Strategies to Attract and Retain New Dental Patients
Kleer is a leading subscription-based membership plan, trusted by 7,000 dentists. Kleer and Skytale have partnered to help Dental Service Organizations thrive by gaining new patients. Over the next several months, Skytale will be launching a 3 part blog series that explains more on each topic every month. In this blog, we will delve into the strategies and tools you can employ to attract and retain new patients effectively.
1. Setting the Stage: Defining Your Ideal Customer
Before diving into marketing strategies, it's crucial to identify your ideal customer and their specific needs. By understanding your target audience, you can tailor your approach to meet their expectations. When developing a persona for one of your patient segments, make sure to consider demographics, interests, behavioral patterns, pain points, and preferences. This can help you further segment your patients and allow you to speak directly to their needs in your messaging.
2. Attracting New Patients through Digital Marketing
Digital Marketing Channels
In today's digital age, utilizing the right online marketing channels is essential. Invest in a well-designed website, optimized for search engines, and leverage social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to reach potential patients. Email marketing can be highly beneficial for a dental practice, allowing them to engage with patients and promote services effectively. Studies show that email marketing boasts an average open rate of around 20%, making it a valuable tool for targeting communication at certain patient segments. However, also consider SMS marketing as an alternative, as it often yields an even higher open rate, averaging around 98%, ensuring that your messages are more likely to be seen and acted upon by your patients.
Highly Visible Coverage/Payment Options
Make sure your patients are aware of the options they have when considering visiting your practice. Be sure to highlight any membership plan, patient financing, or insurance options that exist within your practice. Show your patients that accessing and affording care at your office is simple and easy.
Utilize Your Website Effectively
Your website is often the first point of contact for potential patients. To increase the number of new patient conversions on your website, ensure that it is easy to navigate, contains information about your dental practice or DSO, and has touch points for patients in every stage of the buyer journey. For ease, consider adding online appointment scheduling, or other helpful tools like The Kleer Widget to allow for easy membership sign-ups.
Build Online Reviews
Most consumers will look at business reviews before deciding to schedule an appointment, ensuring positive online reviews is a powerful marketing tool. Dental practices can use incentives or a follow-up strategy to encourage satisfied patients to leave reviews on platforms like Google, Yelp, or Healthgrades. If you receive notice that a patient was unsatisfied with treatment, make sure to address any concerns promptly to avoid negative reviews.
Leverage Social Media
Social media continues to thrive as a marketing tool for dental offices and DSOs. Consider both your business goals and your personas to determine which social platforms are best for engaging patients. Video content receives significantly more engagement and views than image and text content combined. Consider developing a video marketing strategy or campaign to drive potential patients to your social pages.
3. Dental Membership Plans: A Game-Changer
Dental Membership Plans can be attractive to new patients due to their predictable, budget-friendly payments, making membership plans an effective way to attract and retain new patients. Here’s how you can make it work:
Develop a Simple, Unique Membership Plan
Create a straightforward membership plan that outlines the benefits and costs clearly. Make it unique by offering services that address the specific needs of your target patients.
Train and Incentivize Your Staff
Ensure your staff is well-versed in explaining the benefits of membership plans to patients. Incentivize them to promote these plans, as they can play a crucial role in convincing patients to sign up.
Market the Plan Across Platforms
Promote your dental membership plan across various platforms, including your website, social media, and email marketing campaigns. Highlight the cost savings and convenience it offers to potential members.
Offer to Local Employers
Consider partnering with local businesses to offer your membership plans as part of their employee benefits package. This can be a win-win for both you and the employers.
4. Measuring Your Success
Finally, it's essential to track your progress to ensure your strategies are working effectively. Skytale Group suggests focusing on key performance indicators (KPIs) such as:
- New Patients: Number of new patients gained through your efforts.
- Marketing Expense per New Patient: Measure efficiency in acquiring new patients.
- Average Value of a New Patient: Calculate the revenue generated from new patients.
- Average Value per Patient Visit: Determine the average spending per visit.
- Case Acceptance Rate: Track the success of patients accepting treatment plans.
- Accounts Receivable: Monitor outstanding payments and work on minimizing them.
In conclusion, attracting and retaining new patients is a dynamic process that requires a combination of digital marketing and a keen focus on customer satisfaction. By tailoring your approach to your ideal customer and continuously measuring your success, your DSO can thrive in the competitive dental industry. Stay tuned for the final part of our series where we'll delve into enhancing patient experience and satisfaction.
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