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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.

3 Important Retention Strategies For Dentists

According to the American Dental Association, the supply of dentists in the US will increase through 2035, making competition in the industry even stiffer. Knowing how to efficiently retain existing patients is just as important as knowing how to attract them.

After analyzing the various strategies important for patient retention, we came up with three main categories that you need to focus on to improve your dental patient retention rate. Read on and find out what you need to do to ensure your patients stay with you!

1. CUSTOMER SERVICE

It may be a no-brainer, but it’s still worth mentioning: people appreciate good customer service. With patients having a wide choice of dentists to go to, the quality of your customer service can be a deciding factor whether they stay with you. For your customer service to be top-notch, ensure that: 

  • Your practice makes a great first impression. The first impression of your dentistry will be a patient’s first phone call, first visit to your website, and their first time stepping into your dental practice. Therefore, make sure that your entire team is well-trained when answering the phone, welcoming to walk-ins, and always friendly and knowledgeable. Your website should be regularly updated, and your office interiors should be modern, clean, and pleasant. The first step to winning a patient for the long-term is making a positive first impression.
  • The front-desk staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. – The front desk should make every patient, new or returning, feel welcome and appreciated. Office front desk staff should be able to answer any question a patient may have and be helpful in assisting them with any dental care inquiries.
  • You stay on schedule. – Long wait-times are a major pain point for patients. If you make a patient wait too long, chances are you won’t see them again. Make sure to always stay on schedule and when you notice that it becomes increasingly hard to do so, tell your staff to add extra minutes to each appointment. 
  • Your waiting room provides all the essentials. – Up-to-date magazines and newspapers help to keep waiting patients entertained. Children are notoriously bad waiters so keep them busy by adding a play corner with some children’s books and toys that don’t cause too much noise.
  • Patient checkout runs smoothly. – Once an appointment is over, patient checkout should run smoothly and quickly. Good office software and an organized scheduling system can help with that. 

2. BEDSIDE MANNERS

Aside from customer service, a dentist’s approach or attitude toward a patient, or their bedside manners, is essential in ensuring a patient remains with a dental clinic. Most patients’ satisfaction is determined during their time with the dentist. When your patient likes you personally and feels confident in your professional abilities, they are not only likely to return to your practice but will also refer family and friends to you.

  • Make a great first impression. – The first impression a new patient has of you is crucial. You’d be surprised how far smiling and addressing someone by their name can go.  
  • Get to know your patients and don’t rush. – When you meet a new patient, make sure to get to know them and don’t rush through the appointment. Ask them if they have been well taken care of by your team before meeting you and let them know that you appreciate that they chose you and your practice.
  • Make patients feel welcome and comfortable. – Always be warm and friendly. People can tell when you are genuine, so always listen intently and pay attention to their concerns. Strong dentist-patient relationships increase the likelihood of patient retention.  
  • Guide the patient through the visit. – Be mindful about your patient’s potential dental treatment anxiety and make sure they feel comfortable. You can help put their minds at ease by explaining the treatment in detail, and describe if sedation or pain alleviation are included.

3. EXCELLENT DENTAL CARE 

  • Treatments – Offering a comprehensive list of dental treatments, from general to cosmetic and emergency dentistry, ensures you reach more people with various dental care needs. Adding a pediatric dentist to your practice can make your dentistry a one-stop dental shop for the entire family.  
  • Technology – When you regularly update your technology and equipment, you show your patients that you are committed to offering them the best, latest, and most advanced dental treatments available. This can also help differentiate you from your competition.
  • Education, Skills – By attending dental conferences and updating your skills and knowledge, you ensure that you thrive and don’t miss out on important developments in the industry.

Invest time to ensure that your practice offers the best in customer service, patient care, and advanced treatments. Continually improving ensures you remain on top of your game. When you make sure your office runs smoothly, offers the best treatments and your team is friendly, you increase your chances of retaining dental patients long-term.

