It can be said that the BIGGEST obstacles tripping up Dentists are inefficient practice marketing systems.
The average Dentist simply does not have the business or marketing skills needed to efficiently run a practice. After all, most Dentists sat through a two-week basic course on business in Dental school. They are not prepared for the challenges of succeeding in business.
Dentists are appalled when they realize technical expertise is not enough to build a thriving practice that can rise up to meet the lifestyle they want.
But it’s true. No matter how skilled you are at Dentistry, without a system for bringing in new patients, increasing production and maximizing profitability, you won’t stay in your practice for long.
General practitioners look around at what other G.P.’s are doing and attempt to “copy” their advertising. They run newspaper ads blindly – without knowing how to track response and conversions. They send out Direct Mail letters and postcards – without knowing what to say in order to get the phone to ring. They put up a website, run ads on Google and email prospects and patients – without knowing if any of these methods actually work… and so on, and so forth.
In a tight economy (driven by consumer uncertainty) hanging a shingle, and utilizing your skills, reputation, education and years in practice are not enough to bring in more business. You need effective and proven patient attraction strategies that are working right now in the real world.
Fewer people in the cold market (those who have never used your services before) are responding to advertising in general. But even so, the response rates to digital media such as online display ads, paid search and email are downright pathetic.
The Direct Marketing Association has been doing a response rate report since 2003. The report compares response rates for Direct Mail, postcards, catalogs, telephone, online display ads, paid search and email. Over the past few years, Dentists have been drinking the email marketing “kool-aid.” They’ve been spending serious money on email contact software and programs.
According to the DMA, digital marketing is a money-losing proposition. It will NOT boost you up. In actuality it will drag you down to a record-setting low. The most recent DMA response report show that email response rates are on average 30 times lower compared to Direct Mail.
In reality, Direct Mail response rates are higher than any digital media. Direct Mail response to existing customers averages 3.7%. Email response to existing customers averages only 0.1%.
Let’s say you have 1,000 active patients and you decide to send an email offering a cleaning for $100. Based on the DMA data, exactly one patient out of 1,000 will take you up on that offer. Sending out the email costs you almost nothing. So you made $100.
Now let’s take a look at what would happen if you sent out a Direct Mail piece to the same 1,000 active patients. You’ll pay about $0.70 to mail each Direct Mail piece, which makes your mailing cost $700. The response rate will be 3.7%. Instead of just one patient taking you up on the offer you’ll have 37 patients paying you $100 each or $3,700 total.
But wait… You won’t keep all that money because you have to subtract $700 (the mailing cost) from the $3,700, and so your net profit is “only” $3,000, which means the Direct Mail Piece produced 30 times more profit than the “free” email promotion.
I’m not great at math but I think $3,000 is better than $100.
What Dentists need is a reliable and proven approach for boosting their practices to a level free of obstacles, and drumming up new business.
And they need to do so:
- with predictable consistency
- at a low cost
- with a higher-than-average response rate
- with a higher-than-average conversion rate
...and they have to do it without taking precious time away from treating patients.
If you want to funnel new patients into your practice automatically (and without taking time away from your patients), then a Done-For-You, tested and proven Direct Mail campaign strategy is best suited for your practice’s unique set of needs.
"Money coming in says I've made the right marketing decisions."
- Adam Osborne