|Most weeks, if not days, we are offered PPC support for our business, so for dental practices who find marketing an unknown quantity and certainly not used to procuring marketing services, it’s not surprising that it can be very confusing. |
Asking the right questions is a good starting point. For example:
– What return can I expect from my investment; that is; how many high quality leads (and by this you mean people who have been qualified as being ‘in the market’ for a treatment) can I expect?
– Can a defined catchment area be set for my leads? This will vary between practices (city, region, town, rural, coastal….)?
– Can I focus on specific treatments such as Dental Implants?
– Is there a monthly management fee? If so, what does this include?
– Is there an advertising budget on top? If so, what am I likely to be paying per click and per month?
– Will I be given guidance on how best to convert the leads in a follow up call?
You may also want to ask them if they have any experience in the dental sector because, as with all sectors, there are nuances to take account of and specific tactics that increase response.
If in any doubt, we can advise on your best option or you may simply want to sign up for Smile Pay Per Lead which means you haven’t got to worry about all the set-up, management fees and ad budgets. You simply pay for the high quality leads we generate from selected online channels including Google Ads.
For a chat about how many leads can be generated in your area, call Steve on 07974 748550 or Trevor on 07939 543642.
Almost to the day, I’ve been working in the dental & healthcare sectors for 21 years now, so to mark this and with 2021 in mind, I’ve put together 21 top tips or pieces of insight to share.
- Having your “ideal patient” in mind is a vital part of your Marketing Strategy. Knowing (in detail) who you want at your practice helps to frame your practice proposition, tactics, media selection, creative approach and messaging.
- How many practices do not have a Business Plan? Lots. Having a roadmap to growth, acquisition or exit doesn’t need to be a long, complicated process but those with a plan seem to do better financially.
- First impressions count big time. From updating ‘tired looking’ signage to ensuring any litter outside is picked up at least once a day (often more often in cities), the most important impression is the patient welcome, what is said as part of the greeting and how it is conveyed (an engaging tone of voice). These make a huge difference.
- Build your practice brand (and brand equity) with your own membership plan, not someone else’s. Privilege Plan allow practices to use their own brand and I recommend having an initial chat with Lesley Bailey.
- A motivated team is as obvious to patients just as an unhappy one is. I’ve visited hundreds of practices and can ‘detect’ the atmosphere within a few moments after walking in. Is it a happy team? Are square pegs in round holes? Are there training needs? Ask your patients for feedback regularly because understanding where you need to improve is gold dust.
- Many owners find it difficult to create USPs for their practices. “What do we offer that is truly unique and what’s the proof to back it up?”. A closer look at your services can help to reveal a USP. For example, do you have any unique clinical skills? (such as laser dentistry), is there anything different about your patient experience? (e.g. concierge service for elderly patients); is there a convenient tool used for patient consultations? (e.g. Smile Mate).
- I prefer ‘patient experience’ to ‘patient journey’ as ‘journey’ suggests there’s a natural end or destination whereas ‘experience’ means the communication never stops. Aftercare and keeping in touch with patients are part of the experience. Document, review and refine each step before you invest anything in patient acquisition.
- Ensure practice investment focuses on the whole patient experience, not just the surgeries. Patients won’t notice the difference between a £15k dental chair unit and a £30k unit, but they will notice a scruffy or messy patient waiting area, a reception desk design that creates a perceived barrier, stained carpets or flooring, out-of-date magazines, poor WiFi and no water dispenser.
- Don’t be afraid to price your treatments in line with the skills, experience and service you provide. Review your price list and charge a premium if your patient experience is exceptional. Remember, some people buy because it is more expensive.
- The only metrics that really count in patient acquisition are the cost per quality lead and the cost per new patient or agreed treatment plan. Everything else is vanity, just as ‘likes’ on Facebook.
- Lead conversion always improves when there is a dedicated, knowledgeable Treatment Coordinator who enjoys calling prospective patients, follows up promptly and is tenacious. ‘Consultative sales’ skills are a given. The cost of a TC pays back quickly, and then some!
