With an in-office dental care plan, your practice can avoid the hassle of dealing with insurance companies and appeal to patients who may not have insurance coverage or who may find it difficult to get coverage, such as small business owners and retirees. Effectively marketing a dental membership plan is essential to growing your practice, developing patient loyalty, saving your practice time, and increasing your revenue.
To develop a successful plan for marketing in-house dental memberships, your dental practice should review where you are and determine what your goals are, along with how you will get there.
Steps to Take Before Promoting a Dental Membership Plan
Successfully promoting in-office dental membership plans requires getting your entire team on the same page and addressing where your dental practice currently stands. Follow the steps below before you create your marketing plan.
Train Your Team
Prior to promoting a dental membership plan, ensure your team is fully trained and educated on the benefits of a membership plan. Your team should understand what your uninsured patients can gain from signing up for your dental membership plan. Your staff can then use this information to encourage every uninsured, active patient to sign up. Once your team knows how to share this information with your patients, you can move on to the next steps.
Evaluate Your Practice's Website
Whether someone on your team understands web design or you want to hire a freelancer, your website can play an integral role in marketing your dental membership plans.
Navigate your site the way a potential patient would and determine whether it is user-friendly and intuitive. Will a potential patient feel a personal connection to your practice via bios and photos of your team? Do the pages on your website load quickly? Is your important information communicated clearly, such as locations, services, and contact information?
Once you have a dental membership plan to offer your patients, consider adding a page on your website that explains this plan and how it can benefit your patients.
Analyze Demographics of Current Patients
By analyzing the demographics of your current patients, you can determine where to target your marketing efforts. For instance, you may want to bring in more young families or you live in an area with a large retiree population you can appeal to. Analyze and discuss your market data with your team and address what demographics could be expanded and what complaints this demographic has noted when they've come in.
Though you may want to attract as many new patients as you can regardless of their demographics, understanding your audience is essential for successfully marketing a dental membership plan.
Build Your Reputation to Attract New Patients
Getting involved in the community is a great way to build your reputation, which also happens to be an effective marketing technique. When potential patients become aware of your practice by seeing your name within the community, they may be more likely to schedule an appointment with your practice than with a competitor. The following are a few examples of what your practice can do to improve your reputation in the community:
- Send gift baskets to a senior living center
- Sponsor a children's sports team
- Build a relationship with the administrators of local groups, like a religious organization or PTA
Ask your front office staff for ideas as well. Since they communicate regularly and closely with patients, they may know of local groups that you can reach out to.
Showing you care about your community demonstrates the care you offer to your patients. Building your practice's reputation in the community can also help you attract new, uninsured patients who may be neglecting their routine dental care needs due to a lack of insurance.
List Your Practice's Monthly and Yearly Goals
Once you determine possible areas for growth, you can develop monthly and yearly goals for your dental practice. If you want to attract more families or senior patients, or you want to reactivate the demographic of young professionals who have become inactive, you can begin to consider the role dental membership plans may play in reaching your goals.
For nearly every patient, a dental membership plan is highly appealing. But you should understand exactly how you can market these plans to specific demographics. For example, a dental membership plan will appeal to a millennial for different reasons than a retiree. Establishing goals will help your office stay on track and achieve the progress you want to see.
How to Market a Dental Membership Plan
Once you have taken steps to prepare, your practice can grow your dental membership plan with the ideas and strategies below.
1. Place Plan Marketing Materials Around the Office
Your first step to marketing your dental membership plan is strategically placing marketing materials for the plan around the office. You can pass out printouts in your office that promote your dental membership plan and effectively target your existing patients, particularly those without dental insurance coverage.
Along with printouts, you can use in-office counter displays. Many patients without insurance worry about paying their next bill for dental care while they wait in the reception area, and displaying information about your dental membership plan can offer patients some relief. In-office counter displays are easy to customize and maintain and they're available in a variety of sizes and styles. Printouts and displays are great options if you want to market your practice's membership plan cost-effectively.
Relatedly, your team should be prepared to discuss the dental membership plan with interested patients and trained on talk tracks.
2. Encourage Employees to Promote the In-House Dental Membership Program
Promoting your dental practice's membership plan should continue beyond the front desk. Every member of your team should be familiar with the advantages of memberships and sell the plan's value to your patients. Your dental hygienists, for example, can discuss the plan with patients while they're in the chair. Encourage dental hygienists to discuss the membership program in a respectable, understated manner. For example, they can mention what the membership plan includes, such as preventive care and regular cleanings.
Patients can even sign up for a plan before their hygiene is finished, so that day's hygiene visit will be covered by their new membership plan.
3. Pay for Ads
If your practice is using organic search engine optimization (SEO) to drive traffic and potential patients to your website, you may also want to invest in paid online ads. Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing, for example, could provide a solid return on investment (ROI) for your practice. Use these ads to spread the word about your dental membership plans. Google Ads can place your ads right in front of patients while they are doing their research and making a decision.
4. Start an Email Campaign
An email campaign is one of the most effective marketing methods. With a single message, you can reach a large number of patients, allowing you to quickly and easily spread the word about your practice's membership plan. You can refine your email campaign to target your patients who are most likely to benefit from a dental membership plan. Not only will you avoid annoying uninterested patients, but your campaign will be more effective.
