How can a group dental practice ensure each location performs well against the competition in each market? The goal is the same across the board—to keep patient volume healthy. But each location will have different needs specific to its location.
Here are a few DSO marketing best practices to reach new and returning patients and keep your appointment books hot all year round across locations.
1. Light it up: Fine tune your search strategy
Few aspects of marketing change faster than search. Traditional marketing methods—direct mail, display advertising, youth sports sponsorships—still work for raising awareness. But when it comes to getting new patients who are looking for a new practice, search is king.
Everyone relies on the internet when hunting for health or medical information. According to the latest figures available on Google Trends, the popularity of the search term “dentist near me” has been on the rise since December 2020 across all 50 states. Other recent popular searches related to dentists include:
- “Dentist near me that takes Medicaid” – up by 300%
- “Best dentist near me” – up by 140%
- Emergency dental near me – up by 90%
Making it easy for patients to find you and schedule an appointment sets the tone for the overall patient experience. Can your group’s multiple locations and primary services be found on the first page of search results? Are your dental offices listed on Google Maps and relevant directories like American Dental Association (ADA), Dentist Directory, and Dentists.com? Have you enabled features like click-to-call? These steps are critical to attracting new patients.
Consumers increasingly are starting their search with voice assistants, such as Alexa and Siri. Local SEO strategies need to cater to them. According to PWC, up to 71% of consumers prefer using a voice assistant to search online rather than physically typing a query into a search engine. Google backs this up, citing that 20% of web searches are voice searches.
To get ahead of this trend, build your SEO strategy around how people talk and ask questions. They tend to ask conversational “who, why, what, and where” questions (“Where is the highest rated dentist in East Beverly?”) vs. typing “top dentist in East Beverly.” The simplest way to do this and increase your ranking in search engine results pages is by building Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) pages that focus on these long-tail queries in question form.
2. Fan the flames: Put your patient database to work and launch data-driven, targeted campaigns
Your practice collect a lot of patient data, but are you putting it to good use? Leverage your patient database to tailor your communication according to your patient’s location, treatment history, demographics and other specifics you want to target. Your patients are more likely to engage with your practices if the outreach is relevant and personal.
With segmentation, you can:
- Create hyper-targeted messaging based on perio status, insurance codes, charts, and more.
- Drive new appointments based on procedure or service.
- Target patients with pre-med requirements to ensure they are prepared for pre-appointment needs and requirements.
- Automate your recall and reactivation campaigns.
- Follow up on treatments or appointment cancellations.
Segmentation makes it possible to launch a successful group-wide campaign. A good example is Familia Dental’s Memorial Day drip campaign for 33 of the group’s 42 practices. Targeting patients who hadn’t scheduled an appointment in the last 12 months, the group generated $100,000 in revenue off that single campaign.
3. Turn up the heat: Fill gaps in your schedule with an ASAP list
Missed appointments, last-minute cancellations, and no-shows are frustrating realities for any dental practice. But if you’re prepared, cancellations can be an opportunity to delight a patient who would like to get in earlier. You should have an ASAP list handy to accommodate the patients who’ve requested to be seen as soon as possible.
An ASAP list comprises patients who have appointments on the book but are keen to get in sooner. You can easily contact them via email or text message to let them know a slot has opened. Many practice management systems have this feature, so you’re losing out if you’re not already taking advantage of it. For Eaglesoft users, this list includes anyone with a future scheduled appointment where the appointment has a box ticked for “sooner if possible.” For Dentrix users, this includes any patients who are on the “ASAP List”.
RevenueWell allows you to quickly pull these patients from your PMS and send a quick phone call or text message with just a few clicks.
4. Blaze a trail: Solicit reviews from happy patients by emailing or texting them
Word-of-mouth remains the strongest marketing tool for dental practices and should always be part of the overall strategy. Online reviews are a credible, convenient way for your patients to recommend your practices.
As a DSO, managing multiple locations means managing several review platforms for each location. Google My Business, Facebook, and Yelp are the main channels for online reviews. Make sure all your properties on Google My Business have been claimed and enhanced with accurate business details. We also recommend that each office location has its own Facebook page.
Healthgrades is another great platform, but unlike the others, it focuses on the doctors and not the practice.
You can keep a steady stream of online patient reviews by doing the following:
- Establish a standard operating procedure for staff to request positive reviews, especially when you know the patient is happy. Send an email inviting them to submit a review.
- Make it easy for patients to review with links on your website
- Put a process in place to respond to positive and negative reviews. Thank your patients for their thoughts and publicly rectify any poor experience that is shared. Patients with negative reviews might be inspired to change the complaint to praise.
Automating your review collection is one of the best ways to increase reviews and establish consistency and repeatability.
Once you’ve locked down a solid cadence for collecting reviews, the next step is to manage those reviews. The worst isn’t a bad review—it’s a bad review that you don’t respond to in a timely manner. Staying on top of all reviews across your practices can be a full-time job in itself. Learn more about how RevenueWell can automate review monitoring and collection so you can focus on the big picture while maintaining an A+ online rep.
5. Hot stuff: Texting remains the most efficient way to engage with patients
Where emails may not be effective, you can count on text messages to get through to your patients. Most patients are used to receiving text messages from businesses and usually prefer it.
Your patients are busy people with a lot going on. Receiving quick texts with information that can help them tackle their to-do lists is the key to keeping them happy.
Imagine sending your patient a quick text when you get a cancellation: “We have an opening for next Wednesday, can you make it?”
They’ll quickly check their calendar, respond, and get on with their day. That’s a win for them and you.
Keen on exploring more ways to spice things up and drive more patients to your practices? Do you also love hot wings?
We’re bringing the two together in one spicy webinar! Join RevenueWell’s DSO marketing experts, Sam Aponte and Melissa Petrucci, on February 25, at 12:00 p.m. ET as they walk (or chew) through the hottest wings and marketing playbooks for DSOs. We’ll reveal sizzling smart moves to consistently keep your dental chairs full. Register to attend today!
🔥🔥🔥To get the full heat effect, you’ll receive a
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Founded in 2010, RevenueWell enables dental practices to manage patient engagement, patient relationships, online practice reputation, and appointment reminders. The company also offers desktop two-way texting, VoIP phones, electronic patient intake forms, and an enterprise management dashboard that allows group practices and dental service organizations to manage their portfolios. RevenueWell’s product suite and integration with the leading practice management software providers help reduce manual labor by automating and facilitating patient contact and patient interactions, which lead to strong ROI for its dental office customers. The company is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. For more information, please visit http://www.RevenueWell.com.
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