

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The internet has moved measurable marketing on in leaps and bounds, e-Newsletters, blogs and social media all add to the range of marketing that can be measured accurately and instantly.

Also, SEO, Pay Per Click (Google AdWords) and Blogs (like this one!) are tried and tested ways to drive traffic to your website but some techniques are even more targeted.

Re-Marketing allows you to keep communicating with the people who visit your website but leave without using your contact form. This is used extensively by property search sites and houses you have checked out follow you around the web.

By the same token, for dental practices this is an opportunity to cost effectively win high value patients, who are perhaps researching a specialist treatment they are considering, for example dental implants, lingual braces or root canal therapy. It’s a great breakthrough, highly measurable and can be tested by small and large practices alike.

To explore the marketing options for your practice, contact us for a no-obligation chat.

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Marketing. Making it happen!

Happy New Year 2015

Some people want it to happen
Some wish it would happen
Others make it happen

To make it happen, you first need a plan, a roadmap if you like. In the same way you don’t get in your car without knowing where you are going and how you are going to get there, it’s the same for building a business.

A business plan supported by a marketing plan that helps you achieve your business objectives is the way to reach your destination, whether measured in income, profit, cases, professional standing within your profession or exit, if you have an exit plan (which is a huge subject in itself).

For help with a business plan and marketing plan from the people in the know, it’s important to work with a specialist marketing agency that knows your challenges, your industry and the roadblocks potentially in your way.

Make 2015 the year you have a roadmap to growth. Contact Steve on 0845 287 3051 or steve@smiledentalmarketing.co.uk.

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On the 12th day of Christmas …

…You should have your 2015 Marketing Plan ready!

It’s that time of year when businesses, including dental practices, have the ambition to make the New Year their best year ever. All too often though, it never really happens and one of the reasons is that the practice doesn’t have a business plan and almost certainly doesn’t have a marketing plan with clear objectives.

It is of course important to plan set targets in terms of patient income, cases, referrals and Patient Plan memberships if you have a scheme in place.

A dental practice business plan should at the very least cover the following topics:

  • Practice vision
  • Objectives – growth, acquisition, exit, new partnership…
  • Practice strengths and weaknesses
  • The financials e.g. 2-3 year financial projections, with breakdown in treatment mix
  • Supplier services & costs e.g. supplies, sundries
  • Practice and equipment maintenance
  • Team development plans – clinical training, personal development training, recruitment, practice management
  • Marketing – external support, such as Smile Marketing, and internal responsibilities
  • Success criteria i.e. what does success look like?

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So don’t leave “your best year ever” to chance. Do talk to a specialist dental marketing agency for advice and guidance.

For an initial no-obligation phone consultation with Steve Davey to discuss your practice future, call 0845 287 3051 or email steve@smiledentalmarketing.co.uk.

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Join the Smile Team

To continue its growth path, Smile is looking for talented individuals to join the team as regional associates. The positions we’re are looking to fill are for the Midlands, East Anglia, North East, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. We already have associates covering London/South East, South Coast, South West, Wales and the North West.

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Smile offers a full range of marketing services including business planning, branding, marketing planning, welcome packs, referral packs, clinician and practice PRdental websites, patient recruitment campaigns and Social Media Strategy and Social Media Management.

Offering either retainer-based or project-based packages, the company’s flexible approach to helping practices is proving to be very popular.

Steve Davey, commented:

Since the launch of Smile Marketing 5 years ago, interest from dentists, orthodontists, endodontists, implantologists and other specialists has been fantastic. The dental industry has become increasingly competitive so guiding Principals and Practice Managers to become self-sufficient and more targeted with their marketing has proved to be a real ‘win win’.

The introduction of Payment by Results, a proportion of our fees based on practice performance (enquiries, consultations, income), has proved to be very popular and shows our commitment to helping businesses succeed. Dentists want advice and guidance from people who know the industry inside out and understand their issues and that’s where we fit in.

For more information call us on 0845 287 3051 or email info@smiledentalmarketing.co.uk.

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Double Your Practice Income in 2015

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Dental practices with a clear business plan will be able to make the most of the improving economic climate, and greater consumer confidence.

Whether it be increased take up on adult orthodontics, “teeth-in-a-day” (a.k.a. All on 4 or All on 6), whitening or other cosmetic dentistry. Smile Marketing are ready to help you succeed in 2015.

Why take our word for it? Here’s what our client Joe Dwyer, Sunlight Orthodontics, had this to say after Smile helped with Marketing Planninglocal promotionsGDP 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.”

Small Money gift christmas blog

Give your practice the ultimate Christmas gift, a clear roadmap to increased income in 2015. Smile Marketing has a range of special packages for helping ambitious practices to thrive and grow.

Call or email for an initial no-obligation phone consultation with Steve Davey to discuss your practice future. 

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Social Media Packages from Smile

If you’re thinking of getting involved with Social Media but don’t know where to start, check out our package offers and contact us.

Facebook Page ManagementSocial Media

  • Daily updates
  • Monthly reporting
  • Full competitor analysis
  • Replies to comments
  • Weekly page optimisation
£195* per month

Facebook Ad Management

  • Full competitor analysis
  • Weekly reporting
  • Careful analysis of your target market
  • Identification of objectives for your campaign
  • Creation of dozens of targeted Ad Groups
£350* per month

Twitter Account Management

  • Daily updates
  • Weekly reporting
  • Full competitor analysis
  • Manual following of new potential customers
  • Retweets and replies encouraged and made for others
£195* per month

All Three Services - £675* per month

* + VAT. For more information contact us or call Steve Davey on 0845 287 3051.

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Treat, Not A Trick

Excellent Marketing Support Now, Pay Later

We are getting into the festive period frenzy of special offers and deals – from holidays to furniture to any number of potential gifts. But it’s refreshing to know that for business planning, marketing advice, branding, website and patient communications, your costs can be spread over several months.iStock_000000467930Medium

Following the expense of practice refurbishments and equipment upgrades for CQC and HTM 01-05, or the launch of a new practice, cash may be tight but the need for finding new patients, promoting treatments, attracting high value cases and increasing referrals never goes away.

It’s important that dental practices choose a flexible agency to support them – not just in terms of high quality advice that eliminates costly mistakes or media planning and buying that saves them money.

Smile Marketing works with you to plan and budget in a way that suits your cash flow, whilst allowing you to benefit from marketing right away. There are several ways we do this.

  1. From our proposal, you can simply select paying in 12 equal monthly instalments on the agreed contract value. There is no minimum contract value.
  2. For the larger marketing investments, maybe for a new practice launch, re-brand or change in practice strategy, we can recommend a finance company that allows you to spread payments as part of an unsecured ‘working capital’ loan.

And remember, for retainer clients a proportion of our fees are based on practice results, whether new consultations, cases, income or bottom-line.

For more information contact us or call Steve Davey on 0845 287 3051.

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