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.

How to Become Recognized as THE Cosmetic Dentist: Part 5

Dr Silverman: How to Become Recognized as THE Cosmetic Dentist in Your Community Last week, I shared with you the fourth step in this series: How to Become Recognized as THE Cosmetic Dentist in Your Community Part 4: Effective Use of a Smile Analysis Form.

Now that you understand how to utilize the information gained in your Smile Analysis Form, you might be wondering, “What’s next?”

You’ve likely heard the expression, “Image is everything.” Well, this is especially true in a cosmetic-focused dental practice. What your office looks like sends a message to your patients about the type of cosmetic dentist you are.

Realistically, we all know that the office atmosphere has nothing to do with the level of clinical skills, however it’s the patients’ perception that matters the most. That perception could inevitably influence their decision of accepting cosmetic treatment.

Step 4: MOTIVATING OFFICE DÉCOR

What type of artwork, posters or other silent motivational tools relating to cosmetic dentistry do you have in your office? Are they of smiling, happy folks who project self-confidence? Do you have a few before/after posters that demonstrate dramatic smile transformations?

Even upscale offices can place effective materials that help educate and distinguish the cosmetic component of your dental practice without impacting the overall appearance of your office.

My suggestion: If you are married to your artwork and do not want to make any changes, let’s look at augmenting what you have. When you send me a few photos of your reception area in jpeg format that I previously offered (in Step 1) make sure I can see the artwork and where you may have some barren wall space.

While we do not want to have clutter, we may want to look at creating a Smile Wall that silently motivates your patients.

Below is an example how you can create your own Smile Wall if space is a premium —

create your own Smile Wall

LifeLike Veneers™ performed by Dr Harvey Silverman, Beachwood, OH

 

Another example is from Dr Mireya Ortega, a very talented dentist from Lake Tahoe, CA. Dr Ortega had me visit her office and do a Cosmetic Dentistry Boot Camp Program for her practice because she wanted to take her cosmetic practice to the next level.

After our Boot Camp Program one of the many things she did was to slightly modify her office décor. She started with one poster photographed during the hands-on training component at Boot Camp (see below) and ultimately created her own Smile Wall —

 

Dr Mireya Ortega Smile Wall

Dr. Mireya Ortega Smile Wall

 

One word of caution: Creating a Smile Wall will be most beneficial when you use these tools as a spring board to power educate your patients about how recent advances in technology can benefit them. Please review the articles I have published in Dental Products Report or in Dentistry Today if you care to learn more about how you might accomplish that goal.

In the next edition of How To Become Recognized As THE Cosmetic Dentist In Your Community Part 6:

Step 5: WHO’S YOUR SMILE CONSULTANT?

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.

Dental Marketing: Top 10 Ways to Build Dental Website Backlinks

Dental Marketing: Top 10 Ways to Build Dental Website BacklinksLink building should still be an important part of your Internet dental marketing efforts.

Links to your dental website from other trusted websites is still one of the most underutilized SEO tools by dentists in their dental marketing plan. Adding just 5 to ten additional incoming links to your practice website can usually boost your search engine ranking by several pages.

The fastest way for a dentist to acquire links to a dental website is to ask for them.

But how do you get started?  Where do you look for links?  How do you acquire them?

To answer these questions and help you out, The Wealthy Dentist has put together the following–

 Top 10 Ways to Build Dental Website Backlinks

1.  Look to your dentist referral partnerships first.

Do you refer dental patients to a local orthodontist?  A periodontist?  A local oral surgeon? Dentists should start with what is considered low-hanging fruit when it comes to link sharing and link building.  Doctors in your referral network are a great place to start your link building campaign.  Links between similar businesses are some of the strongest links a dental practice can obtain to help with its SEO efforts.

2.  Look to your dental supplies and equipment companies next.

The easiest way to get a link back from a dental supply or equipment company is offer up a website testimonial with a link back to your website instead of listing your city.  It never hurts to ask, especially if you are a valued customer.

3.  Make sure your website is listed on the websites of any local organizations to which you belong.

Is your website listed with your local Chamber of Commerce website?  The Better Business Bureau?  Is your dental website listed with the Rotary club where you are a member?  Professional dental organizations not only can grow your professional network, but also can be a great source for link building to your dental website.