How To Deal With Bad Reviews

Reputation is important for all businesses including your dental practice. Prospective patients will likely check online reviews about your practice before making a decision to try you out, and call or schedule an appointment. In fact, research shows that 94% of patients evaluate providers through online reviews, and 72% find a new provider based on them.

Regardless of how professional, experienced, and accommodating you are, at some point you will likely get some bad reviews. Unfortunately, people are more likely to leave a review when they have a complaint.  A few bad reviews can have a significant effect on a local business like a dental practice, casting doubts among prospective patients and negatively influencing public perception. Nobody likes bad reviews but they are a fact of the digital age we live in. Don’t let a few critical or even unreasonable reviews stress you out. Instead, respond as calmly as possible, listen to constructive criticism, and do everything you can to accumulate more positive reviews.

How you deal with bad reviews can impact your dental practice as much as the reviews themselves since both are public. Therefore, it is vital that you always respond professionally. Read on to find out the do’s and don’ts of dealing with bad reviews:

What To Do About Bad Reviews:

•   Always respond to reviews (even the negative ones)! Keep your response short, professional, calm and polite. Don’t react emotionally or defensively to someone whose review seems irrational. No matter how upsetting a review is, remember that every business makes mistakes and nobody is perfect. Apologize if appropriate, offer to make things right, and ask if you can reach out to them through a different channel.

•   Reach out. If you recognize the patient that made a legitimate complaint online, don’t be scared to reach out to them and genuinely inquire how your practice could be improved. Some patients are too shy to complain to your face but will do so behind the veil of anonymity online. When you acknowledge the complaint and show that you are going to address the issue, people are oftentimes willing to remove the bad review when you politely request it. Make sure they feel heard and cared about.

•   Report fake reviews. Not every review is legitimate. When you feel that a review is unfair and unfounded, report it as fake to the review site. Internet trolls are a dime a dozen, and you don’t have to accept the unjust attack of a disgruntled person or unethical competitor. Your chance of getting a fake review removed is higher if you can document that the reviewer was never an actual patient. You can also respond to the review by politely writing that you have no record of the alleged exchange. 

•   Deal with complex issues privately to protect your patient’s privacy. Ask them to contact you by email or phone so that you can resolve the issue. This way you also avoid writing long complicated paragraphs that review site visitors don’t want to read anyways. Or worse yet, creating an online exchange for everyone to see.

What NOT To Do About Bad Reviews:

•   Do not deny legitimate criticism. Assess whether your patient has a valid point before you respond. Be professional enough to acknowledge any mistakes. Negative feedback stings but it’s better to admit you’re at fault (if you are) than to argue something untrue.

•   Do not get angry or defensive. It’s ok to try and correct a false statement, but don’t get into an online word war with an angry patient. Regardless of how unfair or unfriendly you find a review, reacting aggressively only makes you appear unprofessional and can potentially alienate other prospective patients. Always stay calm and polite, no matter how out of line a reviewer is.

•   Do not ignore bad reviews. Disregarding negative reviews suggests that you don’t care about your reputation and no response can make readers conclude that the negative comments are accurate.

Attracting Positive Reviews

To gain prospective patients’ trust, it’s important that you have positive reviews. Having lots of positive reviews can outweigh bad ones and help solidify your good reputation.

Perhaps this is a no-brainer, but it’s still worth mentioning: offering exceptional customer service is vital to attracting positive reviews and can offset any complaints patients might have. When your whole team is committed to serving your patients the best way possible, they are more likely to overlook mistakes.

Encourage patients to provide feedback and reviews, and be proactive about gathering them yourself. You can provide patient surveys and give them a list of review sites. Be sure not to request positive reviews and don’t offer anything in exchange for their reviews. Make sure to highlight any positive reviews you get. You can ask your patients for permission to post their reviews with photos on your social media or physically in your practice. Listen to your patients, gather feedback, and apply improvement suggestions. If you realize that several people complain about the same issue, it’s worth paying attention.

