Effective dental promotions should serve two specific functions. First, they need to help grow your practice by bringing new patients to the office. Second, they need to build loyalty with your current patients so you can continue working with them for years to come.
When you manage your promotions correctly, you can also start to increase and sustain brand awareness. So let’s take a look at some dental promotional ideas that can address both of those functions.
How to Use Promotions to Grow Your Dental Practice
Attracting new patients is an ongoing process that requires a lot of effort and dedication, and there are several potential avenues through which you can reach them.
There was a time when most growth in a dental practice came from patient referrals. While there’s no doubt that this is still one of the most effective ways to get a new patient, it’s just one of the many possible alternatives where you can branch out and connect with the people in your community.
Online promotions, in particular, can have a huge impact on getting more patients. These are relatively simple ways to make yourself known in the online space and start encouraging more people to take a closer look at your practice.
Social Promotions – Contests that offer exclusive deals or rewards in return for Liking your Facebook page or following your Twitter feed are classics, and they still work, but there are other ways to use social media.
If you only stick to the surface level of these contests, you may get a lot of likes, but that alone won’t grow your business. It really just represents a lot of people hoping to get a free prize. The most effective promotions will help you get more return on your investment.
In order to get the most out of these campaigns, you need to focus on developing brand advocates, this means you need to get people commenting and sharing and interacting. Those traditional contests are a good start, but you should also look at promotions that require opting in on something. You should also be active on the social platform yourself so they will be able to interact directly with you throughout the promotion.
Local Promotions Through Online Channels – Showing up in the search engine results for searches that are specifically looking for local dentists is an important step. You can promote your practice by making sure you are properly listed in Google My Business and quickly responding to any reviews (whether good or bad) that your patients leave online.
These local optimization efforts will make it easier for patients to find your office and give them an idea what they can expect
Local PR – If you’re involved in the community or participating in special events, then you can share it with your patients. There are several ways to spread this information, depending on how far and how fast you want the news to travel.
Unique Promotions – A lot of dentists can offer free whitening services or a free cleaning just for coming into the office. It’s not hard, and it’s not unusual – and therefore not memorable.
What can you do that’s a little different? Maybe you could offer treatments for people who can’t leave their homes for some reason. You can keep people interested with a different special every day of the week, or stay open until late hours on special days so they don’t have to take a day off of work just to visit the dentist. Do something a little different, and make sure you talk about it on your website and social networks.
How to Use Promotions to Build Loyalty
It’s one thing to catch someone’s interest right as they’re starting the search for a new dentist, but it’s something else entirely to make sure their current patients stick around and then share their experiences with others. After all, it can be a long six months between appointments. How can you make sure that you will stick in their minds that whole time?
Obviously, the answer is to provide the kind of quality services they expect. But, beyond that, there are a couple more things you might consider.
Dental Promotional Items – These kinds of products can have a positive impact on attitude and behavior, especially when they’re backed up by a positive experience at the office. Since these are tangible items, they can actually create a higher level of recall.
In fact, according to some studies, 7 in 10 consumers recalled receiving at least one promotional product in the past year. It doesn’t have to be something big. The simple act of providing these items seems to stick in the mind.
The most effective dental promotional products are things that your patients will use in their daily lives. Something they’ll see regularly, and something they won’t throw away as soon as possible. Always think of these products as gifts, and ask yourself if you’d be happy to receive them. Having said that, there are some specific types that fill specific purposes.
Buttons, badges, stickers and magnets are very useful for contact information references, but the studies show that while these are often memorable products, they’re not often used for reference purposes.
Calendars and planners are more likely to be used for referencing the necessary information.
Dental goodie bags are simple and effective choices and can be tailored for younger or older patients.
Referral Cards – These are simple items that encourage your patients to share their experiences. They can carry some of your brand messaging and contact information, then, when the new patient brings the card in, you can reward the person who made the referral with a gift of some kind. This helps you reach new people while incentivizing your current patients to stick around.
In the end, a strong mix of promotional activities and products can help your dental practice continue to grow and establish your place in the community. Take some time to consider a few of these dentist office promotion ideas and discover a way to improve your own marketing efforts.