1510degen P01

Hitting $1 million in his first year-he's more than halfway there

Oct. 30, 2015
Reaching the $1 million mark-it's the first in a number of huge professional milestones for dentists and practice owners.

Joy Gendusa

Reaching the $1 million mark-it's the first in a number of huge professional milestones for dentists and practice owners. But reaching seven figures in one year, from scratch? That's a rocket ride any of us would jump on in a heartbeat!

Enter Dr. Brandon Campbell of Peak Family Dentistry & Orthodontics in Westminster, Colorado. He's the man who's on his way. He's a tenacious, detail-oriented dentist and business owner. Here's a guy who runs a full-time practice with extended hours who's an avid student of his trade, a relentless marketer and businessman, and an active runner and hiker-yet he still finds time to personally follow up with every patient.

Wherever Dr. Campbell is finding all these extra hours in the day, can he let the rest of us know and share the wealth? I joke, but his achievements are anything but.

To wit:

• 344 new patients generated in six months

• 57 five-star online reviews

• A 767% increase in organic leads coming from Google from Q1 to Q2

Dr. Campbell: "We opened our doors in February. We're looking at getting close to that $1-million mark our first year open. Our numbers speak for themselves."

Let's delve into how he did it.

Stage 1: Find the right location. This can potentially increase your prospective patient count by 66%.

Your location sets the tone for your entire practice. The importance of this cannot be overstated.

Dr. Campbell: "When I started, I wasn't looking to actually start my own practice. It's a longer journey than what I was originally looking for, with a few more speed bumps along the way."

To get things right, Dr. Campbell worked with a dental startup specialist, Marie Chatterley of CTC National, a group focused on dental practices in transition. Marie and her team helped him navigate a highly nuanced market. They kept their eyes on the prize-an area with a population that was affluent, old enough to have children but young enough to be able to grow with him and value high-grade technology, and a solid three-mile radius that wouldn't be saturated with competition.

Dr. Campbell: "I actually had to open up my search radius because I wanted to wait until I felt great about the location. Where we settled has one big selling point-an outdoor mall is being built a block and a half away. Once you have a mall, your practice's radius goes from about three miles to five miles, and that pulls in more patients."

For those who like stats (like me)-that's a potential 66% increase in the number of prospective patients out there for the practice. But how do you reach these prospects? How to do you get them to choose you? Marketing, of course, the effective kind.

Stage 2: Promote with a purpose-like a 1,175% return on investment.

Promotion is vital to success for new practices. How else will your surrounding radius know you exist unless you tell them? For Dr. Campbell, his chosen marketing vehicle was pretty singular: postcards. Yet, Dr. Campbell was not a fan.

Dr. Campbell: "Other practices I've worked with as an associate have told me that they didn't make any money from postcards and that postcards were a waste of time. So when we were starting this practice from scratch, I was sitting there looking at my consultant thinking, 'Oh no, we only have postcards set up. How else are we going to get patients? I'm really nervous.'"

Turns out those fears were unfounded.

Dr. Campbell: "I've been shocked at how well the postcards have performed these first few months."

Dr. Campbell has plenty of numbers and data to back this up. He's a shrewd marketer and tracks his efforts thoroughly.

Postcard campaign

• Quantity: 88,000 postcards over 12 months

• Mailing list: 22,000 residents living within a two-mile radius of his location

• Repetition: Each recipient received the card four times in one year

New patients per month

• February: 44 (12 from postcards)

• March: 73 (20 from postcards)

• April: 52 (15 from postcards)

• May: 54 (10 from postcards)

• June: 63 (11 from postcards)

• July: 58 (10 from postcards)

• Total new patients from postcards: 78

• Patient lifetime value: $5,000*

• Total campaign revenue: $390,000

• Cost of campaign: $30,587.40

• ROI: 1,175%

Dr. Campbell: "I tell everybody, without even a hiccup, that my new patients are worth $5,000. Given our services, about $3,500 for an orthodontic patient, and then implants, crowns, and root canals, plus standard patient lifetime value (agreed to be about $2,000 among most experts), along with any potential referrals, I think an average lifetime value of $5,000 is a very accurate number for us."

