Dental Marketing: Have You Put Dental Work on Sale? (video)

dental sales and promotionsDental marketing sales and promotions on dental treatment can bring more patients into a dentist’s office. But if you run the wrong promotion you might be overrun by the wrong kind of patients.

25 percent off dental hygiene can be a good practice promotion. Free painkiller prescriptions with every appointment would not be a good promotion.

“Discounting only works if you are trying to attract new patients.” said an Illinois pediatric dentist.

“For higher-end practices, you have to be careful so promotions don’t come off cheesy.” wrote a Pennsylvania dentist.

The Wealthy Dentist conducted a survey that asked dentists if their practices are running any sales or promotions. This survey found that 1 out of 3 dentists is currently running sales or a promotion.

Click on play to watch the survey video –

102-Dental_Marketing_Sales_Promotions.mp4

Dentists offered several promotion suggestions –

“We offer discounts of 15-20 percent, but only for those without insurance. It has made a difference with patients getting the work done, as they feel they are getting some help with the economy.” said one Arizona dentist.

“One ad offers $100.00 off any dental service. Another ad is good for $50.00 off every $500.00 spent. ‘Free whitening for life’ works as well as in-office patient referral system,” wrote one Colorado dentist, “Another offer that’s working is $1,000.00 off on any Invisalign case with up-front payment.”

When it comes to promo offers you really just want to make a token offer. Giving patients a small discount can be a great way to show appreciation and good faith. If you offer up a huge discount, you’re only going to attract those patients who really don’t want to pay for care.

So be cautious in your dental marketing when making a promotional offer.

If you’d like to learn more go to Dentists Putting Dental Work on Sale, or sign up for our free wealthy dentist newsletter to cast your own vote in future surveys.

Dentists: Fake Negative Online Review Nets Business Owner 150K

Dentists: Fake Negative Online Review Nets Business Owner 150KOver the past three years The Wealthy Dentist has covered stories regarding negative online reviews and how dentists should handle them as part of an overall dental marketing strategy.

We’ve agreed that no one should be allowed to post an anonymous reviews against a dentist, because the costs to a dental practice can be high, and the dentist has little hope of investigating the circumstances to turn the situation around.

Not to mention the real possibility that the dentist might be dealing with an anonymous derogatory review that is actually fake.

The best a dentist could do was soften the impact of the negative review online is by responding with positive attributes about his or her dental practice. Any attempt to sue over a negative review always seemed to favor the poster of the review — not the recipient.

But it seems the courts are finally starting to take notice.

Recently, the Missouri Court of Appeals upheld a $150,000 putative damage reward to a plaintiff for defamation caused by 3 fake online reviews.

In 1999, Peter Mitchell and Michael Hosto co-founded a property damage restoration company. Their restoration business was so successful that in 2003 they created BoardUp, Inc., a lead generation service for restoration companies covering five area codes that encompassed significant portions of central and eastern Missouri and the southwestern portion of Illinois.

The partners successfully ran the companies for 4 years until a deterioration in their relationship and the commencement of litigation forced Mitchell and Hosto to dissolve their business associations by entering into a Settlement Agreement in 2007. As a result of the agreement Hosto ended up with BoardUp and Mitchell ended up with the restoration company.

But Hosto was apparently not happy with how the settlement came down.

Hosto went online and posted 3 fake negative reviews about Mitchell and his restoration work. According to court records the first two reviews were posted on March 31, 2008, on Google and Yahoo, respectively. In those fabricated reviews, Hosto used the names of prior customers of the restoration company to create detailed accounting of dealings with Mitchell that encouraged potential customers to avoid contracting with the company.

Here are 2 of the fake reviews:

1. 1st Review on Google (there were 2) –
Grade: F. Dealing with these people was the single biggest mistake I have ever made in my whole life. I[t] was a miserable experience and the job was done so poorly we decided to sell the house. They were great salesman [sic] but their workman [sic] were idiots and the owner was not willing to help in any way. I was so happy just to get them out of my life I paid them much more than I should have because their law firm threatened to lien my house if I disagree[d] with any part of their bill. All I can say is if they show up in your front yard in the middle of the night after your house catchs [sic] on fire, RUN! Do yourself a favor and call your insurance company and get a referal [sic] for legitimate business people.

