Update: Now you can download the “short & sweet” cheat-sheet version of this post. (Easy to read PDF download. Click here for instant access.)
If you’re a cosmetic dentist in 2015, you’re probably already spending thousands a month to market your practice and attract new patients.
But statistically, you’re probably wasting up to 80% of your marketing dollars.
If you’d like to fix that, read on. My goal for this article is to show you how to get complete control of how many new leads and patients you get, and how fast you get them.
To get started…
Now, most of these have their place…
But do you know exactly where you are getting the biggest bang for your buck?
I’ll tell you one thing: it’s DEFINITELY not radio, tv, billboards or the yellow pages.
Because these three things, in combination, are the highest value activities possible.
We’ve spent a decade sharpening our marketing skills in some of the toughest environments known to man — and now as we’re starting to work more with cosmetic dentists and other local service businesses, we are noticing several shocking things that virtually every dental practice is getting wrong.
Don’t believe me?
Well, please read this short post and see for yourself if it makes sense to you.
I know your time is valuable, so here, with the dogmatism of brevity, are the top 7 things we see virtually every dental practice getting wrong.
First, it’s important that you understand how critical the 80/20 principle is, and how it can help you make more while working a whole lot less…
Have you heard of the 80/20 principle?
It’s a pattern observed in every area of nature, and it’s as reliable as the law of gravity.
It states that roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.
80% of water flows in 20% of rivers. 80% of people live in 20% of the cities. And so on.
And — 80% of new patients will find you from only 20% of your marketing activity.
In other words, only a fraction of what you do to market yourself has any significant impact on your business.
Your job is to figure out the high value activities that take up a little time but have a HUGE impact — and maximize those!
We believe fixing these 7 mistakes below is where you absolutely must start.
Somebody needs a cosmetic dentist like you… what do they do?
They go to Google, they type in “cosmetic dentist” and they start looking for someone who meets their needs.
These are the hottest prospects in the world. They have an immediate need, and they’re walking around, cash in hand, looking for someone to give it to.
In other words, you NEED to be using Google AdWords.
If you’re trying any other marketing activity without first MAXIMIZING your potential on Google, you may as well flush money down the toilet.
If you’re thinking “I’ve tried that and it didn’t work!” then that brings me to my second point:
In a space such as cosmetic dentistry where customers are extremely valuable (i.e., someone who needs dental implants can easily be a $10,000+ patient)…
… It’s EXPENSIVE — IF you’re doing it wrong.
If you’re doing it the right way, you can easily afford the clicks, because they reliably turn into patients for you…
In other words, clicks are only expensive because they are valuable. And that means you need to do a good job to convert them into phone calls.
Here are some tips for how to do that.
This is THE biggest mistake I see cosmetic dentist making on Google.
They send every click to their home page.
Category #1: A wordpress “brochure” style website. Like this one…
Category #2: This one’s called “2002 called and they want their static outdated webpage back!”
Something like this…
South Tampa Smiles and Brandon Smiles, sorry to pick on you guys! But you really need to update your websites…
Here’s the reality:
For cosmetic dentists there’s actually a VERY SPECIFIC type of page that works best.
You want a single page where they have just two options… submit a form to book an appointment… or call you to book an appointment!
Everything else needs to go! No elaborate navigation menu. No stock photos. No nothing! Book an appointment or leave…
Don’t worry, if you lose them here, it doesn’t mean you’ve lost them forever. Retarget them across the web and on Facebook to keep bringing them back to your website.
You ARE using retargeting, aren’t you? More on this further down the page…
This layout has been tested and proven hundreds of times. It just plain works.
This is a demo mockup we created for illustration purposes. You can see the main parts. In the top left, an image or video. On the right, a form to book a consultation or appointment. Phone numbers on the bottom and on the top right to book a consultation.
To learn what to say on your landing page, you can book a custom strategy session with us to find out exactly what to put on yours.
If nothing else, following the layout alone will improve your results compared to just sending people to your home page.
This one’s simple:
Out of all the calls you’re getting, all the people coming into your practice… do you know where they came from?
Someone hears your ad on the radio and picks up the phone. Do you know which specific radio spot they came from?
This is even more important online. Especially in Google.
For every single phone call and every single appointment, you need to know the EXACT PHRASE they searched for in Google that lead them to your website.
Almost nobody’s doing this properly. If you’re not doing this properly, you’re basically lighting dollar bills on fire.
Why? Because you’re spending money on things that are not working. Again — the 80/20 principle says that only 20% of your marketing dollars are being used effectively.
If you’re not tracking everything, you’re most likely wasting 80% or more of your marketing budget.
You’ve probably heard that, on average, it takes 7 or more touches to engage a prospect.
In another study, they took all the people who asked for information about a product or service, in many different markets for many different products and services, and every 90 days they called and asked them “did you buy it yet?”
What they found was, that out of all the people who requested more information about a product or service, 50% of them bought within 18 months.