The results from his postcard campaign have completely changed his opinion on postcard marketing.

Dr. Campbell: "After seeing how well postcards work and after talking to my team, there's no way those other practices weren't getting new patients from postcards. I really think it was the way their staff handled the phone calls. I don't think they were trained properly."

Dr. Campbell isn't shy about his newfound appreciation for postcards. Aside from a few gift baskets he sent to nearby businesses, and local marketing at a news fair and a high school, postcards have been his only means of marketing.

Dr. Campbell: "I think the postcards were extremely significant to our early success. I think that was basically the catalyst to get that fire going. What that's allowed me to do is just add a little bit of flame to this already huge bonfire and really start compounding our results."

That takes us to the next stage.

Stage 3: Maximize all that new business with smart internal efforts. This could increase your Google web search leads by 767%.

Dr. Campbell is a fine-tooth-comb kind of tracker and marketer. He doesn't miss much. Here are some numbers he shared that demonstrate how quickly things can escalate with the right processes.

Here's where Dr. Campbell's leads came from in Q1:

• Postcards: 28%

• Patient referral: 26%

• Walk-in/drive-by: 23%

• Nearby businesses: 11%

• Previous patients: 6%

• Insurance: 3%

• Google: 3%

Here is where things got interesting in Q2:

• Google: 23%

• Patient referral: 22%

• Postcards: 18%

• Walk-in/drive-by: 12%

• Nearby businesses: 11%

• Previous patients: 8%

• Insurance: 6%

Google jumped from last place to first place in just three months. That's a 767% increase from one quarter to the next! There are two reasons for this, and I'll let the doctor explain the first.

Dr. Campbell: "I sent out 22,000 postcards four times to the same list. So that's a potential 22,000 people and clicks out there helping me build my website's SEO. The more clicks the postcards generated for my website, the more patients logging on and Googling my name, Googling my practice, and clicking on my name and link-all of that really helps."

What's the second reason? Dr. Campbell's own sweat equity. Dr. Campbell follows up personally with every patient he sees. He pulls their records from his database, checks out their email addresses, and, depending on their domains (@gmail.com, @yahoo.com, etc.) sends each a personalized email asking politely for a review-on the site that matches the domain, of course. This maximizes the effect of their reviews.

So far his methods have racked up 57 five-star reviews online for his practice in six months!

Dr. Campbell: "Our online presence is really good now, and the postcards and online reviews have been a huge part of that. These things can really work together, I've noticed. I'll have patients say, 'I looked online and you have really great reviews.' Then I'll look over by their purse and see a postcard there. So whereas I had been thinking they were a Google search lead, it was the postcard that initially got them to go to our website and check us out, and that's when they saw all the positive things written about us online and on our Facebook page. Postcards are really effective at raising awareness and sending business to us-more than patients even understand. So you have to train your staff to recognize this so they can track correctly."

The doctor can't emphasize enough how important it is to train the office staff and hire the right people. For his success, this has been key.

Dr. Campbell: "When times are tough you see doctors out there who start marketing or getting more proactive in training their staff. But doing all of that persistently is the key."

Dr. Campbell now shares this advice with friends and colleagues as other dentists reach out and visit Peak Family Dentistry & Orthodontics for insights and advice, and a glimpse at Dr. Campbell's path to success. For the doctor himself, the horizon is definitely looking bright.

Dr. Campbell: "We know we're going to continue to grow, and our office has room to expand. I'm getting really excited about this journey. All of the pieces are falling into place."

Follow the three stages discussed here, and your practice could be the next success story!

If you'd like to contact Dr. Campbell directly, he can be reached at [email protected]. To watch his full video case study, visit postcardmania.com/dr-campbell. 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!

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 serving over 65,000 clients, plus more than 4,000 dentists! Need help promoting your practice? Call one of PostcardMania's dental marketing consultants at (844) 269-1836, email Joy at [email protected], or visit www.postcardmania.com/designs/dental-designs.

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