Patient outreach may be a core part of your dental marketing efforts. Here are some ways to try to encourage patients to come through your doors:
Reach out to established patients by sending regular automated emails to come in for their bi-annual dental exam and cleaning. If you have any special promotions going on in your office or something notable that happened, you can also send an email to notify patients of the news.
Your dental practice website should also have a lead capture form that feeds emails directly into an automated email drip campaign, so you can nurture potential patients too.
2. Traditional Mail
Although direct mail is decreasing in popularity as a way to engage with patients, few dental marketing strategies are as fun as a colorful postcard that reminds patients of their upcoming appointments or sends them birthday wishes.
Direct mail still has value as a way to connect with patients on a more personal level than online alternatives. Consider including an exclusive discount on your mailers. Require patients to bring the postcard to their appointments to save money on certain non-essential dental treatments like teeth whitening or oral health products.
Many dental practice management software systems offer the ability to send patients texts to confirm their appointments or to inform them of discounts. Texting can be automated and patients can reply Y or N to confirm their appointments, so you aren't devoting critical staff to tedious tasks like calling to confirm appointments.
You can also set your software to text patients on important dates or when you have a cancellation in your office and have an appointment opening. You should review with legal counsel to have them make sure you conduct any texting, or other communications, in compliance with relevant laws.
4. Phone Calls
Although texting and email have become popular ways to communicate with patients, they may still appreciate a phone call from a real person at your office. To strike a good balance, you can choose to automate appointment reminders, but call patients personally with lab test results or to let them know that a dental appliance is ready for pickup.
If you have patients that you've reached out to via other methods without success, a phone call can be a great way to touch base with them one-on-one and remind them that they're important to your dental practice.
5. Social Media
Nearly everyone has at least one social media account and most individuals today have multiple accounts on various platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can meet patients where they are and engage with them by being active on your practice's social media accounts and posting valuable, actionable information that gets patients clicking and sharing.
Be sure to respond to comments and questions to let users know that there's a real person behind the account. Of course, you should keep in mind any patient privacy issues when responding to patients.
Patients want to know what they can be doing to improve their oral health and what the latest trends in dental technology and treatments are. Engage patients with valuable, useful content that they’ll care about, by using a blog that can be shared widely across social media platforms.
Publish high-quality content on a consistent schedule and encourage established and potential patients to sign up to be notified when a new post is put up.
7. Video Marketing
Video marketing may be useful for almost any business today, especially for those in the healthcare sector. YouTube is the second largest search engine next to Google and drives millions of users to video content every day.
You can take advantage of YouTube's high-level exposure by creating a channel and posting engaging content on a regular basis. You, your dental associates, dental assistants and other staff members can record videos about oral health tips, dentist secrets and other popular topics to get patients engaged with your brand.
Podcasting is also growing in popularity as today's web users look for new ways to consume information. Many people listen to podcasts on their way to work or while exercising.
Popular podcasts focus on a certain niche, like dentistry, and discuss important topics or answer challenging questions. Recording podcasts is relatively easy with your phone or a laptop, and you can upload the finished audio file to a website like iTunes, Anchor, or Soundcloud.
Consider starting a podcast that focuses on your favorite dental-related topics. Be sure to promote it on your social media channels and in all of your related marketing efforts.
Seek to Grow Your Practice with Treloar & Heisel
At Treloar and Heisel, we understand the importance of finding new ways to engage with your patients and all of the challenges you face in growing a modern dental practice. We’re here with guidance for growing your practice, advice for managing your evolving career and comprehensive insurance coverage to protect your business. Contact us today.
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