How this dental-orthodontic practice increased revenue 75% in one year
Marketing tips from Joy Gendusa.
Last October, I introduced you to Brandon Campbell, DDS, of Westminster, Colorado. He had just opened Peak Family Dentistry & Orthodontics, a brand-new practice, in February 2015. He was on track to bring in $1 million in revenue in his first year. I thought it was a good time to check in and see how things were going.
Dr. Campbell is a client of mine. He is a compassionate dentist and a smart, ambitious businessman. When I spoke with him, I was not surprised to learn that his practice was booming and he was busier than ever. The first thing I asked him, of course, was whether he hit the $1 million revenue mark in his first year.
DR. CAMPBELL: "We finished with $970,000, which is pretty good considering I was only working two days a week for the first six months. This year we're on track to bring in $1.7 million."
A 75% increase in revenue from year one to year two? I had to find out how he did this.
87% more new patients organically by asking for reviews
I asked Dr. Campbell, who is diligent about tracking his marketing results, where his new patients were coming from. He broke it down for me.
• Google/Yelp: 43% (mostly organic)
• Referrals: 29% (from existing patients and surrounding businesses)
• Postcards: 16%
• Drive-by traffic: 8%
• Insurance: 2%
• Healthgrades: 1%
• Newsletter: 1% (he writes a monthly column for a local publication)
At this time last year, the practice was getting 23% of its new patients from Google-that's an 87% increase! That was no accident. When Dr. Campbell opened Peak Family Dentistry & Orthodontics, he focused on getting as many online reviews as possible.
DR. CAMPBELL: "Once you start getting positive reviews, your online presence goes up dramatically."
When I wrote about him last year, he was personally reaching out to every patient and asking for a review. He racked up 57 five-star reviews. At last count, he had 109. Today, the office sends automated e-mails that provide patients with a link to review the practice with just one click.
The key to all those great reviews, of course, is not just asking for them, but providing a five-star experience, which Dr. Campbell goes to great lengths to accomplish.
DR. CAMPBELL: "One guy gave us a four-star review that included three bullet points, two that were great and one that was not that great. His complaint was about having to wait for his appointment. I had a meeting with my staff to figure out how we could make sure no one ever had this experience again. It turned out that he kept canceling his appointments and we kept trying to get him in on short notice, which is why he had to wait. We figured out how to fix the problem. Now he walks in the door and doesn't even get a chance to sit down in the waiting room before someone grabs him."
Create a new revenue stream by reaching out to local emergency rooms
After organic internet leads, Dr. Campbell's second biggest source of new patients is referrals.
Here's something interesting: between 2000 and 2012, dental emergencies doubled, from 1.1 million to 2.2 million.1 But since emergency room doctors aren't equipped to deal with them, they refer patients to local dentists. Dr. Campbell (an astute businessman, as I mentioned) saw an opportunity there.
DR. CAMPBELL: "Around Christmas time, we went to the emergency rooms around my office and gave out dental care baskets. We talked to people and gave them referral sheets for dental emergencies. We let them know that we make sure that emergencies get seen that day, even if it means we have to work through lunch or stay late. People call me at 11 at night, and we make it work."
Dr. Campbell also volunteers in his community. He provides free dental treatment to people who can't afford it, many of them children and veterans.
36% more new patients with consistent marketing
Since he opened his practie, Dr. Campbell has been unfailingly consistent with one marketing method (which just so happens to be my favorite)-postcards. He hasn't missed a single month of mailing. Let's look at his latest campaign:
• Quantity: 72,000 postcards over 12 months
• Mailing list: 18,000 households within a five-mile radius of his practice
• Repetition: Each household receives his postcard four times in one year
Dr. Campbell knows the value of repetition. Sending out postcards consistently is how he brought in $970,000 in revenue his first year. He's not going to stop now! Not only do the postcards directly bring in 16% of the practice's new patients, they contribute to its 87% growth in organic Google leads.
DR. CAMPBELL: "The more clicks the postcards generated for my website, the more patients were Googling my name, Googling my practice, and clicking on my link. All of that really helps."
With the momentum generated by his postcards and online reviews, the doctor was able to cut his marketing budget by 30%-in just his second year of practice! That momentum is also reflected in his new-patient numbers (figure 1).
Check out the difference one year makes. No wonder he has stuck with postcards!
• July 2015: 58 new patients
• July 2016: 79 new patients
To accommodate all these new patients, Dr. Campbell's practice is growing-fast.
DR. CAMPBELL: "We've hired two more hygienists and three assistants in the last year, so five positions to our original team. I'm trying to hire two more, but I'm taking my time. I want to make sure I get the right people so I don't have to do it twice."
Dr. Campbell thinks he'll be ready to bring on an associate within the next two to four years. He's gone from working two days a week to five, and he couldn't be happier.
DR. CAMPBELL: "I just really love my job. I couldn't imagine slowing down right now."
Visit PostcardMania.com/dr-campbell to see Dr. Campbell's video case study and learn more about his campaign. And don't forget—as a Dental Economics reader, you are entitled to 5,000 free dental postcards, printed by PostcardMania, as well as free samples of postcards that are working right now for other dental practices. Redeem online or call (844) 269-1836 today—free marketing advice for your practice is also included!
1. Ungar L. ER visits for dental problems on the rise. USA Today website. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/06/29/er-dental-visits/29492599/. Published June 29, 2015. Accessed August 27, 2016.
Joy Gendusa is the founder and CEO of PostcardMania. Using just postcards, a phone, and a computer, Joy built PostcardMania from a one-person start-up into an industry leader. PostcardMania serves 71,229 clients, including 4,658 dentists! Need help promoting your practice? Call one of PostcardMania's dental marketing consultants at (844) 269-1836, e-mail Joy at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit postcardmania.com/dentaldesigns.