Reviews are incredibly powerful in managing your reputation. The bottom line is, you can’t control what people say about you. No matter what you do, you will probably have to deal with bad reviews at some point. However, if you consistently attract positive reviews, these will eventually outshine the negative ones that you can’t remove.

Why New Patient Outreach Is Worth The Effort

If you’ve ever wondered why a patient chooses one dental practice over another, we have a simple answer for you: it’s the one that responds the fastest to their inquiries. Yes, location, insurance, services, and reputation matter, but it’s the customer service that will get prospective patients to make actual appointments with you. In fact, up to 50% of new patients end up going with the practice that responds to them first. What this means for you: to be truly competitive, you need some form of system responding to every new patient request as soon as possible, whether in the form of a phone call, email or text message.

Dental practices that wait until the end of the day to address new-patient outreach like returning phone calls and messages, risk losing out on significant patient growth. Most dental offices also don’t make more than one follow-up attempt, hindering the growth potential of their practice. 

However, there are things you can do to engage with prospective patients immediately, regardless of how they reach out. The focus here should be to develop a system that captures and stores new patient information and tracks outreach efforts.

DEVELOP A CONTACT MANAGEMENT PROCESS

Dental practices must prioritize outreach to avoid losing prospective patients to competitors in the area.  An in-house contact management process can help with that. Each day your team should dedicate time to new-patient outreach, including through phone calls, emails, and text messages.

The next time you get a new patient inquiry through your website appointment request form, make sure to respond to it immediately. Instead of waiting to respond to it by the end of the day, or worse, days later, develop an in-house new-patient outreach process that checks your email inbox at set times throughout the day and have someone on your team respond to new-patient inquiries, e.g. by using a template. If a person is willing to spend the time to fill out an online form, they are also serious about becoming a patient.

In addition to making sure the new-patient inquiry receives an immediate response, you should also store their contact information right away for future outreach. This can be done manually or by setting up an automated system. Either way, make sure you have an organized and accessible system in place.

Should the patient not respond to your first contact attempt right away, your office can make and track additional contact attempts easily. It sometimes takes up to five contact attempts before a patient responds, so don’t give up too soon.

An automated system like CRM software (customer relationship management) can help make the response process more efficient. No matter which tool you choose, make sure that it:  

  1. helps you respond to new inquiries quickly,
  2. captures and stores new patient info, and 
  3. tracks inquiry attempts and patient communication.

The bottom line is: new-patient outreach is crucial to grow a dental office. While it can be time-consuming, having a process, and some form of response automation in place can help get back to inquiries quickly and increases your chance of turning them into actual patients.

Leave The Marketing Frontline To Us

As in any business, the most important resource for a dental practice is time. While you might think that investing in a marketing campaign to grow your practice would require extra hours from you, have you considered that leaving your marketing needs to professionals would cost you or your team no time while helping you grow your dentistry faster and more efficiently?

You may already know that your practice needs some form of outreach to ensure continuous patient growth. Retaining current patients and attracting new ones requires regular communication and a significant time commitment, one that many dental practices cannot make all alone. Instead of disrupting your team’s daily routine by devoting extra hours to marketing, the smarter choice would be to let experts cover the marketing frontline and leave you to focus on your patients. We understand this, which is why we provide a service that requires minimal effort on the practice’s part and lets us take care of all your marketing needs.

The process at MVP Mailhouse is easy and quick: we first like to get to know you and your practice during a short phone call. We’ll work with you to develop a strategy that targets your goals and to answer any questions you may have. Our specialty of direct mail marketing lets you mail at scale to the homes of look-alike audiences that match your current patient profile. You get to leverage our success and expertise from mailing millions of postcards and see how our scientific approach to design and targeting will maximize ALL the results of your direct mail campaign.

