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Dental Marketing: Dentists See a Difference in Online Dental Patients

Dental Marketing: Dentists See a Difference in Online Dental PatientsIn The Wealthy Dentist’s weekly survey, we recently asked: Are patients who find you online any different from patients who find you via more traditional methods?

The dentists we polled were pretty split on this dental marketing issue.

34% of those polled said, “No, I don’t see a difference.

While 23% of the dentist respondents felt that online dental patients are more likely to follow through with treatment; the other 24% felt online patients are less likely to follow through with treatment.

Another 19% felt that word-of-mouth referrals by patients are the best type of dental patients to follow through with treatment.

One dentist replied, “Word-of-mouth referrals brings in the most loyal patients!

Dental Marketing: Dentists See a Difference in Online Dental Patients

Dentist certainly have different opinions about online verses traditional patients! Here are some of the comments we received on this survey:

“Referral patients have more trust from the beginning. Online patients are typically younger and not as financially able to afford treatment.” (General dentist)

“The majority of our big cases the past few years have come from the Internet.” (Minnesota dentist)

“The younger dental patient is more tech savvy and tend to believe what they read on-line. They are less critical thinking and very wed to their smart phones. They are also not big conversationalists.” (California dentist)

“They were motivated to look for a dentist. However, they also are more likely to have been regular patients elsewhere and have little work to be completed; may be prophy only.” (Texas dentist)

“The stronger the site encouraging appointments the better the lead. Most dental websites are so easy to give information, but the prospect is not ready or willing to come in.” (New York dentist)

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

“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 different than a gas station or a supermarket.” (Massachusetts dentist)

The rising popularity of researching dental care online proves that for an increasing number of dental patients, factors like online reviews and easily finding a dentist online, seeing what dentist family and friends recommend online, and getting to know the dental practice before ever stepping foot through the front door may continue to outweigh the advantages that traditional offline dental marketing has offered in the past.

What are your thoughts on traditional verses online dental patients? Do you notice a difference?

Dental Websites for New Patient Leads (Video)

Dental practice marketing with internet videoDental marketing online is all about having a website that has good visibility.  It’s hard to get new patients if they can’t find you on the internet!

So a dental practice website that generates leads has to be search engine optimized so new patients can find it.

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

“Our online visibility is good. I get a lot of patients through the internet,” said a California oral surgeon. “You can’t get complacent and must be on top of things; it’s ever-changing.”

Jim and Julie discuss the results of our survey asking dentists if they are satisfied with their dental practice’s online visibility.

In this survey, three out of 10 dentists said that it’s not easy enough for patients to find their dental websites.
Only 22% are satisfied with their internet visibility, saying it’s easy for new and current patients to find them online.

Half of the doctors in this survey said they’d like to improve their dental website search engine results placement.

It all comes down to search engines and SEO. If your dental practice website isn’t showing up on Google, you’re missing out on new patients.

“I am never satisfied. It takes constant work,” said a Missouri dental professional. “I am hopeful that I will get so busy that I can afford to delegate it. I do enjoy the game and play fairly well. If I was in a large market, though, there is no way I could handle it.”

“There are only two of us in town, so it’s easy to find me!” said a Texas dentist.

“Most prospects are willing to give their contact information but are not ready or willing to come in,” said a New York dentist. “The stronger the dental website encouraging appointments, the better the new patient lead.”

New patient leads are great – but you still need to convert the lead to an appointment.

Front desk team training makes all the difference — along with a dental marketing program that includes lead tracking and call recording, so doctors can monitor how effectively their team is converting leads to patients.

Dentists Uncertain About Internet Marketing (VIDEO)

Dental websitesWe asked dentists if their dental practice website marketing is worth its expense. Less than half (40%) of dentist respondents said yes: internet marketing generates new patients and a positive ROI.

The remaining 60% replied that they don’t believe that internet marketing has particularly helped find new patients.

Read more: Dental Website Marketing: Not for All Dentists?

Dental Practice Marketing Campaigns (video)

Dental practice marketing campaignsDentists picked direct mail as their most effective avenue for dental practice marketing. Other favorites include yellow pages advertisements, TV ads, and dental websites.

“Sixty new patients per month with the new dental sign!” said one dentist.

“A mini dental implant ad can help many people with denture problems," offered another dentist. "Oh yeah, and my campaign brought in thousands in restorative revenue."

“My radio ad with dental website support led to over 200 calls in 4 days!" boasted an Illinois dentist.

Read more about this dental patient marketing survey: Dental Marketing Campaigns

Best Dental Marketing Avenues (Dentist Survey Video)

Best dental marketing avenues dentist survey videoWhich are the best dental marketing avenues, the ones that lead to the most new patients? When it comes to dental practice management, that’s the real question.

In a recent survey, doctor-to-patient interactions ranked as the most effective form of dental marketing. Direct mail marketing and dental patient referrals were also noted as effective.

Dental websites came in at #4, followed by email marketing, social media marketing, and radio advertising. No respondents felt that Yellow Pages or local community involvement were effective sources of new dental patients.

“Patient referrals are just as valuable as my radio advertising,” commented a Washington dental marketing professional.

Jim Du Molin and Julie Frey discuss dentists’ thoughts on the best dental marketing avenues:

“I find doctor-to-patient interactions to be most effective,” said a Missouri Dentist. “I think more local community involvement would also help.”

“We are currently working on greatly increasing our internal dental marketing via patient referrals,” said an Ohio prosthodontist. “We have found direct mail marketing to be effective.”

“Since our practice is well established, we are continuing with internal marketing and excellent patient care,” offered a South Carolina Dentist.

What is your attitude about the best dental marketing?

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