Dental Marketing ROI: New Patient Acquisition Cost vs. Profit (Video)

Dental practice marketing with internet videoDental marketing comes down to one question: How much are you willing to pay for new patient acquisition?

You can figure out your return on investment(ROI) when you compare the average dental marketing cost of getting one new patient to the average profit you make from that new patient.

We wanted to know if dentists factor ROI into their dental marketing plans, so we conducted a survey asking dentists how much they would be willing to pay to acquire one new dental patient.

Jim Du Molin and Julie Frey discuss typical dental patient acquisition costs and their return on investment:

“Our actual cost through our marketing efforts works out to be $100-150 per new patient,” said a Pennsylvania dentist.

My projected value per patient is $2,300, so paying a few hundred dollars to get them in my door is a no-brainer,” said a Texas dentist.

“I’d be willing to pay up to $300 a patient, and I would pay more for veneers or implant patients,” said a New Jersey dentist.

Half of dentists responding to this survey are willing to pay $150 or more for each new patient.

That’s not surprising. The Wealthy Dentist has calculated that the average value of a new patient at a typical dental practice is about $1,400 over the first nine months.

However, it is surprising to find that 30% of dentists aren’t willing to pay more than $50 per new patient, when there is clearly still plenty of room for profit at higher new patient acquisition costs.

It’s important to make this point clear:
You can face legal trouble if you’re paying for a van full of new Medicaid patients to be delivered to your door. However, when you do dental marketing, you’re not paying for new patients per se – you’re paying for new patient leads.

And there are no legal problems with paying for new patient lead generation. The dental marketing company isn’t enrolling a patient at your practice; they’re just putting you in touch with a potential new patient who’s expressed interest in dentistry. Not only is there nothing wrong with that – it’s actually a great idea.

Do you factor the cost of new patient acquisition and ROI into your marketing plan?

Dentists Comment on Economic Outlook (Video)

Dental practice marketing with internet videoThe recession hit most Americans pretty hard – and dentists are no exception.

Reduced consumer spending was financially challenging for lots of dental practices.

Finally, the economy seems to be improving.

But not every dentist is convinced that we’ve recovered yet.

“The recession is over for everything but large cosmetic dentistry cases,” said an Illinois dentist.

“I’ve had patients put off fillings, crowns and routine cleanings, examinations, and radiographs because they had to pay their mortgage, car payment and utility bills instead,” said another Illinois dentist.

We conducted a survey asking dentists if they feel like the recession is over at their dental practices.

Jim Du Molin and Julie Frey discuss what dentists think about the economic outlook:

For 56% of dentists in this survey, conducted in 2012, the recession is still going strong. But it’s getting better – when we asked the same question in 2010, 78% thought the recession was still in full swing.

Dentists are particularly aware of consumer spending patterns.

“I’m seeing an improvement in the number of new patients, but they’re still not buying big cases for the most part,” said a Nevada dentist.

“My practice is doing well, but what about my real estate and the cost of gas? I appreciate the practice situation, but it’s only part of the puzzle,” said a California dentist.

“It won’t be over for at least another 5-10 years. It seems like since the recession the rules of etiquette and professionalism are out the door. Dentists bad-mouth other doctors in the same town much more than they used to before the recession,” said a general dentist.

“We didn’t go through a downturn because we quickly assumed that a ‘New Normal’ was in place and adapted to it. This meant becoming even more patient-centered in terms of economics, i.e., being insurance friendly, doing treatment in phases, offering many financial options, doing build-ups instead of crowns. The office philosophy became ‘keep ‘em in the practice’ in 2009, and it stays that way today,” said a New York dentist.

In a tough economy, that’s a great philosophy to have.

The best way to be successful is to adapt to your circumstances.

Are Dental Website Patients Better…or Worse? (Video)

Dental practice management: financial arrangements coordinatorOnline dental marketing can attract new patients to a dentist’s office.

Internet patients sometimes have a different profile from other new patients.

“The majority of our big cases the past few years have come from the internet,” said a Minnesota dentist.

“Referral patients have more trust from the beginning. Online patients are typically younger and not as financially able to afford treatment,” said a general dentist.

We conducted a survey asking dentists about dental website patients: Are patients who find a dentist online different from patients who come in via more traditional methods?