Why We Are Confident That We Will Grow Your Practice:

  • 96% success rate.
  • Our advanced technology and intelligent targeting finds look-alike audiences.
  • We provide measurable results with a dashboard and mobile app.

We don’t only do the strategizing and direct mail marketing for you, we also take care of monitoring, testing, and optimizing. Our goal is to provide you with a complete solution that includes all performance analytics needed to get you optimal results. While we encourage you to give input and feedback if you like, our team will be doing all the work so that you don’t have to. Like the saying goes, “time is money,” we understand that your most precious asset, your time, is best invested in what you excel at: caring for patients. Let us take care of the work you don’t have time to do so that you and your staff benefit from saving valuable hours that can instead be used to ensure your practice runs smoothly.

Working with a company that specializes in the dental industry, allows you to focus on being the best dental professional while experts grow your dental practice. You know what the dental frontline requires and we understand what it takes to get results on the marketing frontline. Our scientific approach is hands-on, tested, and proven, and guarantees you the highest success rates, long-term. 

How To Successfully Attract and Retain New Dental Patients

Whether you just opened your dental practice or have been in business for a while, you certainly know how important it is to constantly work on new patient growth and make sure they become loyal and long-term patients. If you find that your marketing strategies are not working to attract new patients, it may be time for you to switch things up and try out a fresh approach.

Your goal should be to identify and apply the correct strategies for your dental office. By focusing only on what’s working for you, you should be able to reduce your marketing costs. To do this, you may find it helpful to work with marketing professionals that can lead you in the right direction and deliver results. Two areas they should specialize in are Inbound Marketing and Outbound Marketing


Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing – What Is It and Which One Should You Choose?

Among the two marketing approaches, one is more passive and the other proactive. Put in simple terms: 

Inbound Marketing – A patient comes to you after encountering one of your ads. 

Outbound Marketing – Initial contact with a prospective patient is done through proactive outreach through phone, email, direct mail, text, etc. 

Thanks to the internet, inbound marketing – such as digital sales strategies – is cost efficient and effective. Social Media campaigns and other online sales methods are popular and help reach a big audience and wide range of people fast. But is this really the best way for you to attract and retain new patients to your dental practice? 

If you’ve already maximized your online marketing efforts and still don’t see results, you may be missing out on other valuable opportunities to attract new patients. To understand this better, let’s analyze the two marketing methods.

Inbound Marketing 

In today’s world of digital advertising, you are likely to already be applying various of the following marketing methods. In inbound marketing, you attract patients to come to you by forming connections with them through social media, webinars, videos, SEO or other strategies. The goal is to reach patients that are already interested in what you offer, help them meet their needs and provide solutions to their problems. It is an effective way of sales but by no means the only one that should be applied. Some of the most popular inbound marketing strategies include: 

  • Social Media – Most businesses nowadays have a social media presence, on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and/or Pinterest. Social media can help you reach large amounts of people quickly and put your business in front of them. It’s free to use but requires the right content strategy to be effective. 
  • Blogs – Blogs can help you rank on search engines which makes it easier for people to find your business. By posting articles on various topics related to your products or services, you also provide answers online to questions your patients might have. 
  • SEO – Search Engine Optimization leads search engine users to your website through keywords and other SEO strategies. This is an essential digital tool for people to find your business.
  • Webinars – Web-based seminars, or webinars, allow you to share your knowledge with your target audience. The goal here is to turn webinar attendees into paying patients and chances are, if they are willing to pay to hear you speak, they are willing to pay for your products/services as well. 
  • Viral Videos – The probably fastest-growing marketing segment is streaming videos. They are easily digestible, often consumed by internet users and can condense much valuable  information in a short amount of time. By making sure the content is always interesting and engaging, videos can become viral. 
  • Ebooks – Before people make the decision to buy something, they usually do a fair amount of research. Ebooks provide an opportunity for businesses to share information and present their level of expertise with patients, while collecting valuable patient data like email addresses for further marketing efforts. 

