Internal marketing on the Web

Sept. 1, 1998
The Internet can be used to help you with your dental practice in many different ways. Some of these ways are:

Jeffrey B. Dalin, DDS

The Internet can be used to help you with your dental practice in many different ways. Some of these ways are:

* ordering supplies

* getting MSDS sheets

* gathering information from manufacturers

* finding instructions for use of materials

* communications with patients - i.e., e-mail, treatment plans, recare announcements, confirmation messages, statements, newsletters

* continuing education

* research

These are some of the day-to-day uses for the World Wide Web. But wouldn`t it be great to figure out some new and different ways for your computer to help you? How about creating a Web site to establish your presence in cyberspace? If you use your imagination, the Internet can be utilized in some very inventive ways in your internal-marketing efforts. In fact, you will find yourself having a lot of fun figuring out new and different ways to use the Web.

What follows is a listing of sites to visit that can be used in some very clever and imaginative ways in patient marketing. Have fun with these and others you will find while exploring the Net:

Almanac: www.almanac.com

This is the Farmer`s Almanac online. You can find all sorts of useful information here, even if you live in the "big city."

Word Play: www.wolinsky-web.com/word.html

Here you will find links to all sorts of sites that deal with word games, such as acronyms, homonyms, anagrams, cliches, word oddities, and many others. These sites can be a lot of fun.

Consumerworld: www.consumerworld.org

This site contains 1,700 useful consumer resources on the Internet. Your patients surely could benefit from some of this information.

Phone Spell: www.phonespell.org

This will take your phone number and convert it into a catchy word or phrase. What does your number spell?

Slanguage: www.slanguage.com

Here you can choose a city and talk like the locals.

Puzzlemaker: www.puzzlemaker.com

This site will help you create different types of puzzles. This can be used with newsletters or just to help entertain some of your younger patients.

Blue Mountain Cards: www.bluemountain.com

This site has incredible e-mail greeting cards for just about every occasion or sentiment. Send these cards out as often as you wish.

Virtual Insults: www.virtualinsults.com

This site sends e-mail greetings as well, but from more of a "Don Rickles" sentiment. Use these with caution.

Temperaments: www/keirsey.com

This site allows you to test yourself, your staff, or your patients to define your temperaments according to the Briggs/Myers test.

Virtual Florist: www.virtualflowers.com

This site allows you to send real or e-mail bouquets of flowers.

The Free Forum: www.gsmenter.com/dailyfreebie

This site offers you and your patients all kinds of free items, ranging from software, to things for your pet, to clothing, food, health items and so many more. The size of this site truly will amaze you.

Next to Nothing Freebies: www.winternet.com/~julie/ntn1.html

This site offers you many more free items.

The Free Site: www.thefreesite.com

Still more free items for you and your patients

I could go on and on with more sites, but the idea is to show you how to use the Internet to have fun with your patients. Nothing is better for the development of your practice than doing nice things for these people. You continually have to try to give patients more than they expect. These are some new and inventive ways to do just that.

Jeffrey B. Dalin, DDS, FACD, FAGD, practices general dentistry in St. Louis. He also is the editor of St. Louis Dentistry Magazine and spokesperson and critical-issue-response-team chairperson for the Greater St. Louis Dental Society. He can be reached at [email protected] or by phone, (314) 567-5612; or fax: (314) 567-9047.

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