The #1 marketing discipline that supercharges cosmetic dental practices

You already know about lead generation, right? It's the pretty sister in the marketing family. Everyone wants to get to know her first. But when it comes to cosmetic dentistry, how hard is it to get someone interested in a beautiful, new smile? Can I sign up twice?

Apr 10th, 2015
Follow Up Poster 1 As Smart Object 1

Joy Gendusa

You already know about lead generation, right? It's the pretty sister in the marketing family. Everyone wants to get to know her first. But when it comes to cosmetic dentistry, how hard is it to get someone interested in a beautiful, new smile? Can I sign up twice?

OK, maybe that isn't the fairest representation of lead generation for cosmetic dentists, but here is a fair assessment: Cosmetic dentists need to do follow-up better. These statistics, taken from www.followupsuccess.com, explain why:

• 2% of sales are made on the first contact

• 3% of sales are made on the second contact

• 5% of sales are made on the third contact

• 10% of sales are made on the fourth contact

• 80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact

Now: Do you or your team follow up with leads that many times? Here's a little push to be honest with yourself: Only 12% of salespeople make more than three contacts. So, no. You probably don't. But you need to if you want to maximize the return on your marketing investment.

For cosmetic dentists, this is even more important. A general practitioner will get a certain amount of business due to emergency situations where the patient doesn't really have time or even want to shop around. But with cosmetic issues, there is usually time for the patient to look over the competition before coming to a buying decision. This means staying in front of them is absolutely crucial to your marketing success.

With this in mind, I've collected here the top four methods of follow-up for cosmetic dentists and analyzed them based on four important categories: effectiveness, ease of setup, ease of maintenance, and affordability. In the summary that follows, four stars is the highest ranking; one star is not-so-good. Next to the ranking is an explanation of the method itself, in case you are unfamiliar with it. With the information provided, you should easily be able to identify which methods are the best fits for your practice. Enjoy!

Email Autoresponder Drip Campaign

Effectiveness: +++

Ease of Setup: +

Ease of Maintenance: ++++

Affordability: ++++

Pros:

• Keeps your name in front of customers and prospects

• Very cost-effective

• Next to no upkeep (super easy to maintain)

• Warms up prospects for a sale

Cons:

• Initial setup can be time consuming

• Can seem impersonal if not written correctly

What is it?

Autoresponder emails are sent automatically based on a "trigger." Usually, the trigger is when someone is added to your email database. Have you ever gotten an email immediately after signing up for something online? That is an autoresponder email. The email responds automatically. Make sense?

Now, a "drip campaign" is a series of emails automatically sent out after a trigger and following a set timetable. The first email is triggered by an action like a sign-up, and then the rest of the emails automatically drip out according to a schedule you choose (e.g., weekly or monthly).

Email Newsletter

Effectiveness: ++

Ease of Setup: +++

Ease of Maintenance: +

Affordability: ++++

Pros:

• Keeps your name in front of customers and prospects

• Very cost-effective

• Can be used to build affinity with readers

CONS:

• Needs attention to maintain a regular schedule

• Requires time to think up and create content

What is it?

An email newsletter is a template email you send out manually every week (or month, quarter, etc.). In the email, you provide tips and news on a specific topic the audience has an interest in.

You probably already experience email newsletters on a regular basis. If you've ever been to a website and thought, "Wow, there is great info here," and entered your email for updates, you probably get email newsletters from that company.

Good content ideas for email newsletters include:

• Patient testimonials

• Office news (This includes fun stuff about you and staff and makes your practice more likeable!)

• Product news

• "How to" tips

• Doctor advice

DirectMail2.0 Automatic Online Follow-up

Effectiveness: ++++

Ease of Setup: ++++

Ease of Maintenance: ++++

Affordability: ++++

Pros:

• Very cost-effective

• Catches leads that would otherwise be lost

• Seamlessly integrates offline and online marketing

• Requires no upkeep from you (it's automatic)

• Gives the appearance of "being everywhere"

CONS:

• Only useful for businesses with online presence

What is it?

DirectMail2.0 Automatic Online Follow-up is, basically, awesomeness incarnate. It takes the raw marketing power of Google and squeezes it into a postcard campaign.

How? DirectMail2.0: New Patient Edition partners with Google to display follow-up banner ads to everyone in the geographical area you targeted with your postcard campaign. The ads are timed to go live when your postcards hit mailboxes.

Imagine this for a moment: A prospective client gets your postcard in the mail and thinks to himself, "Wow, that's a great deal, and I've been really wanting to get this done." But he doesn't take any action because he either forgets or wants to check out other options before calling. You can't get to him again until your next postcard goes out, right?

Wrong. DirectMail2.0's ads are already live, showing him follow-up ads (that look like the postcard) on the millions of sites in the Google Display Network. It gives the impression that your practice "is everywhere" and the hot place to be!

Only a select few postcard marketing companies offer this option, so be sure you're working with one of the innovators.

Personalized Postcards

Effectiveness: ++++

Ease of Setup: +++

Ease of Maintenance: +++

Affordability: ++

Pros:

• Highly impactful on the prospect

• Addresses the prospect by name

• Requires no upkeep from you (it's automatic)

CONS:

• Can be expensive for follow-up

What is it?

Personalized Postcards are direct mail postcards with design content that changes based on who the prospect is. For example, you could create a follow-up postcard campaign that goes to new leads, and the design could feature either a man or woman with a big, beautiful smile, based on the gender of the recipient. It could also have an offer that changes based on what product or service the prospect indicated interest in. This is an extremely personal and effective follow-up practice, but is probably only feasible for practices with budgets large enough to dedicate a little extra to marketing follow-up.

My recommendation: DO THEM ALL. Seriously. All of them. It's the surest way to compound your success. But start slow and implement them one at a time. Then, as your practice grows, invest in another, and so on and so forth. That is the surest way to grow your cosmetic dental practice!

Did you know: 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 and her innate marketing savvy, Joy built PostcardMania from a one-woman startup with just a phone and a computer into an industry leader, generating more than $21 million in annual revenue and employing 200-plus people in Clearwater, Florida. Joy can be reached for questions or marketing consultations by phone at (844) 269-1836 or email at joy.gendusa@postcardmania.com.

More in Practice