Outbound Marketing

Instead of hoping for patients to come to you as a result of Inbound Marketing, in Outbound Marketing you become proactive by reaching out to prospective patients or already existing patients yourself. Today, it remains valuable to put your brand out there; for some businesses it is even essential. Some outbound marketing methods include:  

  • Direct Mail: An opportunity that should not be overlooked due to its high success rate is direct mail. Not only do you get to geotarget patients based on proximity to your business, sending them something tangible, such as a postcard, sales flyer, or promotional offer through mail allows you to remain top of mind. If they are interested in your services, they are likely to put up your postcard on their refrigerator and give you a call to inquire about your services. 
  • Email Campaigns: You can reach out to patients digitally through email campaigns. This is why it is important to gather patient data, e.g. through giving away free ebooks, providing a newsletter sign-up button on your website or various other methods. By periodically sending potential and existing patients your newsletters, you keep them updated and your dental practice fresh on their minds.  

In Conclusion…

Inbound and Outbound Marketing are complementary. Depending on your activity, you may get more leads through Inbound, but keep in mind that these may not be quality leads. Inbound Marketing can attract a lot of curiosity, which doesn’t necessarily lead to actual paying patients. 

Outbound on the other hand may get you quality results more quickly. Because outbound leads are more likely to turn into actual paying patients, we truly believe that proactive outreach is the future of prospecting methods. Outbound marketing also helps you track your pipeline: you learn where your patients are coming from so you can better market to those individuals. However, keep in mind that once you put these efforts to a halt, you’ll also receive less leads. This is why regular outbound marketing efforts are important to continuously attracting new patients to your dental office and keeping them long-term. 

Both Inbound and Outbound Marketing are long-term strategies that have to be maintained on a regular basis. If your current marketing efforts have not been working as well as you would like, figure out which method you haven’t explored yet and give it a try. And for a complete marketing and business development plan, choose pieces of both!

Improving Your Patient Experience

Understanding your patients, including their problems and needs, is the best way to provide an excellent patient experience and having an advantage over your competitors. Ensuring a patient who arrives in pain leaves relieved and comfortable should be the goal, but so should their overall in-office experience. 

To view your office through the eyes of a patient can be helpful to identify areas of improvement and ensure a patient’s overall satisfaction with your dentistry. And while you might not be aware of them, here are the most common pain points patients face at dental practices:

1.  Financial 

Dental procedures can be expensive and often patients will only consider practices that offer patient financing and/or accept their dental insurance. When setting up your office, make sure to think of this and accept a wide range of insurances. This can increase your chances of adding new patients to your practice and retaining them. 

Offering special deals, e.g. cosmetic dentistry discounts or sales for short periods of time can also help address your patients’ financial concerns when they are undecided about certain procedures. And finally, having a new type of treatment like Invisalign can increase patient demand and help boost your profitability. 

2. Business Processes

Sub-optimal business processes can create a pain point for your patients. To address the basics, make sure your business hours are convenient and information to your practice is easily accessible in the form of a mobile-optimized website and accurate business listings on Google and other search engines.

Efficient dental practice management also requires planning ahead to ensure everything is in order, including office supplies and refreshments are stocked up, and some sort of entertainment is offered in your waiting area, e.g. free wifi, TV, or magazine subscriptions. Consider upgrading the software you use on office computers and investing in more advanced tools that provide you with valuable reports and information. 

You can also improve your diagnostics, including caries detection and oral cancer screening, helping you to diagnose more accurately and faster, which allows for more time to communicate with your patient. If tech improvements aren’t currently in your budget, make sure to start setting aside a monthly amount.

3. Productivity 

Your productivity can benefit from streamlined processes. This way you can provide an excellent in-office experience and win new patients for your practice. When dental patients have positive dentistry experiences, including reduced wait time and having their concerns/questions/needs addressed quickly and efficiently, they feel welcome and cared for. 

