Dental Marketing: $151,200 with Google Offers and Groupon

This is the final article in our dental marketing series on Internet dental coupon marketing.  Today we boil it all down to just how profitable this new dental marketing vector can be.

First, let’s start with a quick review of the offer and the results:

1. The basic offer — $59 for a $421 dental package.
2. That’s an 85% savings to consumers who buy within the allotted time.
3. The purchase window was 23 hours.
4. The number of offers (dental packages) available was 300.
5. The number of packages sold was 51 — or 17% of the available offers.
6. Total dollars grossed in the test was $3,009, which was split evenly — $1,504 each for Mt. Tabor Dental and Google.

(Click here to view the full ad)

What’s important to note in the results above are that 51 packages were sold for a gross income to Mt. Tabor Dental of $1,504. On the surface, this tells us that the practice now has about $29.50 available to service each of 51 new patients.

However, what most people don’t realize is the concept of “Breakage.

Not all the coupons will be redeemed with the allotted time period. The reality is that people forget to use their coupons, and breakage can run from 30% to 50%. Meanwhile the practice is using the cash immediately. (This is the same game that American Express has been playing with Traveler’s Checks for the last 60 years.)

I think we can safely assume a 30% breakage rate. This turns our 51 packages purchased to just 36, giving $41.77 to cover the service cost of each patient. Now most of you are now trying to calculate how much money you are going to lose on each of these new patients when you only have $41.77 to deliver an exam, X-rays and a bite-and-boil home tooth whitening kit.

Don’t bother!

The reality is that Mt. Tabor Dental has now identified 51 potential new patients who are willing to pay $59 each.

The average new patient in the US is worth about $975 in gross production in the first nine months of treatment. Take out delivery cost of 10%, 4% collections loss and 9% universal expenses (cotton balls) and your net marginal profit is about $750. Knock off another $50 to cover any additional initial delivery costs and you end up with $700 per patient in your pocket.

Assuming a 30% breakage loss on coupon utilization, you net 36 new patients at $700 net each for a total of $25,200. For those real pessimists in the crowd who will say that half of those bottom-feeding coupon patients won’t accept your treatment plan and stay for at least nine months, well ok, you just made $12,600.

Now do you see any good reason why you wouldn’t run this or a similar Internet coupon ad with Google or Groupon every month for the next year?

Think about a possible $151,200 net to your bottom line over the next 21 months…

Dental Insurance and Obama Care: Who’s Right?

Dental Insurance and Obama CareThe National Journal is reporting that the National Association of Dental Plans is spending more than $1 million on a campaign to change a provision in the health care law that they feel will require some people to buy duplicate dental insurance coverage.

Let me repeat…The dental benefits trade organization is spending $1,000,0000 to hire a lobbying firm to convince the Obama administration to fix the provision by the end of 2011.

Is this a good thing? Click here for a 92-page white paper “Road Map” with Delta Dental as a co-sponsor.

The NADP is concerned that, starting in 2014, the almost 44 million people who receive pediatric dental coverage through small business employers will also have to buy coverage through the new health insurance exchanges. It is asking regulators to clarify that their existing coverage meets the law’s requirements.

“Truthfully, this is the No. 1 issue for our industry,” said NADP executive director Evelyn Ireland. “It is the most crucial thing for us to get done.”

NADP wants to ensure that people will be allowed to keep their existing dental insurance coverage under the new health care, a promise President Obama repeatedly made during the heath insurance reform debate.

For a multitude of reasons I have never been a big fan of Delta Dental. However, after reviewing the 92-page white paper I think there may be some merit to this $1,000,000 argument.

Before, I make up my mind, I would like some pro or con feedback from our readers.

Please post your comments below.

How to Become Recognized as THE Cosmetic Dentist Part 2

Dr  Harvey Silverman How many times have you heard a patient say, “Let me go home and think about it” or perhaps, “Let me talk to my husband (or wife) about it” after a cosmetic consultation? There are many excuses, or even hidden objections, causing patients to “hold-off” on proposed cosmetic dentistry.

The bottom line though is that this does not have to be the case. I know that from teaching dentists how to step up the cosmetic component of their practice for over 25 years.

So what is the best approach and how long does it take to expand the cosmetic component in your practice? At the Silverman Institute of Cosmetic Dentistry we found that no matter where you practice the good news is that it does not take months to take your cosmetic dentistry practice to the next level.

It can happen in one day if you are willing to make a commitment to distinguishing the cosmetic component in your practice.

Even in today’s economy patients want to have a self-confident smile and to look/feel their best. In order to achieve this cosmetic expert status, you need to cultivate outstanding clinical skills. The good news is that it is easier to do that today than ever before with non-invasive/minimally invasive veneers.

See Figure 1 and 2 below. Simultaneously we must look at our work environment. You might as well do that today since your patients are doing that when they enter your dental practice every day.

Figure 1: This patient is undergoing the final phase of Invisalign treatment

Figure 1:

This patient is undergoing the final phase of Invisalign treatment by another dentist.  He is interested in knowing what can be done to enhance the final esthetics of his case.

Figure 2: After doing a custom-designed 60 Second Smile Trial directly on tooth #7

Figure 2:

After doing a custom-designed 60 Second Smile Trial directly on tooth #7, the patient can see exactly what the final outcome of the case will look like.  The patient is also considering tooth whitening prior to doing the in-office LifeLike Veneer™.

Step 1: Creating Self-awareness Through a Self-evaluation of Your Practice

Here’s a simple suggestion on how you can accomplish that. Walk out of the office for a moment. Okay now come back in and look around. What do you notice? Does anything you see in your reception area jump out at you?

Write down some notes on a piece of paper.