2. Review on Yahoo –
They were a pain in the neck when I least needed one! Like the other guy [,] The Fire Works Restoration Company showed up in the middle of the night while the firemen where [sic] still putting out the fire. Their emergency board up guys were great. I liked them so much I decided maybe they weren’t so bad when a salesman from the Fire Works Restoration Company showed up the next day. Then they offered to do a “Free Estimate.” So [F]ire [W]orks was a lot higher than the other company. [T]hey got into a long drawn out fight about 1) the cost to remove the water and 2) the cost to dry out the house and 3) the cost to rebuild the house and 4) the cost to clean our stuff. The whole thing turned out to be such a nightmare that I figured it was just easier to deal with the insurance company contractor (the one these guys told me was gonna rip me off!!!!). [S]o when I told them I was not going with them then they sent me a bill even bigger than the first that the insurance company already said they didn’t want to pay. [T]he [F]ire [W]orks guy said it was a “supplement” and the first bill was not complete. [T]hey wanted an additional $1,700 more than the first bill (which was already too high!!!). Moral of the story–––people that seem nice usually are nice but not always.

As soon as Mitchell discovered the negative reviews, he initiated a “John Doe” lawsuit to ascertain the identity of the poster of the online reviews. Yahoo identified Mitchell’s ex-partner, Hosto as the person who posted the negative review on its website. Ultimately Hosto emailed Mitchell admitting that he had posted the negative reviews. Mitchell then brought a defamation suit against both Hosto personally and his company, BoardUp. In response, Hosto filed a counterclaim alleging defamation against Mitchell.

A jury agreed with Mitchell in his personal defamation claim against Hosto and only awarded him $1.00 in actual damages, but awarded him $150,000 in punitive damages. In addition, the jury rejected both Mitchell’s defamation claim against BoardUp and Hosto’s counterclaim against Mitchell.

At first review it might be hard to understand why the jury only awarded Mitchell $1.00 in actual damages, but this may be because it is difficult to prove that a potential customer who Mitchell has never done business with actually decided not to employ the services of his company based on a negative online review.

But the $150,000 in punitive damages does send the message that online posters are responsible for the negative reviews they leave online.

In a research study by Cone, Inc., they found that 80% of consumers have changed their mind about purchases based on negative information that they found online and 87% claimed that positive reviews reinforce their purchasing decisions.

In the future a dentist may very well be able to prove that his or her dental practice was adversely affected by a false negative review and will receive a more sizable actual damages amount.

Have you ever experienced a fake negative online review? How did you handle it?

For help in handling negative online reviews, see The Wealthy Dentist’s dental marketing article, Dental Marketing: A Guide for Avoiding Negative Online Reviews

Dental Marketing: Free Beer and Wine! What next – Topless Hygiene?

dental marketing with alcohol

Is serving free beer and wine the next big trend in dental marketing?

ABCNews reports that dentist Clint Herzog of Dallas, Texas, likes to serve beer and wine to dental patients in the waiting room at his “Floss Now” dentistry.

For years hair salons have been offering coffee, tea or wine as part of the whole ‘spa’ experience. Is this part of the fad towards ‘spa dentistry‘ – but with a Texas spin?

“I really got tired of people not liking to go to the dentist saying, ‘Hey I don’t like to go to the dentist no offense! ‘ Well it’s kind of an offense because it’s what we do all day,” explains Herzog.

So he created Floss Dental and began sending out a mailer offering “free spirits with a cleaning” to encourage nervous dental patients into calling and making an appointment with his dentist office.

Some dentists have an espresso machine in the reception area. But do you really want someone jacked up on caffeine in your dental chair? How does he like working on patients with beer breath?

Is there a two drink limit? Or a minimum treatment fee? Is this a new kind of sedation dentistry? How does this mix with nitrous oxide (laughing gas)? Or even triazolam?

Dr. Herzog shares more of this dental marketing story in the following video –

What do you think about this type of dental marketing?

Would you serve alcohol to some of your best dental patients?

For more on this story see: Texas Dentist Serves Cocktails With Cleanings

Dental Marketing: Facebook as an Effective Internet Marketing Tool

Dental Marketing: Facebook as an Effective Internet Marketing ToolEffective dental marketing requires that dentists keep up a regular presence with dental patients in order to ensure success.

Having a dental website, blog, newsletter, Google+ page and Facebook page are all important factors in keeping your dental practice in front of your dental patients.

Some dentists are still not convinced that Facebook is an effective Internet dental marketing tool.