A daily organizational meeting in the morning to go through the day’s appointments can help ensure everything goes smoothly, patients will be seated promptly, and the whole team and staff are aligned. Encouraging each department to hold regular meetings as well can help identify and address bottlenecks or inefficiencies. Dedicating a small amount of time to planning and coordination can end up saving you a lot of time throughout the day.

4. Support 

Your patients should never feel inconvenienced and always be under the impression that they are getting the highest level of customer service. For this, make sure to: 

  • Always provide timely customer service at the front desk
  • Answer common patient questions on your website
  • Provide easy access to crucial patient information, e.g. clinic hours, background info, dentist biographies, etc. 

Additionally, analyzing front desk phone calls and updating your staff’s training regularly can assure your practice offers the best patient service. 

The Bottom Line 

Since your main focus may be providing excellent dental services, you might not know which of these pain points your patients are experiencing. Ask your front desk which issues your patients may have shared with them. By encouraging patients to leave feedback on review forms they fill out, you can easily identify the most common problems. 

The internet also has a wealth of information you can benefit from for free. By leveraging online resources, you can gain valuable insights into common patient pain points and how to efficiently tackle them. 

Once you know which improvements your practice needs, address and solve these together with your team. Don’t forget to communicate upgrades to your prospects and patients by leveraging your various marketing channels. When you show your patients that their feedback helps improve your practice, you signal that their business is important to you, and you make it clear that your dentistry offers the best patient experience. 

10 Reasons Why You Need Direct Mail Marketing To Grow Your Dental Practice

With dental practices having an abundance of marketing channels available to them, it can be difficult to know what works and what doesn’t. But sometimes it’s the tried and true strategies that get you the best results, like direct mail marketing. 

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. 

Here are 10 reasons why you need this proven marketing channel to grow your dental practice:

  1.  People love getting mail 

Everyone loves to get mail, especially in our currently socially distant world. A USPS study indicates that 61% of respondents found that “mail is extra special during this time of social distancing” and 54% of respondents found that communication via snail mail fostered a “more meaningful connection to those they sent mail to.” People get excited over a nice letter or postcard, which hardly applies to emails. In fact, people often feel overwhelmed by their overloaded email inboxes, making the less common and more personalized touch of postal mail more likely to increase patient engagement. 

  1. You easily get to reach your target patient 

One of the many amazing benefits of direct mail marketing is the ability to target a specific area. MVP uses advanced technology like heatmap targeting, which makes it easy for you to reach high-intent patients. Heatmap targeting identifies your hottest neighborhoods based on your existing patient profile and improves results for your offline and online marketing. By identifying which patients would likely need or want your services, you can market to them directly, helping you to streamline your marketing efforts. 

Learn more about heatmap targeting here

  1. It’s cost effective 

Because you get to effectively target your ideal patient instead of randomly marketing to everyone, you get to invest your resources only where you’ll most likely be successful, saving your practice time and money. Each mailing should become more effective, as it narrows down the target area you mail to, continually improving your chances of actually getting new patients.

  1. High ROI 

According to Marketing Charts, direct mail is ahead of paid search and online display ads in terms of return on investment as it gets you a median ROI of 29%, which is on par with social media. Direct mail’s response rate is 5.3% for mail sent to houses and 2.9% for prospect lists. In comparison, email has an average click-through rate of about 2% or 3% and only a meager response rate of 0.6%, giving direct mail a clear advantage.

  1. It’s more visible than email marketing 

According to a study, direct mail has a higher delivery and open rate than emails, with 77% of recipients sorting through their physical mail as soon as they receive it and 98% of people checking their physical mail daily. Compare that to only 34.1% of recipients opening their daily emails. With 200 billion emails sent daily, people’s inboxes are overloaded and marketing messages are likely to either never get opened or immediately deleted. 