4. Dental patients, family and friends professional websites.

Do you have valued patients who have their own business websites who might link to you as “the best dentist in town?”  Do you have family and friends who have professional websites that would be willing to add a link back to your dental website?

5.  Establish your own presence on 3rd party review websites.

Business review websites like Yelp or DR. Oogle typically have their own community built around them. Ask your favorite dental patients to review your dental practice at these communities when they tell you how happy they are with a certain dental treatment you have just performed. See if you can’t build you own dental patient community around one of these 3rd party review websites.

6. Every social media website available to you.

Social media websites are valuable for SEO because of their sheer size and power. They are typically trusted by search engines and fairly easy to join. When dentists think social media has no real value, they are often forgetting about their link building capability. These sites don’t take long to join and all offer the ability to link back to your website in your profile. Think Facebook, Twitter, YouTube (you could just offer a few of your favorite YouTube videos if you don’t have dental practice videos of your own), Foursquare, Google Places, Pinterest, and Ning to name a few. Make sure to include your dental practice in as many dental directories as possible.

7. Press releases about you and your dental practice.

Press releases are an easy way to build links back to your dental practice website. Not to mention the fact that press releases are often picked up by local, regional and national news websites. There’s prnewswire.com, prweb.com, www.prlog.org, free-press-release.com, pr.com, I-newswire.com, PRBuzz.com, and more — just Google ‘press release distribution’ to see a full list of websites offering press release distribution services.

8. Create fun, comical or entertaining content.

Have you always fancied yourself as an artist with a sense of fun? Can you draw a fun dental cartoon? Can you create fun names for teeth so that people can remember which ones are located where in their mouth? Think about creating something fun that people want to share. An example of this is The Wealthy Dentist’s Dental Marketing: Social Media For Dentists Explained image where social media for dentists was explained in a light-hearted way.  Creating a resource page is another way to obtain links back to your dental website.  Your local city culture offers many resource page ideas like ‘inexpensive places to entertain children over the summer’ or ‘local clean bathrooms for public use’ (every mother who has children will love you for this list).  Even a list of all the local parks that allow dogs can be something your dental patients will want to share.

9.  Sponsor a local event.

Often local events have their own event websites that stay up long after the event has ended.  Think about your local little league or soccer leagues.  Being an event sponsor not only offers you involvement in your dental patient community but a chance to be featured on their websites.

10.   Writing guest articles for online publications.

Most blogs and online publications are always looking for experts in various fields to provide articles.  Get to know the local journalists in your community and introduce yourself as a go-to specialist on dental-related subjects.  Is there a popular blog in your niche where you can offer an expert opinion on teeth whitening, the latest in dental implants, or the proper way to brush your teeth to prevent cavities? There are many top mom bloggers who would love to share advice from dentists along with their regular blog articles.  Just make sure your guest articles always include a link back to your dental website.

Some of these top 10 link building techniques will work better for your dental practice than others.  It’s all about thinking outside the box when it comes to obtaining links back to your dental website. It is one of the most effective dental marketing tools you will ever spend time on.

What link building techniques have worked well for your dental practice website?

Dental Marketing with Facebook

Dental Marketing with FacebookDoes your dental practice have a Facebook Page?

If so, are you leveraging your dental practice Facebook Page to attract more new dental patients?

If not, maybe now is the time to consider it as a part of your overall dental marketing plan.

With the Facebook IPO launch last Friday, Experian Hitwise, the company that measures traffic and activity by people on the Internet, released their updated U.S. data showing the impact Facebook has online with its growth over the years.

Here are 15 stats from the May 18th IPO:

  1. Facebook.com received 9% of all U.S. Internet visits in April 2012.
  2. Facebook.com received more than 1.6 billion visits a week and averaged more than 229 million U.S. visits a day for the year-to-date.
  3. 1 in every 5 page views in the U.S. occurred on Facebook.com.
  4. Facebook.com has received more than 400 billion page views this year in the U.S.
  5. The average visit time on Facebook.com is 20 minutes.
  6. The Facebook.com audience skews more female (56%) than male.
  7. Facebook.com became the #1 ranked website in the U.S. on March 9, 2010.
  8. The term ‘Facebook’ is the most searched term in the U.S. and has been for the past three years, starting the week ending July 18, 2009.
  9. Facebook-related terms account for 6% of the top searched terms in the U.S. and Facebook-related terms made up 4 of the top 10 U.S. searches (among the top 100 search terms for the 4 weeks ending May 12, 2012).
  10. Facebook.com users are highly loyal to the website; 96% of visitors to Facebook.com were returning (defined as visited within past 30 days) visitors in April 2012.
  11. 10 states account for 52% of visits to Facebook.com – California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Georgia, North Carolina based on year-to-date average.
  12. The top states where users are more likely to visit Facebook.com versus the online population are: West Virginia, Kentucky, Maine, Vermont, Arkansas, Iowa, Indiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Alabama based on year-to-date average.
  13. The New York City DMA provides the largest volume of traffic to Facebook.com and the Charleston, WV DMA is the area where users are most likely to visit compared to the online population.
  14. Facebook.com is the top social networking site in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Brazil, France, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Singapore markets.
  15. Facebook.com is the top overall site in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore. Facebook.com ranks 2nd in the U.K., Brazil, France, and Australia.

Facebook Pages have proved to be more successful for many brands over Facebook advertising.  For this reason, just before the Facebook  IPO offering GM pulled out of their Facebook ad campaign.

Facebook Pages appear to be more successful at engaging dental patients than paying for a Facebook ad. This is most likely because Facebook Pages feel more personal to the general public than Facebook ads.Facebook Dental Marketing

The Internet Dental Alliance  has been helping dentists maximize their Facebook presence for years. IDA dental websites are more than just Facebook compatible – they’re designed to look great and attract patients within your Facebook profile.

Stop by the Facebook Marketing for Your Dental Practice Page on the IDA website today.

To view the Hitwise stats see: 15 Stats About Facebook

Dental Marketing Gone Bad: Dentist Threatens Lawsuit for Negative Review

Dental Marketing Gone Bad: Dentist Threatens Lawsuit for Negative ReviewThe most costly dental marketing mistake could be threatening to sue your dental patients.  And once again, a dentist is making front-page news with her challenge against a negative dental review on Yelp.

ABC News is reporting that Stacy Makhnevich, DDS, threatened to sue dental patient Robert Allen Lee for posting critical comments about Dr. Makhnevich on Yelp and DoctorBase.

According to ABC News the problem began in 2010, when Robert Lee went into Dr. Makhnevich’s office for a scheduled dentist’s appointment. Lee claims he was in excruciating pain when he was told he had to sign a Mutual Agreement to Maintain Privacy form, before being treated. The privacy form required that Lee agree not to publish any commentary or write anything disparaging about his experience online.

Lee further states that although he was hesitant to sign this form, he was desperate to receive treatment and gave in to agreeing to sign the form.

Lee became unhappy when there was a mishap with billing his insurance company and he couldn’t get Dr. Makhnevich’s office to rectify the situation to his satisfaction, Lee wrote negative reviews about Dr. Makhnevich and her practice on Yelp and DoctorBase.

Both ABC News and Public Citizen are reporting that Makhnevich sent a letter to Lee demanding that he delete the negative posts, warning him that he violated the agreement he signed and threatened to sue him for breach of contract. Dr. Makhnevich also contacted the review sites and asked for Lee’s negative comments to be removed.

Both Yelp.com and DoctorBase refused to take down the negative reviews, but Makhneich reportedly claimed that a copyright clause gave her ownership of the negative comments. She then went on to send Lee an invoice for $100 for each day the negative remarks remained online.

Lee has now taken legal action against the doctor by filing a lawsuit in the US District Court of the Southern District of New York, accusing Stacy Makhnevich, DDS, of violating his rights as a patient by threatening him with a lawsuit for posting negative comments online.

As we have reported here on The Wealthy Dentist in the past, dentists have not been successful in court when suing patients directly for their negative online reviews. Recently in California a dentist who sued a patient now has to pay $80,000 in legal fees, not just to the patient who posted the review, but also to Yelp itself.

In the article, Dental Marketing: A Guide for Avoiding Negative Online Reviews, The Wealthy Dentist has offered dentists advice on how to handle a negative online review — and threatening to sue the patient was not listed as a viable dental marketing option.

What are your thoughts on negative online reviews and the sites that allow them?

For more on this story see: Dentist Threatens to Sue Patient for Negative Yelp Review and Doc Sued Over Attempts to Prohibit Patients From Writing Online Reviews.

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