Lead generation for Implant and Invisalign patients is not a new thing. It typically involves the use of Google Ads, Facebook, Instagram and email to generate enquiries. Once provided to the dental practice, it is left to them to ‘convert’ that lead into a consultation. Success depends on three main factors; firstly, the quality of the lead, that is, how serious the enquirer is about treatment, their demographic, their state on mind (how their dental situation is affecting their life) and their expectations of price and value. Secondly, the skills, knowledge, resilience and availability of the Treatment Coordinator (or other person following up the lead). After all, for a ‘considered purchase’ like dental implants or an orthodontic treatment, some people will take their time and will need some reassurance. Thirdly, having a lead nurturing system will maximise the Return on Investment, ideally to include some automation so some enquiries don’t fall through the cracks.
Many digital agencies are good at generating leads but the quality is often lacking, which means conversion rates are very low and practice owners get frustrated. A high number of unqualified, poor quality leads also drains practice resource and the Treatment Coordinator making the calls, emails, texts and whatsapp messages gets demotivated.
Our approach is to focus on quality as well as quantity. Providing support across all 3 factors (above) ensures a ROI that outperforms the industry average, with conversion rates (new patients ‘in the chair’) ranging from 10 – 40%, resulting in happy clients. Here’s a new testimonial just in:
“I have been very happy with the Pay Per Lead service from Smile Marketing. We received 10 cases in a very short period with a good conversion rate for treatment. I would highly recommend the service” Gary Dorman – Principal, Hartley Dental
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
For some dental practices, having a marketing budget can be too limiting. Whilst business planning and close financial control are vital, dispensing with the idea of a fixed marketing budget represents a fundamental change of thinking. Firstly, it starts with seeing marketing as an investment, not a cost. That’s a mindset change.
So, what is the alternative to setting a fixed marketing budget each year?
Start by calculating the average value of an “ideal patient”. That may be a multiple implant patient or it may be a new Invisalign patient. Then it’s simply a case of working out, based on the margin you need to achieve, what you can afford to spend to acquire each new patient, by treatment type.
Smile PayPerLead is a service that enables dental owners to allocate a fixed amount of money each month that guarantees the new leads and cases they require to grow their businesses. So for example, in planning 2021, instead of setting an annual marketing budget, principals can plan how many new cases they want and this translates into how many quality leads they need each month (at a fixed price for each) and how many need to turn into fee paying patients, to achieve the target .
For alternative ways to look at marketing planning and filling surgeries with “ideal patients”, contact us.
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.
For all dental practices, it’s important to decide who are your ideal patients.
Where do they live?
What kind of service do they expect?
Are they young, older, male, female?
Are they affluent, price sensitive, looking for a dental ‘package’ e.g. a membership scheme?
Are they in certain jobs like airline stewards and stewardesses, actors & actresses, business people that do presentations or public speaking, teachers or in other professions?
Last but not least, at what life stage are they? Are they about to get married?
Have you ever considered how many people are getting married in your local area in 2016?
What if we told you that you could directly target these people with tooth whitening, other cosmetic treatments or even braces if far enough in advance?
Well you can!
There’s plenty of benefits to approaching this section of the market:
- Everyone wants a perfect smile for their big day
- Brides, grooms and bridesmaids all want to be camera ready
- It’s all about having great photos as well as the memories
- They have a wedding budget of (average in UK) £24,000*
- People will spend more on a wedding cake than the cost of teeth whitening!
If you’d like more information about creating perfect wedding day smiles for your local area call us on 01626 897 713 or email us.
Your dental website cannot contain all of the details about everything you know without losing its overall effectiveness as a key communication to patients and prospective patients.
One of the best things about a blog is that the small, focused nature of each article allows you to expand on one specific aspect of dentistry and go into detail about it.
Most blog set-ups will allow you to categorise each one so that people can find the articles on a specific topic easily.
Blogs are the ideal platform to show not just how much you know about dentistry in general, but how in-depth your knowledge is about the areas of dentistry that interest you most.
Having a store of good quality dental blogs can answer questions that your patients have and follow up from specific conversations either with them or staff at the practice.
Sharing your dental knowledge on your blog will help to ensure that patients feel they have a truly skilled and experienced dentist.
Google’s Algorithm Updates Explained
Panda, introduced Feb 2011, hits weak and duplicate content and stops them from appearing in Googles top search results. This increased the ranking of news and social networking sites as they are content heavy and regularly updated.
Panda is occasionally updated – in one instance to help small business websites do better within the Google search.
Penguin, introduced April 2012, hitting unnatural links that don’t follow Google’s quality guidelines. Whilst Panda is getting softer over time on it’s work against poor content, Penguin is getting stricter. This shows that Google is gradually lowering its tolerance of webspam. Black hat SEO tactics have been targeted e.g.:
- Keyword stuffing
- Link schemes
- Cloaking, “sneaky” redirects or “doorway” pages
- Purposeful duplicate content
Hummingbird, introduced August 2013, is about Google being able to catch users’ actual search intent and find the content that matches this intent the best. Using semantic search it works out the context of the search query, not just the individual terms.
Hummingbird is more than an update, it’s a new algorithm to ensure that Google understands your entire sentence, not just the words you used.
Pigeon, introduced July 2014, aims to provide more useful, relevant and accurate local search results by connecting web search and map search in a more cohesive way.
While it hits local businesses, Pigeon is also a unique animal because it allows Google to adapt to our behaviors and uses location and distance as key part of search strategy.
For more information about SEO tactics and creating great
web content get in touch via email or phone us on 0845 287 3051.
A great way to create trust in your brand is by asking patients for testimonials.
It costs nothing and can sway potential patients to visit the practice when they see other people like them have had a good experience in the chair.
You could email your patient list, ask patients when you see them for their appointment or have testimonial cards on your reception desk and encourage patients to share their thoughts.
Here’s some examples of our recent testimonials:
Great service….we launched our practice and August 2014, Steve and the team looked after our marketing needs from flyers through to referral packs. They were efficient, competitive and the end result was of a very good quality.
Parmajit Kaur Athwal | Wightwick Dental Practice
I have worked with Smile Marketing for over 5 years as regards marketing all 6 of my practices and the results have been that each of my practices’ turnover has increased by over 10% each year. It’s nice to work with a marketing team that has a thorough understanding of dentistry.
Dr Mitesh Badiani | Devon Dental Centre of Excellence
Dental Awards Winner | Dentist of the Year
Not sure how to best to approach patients for testimonials or not sure what to do once you have them? Get in touch for a no obligation consultation.