Since direct mail is tangible, it is more visible than email communication. An email might only get a few seconds of a recipient’s time, while a direct mail piece can be put up on a fridge for an extended period. A patient is much more likely to come back to a piece of direct mail than they are to an email.

  1. Less Competition

Most people equate digital marketing to a more effective, easier, and cheaper advertising route. That’s why most businesses do it. Those who believe direct mail to be an outdated version of advertising are losing out on highly probable and valuable new patient growth. Since less people do it, it is less common, making it more effective for you. Due to less competition, your mailing will stand out and be more visible to recipients. And it’s a lot easier to stand out through direct mail than on the internet, which literally everyone is using. 

  1. It complements digital marketing strategies 

Direct mail marketing can reinforce any digital marketing messaging and can increase response rate with prospective patients. In fact, your call to action is 21% more effective with direct mail. Postcards received by mail after an email also increase brand awareness and recall. This multi-channel marketing approach can help you address prospective patients on multiple marketing channels with one cohesive message.

  1. It develops trust with your patients 

With increased technology comes an increased concern for privacy. Internet users today have to worry about hacking, phishing, and identity theft. Only 22% of customers trust emails from companies or brands. Recipients often think company emails are spam or phishing scams, so they’re less likely to open them or trust the content inside of them. 

90% of people between the ages 25 to 35 find direct mail reliable, which means this marketing strategy is more likely to build trust with your patients than online marketing. Personalized mail also makes recipients genuinely feel cared for, increasing your chances of being contacted. 

  1. Direct Mail is Trackable 

Direct mail has always had issues with tracking in the past. But MVP makes tracking possible and we consider it a key piece of any marketing effort. For your direct mail campaign call to action, choose a unique  phone number or website URL to enable your practice to count the campaign’s leads. This way you know exactly where your website visitors and callers came from. It helps you track your results and find out how well your direct mail marketing campaign is performing. Knowing this information makes it easy to update your marketing approach to target patients more efficiently. Choose to work with direct mail marketing experts to eliminate the guesswork. 

  1. It’s easy!

Direct mail marketing is easy for both dental offices and patients. It’s easy to track and measure the success of a campaign, and neither requires a significant investment in digital infrastructure or in-depth knowledge of anything technical. It’s also easier for your patients. Studies show that it is easier for postal mail recipients to digest the information in a direct mail piece than in a digital ad. And with the help of marketing professionals you can get a campaign up and running in as quick as two weeks!

IN CONCLUSION…

… direct mail marketing is an oft overlooked channel that has many benefits that you don’t want to miss out on! 

This cost effective approach can have a higher ROI and response rate than other marketing channels, increase brand awareness, more effectively reach your target patients, and drive sales!

And with this proven marketing route potentially resulting in 12-24 new patients per month at an average new patient value of $750-1,000 per year, it is definitely time for you to start investing in direct mail marketing!

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. 

Here are 10 reasons why you need this proven marketing channel to grow your dental practice:

  1.  People love getting mail 

Everyone loves to get mail, especially in our currently socially distant world. A USPS study indicates that 61% of respondents found that “mail is extra special during this time of social distancing” and 54% of respondents found that communication via snail mail fostered a “more meaningful connection to those they sent mail to.” People get excited over a nice letter or postcard, which hardly applies to emails. In fact, people often feel overwhelmed by their overloaded email inboxes, making the less common and more personalized touch of postal mail more likely to increase patient engagement. 

  1. You easily get to reach your target patient 

One of the many amazing benefits of direct mail marketing is the ability to target a specific area. MVP uses advanced technology like heatmap targeting, which makes it easy for you to reach high-intent patients. Heatmap targeting identifies your hottest neighborhoods based on your existing patient profile and improves results for your offline and online marketing. By identifying which patients would likely need or want your services, you can market to them directly, helping you to streamline your marketing efforts. 

