Here’s some great news:
According to IBIS World, industry revenue for dental practices is forecast to grow at an annualized rate of 2.8% to $151 billion over the 4 years to 2023.
Aging baby boomers who typically need more dental services, higher levels of disposable income, and an increase in patient referrals are all playing into the growth.
For many practices, it’s not only about the short game – targeting individuals like boomers who need more services. It’s also about making sure there are plenty of younger patients who will stick around for years to come.
This where practices need to get strategic and find ways to reach more families with kids. Here are a few easy ways to get started.
Expand Your Reach
Think geography and throw away any assumptions you have about how far patients are willing to travel to see you. People who live outside city limits in smaller bedroom communities are often used to traveling long distances to get what they need. Don’t assume that because there is a dentist closer to them, that they are satisfied with the care they are receiving. By not reaching out to families with kids in these pockets outside the city center, you could be missing out on gaining new patients to your practice.
How to Win Them Over – First, toss out your assumptions and let data be your friend. There is a wealth of information that can be used to examine and create mailing profiles that target patients who are likely to consider choosing your practice for their needs. This is where you can really get strategic and avoid “spray and pray” marketing that simply saturates but has little to no game plan behind it. We can help you create a game plan with our data services so that your marketing dollars are spent wisely when targeting new geographies, bringing you greater return on investment.
When consumers were asked if customization or personalization of a direct mail piece made them more likely to read it, 29.2% said “yes, much more likely” and 55% said “yes a little more likely”.
Personalizing the patient experience is something many of you do extremely well. The Invisalign achievements posted on Instagram – amazing. The warm welcomes your patients get every appointment – amazing. Families with kids love when you make it personal – but are you carrying this theme throughout all your marketing?
How to Win Them Over – When consumers were asked if customization or personalization of a direct mail piece made them more likely to read it, 29.2% said “yes, much more likely” and 55% said “yes a little more likely”. This means personalizing your direct mail communications is a smart way for practices to connect with families with kids in much more human and genuine way. Our variable postcards can enable you to not only customize names on your direct mail pieces, but also test and measure the results of messaging so that you have a better understanding of what kind of wording works best with your recipients. You can even take personalization one step further by matching the demographics of a household to the image on the postcard. That increases the response rate by as much as 57%!
Start a Club
Families with kids love to be connected to others. Whether that’s playing sports, having friends over, arranging play dates at the park, families are often part of larger circles of influence. Just because you’re a dental practice, does not mean you’re not also part of their circle.
How to Win Them Over – Word of mouth marketing is key here – but understand there is a difference between “organic word of mouth” and what marketers call “amplified word of mouth”.
With organic word of mouth, you simply deliver the best service and let their customers do the bragging. There’s no controlled effort on the part of the business to facilitate this response. It happens solely because the business’s customers became advocates on their own. An amplified word of mouth strategy can incorporate many things including referral programs, where happy customers are asked to refer friends and family in exchange for rewards or discounts. Referrals and fun games for these families are a great way to build the sense of belonging. Starting a club with rewards and discounts is a good idea for building an amplified word of mouth marketing strategy.
Your amplified word of mouth strategy can be kicked off with a direct mail campaign targeted to key geographies where families with kids live. And we also want to add that direct mail is considered high-response media. According to the Data & Marketing Association (DMA), in 2018 direct mail response rates were 9% for a house list and 5% for a prospect list. Email, Paid Search, Online Display, and Social Media were each 1% or less. It’s simple and easy to launch a solid direct mail campaign and we have plenty of ideas to help you get started.
Use Direct Mail to Implement Your Strategy
Reaching families with kids with the right messaging can really boost dental practice’s long-term game. These tips can be easily implemented to help you not only gain new patients but also build loyalty with your current patients. We work with dental practices all the time to help bring them better advertising results, and we’d be delighted to be your go-to marketing consultants too. In the meantime, be sure to check out our latest success stories showing how we’ve helped other dental practices with their campaigns.
IBIS World 2019
Data & Marketing Association 2018