Jim Du Molin and Julie Frey talk about this survey about patients acquired via online dental marketing:

One third of dentists responding to this survey said they don’t see a difference.

However…half of those doctors feel that online dental patients are more likely to follow through with treatments, while the other half think online patients are less likely to follow through with treatment.

One in five dentists said that word-of-mouth referrals from current patients are the best type of dental patients to follow through with treatment.

Overall, the results suggest that patients are pretty similar, regardless of the dental marketing methods that were used to acquire them.

Online patients are generally young, looking for the best price and not dentally educated. Anyone who chooses a dentist based upon online reviews sees dentistry no differently than a gas station or a supermarket,” said a Massachusetts dentist.

Online patients have done their research and know a lot about our office before becoming patients. They are certainly more likely to follow through with recommended treatment,” said an Ohio prosthodontist.

“For me, a cold online lead is not unlike a patient who drove by and saw my sign. They are a tougher sell then a true internal referral. A Facebook referral can be close to an internal referral when referred by an existing patient,” said a Georgia dentist.

Dental website patients ask more questions, are younger and more tech savvy, tend to believe what they read online, are less critical in their thinking, and are so wed to their smart phones that they’re not big conversationalists,” said a California dentist.

Online dental marketing doesn’t have to replace traditional marketing avenues like direct mail and internal marketing.

Dental websites are an additional way to capture more new patient leads.

Internet Dental Marketing With Google Plus (Video)

Dental practice marketing with Google PlusSocial media is here to stay. But it’s not entirely clear yet whether Google Plus is useful for internet dental marketing.

“I signed up but haven’t done anything further with it,” said a Michigan dental office worker.

“What is Google Plus?” asked a Georgia dentist.

We conducted a survey asking dentists if they use Google Plus.

Jim Du Molin and Julie Frey discuss what dentist are saying about using Google Plus for their online dental marketing:

In our survey, 36% of dentists said they have Google Plus profiles, but 48% do not. The remaining 16% are planning on using Google Plus at some point in the near future.

A previous Wealthy Dentist survey found that nine out of ten dentists are on Facebook.

Google might be the world’s biggest search engine, but their social media domination is not yet complete — at least not when compared with Facebook.

I like Google Plus myself, but I’m a tech guy who’s fascinated by search engine optimization. I can understand why some dentists might be hesitant” said Jim Du Molin, a former dental marketing consultant and Chief Editor of

“I haven’t done a thing with Google Plus since I got on,” said a Connecticut orthodontist.

“I am on Google Plus. It doesn’t seem to have any impact as of yet, though. Not as many people are using it as Facebook,” said an Oregon dentist.

I don’t trust Google! Their products are useful. However, I think the computer geeks are disabling security systems, as well as collecting and selling way more personal information than they want us to know,” said a New Mexico dentist.

Could Google Plus interfere with your ability to monitor your own website results?” asked a general dentist.

Google offers so many services that it can get confusing. Google Plus is for social networking, while Google Webmaster Tools let you monitor your website traffic.

Using one set of Google tools won’t interfere with using another set. In fact, Google has so many useful web tools, that you just might find yourself using more of them!

Dentist Work Week: Dental Management Survey Video

Dentist work week survey videoThe typical dentist work week includes a lot of hours, with doctors working both as dental care practitioners and in dental practice management.

According to the American Dental Association, most dentists work a four day work week. While half of the dentists in this survey said they work four days a week at their dental practice, one in three works five or more days a week.

Jim Du Molin and Julie Frey discuss the typical dentist work week in this video.

“I now find it necessary to work on Fridays at another clinic,” said a Texas dentist. “My own practice has slowly declined in production since 2008.”

A North Carolina oral surgeon said, “I try to be more flexible with my office hours to accommodate patients’ work schedules.”

“I’ve been working more hours, partly because of economy, and partly due to decreases in contractual reimbursements from Delta Dental,” complained a Washington dentist. “We have had no fee increases from Delta in past three years, and they reduced our dental insurance reimbursements 15%. If you consider that overhead is probably around 70%, this 15% decrease represents about a 35% decrease in my net income from my practice.”

What is your standard dentist work week? Has the economy changed how much you work?


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