5 Creative Marketing Tips for Orthodontic Practices

Effective marketing strategies can make or break your orthodontic practice. With these 5 creative marketing tricks, your practice can grow and prosper.

5 creativemkt tipsAt your orthodontic practice, the marketing strategies you have in place can be the difference between a successful, growing business and a stagnant, idle business. Like many medical professionals, however, the idea of developing and executing an effective marketing plan might make you feel a bit overwhelmed. Thankfully, there are several simple, yet creative marketing measures you can take that will allow your practice to prosper in an area where most orthodontists struggle.

These 5 tips will help enhance your patient flow and grow your practice.

1.  Rock The Referrals

According to R&G Technologies, referrals generate 30 percent more new-customer leads than all other marketing channels. And by encouraging your current clients to make referrals to their friends and family, they can be the most powerful, cost-free means of marketing available. By ensuring your current patients are happy, they’ll be more likely to make referrals. Thus, you’ll need to take the appropriate steps to generate patient referrals.

  • Implement a referral program by offering discounts or special offers to friends and family of a client. Similarly, offer the same discount or offer to the referring patient. Consider offering a 10-percent discount off their next routine visit or partner with a restaurant in the area for a “free dessert” upon referral.
  • Make a little note on business cards or your website reminding clients to promote your practice to others in the area. This is a great way to expand exposure in a subtle, effective way.
  • If a current patient informs you that their friend will be visiting, make sure you remind them that everyone involved will receive special attention. This will make your clients feel special and encourage others to do the same.

Remember that referred customers have a 16-percent higher lifetime value than all other clients.

2.  Befriend Local Dentists

Personally visiting the dentists in your area will always be an effective means of marketing. However, this oldie-but-goodie method can be a bit monotonous after time. Go above and beyond by taking dentists out to lunch or another social setting. Instead of talking about business, view this as a friendly gathering so you can find out more about him or her as a person.

Similarly, have your practice’s team members take the dentist’s team members out to lunch or to a non-work setting. Having your teams bond will be invaluable because the dentist’s staff will likely ask questions they wouldn’t typically ask you and – if properly prepared – your staff can make a big impact on surrounding dental offices.

In both of these scenarios, you and your office will prove to others that you are a personable, caring practice and dentists in the area will feel confident sending their patients to you.

3.  Connect Person-to-Person

Modern technology makes it easier than ever to connect with clients. From blast-emails and Facebook messages, to Twitter shout-outs and automated calls, staying in-touch with patients is practically effortless. As easy as this is, you risk losing that personal connection that makes clients truly feel appreciated and cared for. That’s why it is so important to maintain person-to-person connection.

Give handwritten notes or send direct mail postcards from the doctor to each new patient your practice sees and each person your practice debonds. Ask staff members to prepare envelopes and put the cards on your desk – this only takes a few minutes but the personal touch leaves a lasting effect. You can also include notes from treatment coordinators or other assistants that played a part in the patient’s experience.

4.  Hold Patient Contests

Having patient contests is a great way to keep your clients involved and connected to your practice. Below are some fun contest ideas:

  • Have a jar of jellybeans and get patients to guess how many there are; the winner takes home the jar.
  • Get parents involved by having a business-card contest. Collect their business cards and select one business card a month; winner gets 10-percent off their next visit.
  • Hold a photo contest over school breaks like Christmas, spring break, and summer. Have patients submit photos of themselves wearing your branded t-shirt in different areas they visit. Reward photos in categories like furthest location, most creative, most adventurous, funniest, craziest, etc.

Use Facebook to help spread the word of current contests and post photos of the winners. This will keep people in the loop and encourage them to get involved.

5.  Establish A Patient Appreciation Day

Making patients feel appreciated is one of the bottom lines of marketing. When patients feel appreciated, they’re much more likely to make referrals and continue a lifetime of loyalty to your practice. By establishing a patient appreciation day (or maybe even patient appreciation week) you can do just this. Consider renting out a movie theater and inviting patients to attend – you can give each kid in the practice three movie tickets: one for them, one for their parent, and one for their friend with crooked teeth. You can also provide braces-friendly snacks in the office throughout the day/week, or hold a cookout at the local park and encourage patients to bring friends.

Being active in the community and showing appreciation for your patients are some of the greatest marketing strategies you have as an orthodontic practice. By rewarding people for their loyalty and recommendations, connecting personally with dentists and patients in the area, holding contests and appreciation events, you can market your practice in a fun, creative, and effective way.

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