- Radio advertising can be very effective for launching a practice or promoting a high value treatment. Yes, there’s ‘wastage’ because targeting isn’t precise but you can reach a lot of people very quickly and it increases response from other media e.g. Facebook ads when running at the same time.
- The clamour to ‘get good’ on social media is similar to the rush to get a website 20 odd years ago, often without the initial thinking as to ‘why?’. If time is precious, focus on one or two channels, the obvious ones being Facebook and Insta because of their reach and popularity but also because they can be easily scheduled together on tools like Later.
- ‘Mystery shopping’ – this is important and I make a point of personally walking into client’s competitors to get first impressions. Take this scenario. I enquire about registering with the practice and ask for some information to take away. The ‘welcome’ I receive ranges from the receptionist/PM going out of their way to engage in conversation and answer my questions to another treating me like an irritant and telling me all the information is on the website whilst handing me a price list! ‘Walk-ins’ are often a significant % of new patient enquiries and shouldn’t be overlooked.
- Social responsibility includes thinking and acting on ways to engage with and help people who may have conditions that make it more difficult to visit the dentist. Ensure the team is prepared and trained for patients who may be suffering from dementia, a physical disability or needle phobia or may be autistic, hard of hearing or visually impaired.
- TV advertising improves online conversion – SKY Adsmart can be targeted to household level and is proven to increase PPC conversion. With the brand and practice in full view, it’s not surprising.
- ‘No brainer’ internal marketing includes an A board, prominent display of key treatments on your frontage and strategically positioned posters within the practice, especially your membership plan. Don’t forget the surgeries and toilets where you have a ‘captive audience’.
- Avoid putting all media eggs in one basket. Some practices have stopped all off-line marketing and this misses key opportunities. Local village A5 magazines have had a resurgence in the last couple of years and are a good source of high value patients and advertising is as ‘cheap as chips’. You’ll get free editorial too!
- Media comparison – a good way of checking value for money is to look at Cost per 000, that is the cost per 1000 target patients you reach with your ad. You may think advertising on the London Tube is expensive. It is, but the cost/000 was very low and a campaign worked a treat for a Harley St practice recruiting new implant cases.
- A large number of dental websites look the same. Aim to add ‘personality’ with bespoke copywriting that conveys what is fantastic and different about your practice. Bespoke photos are better than library images, whenever possible.
- There are always unique local opportunities in all areas– bringing in a £100k+ ROI from a £250 annual investment in a 1 metre ad board (promoting implants) on a ferry is one of the best examples I can cite
Ideal for high value treatments such as Dental Implants, All-on-4, invisible braces, full mouth restorations and smile makeovers, Smile PayPerLead is an alternative to the traditional way businesses pay for Google Ads; that is, a monthly management fee plus a daily clicks budget.
The service is very straight forward. Dental practices pay for high quality leads and simply request how many leads they would like per week or month.
So, if an implantologist is looking to increase their number of cases, we find patients who are searching for an implant practitioner and provide all the details for the practice to follow up, safe in the knowledge that it is a ‘hot prospect’, close to the practice (you set the distance) and ready to talk about an initial implant consultation – on the phone, on a video call or in person.
If a practice is looking for a GUARANTEED 20 or 30 Implants EVERY month, it’s definitely worth an initial conversation.
Like to know more? Contact us or call Steve Davey or Trevor Mallon on 07974 748550.
Being launched by the end of the month, this newly devised service focuses on generating enquiries for higher value treatments such as dental implants, All-on-4, full mouth restorations and smile makeovers.
As an alternative to the traditional way businesses pay for Google Ads; that is a monthly management fee plus a daily clicks budget, Smile PPL involves dental practices simply paying for high quality leads.
They simply request how many leads they would like per week or month and pay a fixed fee for each.
Contact us http://leads.smiledentalmarketing.co.uk/ or call Trevor or Steve on 07974 748550 to find out more.
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.
*subject to terms and conditions