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Dental marketing report card: Seasons of Smiles

June 1, 2017
Joy Gendusa and Dr. Salierno provide a dental marketing critique of Seasons of Smiles in Camden, Maine, owned by Dr. Norman Medina.
Joy Gendusa, Founder and CEO, PostcardMania
Chris Salierno, DDS, Chief Dental Officer, Tend

Editor's note: See the original layout of this article in the Dental Economics digital edition.

In this recurring feature, we look at the marketing efforts of our readers and tell them if they’re making the grade. Marketing expert Joy Gendusa and DE Chief Editor Chris Salierno, DDS, provide a constructive critique of direct mailers, websites, social media, and other marketing efforts. It’s an opportunity to learn how to stretch your marketing dollars—and grow your business.
This month, we’re pleased to feature the practice of Norman Medina, DDS: Seasons of Smiles in Camden, Maine.

Website: A-

Home page
Joy's review:

Seasons of Smiles’ website could be more polished, but it has an accessible feel that seems to mirror the friendly, relaxed atmosphere of the practice.

Header: Practice name and phone number could be bigger!

"Dentistry from the Heart" rotating image: Without exploring further, visitors assume the first image is the doctor. (It isn’t.) I recommend replacing these alternating stock photos with a picture of Dr. Medina, or just one stock photo that clearly conveys “dental.” The images should also be larger so that this feels more like a homepage and less like a blog.

Appointment request module: An appointment request form makes it easy for patients to schedule a visit without calling. I just wish it was bigger and stood out more! Choosing a completely different color for that button would help draw the eye there.

Reviews module: Reviews give the practice credibility. In fact, 92% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses.(1) I really like that the reviews on this website look unfiltered. I find myself trusting reviews like this more than typical “testimonials,” which can come off as cherry-picked.

Blogs: The staff blogs regularly, and these posts are fed directly to the home page. This is great! It really introduces you to the staff, and it definitely makes me like and trust them more.

Blog bonus: The doctor credits his blog with bringing in a ton of traffic from Google and the the practice's Facebook page. So get started on those blogs if you haven’t already!

Newsletter subscription form: A newsletter sign-up form is OK for capturing leads. I would prefer something like “Ask the Dentist,” since that would probably get more action. The form should also be higher up on the page. Also, the staff has spent a lot of time answering “Ask the Dentist” questions on realself.com. If they added a section like that to their home page, they could turn those questions into leads for the practice!

Chris's Comments:

Blogs can be time-consuming and will certainly present challenges for those of us who aren’t comfortable writers. But the rewards can be great! Blogging can boost your SEO and also provide nice educational content for social media.

Staff page

Current pictures and bios of the staff increase trust with prospective patients. I love this! I want to know who’s behind a business, especially when my health is involved.

Other online marketing: A

Joy's comments:

They’ve also racked up 70 Google reviews (with a 4.9-star average rating). This is huge when influencing local searchers to pick them over the competition!

Their Facebook page includes lots of reviews, blog posts, real photos, and videos - love it!

Birthday postcards: B

Joy's comments:

Birthday cards are a nice way to let your patients know they are appreciated. I love all the real pictures of the doc and staff. I would add a call to action to the card and maybe a birthday offer ($25 restaurant gift card with a cleaning, perhaps?). That way, the goodwill they generate with these postcards can easily translate into actual appointments!

Chris's comments:

I love the personal touch on these birthday cards. Would you rather receive a generic illustration of a dancing tooth or a fun and unique photo of the team? Show your patients that you have a playful side and the enthusiasm will be contagious.

Final thoughts

Dr. Medina is proactive with his online presence and it shows. Some finishing touches could add a bit more polish, but more importantly, I like Dr. Medina and his team more after having looked at the entire scope of his marketing - and that’s exactly what you want prospective patients to think!

My biggest suggestion would be to incorporate an offline external marketing plan. Here are some numbers to consider:

  • 40% of consumers have made a purchase in the last month because of direct mail they received. (2)
  • One New York City practice makes 10 times what they spend from their direct mail campaign (http://bit.ly/2qIDBJh).
  • A Colorado dentist brought in $390,000 in revenue in six months with postcard marketing (http://bit.ly/2qDJ8Sg).

After helping more than 5,000 dental practices with their marketing, I would recommend this for Dr. Medina’s next external marketing campaign: Buy a list of 5,000-6,000 homes near the practice, and mail postcards to those residences monthly for a minimum of six months. The message should appeal to new patients and include 2-3 offers with a strong call to action. At the same time, show coordinating online ads to the same prospects with a similar message and imagery.

Altogether, Seasons of Smiles does an outstanding job earning trust and creating goodwill, but has an opportunity to do much more through a rigorous external marketing campaign. Plus, by improving marketing execution, those positive feelings can be turned into more new patients!

Editor’s note: Want to be featured in a future installment of DE’s Dental Marketing Report Card? Enter today! Featured practices receive 5,000 free postcards from PostcardMania. To learn more, go to dentaleconomics.com and search “dental marketing report card.”

References

1. Anderson M. 92% of consumers now read online reviews for local businesses! BrightLocal website. https://www.brightlocal.com/2015/08/20/92-of-consumers-now-read-online-reviews-for-local-businesses/. Published August 20, 2015. Accessed April 15, 2017.

2. Print plays an increasingly important role in a multi-channel world for marketers according to InfoTrends study. PRWeb website. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/12/prweb13122794.htm. Published December 9, 2015. Accessed April 15, 2017.

Joy Gendusa is the founder and CEO of PostcardMania. Using just postcards, a phone, and a computer, Joy built PostcardMania from a one-person startup into an industry leader. PostcardMania serves 73,792 clients, including 5,025 dentists! Need help promoting your practice? Call one of PostcardMania’s dental marketing consultants at (844) 269-1836, e-mail Joy at [email protected], or visit postcardmania.com/dentaldesigns.

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