Dental Marketing Editorial: Dentists Offer Discount Dental Work

Dental Marketing: Dentists Offer Discount Dental Work

You don’t need me to tell you that these are brutal economic times; I’m guessing you’ve already noticed that. Where I may be able to help you is in answering the next question: So what do we do now?

Here is my single most important bit of advice: Don’t overlook your dental practice marketing!

I know what you’re thinking. “Well, Jim’s a marketing guy, so of course he’s going to say that!”

But did you know that I wasn’t always a marketing guy? I started off as a dental management consultant, advising doctors on practice issues and cash management.

Over the years, I realized that a good marketing program is one of the most profitable things a dental practice can do. Five additional new patients a month will solve most every doctor’s cash flow problems. Ten additional new patients will put your teenager through a good college. So I became a dental marketing convert.

I’m as interested as you are to learn what marketing choices dentists are making in these difficult times. So I recently ran a survey asking doctors if their dental practices are running any sales, discounts or promotions.

I learned that one out of three dentists is currently running a sale or promotion on dental work. Dentists’ opinions on the subject tend to fall into one of three camps:

  • “We’re running promotions to try and get the new patients we so desperately need right now.”
  • “We always run discounts as part of our normal dental marketing.”
  • “Sales cheapen the value of dentistry in the patient’s eyes.”

I think it’s a great idea to run discounts as part of your regular dental marketing. You can promote your offers via email patient newsletters or direct mail marketing to reach the widest audience possible. If you’re really smart, you’ll script a video for your home page that includes an introductory offer.

As for “cheapening” dentistry in consumers’ eyes… it’s all about doing it properly. I don’t see any problems with offering a modest “token” discount for new patients. However, if you’re running colorful TV ads pushing $299.00 dental implants, that’s another thing entirely! It is essential to avoid any “used car salesman” connotations.

So, let’s get to what you really want! Which promotions are proving successful for dental practices?

Advertising dental sales

“One ad offers $100 off any dental service. Another ad is good for $50 off every $500 you spend,” said a Colorado dentist. “‘Free whitening for life’ is not bringing any returns as an ad, but it works well as an in-office patient referral system. Another offer that’s working is $1000 off on any Invisalign case, with up-front payment.”

Discounts for cash

“We routinely offer a 5% courtesy for payment up-front,” said a Texas dentist. “10% -20% off Lumineers, Zoom laser whitening, implants, etc. with payment at start of treatment,” said another general dentist. An Arizona dentist reported offering discounts of “15-20%, but only for those without insurance. It has made a difference with people getting the work done, as they feel they are getting some help with the economy.”

Bargains on new patient exams

New patient exams are one of the most frequently discounted dental procedures. “We routinely offer new patient discounts on comprehensive exams, cleanings, and tooth whitening,” said a Maine dentist. “In December, we offered a $39 prophy for new patients as a limited-time offer. Hate to do it, but whatever it takes to stay afloat in this economy!” A Virginia dentist shared, “A new patient exam with x-rays is $140 off – regularly $289, now $149.”

“We’re offering practice entry discounts just to make it easier for patients to come in the first time,” said a Washington dentist. “We offer free consultations on implant cases, then try to wow them.”

Tooth whitening promotions

“Whitening is now $50 off,” said a Missouri dentist, while a Tennessee dentist reported, “We’ve discounted Zoom whitening by $100.” A Utah dentist reported offering free teeth bleaching to members of their Care to Share patient referral program.

Anything else on sale?

“I’ve been offering 25-50% off surgical placement of dental implants. It has worked well!” raved a California dentist.

Get the point?

Offering discounts on dental work can be an effective way to attract new patients and reactivate existing ones.

Read more: Finding Dental Patients Via Sales, Discounts & Promotions

About Jim Du Molin

+Jim Du Molin is a leading Internet marketing expert for dentists in North America. He has helped hundreds of doctors make more money in their practices using his proven Internet marketing techniques.

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