May 2021 | MVP Mailhouse

Marketing Your Dental Practice During Covid-19

During these uncertain times, dental practices have had to make a decision between waiting out the pandemic and various lockdown restrictions, or continuing to reach out to patients. It may seem counterintuitive to invest in marketing right now and many dental practices do not believe in the value of advertising at this time. Instead, they prefer to wait out the unpredictability of the pandemic. Unfortunately, they risk losing existing patients and miss out on potential new patient growth. What they don’t realize is that…

  • …People are online more than ever before! Due to changes in consumer behavior caused by the pandemic, people spend more time online than ever before – both for work and personally. This makes it very easy to reach potential patients through various online channels. But as pandemic restrictions are easing, many are also ready to step out and get the dental treatments they need and weren’t able to get during the height of the pandemic.
  • …Communication is key! Practices who do not communicate at this time lose the attention of patients and long-term top-of-mind recognition. Patients still want to hear from health officials like you. By continuing to market your practice, you reassure patients that you are available to them for any dental health needs, even during the challenges of the pandemic. You can engage with your patients by sharing useful information such as oral healthcare tips at home, and you can even introduce new offers to entice patients back to your practice. Regular communication ensures that your brand awareness is preserved.
  • …There’s less competition & advertising costs  are lower! Because many dental practices are currently not communicating with their patients, you are up against less competition. This allows you to reach more people and get more attention from potential new and already existing patients. Since the marketplace is not as competitive, many businesses (including marketing and advertising companies) offer promotions to retain customers. Now is the ideal time to reach patients at a lower cost.

Communicating with your patients during tough times signals that you continue to be there for them and prepare to serve them face-to-face as soon as possible. The more you invest in marketing during tough times, the stronger you will come out of it, and the more growth you will experience as a result.

Communicating With Your Patients

As patients slowly return to dental practices, many practices are facing a backlog of patients needing more extensive treatment due to the postponement of nonurgent procedures during the height of the pandemic. Accommodating this increase of patients may require some preparation on your part. Many people are reluctant to come in for treatments as they are still unsure of their safety in public places. Communication with your patients is key and helps them overcome anxiety and doubt. Here are a few ways to communicate with your patients effectively at this time:  

Add Safety Information to Your Website

If you haven’t already, make sure that you add information about the different ways you are keeping your team and patients safe on the front page of your website. Never before have so many people been online, and they will continue to be. Your website is likely seeing an increase in visitors, so it’s important to keep it updated with timely information. Describing your safety procedures can help put your patients’ minds at ease. Even including basic implementations, such as the wearing of gloves and masks, and the disinfection of common areas, emphasizes how serious you take thorough health and safety protocols.

Direct Mail

A well-rounded marketing campaign should include pieces of both digital and physical ads. Direct mail marketing is a great way to connect with high-intent patients, spread brand awareness, drive prospective patients to take action, and focus your resources where they  are most likely to yield results. If you want to learn more about why direct mail marketing can contribute significant growth to your practice, read our blog post, 10 Reasons Why You Need Direct Mail to Grow Your Dental Practice.

Share Videos From Your Practice

As one of the most effective ways to get an audience to pay attention, video is an excellent way to reach out to your patients. Your videos can address the health protocols you’ve implemented to ensure your patients’ safety in your office. You can also show any new equipment you’ve added to your office and explain what it does and how it helps keep patients safe, as well as do a walk-through of your cleaning procedures. These types of videos can help make your patients feel comfortable and safe to visit your practice. Videos are easily digestible content that can be shared on your social media, through newsletters, and on your website.

Email Patients

Don’t be afraid to over-communicate with your patients. Any type of outreach reinforces your patients’ comfort and confidence in your practice. Emails are a great personal way of reaching out to patients. You can share important updates and information, such as opening hours, health procedures, and send links to the videos you’ve created. Emphasizing the safety protocols you have in place and the additional precautions you take due to the pandemic, helps set their minds at ease.

Virtual Meetings

The internet makes it easy to offer virtual consultations through various online conference apps and many medical professionals have started meeting with patients online. Offering virtual meetings may be the best way for a patient to speak to you before they come in for treatment. You can assure their safety during your initial meeting and explain any questions they might have about your practice health protocols

In Conclusion

Regularly engaging with your patients and communicating your safety protocols is essential to getting them to come back to the office. While not all patients are hesitant to come into your practice, reaching out adds a level of comfort that all patients can appreciate. Consistent outreach also helps maintain your brand presence.

If you’re curious about how to adjust your practice marketing according to the times, feel free to reach out to MVP Mailhouse for a free consultation and we’d be pleased to help!

THINK BIG!

WHAT DENTISTS CAN LEARN FROM BIG BRANDS

When striving to build a strong brand for your dentistry, success strategies and inspiration can be found by looking at the best and most recognized brands in the world. Think Nike, Coca Cola, Apple, and all the other corporate giants that virtually everyone is familiar with. These brands follow some useful marketing rules that you can duplicate to achieve top-of-mind brand recognition with your patients and grow your dental office!

OFFER A FLAWLESS PATIENT EXPERIENCE

It’s not just treatments and price that ensure someone keeps coming back to your practice. Excellent patient experience is a key differentiator. People want a flawless, frictionless experience and usually have little patience when theirs is less than perfect. Nowadays, everyone has so many options and poor experience is a sure way for a dental office to lose a patient. Instead of seeing this as a challenge, consider it an opportunity to differentiate yourself and a way to deliver great value to your patients. To learn more about how you can achieve this read our blog post on Improving Your Patient Experience.

