As a species procrastination is our favourite form of self sabotage. It’s in our DNA and we tend to use it in many situations. Because of this, despite whether you give your patients a good reason to come back and see you for treatment, there’s a strong chance that they’ll find excuses not to. This is why incentive-based marketing works.
When used properly, dental promotions get your patients out of a holding pattern and gives them an incentive to take action before a limited offer expires.
Effective dental promotions have two main aims. Firstly, they should help you to grow your practice by bringing in new patients. Secondly, they should help you to build loyalty with your current patients, so they‘ll remain with you for years to come. When your promotions are managed correctly, you’ll start to both increase and sustain awareness for your practice.
So how is this done and more importantly…how can incentive based marketing be utilised in the dental industry?
Let’s take a closer look…..
- What you’re trying to achieve
- What your goals are
- What your budget allows
- How you will track success
Also, timing matters. If you have specific time frames for your offers and discounts, it will create a positive urgency for your patients in scheduling their appointments. Be sure to make these deadlines clear. Put them on your web page, around your practice or in your newsletters. Seasonal offers may be based around certain times of the year such as back to school discounts or summer promotions. The truth is, a discount with a deadline can lead to a speedier decision.
So how about some promotional ideas then?
If you’re using social media networking to market your practice (which you should be) then offer exclusive deals and rewards in the form of a contest on platforms such as Facebook & Twitter in return for likes, re-tweets, or shares. This is a well-used method. Although it does work, sometimes it can just leave you with people who only hope to get a free prize from you, rather than helping to grow your business.
So how can you squeeze the most return out of these campaigns?
The answer….focus on developing advocates for your dental practice. Put simply, you need to get people interacting, through commenting and sharing. Look at using dental promotions that require people to opt in to something. A good example of this would be to promote say 10% off tooth whitening for all patients who sign up to your monthly newsletter. Don’t forget, you need to be active on these social media platforms yourself so that potential patients can interact with you directly during the promotion period.
Try and think outside the box here. Plenty of dentists are offering free tooth whitening or free cosmetic consultations. It may be easy and effective but it’s not memorable. Think how you could stand out as different. How about trying a different promotion every day of the week? That way you’ll cover a range of treatments and are bound to get more interest. Or you could promote a popular treatment such as dental implants by holding an information evening at your practice and give all who attend a discount. Not only do you get the chance to wow them with your expertise and friendly staff, but you get them through your door and into your practice, making it more likely they’ll book on the spot, especially with the added bonus discount.
Providing dental products can make a lasting impact on your patients. According to studies, gifts for your patients foster goodwill and retention. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just the simple act of gifting an item is likely to stick in your patients minds. What are some good promotional products to consider? How about something that your patients will use daily?
Because they’ll see or use it regularly and remember the source, you. Put yourself in your patients’ shoes and think what would be useful or what you would like to receive from a dentist. Here are a few good ideas to start with:
- Calendars and planners
- Fridge magnets
- Oral hygiene packs
- Travel care sets
Or occasionally, you may decide to think bigger. How about registering the next 25 patients who attend an appointment with you for an iPad giveaway, complete tooth whitening treatment, or the like? To strengthen the bond with your current patients, make the contest exclusive to them. Also be sure to post the winner on your social media platforms.
These are very simple, tried and tested dental promotions, but they work. How? It encourages your patients to share their experience with your practice. Make sure the cards include your practice details and website. When the new patient brings the card in, you reward your existing patient (and/or the new one also) with a gift of some kind, using any of the ideas above, or even simply just a thank you note and flowers. This tactic not only helps you reach new patients but at the same times strengthens the bond with your current patients.
The last point to mention, is that to make your dental promotions worthwhile and as successful as possible, make sure they’re publicised widely. If hardly anyone know about your great incentives, then they won’t be as effective. More importantly, make sure that every staff member knows and understands the current promotion that you’re running, especially reception staff, as they’re responsible for booking in such appointments and dealing with new interest.
Hopefully this post has helped you with a few ideas for dental promotions to get started increasing and sustaining awareness for your practice. Skilled writers are often responsible for the creation of a company’s promotional information. The Dental Writers team are highly experienced in this area. If you would like any further information about our services visit www.dentalwriters.com or contact Dale on (0) 844 307 9127.