But the interesting part is… only 15% of those people bought within the first 90 days.
In other words, only 15% of everyone who WOULD buy, do so in the first 90 days!
What does this mean for you?
It means if they don’t IMMEDIATELY become patients after going to your website… don’t give up just yet!
Almost everyone gives up right away, and this is just another way you’re lighting dollar bills on fire.
I don’t have time to go into all of our advanced strategies for following up and keeping prospects engaged, so let me just share a few of them.
I mentioned this earlier. It’s one of the things you can do to DRAMATICALLY increase your bottom line profits RIGHT NOW. It’s extremely, almost ridiculously cost effective (for now… until the rest of your competitors catch on!)
To give you an idea of how it works, here’s a visual illustration.
There are actually many more ways of following up with people, but let’s stick with these three for now to keep things simple.
In the image here, you can see that people come from Google to your landing page. While on your landing page, you load a “cookie” in their web browser. This is just a bit of code that allows you to keep track of them online.
Using that, you can now advertise to that same person on Facebook, and all across the web!
If they use a form to sign up for their free consultation, but don’t become patients right away, you can also keep sending them emails to engage them further down the line.
Any time you try to engage them, whether it be in an ad or in an email, remember to focus on educating and entertaining your prospects. You might send them to blog posts (like this one!) or even send them news about the fun and interesting things going on around the office, like talking to a friend.
Remember, people buy from people they know, like and trust!
To schedule a free strategy session with one of our founders to find out how this can work for you, click here now.
First let’s talk about testing.
One of the things every experienced direct-response marketer does is A/B TESTING CONSTANTLY.
What’s an A/B test?
For example, let’s say we have a Landing Page with a BIG, BOLD, RED HEADLINE.
Red is a very common color for headlines, because it catches attention.
To begin a test, we make a hypothesis. We say:
“Hmm, maybe we would get more people to call us if we made the headline blue instead.”
So we set up a piece of software that automatically rotates two variations of the same landing page for us. One with a red headline, one with a blue headline. Then the software will track which one gets the most leads.
Of course, testing headline colors is probably not the most high impact test you can do, but you’d be surprised how big of a difference it can make.
Other tests you could do to have an even bigger effect could be testing a completely different layout, or changing the offer and copy in a major way.
If you’re constantly testing SOMETHING, you tap into the power of “Kaizen” — The Japanese term for “continual improvement.” It’s the same philosophy that enabled the Japanese to completely dominate US car manufacturers, and why Toyota has some of the most reliable cars in the world.
Now, once you’ve run a few tests, you’ll have a good idea of what’s working to drive new leads, and what’s not working.
This sounds obvious, but it’s amazing how many businesses make this mistake on a daily basis.
For example, I remember watching an episode of The Profit starring billionaire Marcus Lemonis, and the episode was about this embroidery company called Artistic Stitch.
In the early days, the embroidery part of their business started doing well, to the tune of 7 figures a year… and then, the founder got some kind of great vision for the business…
He got a lease for a huge building, and started building multiple “synergistic” businesses under the same roof. A basketball court. Baseball batting range. An Italian restaurant. A few more things that he thought “fit together”…
Meanwhile, every single business started losing money… and the only thing keeping him afloat was his core embroidery business!
If he had spent all that time and money growing his core business instead, he could have been making $5 million or $10 million a year… instead of facing imminent bankruptcy.
In other words, once you discover a process that’s working for you, do your best to milk it as hard as you can for as long as you can!
This is another reason why we’re so adamant about making the most of Google AdWords — because, dollar for dollar, pound for pound, it is the most effective use of your marketing dollar as a cosmetic dentist.
Do you have a script for your front desk to use when the phone rings?
Depending on the different things people ask, do you know exactly what to say to turn them into patients?
We don’t have the time here to go into how to write phone scripts, but I just want to point something out for you:
What use is it to spend all that time, effort and money to get the phone to ring… if you have no idea how to turn those calls into patients?!
To get started, make sure you know the most common things people ask when they call, and have a few bullet points to help you always lead towards the sale when your staff answers the phone.
I know all of this is probably overwhelming. In fact, you might be feeling a little like this right now:
You spent years of your life learning how to be a world-class cosmetic dentist.
It makes sense that you want to spend your time doing what you do best (dentistry!) …
… and not want to spend another decade going down another rabbit hole and learning a completely new skill (marketing)…
Keep doing what you do best…
And let us do what we do best.
If you’d like our help implementing our entire A-Z system for your dental practice, click here to schedule a free strategy session with one of our co-founders to see if we are a good fit for each other.
If you’d like an easy-to-reference PDF cheat sheet version of this post, click here for instant access.
On a family vacation at age 13 I spent most of the time sitting in front of my mom's laptop -- reading ebooks about Google advertising. I jumped head first into the marketing rabbit hole and never looked back. Direct response storytelling specialist. Currently building the North Edge agency helping local businesses get more of their ideal clients, customers and patients!