The art of patient attraction: 6 ways to attract new patients to your dental practice
The only way to grow your dental practice is to increase your new patient numbers. These are the top 6 ways to attract new patients to your dental practice:
- #1 Offer New Patient Promotions
- #2 Embrace New Dental Technology
- #3 Design a Professional Website
- #4 Run Online Ads for Your Practice
- #5 Make it Easy to Book Appointments
- #6 Provide 5-Star Service
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 63% of adults surveyed in 2020 went to the dentist in the previous 12 months. A further 20% of Americans never go at all—or only in the case of a serious emergency.
In other words, there are still millions of people out there who need to visit a dentist. How can you convince them to come to you?
Whether you own a small practice or run a multi-provider clinic, your goal is probably to help as many people as possible. To bring all those people in, there are a number of steps you can take—some of them by the end of the day.
If you’re wondering how to attract new patients to your dental practice, you’ve come to the right place.
Here are six tried-and-true ways to increase your client base.
#1 Offer New Patient Promotions
Cost is a significant factor in keeping people away from the dentist’s office. To draw these on-the-fence patients into your practice, you can offer promotions that keep bills low for first-time visits.
For example, you could consider incentives like:
- $100 off an oral exam and routine cleaning
- A free teeth whitening kit
- A $50 gift card for a future visit
- A discounted multi-service bundle
The trick to attracting new patients through promos is having the best offers in your area. The goal is to convince a patient to choose you over another dentist. Research nearby dental practices to see if you can provide a steeper discount or a better package.
NOTE FROM DATADALE:
You want to promote these offers to new people moving into town.
Postcards to new movers, offering these promotions, are the way to go. There are a couple of options on the portal, myDMpostcards.com that you can customize for free / send out to new movers in your area.
#2 Embrace New Dental Technology
When it comes to retail and online shopping, studies show that customers crave a tech-driven digital experience. You can and should apply these same findings to dentistry.
In our high-tech world full of smart devices and instant gratification, there’s an expectation that everything should work quickly, smoothly, and conveniently. By moving away from the traditional processes and toward digital dentistry, you can meet those consumer expectations.
New dental technology to look into includes:
- Intraoral scanners– These handheld tools produce high-quality digital scans that can produce digital dental models, which makes obtaining an oral impression easier—for patients and
- Digital record-keeping– Eliminating paperwork can speed up processes, improve patient access to files, and reduce office clutter.
- CAD/CAM dentistry– Computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) allow for a much quicker design and creation of crowns, dentures, and more.
When you incorporate these advancements in dentistry into your practice, you assure your dental patients you’re up to date with the best of the best.
What’s more, a digital workflow is often more efficient and cost-effective than a traditional approach. So, not only can you attract more patients with new technology, but you can also see more new dental patients and increase your productivity.
#3 Design a Professional Website
Reaching potential new patients through ads is only half the battle. Once an interested user clicks on your sponsored post or ad, they have to end up somewhere. That somewhere should be your high-quality website.
Your website is your first impression, and a poorly made site could hint at a lack of attention to detail—the last thing you want as a dental provider. Even outside of advertising, an optimized dental website can help you reach more new patients. By following search engine optimization (SEO) best practices—such as including relevant keywords and backlinking to trusted sources—you can be among the first results when someone Googles “dentists near me.”
Your website should include:
- An appealing home page
- A list of dental services you provide
- Contact information
- An embedded map with your practice’s address
- Clear, high-quality photos of your dentists and hygienists
- A blog about your practice or dentistry in general
- Positive reviews and testimonials from current patients
- Links to your social media pages
Make sure you test your site on mobile and desktop, too. In our smartphone-centric age, websites need to be mobile-friendly. There are various online resources you can utilize to learn the basics of dental SEO and increase your dental clinic’s brand awareness.
#4 Run Online Ads for Your Practice
Traditional marketing outlets like radio, TV, and print can still be effective, especially among older generations. However, the fact is that more people are online than ever. To help draw in new faces, you should aim to meet your potential patients where they are.
In particular, younger generations may be easiest to reach through social media marketing on platforms like Instagram and TikTok. And when you attract a Millennial or Gen Z client, you’re more likely to have a loyal patient for 20, 30, or 40 years—or even for life.
While there’s a slight learning curve involved with optimizing a dental marketing campaign, it’s relatively easy to begin one. Two major online ad platforms to explore are:
Both services offer pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, which only charge you when interested users click on your ad. In that sense, there’s little risk and major potential for a high return on investment. Try experimenting by throwing a few dollars into a campaign, then tweak your settings based on the results of your dental marketing strategy.
NOTE FROM DATADALE:
I love online marketing. You need to have a presence in the local online sites – Google local, Google Maps, NextDoor, local Chamber or Rotary. But, it’s hard to stand out – there are people with larger ad budgets than you.
Price out small direct mail promotions targeted to your most important new customer segments. Compare that to some of your other marketing costs. Direct mail is a seriously good marketing technique for dental practices.
#5 Make it Easy to Book Appointments
Too often, customers consider making an appointment, only to turn away when the booking process becomes complicated. A simplified system can remove the barrier to entry and keep people from abandoning their booking partway through.
Ideally, you may want to do away with over-the-phone bookings altogether. An online appointment portal can reduce user frustration and improve the quality of life for your receptionists. Plus, new patients can make an appointment anytime—even outside of business hours.
#6 Provide 5-Star Service
Perhaps most importantly, it’s essential to deliver a world-class patient experience to every patient that comes through your doors. Satisfied customers could tell their family and friends—and those people may be looking for a new dentist, too.
Especially in medical fields, word-of-mouth marketing still reigns supreme. From person-to-person referrals to online reviews, social proof is everything. The more positive experiences you provide, the better your chances are of having new patients come in, thanks to a glowing recommendation.
NOTE FROM DATADALE:
And make sure you share your great reviews on your direct mailers, all your marketing materials.
Good reviews need to be shared!