Archive for the ‘Referral Marketing’ Category

How To: Create Affiliate Links Locally

This is possibly the best marketing tip for any business on a tight budget; and it is a great way to encourage patient referrals from local businesses to your dental practice.

What are affiliates?

Individuals or companies who promote your treatments on their website, in their premises or via their newsletter in exchange for discounts on treatments for their customers or referrals from you.

Having a team of affiliates marketing your practice to potential patients is invaluable as the recommendation comes from a person or company that they already know and trust.

There’s no limit to the number of local businesses that you can have promoting your practice.

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We recommend the following local businesses for dental affiliates:

  • Hair salons
  • Florists
  • Gyms
  • Vets
  • Spas
  • Hotels with gym/spa facilities

What do I do?

A cheap and effective way to work with local businesses is to produce a joint venture flyer branded to your practice.

For each affiliate you amend the flyer template to feature their logo (as well as yours), a tagline aimed at their customers and an offer ‘exclusively’ for their customers to use at your practice.

For guidance on practice affiliates simply get in touch via email or call us on 0845  287 3051.

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Marketing. Making it happen!

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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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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Think Inside The Box First

We often talk of “thinking outside the box“, which is now a bit 90′s isn’t it?

Sure, breakthrough thinking and new ideas are the lifeblood of really successful businesses – and dental practices are no exception. I talk to numerous practice owners and business owners from several industries, however, and they are often so busy looking for new out of the box ideas that they miss the clear opportunities staring them in the face – the “in the box” profit opportunities.

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A great example of this is attempting innovative ways to bring in new patients when you have an under-tapped patient list. In other words, putting too much emphasis on new patient acquisition and not enough emphasis on internal marketing.

At Smile we regularly encounter these situations, they all amount to under valuing the potential of your patient list:

  • Not enough communication with patients
  • A recall process that isn’t robust and doesn’t include all patients
  • Giving up too soon on patients coming back for treatment
  • Poor recall letters and emails - I see many that are ‘cold’, matter of fact and unfriendly
  • No newsletter to ‘up-sell’ your treatments - many of your patients simply do not know everything that you offer
  • Little or no ‘ownership’ of recall within the practice
  • No segmentation of your patients - they are not all the same!
  • A practice website that lacks key patient information (treatment, team, prices)
  • Patient plans and membership schemes that are not well promoted

These are all “in the box” issues that can be addressed and are guaranteed to help build income and patient retention.

And here’s the thing. Generating income from your own patient list almost always costs less than finding new patients.

For a FREE practice marketing Health Check call 0845 287 3051 or email info@smiledentalmarketing.co.uk. 

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Referrals – it’s not all about CPD

The standard tactic for orthodontists, endodontists, implantologists and other specialists trying to build a referral base is to host an event based on learning and offering CPD.

To ensure events are a success, it really is important that your event reflects your practice brand and values. It’s worth brainstorming ideas with the team so the event is memorable and potential referring dentists feel it was not only a good use of their time but was also enjoyable.

After all, it’s about building relationships and events can be a great springboard for these to develop – IF they are carefully thought through.

But your event doesn’t have to involve CPD. In fact some of the most memorable events we have organised or attended are not educational at all.

Other tactics that have worked well for our clients include:

Get to know practice managers & receptionists in referring dentists. Their influence cannot be underestimated – they probably refer as many patients as the dentists!

Ensure your staff know what to tell your potential referrers – and a little thank you card will always be appreciated.

Sponsor: Not the obvious dentist night out but a new local chocolatier held a tasting quiz and our client supplied a bottle of logo’d champagne as a prize. It was a full house!

Memorable: If your nurses do some training at another practice, why not send a thank you. A nice card and some cakes from a local shop for example. Yes, goodies again!

For other great marketing initiatives to build referrals, call 0845 287 3051 or contact us.