Learn more about heatmap targeting here

  1. It’s cost effective 

Because you get to effectively target your ideal patient instead of randomly marketing to everyone, you get to invest your resources only where you’ll most likely be successful, saving your practice time and money. Each mailing should become more effective, as it narrows down the target area you mail to, continually improving your chances of actually getting new patients.

  1. High ROI 

According to Marketing Charts, direct mail is ahead of paid search and online display ads in terms of return on investment as it gets you a median ROI of 29%, which is on par with social media. Direct mail’s response rate is 5.3% for mail sent to houses and 2.9% for prospect lists. In comparison, email has an average click-through rate of about 2% or 3% and only a meager response rate of 0.6%, giving direct mail a clear advantage.

  1. It’s more visible than email marketing 

According to a study, direct mail has a higher delivery and open rate than emails, with 77% of recipients sorting through their physical mail as soon as they receive it and 98% of people checking their physical mail daily. Compare that to only 34.1% of recipients opening their daily emails. With 200 billion emails sent daily, people’s inboxes are overloaded and marketing messages are likely to either never get opened or immediately deleted. 

Since direct mail is tangible, it is more visible than email communication. An email might only get a few seconds of a recipient’s time, while a direct mail piece can be put up on a fridge for an extended period. A patient is much more likely to come back to a piece of direct mail than they are to an email.

  1. Less Competition

Most people equate digital marketing to a more effective, easier, and cheaper advertising route. That’s why most businesses do it. Those who believe direct mail to be an outdated version of advertising are losing out on highly probable and valuable new patient growth. Since less people do it, it is less common, making it more effective for you. Due to less competition, your mailing will stand out and be more visible to recipients. And it’s a lot easier to stand out through direct mail than on the internet, which literally everyone is using. 

  1. It complements digital marketing strategies 

Direct mail marketing can reinforce any digital marketing messaging and can increase response rate with prospective patients. In fact, your call to action is 21% more effective with direct mail. Postcards received by mail after an email also increase brand awareness and recall. This multi-channel marketing approach can help you address prospective patients on multiple marketing channels with one cohesive message.

  1. It develops trust with your patients 

With increased technology comes an increased concern for privacy. Internet users today have to worry about hacking, phishing, and identity theft. Only 22% of customers trust emails from companies or brands. Recipients often think company emails are spam or phishing scams, so they’re less likely to open them or trust the content inside of them. 

90% of people between the ages 25 to 35 find direct mail reliable, which means this marketing strategy is more likely to build trust with your patients than online marketing. Personalized mail also makes recipients genuinely feel cared for, increasing your chances of being contacted. 

  1. Direct Mail is Trackable 

Direct mail has always had issues with tracking in the past. But MVP makes tracking possible and we consider it a key piece of any marketing effort. For your direct mail campaign call to action, choose a unique  phone number or website URL to enable your practice to count the campaign’s leads. This way you know exactly where your website visitors and callers came from. It helps you track your results and find out how well your direct mail marketing campaign is performing. Knowing this information makes it easy to update your marketing approach to target patients more efficiently. Choose to work with direct mail marketing experts to eliminate the guesswork. 

  1. It’s easy!

Direct mail marketing is easy for both dental offices and patients. It’s easy to track and measure the success of a campaign, and neither requires a significant investment in digital infrastructure or in-depth knowledge of anything technical. It’s also easier for your patients. Studies show that it is easier for postal mail recipients to digest the information in a direct mail piece than in a digital ad. And with the help of marketing professionals you can get a campaign up and running in as quick as two weeks!

IN CONCLUSION…

… direct mail marketing is an oft overlooked channel that has many benefits that you don’t want to miss out on! 

This cost effective approach can have a higher ROI and response rate than other marketing channels, increase brand awareness, more effectively reach your target patients, and drive sales!

And with this proven marketing route potentially resulting in 12-24 new patients per month at an average new patient value of $750-1,000 per year, it is definitely time for you to start investing in direct mail marketing!

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!