After doing that let’s step out of the office again – and come back in. Now this time I want you to look around the office with a different perspective, as if you are a patient. What does your office say about you as a cosmetic dentist? Is there anything in the reception area that informs, educates and motivates patients to learn how recent advances in cosmetic dentistry can enhance their smile? What silently provides your patients with increased confidence in your cosmetic dentistry skills?

Is there anything that you see that helps distinguish you as a skilled, talented cosmetic dentist?

I can go on and on but I think you get where I am going.

This exercise is something I have dentists do during our cosmetic dentistry Boot Camp program. The result is that the dentist and the entire team learn to think about the unspoken message your office is sending to your patients. This may seem obvious enough but when was the last time you sat down in your reception area and looked around – seeing the office from the eyes of a patient? When you do this you and your team will learn what needs to be done to build cosmetic awareness.

So what should your practice look like?

If you snap a few photos of your reception area (no more than 5) and send them in jpg format to my email address at incrediblesmiles@aol.com, I will be happy to review them and provide you with a few complimentary suggestions on simple changes you might want to make.

This is a very important first step for you if you want to take your cosmetic practice to the next level and I’d like to help you accomplish that goal.

In the next edition of How To Become Recognized As THE Cosmetic Dentist In Your Community:

Step 2. SCRAP THE TABLOIDS, SHARE SOME SMILES

About the author:

Dr  Harvey Silverman Dr. Harvey Silverman has successfully coached dentists on how to take their cosmetic dentistry practice to the next level since 1984. If you want information on how the Silverman Institute’s Cosmetic Dentistry Boot Camp Program can take your cosmetic practice to the next level, contact Dr Silverman at (216) 256-4599 or e-mail him at incrediblesmiles@aol.com.

Dr Silverman is the author of Best Cosmetic Dentistry Practices in Dental Products Report as well as Silverman On Smiles in Dentistry Today and is the inventor of the LifeLike Veneer System™ and the EasySmile Tooth Whitening System™ that will be available to dentists in 2012.

Right or Wrong: San Jose California About to Fluoridate Drinking Water

Right or Wrong: San Jose California About To Fluoridate Drinking WaterThe largest city in U.S. without fluoride, San Jose, is about to add fluoride to their drinking water. The Santa Clara Valley Water District voted on November 15th to support fluoridation to most of the county.

The San Jose Mercury News is reporting that it will be at least a year before the water district can secure funding to add fluoride to the water. The fluoridation project is expected to cost anywhere from $4.4 million to $9.5 million, with annual operating expenses at $836,000.

A 1995 law prohibits water companies from passing fluoridation costs on to rate payers. So both the water district and San Jose Water Company must seek outside methods of providing the capital needed to build the infrastructure necessary to fluoridate the water.

Residents who are against the fluoridation project site fears of dental fluorosis, lowered IQ and raised cancer risks. But the National Cancer Institute supports a February 1991 Public Health Service report, where the agency found no evidence of an association between fluoride and cancer in humans. The report, based on a review of more than 50 human epidemiological (population) studies produced over the past 40 years, concluded that optimal fluoridation of drinking water “does not pose a detectable cancer risk to humans” as evidenced by extensive human epidemiological data reported to date.

Dentist Donald Lyman, of the California Department of Public Health tells The Washington Post, “When you fluoridate the water, childhood tooth decay drops 40 percent and among the elderly, tooth loss and decay drops 70 percent.”

The American Dental Association continues to endorse fluoridation of community water supplies as safe and effective for preventing tooth decay. This support has been the Association’s position since policy was first adopted in 1950. The ADA’s policies regarding community water fluoridation are based on the overwhelming weight of peer-reviewed, credible scientific evidence. The ADA, along with state and local dental societies, continues to work with federal, state and local agencies to increase the number of communities benefiting from water fluoridation. (From the ADA website)

New York City cosmetic dentist and Huffington Post contributor, Thomas P. Connelly, D.D.S. writes, In my years of being a dentist, I’ve found enough to make me feel that fluoride in the water just isn’t worth it. Even if some research is scoffed at, the question itself is enough to make me pause. Especially because I do feel we have enough education on oral health that everyone should be brushing their teeth. And trust me, if you are brushing like you should be (and your dentist is using a topical treatment every so often), then I feel you don’t need fluoride in your water. I’m not a fan of inserting a chemical into our water that most of us simply don’t need to help the few that won’t help themselves.”

What are your thoughts on the use of fluoridation in public water supplies? Leave us a comment or take our most recent survey on fluoridation here.

For more information see: Santa Clara Valley Water District Approves Adding Fluoride to Water in Spite of Objections.

Internet Dental Marketing: How Google Search Plus Your World Works (video)

Internet Dental Marketing: How Google Search Plus Your World Works (video)Are you curious how the changes to Google search will impact your Internet dental marketing?

Search Plus Your World is what Google is calling their personal search algorithm intended for the users of Google Plus.

When a Google Plus user is signed into Google, their search results will be very different from searches done outside of Google Plus. Search Plus Your World will include photos, blog posts, and recommendations from the user and their friends.

They will see the personal results and the profiles of people they know (or follow) on Google Plus included in their search results. They will also be able to expand their Google circles by discovering people and brands related to their search —  Google will be offering these recommendations to them too.

If the idea of Search Plus Your World has you a little confused, Google has provided the following video, which shows how Google intends personal search to look for the Google Plus user —

These changes to Google search mean that individuals will play an ever-growing part in search results from Google.

Dentists can help their Internet dental marketing efforts by creating and sharing dentistry-related content as always, but with a new attention directed at Google Plus. Maximize impact by educating your dental patients on who you are and how you can help.

What are your initial thoughts about Google’s Search Plus Your World, and how is your dental practice using Google Plus?

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