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Marketing Your Practice

The Personal Touch

No two practices are the same! They are a unique combination of your brand, range of treatments, premises, locations, what your patients are like and the personalities of your staff.

Your practice is one of a kind.

So why should your marketing be any different? We’ll talk through what you’d like to achieve and how to get there, creating a unique proposal especially for you.

As a full service agency we don’t just offer marketing, we can help your business grow with new revenue streams. Our recent initiative (initially for practices in Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset) is to offer our clients* up to £3,000 worth of clinical training at multi-award-winning Devon Dental Centre of Excellence, one of the leading specialist referral centres in the South West.

If you’re thinking of offering dental implants, this is your opportunity to team up with a renowned Implantologist who has placed well over 1,000 implants. Restorative training consists of 6 monthly sessions and includes “live observation” of real cases using state-of-the-art technology at Devon Dental in Ashburton, just off the A38 between Exeter and Plymouth.

For more information on marketing and FREE* restorative training call us on 0845 287 3051.

Interracial business group meeting

*subject to terms and conditions

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Kick Start Your Outdoor Media

Marketing in the “digital age” isn’t just about email, texts and social media. A recent campaign for a dental practice promoting implants achieved a three fold ROI (return on investment) within one week of  a six-sheet bus shelter poster campaign.

You are of course building awareness, but the real acid test is the response – in this instance, high value cases. The keys to success are:

  • Position: sites where heavy traffic is always slow moving
  • Creative: simple designs that stand-out
  • BIG call-to-action: telephone number and web address – Call us now!

Of course, mentioning when the posters are going up in a Tweet or Facebook post won’t do any harm!

Call Smile Marketing on 0845 287 3051 or email us and we’ll help you achieve your goals.

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Are marketing budgets now out of date?

Private dental practices, like many types of business, have traditionally set a marketing budget for say 12 months, if they have money reserved for patient recruitment and internal marketing at all.  But putting a sum aside for marketing is really coming at it from the wrong starting point. The starting point is looking at the notion of buying patients.

The key question is: “how much am I prepared to pay for a new patient?”. If it’s a dental implant case worth say £2k, are you prepared to pay £100 for that patient, or £200 or £250?  For general patients, who start with a £50 or £75 consultation and then go on to become a regular over 3 – 5 years, what are those patients worth to you and how much are you prepared to invest in each one?

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The point of this is that once you have worked out those numbers, it’s easier to determine the best strategies for finding those patients, the media to use and the return on investment to plan for. And as new patients or referrals come into your practice, you can decide whether to increase or decrease the numbers of patients you are buying.

With this change in mindset, there’s a much clearer focus on what you are looking to achieve from any marketing investment and really helps practices to avoid making costly mistakes.

If this approach appeals to you, contact us for an initial chat about finding more patients for your practice.

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Dental Bridal Packages Work!

Wedding Bridal Packages

Following National Smile Month we’re swiftly approaching the summer wedding season, a great opportunity to promote specialist and cosmetic treatments. Every bride wants a perfect white smile to match her white dress!

The beauty of brides (and grooms and bridesmaids!) to be is that it is possible to target them directly and reach them cost effectively via joint ventures, for example with your local florist or hairdresser. It’s a brilliant way to find patients for your practice.  Promote a Special Offer on treatment(s) and on your flyer – why not encourage your joint venture partners to do the same?

Weddings are expensive and the large budget means that your dental treatments, whether teeth whitening or some other cosmetic treatment, won’t seem so high. On average people spend £36,127* on their wedding and the photography alone is on average £748*, making it an ideal time to get their smile ‘camera-ready’.

Don’t ignore the seasonal opportunities for getting new patients and increasing the profitability of your practice. Make sure you keep checking our blog for promotional hints and tips for your dental practice. Feel like you need to promote yourselves for the wedding season but don’t know where to start?

Call Smile Marketing on 0845 287 3051 or email us and we’ll get you down the right aisle.

*Stats from Hitched Wedding Industry Facts & Economics.

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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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