STAY ON TOP OF YOUR PATIENTS’ MINDS

By regularly communicating with your patients, you stay on top of their minds, which creates loyalty to your dentistry. Remind your patients regularly that you care about them, not just when they visit your practice. You can keep in touch through newsletters, your social media, and direct mail.

STAY CONSISTENT

Great brands have genuine, clearly articulated and consistent missions. Through consistency people easily understand, recognize and remember your brand. Unfortunately many dental offices fail at this early on and get too focused on only getting their dental services in front of as many eyes as possible. Meanwhile their brand is still inconsistent, showing up differently in each marketing collateral. Consider hiring a specialist who ensures that your brand remains consistent and fresh.

MARKET TO THE RIGHT AUDIENCE

Knowing who to target is important for an effective marketing campaign. Digital tools can help you narrow down an audience but did you know that you can also target your ideal patient in a highly predictable way through physical mail? Customizing your marketing with the help of specialists can get you better results. Learn more about how you can grow your practice rapidly through an effective direct mail program here.  

MANAGE YOUR MARKETING

It’s not enough to just have a custom designed logo to maintain your brand. Good branding requires certain marketing efforts, such as maintaining email and content campaigns and notifying patients of any practice improvements (e.g. new equipment, updated treatments) they can benefit from. 

While the world’s biggest brands all spend billions of dollars annually to ensure their branding is top-notch, you can still achieve great results within your marketing budget. The best brands excel in combining digital and physical advertising efforts. Consumers are everywhere and most companies have trouble reaching them if they only focus on one marketing channel. Commit to properly managing your marketing and leveraging all channels available to you to ensure that you yield the best results. 

CONCLUSION

Corporate giants can teach a lot about good branding, growth and sustainability. Creating a vision for your dental practice will allow you to connect with your patients on a deeper level and maintain that connection over time. This creates loyalty and vital patient retention. Regardless of the size of your practice, don’t be afraid to think big by emulating the strategies of the world’s greatest brands and you’ll be sure to succeed as well.

Study Reveals That Direct Mail Marketing Is Extremely Effective In Attracting New Patients

The most successful marketing campaigns include pieces of both physical and digital advertisements but many businesses only focus on online marketing. That is unfortunate as physical ads like direct mail marketing are extremely effective in attracting new patients and driving sales.  

A two-part study from 2015 and 2019 revealed that direct mail outperforms online ads in eight out of nine categories. While digital ads were quicker to grab consumer attention, direct mail marketing held consumer attention longer, generated stronger emotions, and had a bigger impact on consumer purchase decisions.

The first study, conducted by the U.S. Postal Service Office and Temple University, analyzed the power of print and digital advertisements, and how different generations react to them. 40 email ads and direct mail ads were sent to study participants and their reactions were evaluated based on the following tracking methods:

  1. Eye tracking measured visual attention
  2. Core biometrics (fingertip sensors) measured  the depth of emotional engagement
  3. MRI scans uncovered deep brain activity

The neuromarketing research revealed that physical ads like direct mail have a significant effect on consumer decision-making.The following neurophysiological factors were evaluated:

What Neurophysiological Factors Did The Ads Affect?  
FactorDefinitionMost Effective Ad Format
AttentionFocusing on key components of an ad for a sustained period of time Digital
Review TimeThe amount of time a customer spends with an ad Print
EngagementThe amount of information a customer processes or absorbs from an adDigital & Print
StimulationAn emotional reaction to an adPrint
Memory Retrieval AccuracyAccurately remembering the advertising source and content Digital & Print
Memory Speed & ConfidenceQuickly and confidently remembering advertising sources and contentPrint
Purchase & Willingness to PayWhether the patient is willing to pay for the service and how muchDigital & Print
Desirability A subconscious desire for the product or servicePrint
ValuationThe subconscious value a participant places on the product or servicePrint

The original study proved that physical advertisements have more influence than digital ads in several ways. Not only did participants spend more time with physical ads, they also remembered them more quickly and confidently. Physical ads also evoked a stronger emotional response than their digital counterparts and, overall, had a longer-lasting impact. Looking at brain activity, researchers discovered that participants showed a greater subconscious valuation and desire for products or services advertised in a physical format.

This means that physical ads are particularly effective in two stages of the consumer journey: exposure to information and retrieval of information. Out of all categories evaluated, the only category in which digital ads outperformed physical was quicker attention. Even though participants showed more attention to digital ads, they gained the same amount of information from both types of advertisements.

If you want to know why direct mail marketing can contribute significant growth to your practice, read our blog post 10 Reasons Why You Need Direct Mail to Grow Your Dental Practice.

The most successful marketing campaigns include both physical and digital advertisements. To engage an audience effectively, use a multichannel approach and leverage various marketing mediums, such as direct mail, google ads, and social media. Direct mail reinforces your online marketing efforts and helps convey one cohesive message to prospective patients, increases your chances of converting ad recipients to new patients, and drives profit.

Exclusive offers for new customers!

We are so confident you will love our MVP direct mail program that we will get you started for FREE! Our team will do a FREE postcard design that will show you WHAT you should mail and our FREE Heat Map and Target Area analysis will show you WHERE to mail.

If you like our expertise and strategy through the process you can sign up and we will execute your campaign and start driving new patients to your office!