5. Send Texts to Patients
If you are already texting patients appointment reminders, you may want to consider using this as a marketing method for your dental membership plan as well. For many dental patients, texting is their preferred form of communication, and doing so allows you to help your patients get the dental care needed and to stay engaged with them. Make sure you reach out to patients who may already be thinking about a membership plan, such as young parents or older people. Additionally, target uninsured patients with an upcoming visit.
6. Create Website Pop-Ups
Website pop-ups are a great way to encourage patients to either sign up for your dental membership online or call the office to sign up. With a pop-up on your website, you give your site's visitors a chance to focus on the specific call to action related to your dental membership plan. A pop-up ensures this information stands out among the other information presented on your website.
7. Use Social Media and Digital Channels
Use popular social media and digital channels for marketing your membership plan. Most of your patients likely use some form of social media, and you can establish a presence on popular channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Facebook, for example, has millions of users, and you can create a page dedicated to your dental practice. You can post helpful information about dental topics, along with marketing content about your dental membership program.
Your patients may also be using Twitter, particularly if you have a large millennial demographic. Since many millennials lack dental insurance, marketing your membership plan on Twitter can be incredibly effective and spare your patients from spending a large amount of their income on routine dental care. Twitter is also designed for bite-sized information, so using this platform may be less time-consuming than Facebook.
Instagram is based on photo and video sharing. With an Instagram account, you can showcase images and videos of your practice and team. Many of your younger patients may be using Instagram, and posts tend to be highly effective in engaging with users. With each post, you can tag your location and target those in your area who may be looking for a dental membership plan.
8. Offer Special Promotions and Discounts
Even though a dental membership plan is enticing to most patients, additional promotions and discounts can encourage them to act quickly. For a young, single millennial mom, for example, paying monthly for a dental membership plan can be a much better option than paying for dental insurance. But she'll probably want to take some time to think it over before committing.
At this point, you can send an email offering a 15% discount for family members and a free whitening kit for any patient who signs up for a dental plan that month. Not only will this ensure she signs up as soon as possible, but you will gain insight into her demographics. With this information, you can better understand your audience and offer discounts that most appeal to them.
You can also target organizations in your community and offer a discount that will appeal to the members of those groups. Members already trust the organizations to which they belong, and your practice can tap into that trust. A potential patient is likely to think that if the organization they belong to trusts your practice, they can too.
How to Advertise Dental Office Membership Plans for Smaller Dental Practices
Practices with smaller audiences or customer lists may want to focus more on local partnerships and find more direct ways to reach potential patients. If you have a smaller dental practice, utilize the strategies below to advertise your dental membership plan.
Encourage Word of Mouth
Word of mouth remains one of the most powerful marketing methods and could increase interest in your dental membership plan at no cost to your practice. Many consumers cite word-of-mouth recommendations to be the main reason they purchase a product or service. To encourage your patients to spread the word about your dental membership plan, you can offer rewards via a loyalty program. By referring their friends and family to your practice, both your patients and your practice can benefit.
Partner With Small Local Businesses
Small business owners can greatly benefit from dental membership plans as well. Small businesses often find it hard to purchase insurance for their employees, yet having benefits can be instrumental in attracting good talent. Reach out to small business owners to determine if they can offer your membership plan as an employee benefit. Ask your team which local businesses they patronize to determine whether there are any small business owners you can reach out to.
Your practice's dental membership plan can be the difference between affordable and unaffordable dental care for small businesses in your community.
Analyze Current Marketing Outreach Methods
Whether your current marketing methods are effective depends on your target audience. Millennials may be more receptive to marketing efforts online, while retirees may prefer to speak to a friendly voice on the phone and receive postal mail. Examine each marketing method and determine how each is performing and whether they align with your goals.
You can vary your approach depending on the offering of your dental membership plans. Email and snail mail allow you to include compelling information in a single place. Social media posts and texts, on the other hand, can serve as effective reminders for patients who have already heard about the plans from your team.
Identify what methods have gotten the best response previously. Ask for your team's input for confirmation. If you notice that your patients have responded well to emails, continue utilizing this marketing strategy and increase your efforts.
Grow Your Membership Using Marketing Tools From Kleer
Using our free tools from Kleer, you can market your dental membership plan to potential patients. Potential marketing tools include:
- Seasonal campaigns
- Direct mail templates
- Google Ad templates
- Patient brochures to pass out in your office
- Social media tools for your practice's profiles
- A custom landing page for your practice's website
With easy patient enrollment and an accessible patient portal, Kleer can help you customize a membership plan that's perfect for your practice.
Request a Demo of the Kleer Dental Membership Plan Platform
Attract new patients and transform your practice with a dental membership plan platform from Kleer. Our platform includes everything required for designing, launching, and growing a membership plan. With a dental membership plan, you can provide patients with greater access to care and improve your practice's performance.
Our platform allows you to manage a care plan that is designed for your patient's specific needs and that they can easily purchase. We designed our solution to be easy for your patients to use, lowering administration for your practice and enabling an excellent user experience. Request a demo from Kleer today to learn more about our solution.