Last week, Facebook started the process for its highly-publicized IPO. In anticipation, the online competitive intelligence service Hitwise just released their 10 Key Statistics about Facebook, comparing the Facebook audience with that of other social networks.

Here is what Hitwise found —

1. Facebook captures 1 in every 11 Internet visits in the United States.
2. 1 in every 5 page views occurs on Facebook.
3. The average visit time on Facebook is 20 minutes.
4. Facebook’s audience skews slightly more female than the online population as a whole.(Female is 57%, male is 43%).
5. The ages of Facebook visitors are indicative of the website’s strength in the marketplace, with relative parity in distribution of its visit share by age vs. the online population (Ages 18-24 is 18%, 25-34 is 23%, 34-44 is 21%, 45-54 is 19%, and 55+ is 20%).
6. Facebook wins 499,949,430 visits from the most affluent income group versus YouTube’s 223,732,591 visits and Twitter’s 15,166,795 visits.
7. Facebook became the #1 ranked website in the US on March 9, 2010.
8. “Facebook” is the most searched term in the US and Facebook-related terms account for 14% of the top search clicks.
9. Facebook users are highly loyal to the website; 96% of visitors to Facebook were returning visitors in January 2012.
10. Internationally, Facebook ranks in the top 2 websites in every market except China, where Sina Weibo, Baidu Zhidao and Renren are the dominant social networks.

Hitwise further states that “Facebook is the largest website in the US and a top performer in numerous international markets. The fan base of the site is loyal and spends a significant portion of their time online on the social network. Facebook’s influence is seen in the presidential elections, digital shopping habits and beyond.”

Last June Hitwise concluded in their Facebook Fan Acquisition and Analysis that 1 Facebook fan is equal to 20 additional visits to a business website over the course of a year. If you have 500 Facebook fans, this means an extra 10,000 visits to your dental website a year.

Hitwise wrote, “The figure of 1 fan = 20 extra visits to a website uses a unique methodology that combines Hitwise data with data from social media experts Techlightenment. We took the top 100 retailers ranked in the Hitwise Shopping and Classifieds category and bench-marked visits to those websites against the number of fans those brands had on their Facebook page. We then also looked at the propensity for people to search for those retail brands after a visit to Facebook using our Search Sequence tool.”

Here at The Wealthy Dentist we firmly believe that your dental marketing plan should include a Facebook page. With dental patients spending more time online, dentists should increasingly be looking to use Facebook as a part of their dental marketing.

Facebook fans can play a role in dental patient retention and procurement by helping to drive dental website traffic, boosting dental practice awareness, demonstrating dental treatments or acting as a customer testimonial billboard.

Survey Results: How Dentists View Dental Marketing

Dental Marketing and new patient strategyDental marketing provides dentists great opportunities to promote their dental practice.

Considering the fact that the recession has hit some dental practices hard over the past few years, implementing a smart dental marketing strategy can be more important than ever.

The Wealthy Dentist ran a survey to ask dentists what is their current attitude towards dental marketing.

40% of dentists believe dental marketing provides great opportunities to promote their practice, while 25% don’t like it, but think it’s a necessary evil. Another 25% wish they could take full advantage of marketing their practice. Only 10% feel that a good dentist shouldn’t need to market his or her practice.

Here are some dentist comments:

  • “It is hard to run a small practice and learn how to market successfully on an ongoing basis as time is short to do everything and see patients and expensive to have others do it for you.” (Nevada dentist)
  • “When new patient numbers decline, then marketing becomes a focus. By far, the best marketing tool is the sedation website.” (General dentist)
  • “I feel that internal marketing is the most effective but motivation of staff is problematic. Probably a bonus system would work.” (Ohio dentist)
  • “Budget constraints seem to be the biggest problem, but I basically believe that you get what you pay for. I would like to keep it “fresh” and rejuvenate it someway.” (General dentist)
  • “The best marketing is still, and always will be, creating satisfied patients. 90% of our new patients come from referrals by existing patients.” (Illinois dentist)
  • “This is a real conundrum, as far as an old timer dentist is concerned. We were taught to go out do the best dentistry possible without advertising, be honest, treat patients like family and don’t oversell or over-treat, and we would build a great dental practice.” (California dentist)
  • “Dental marketing lowers the esteem of the profession in the eyes of the public when our ads are right up there with the chiropractors and the pizza joints.” (General dentist)

For more on this survey see: Dental Marketing Provides Great Opportunities for Dentists

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