7 Marketing Metrics You Should Be Measuring

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Are you looking for a way to boost your new patient flow and make your marketing dollars go further? Do something that most practice owners don’t: make your decisions based on measurable data.

Right now, you’re probably doing what we could call “spaghetti marketing,” or throwing money at the wall and hoping that something sticks. A Google Adwords campaign, plus a sprinkle of social media, maybe mix things up with an email newsletter every other month or so.

If so, you’re almost certainly not getting the results you need to really grow your practice. This is because successful marketing is about more than just reaching into a grab bag of promotional tools. To move forward, you need a clear understanding of where and how to deploy different techniques to reach your target audience and convert them into new patients.

Collecting data can give you that clarity and unlock sustainable, predictable growth. But it’s easy to get lost in the weeds, measuring things like cost-per-click, page views, or ad impressions — none of which have a direct relationship with the number of new patients walking through your door.

Effective marketing is all about focusing on the data that does matter. To get started, get familiar with these seven key metrics.

Seven Essential Marketing Numbers to Measure

  1. Cost-per-Opportunity (CPO)

How much are you spending to get someone to contact your practice looking for an appointment? This doesn’t mean just a visit to your website, but a real, live person calling your front desk, sending you an email, or messaging you via chat.

If you don’t know your CPO, then the rest of your marketing is just guesswork. For a general or family dental practice, aim for a CPO of under $120.

  1. Cost-per-Acquisition (CPA)

Having someone to contact your practice is a moral victory, but getting them in the chair is what actually counts. CPA measures the total cost of bringing each new patient through your doors, including CPO plus the cost of converting that opportunity into an appointment.

Ideally, your CPA will be between $150 to $200 for general or family practices. Think of this number as a KPI for operations: the lower it goes, the better your operations are performing.

  1. Marketing Recare Rate

New patients are great, but do you know what’s even better? Convincing them to keep coming back for regular follow-up appointments. Aim for above a 75 percent marketing recare rate to produce a lasting boost to your long-term revenue.

The key distinction here is the word marketing. Most offices track their overall recare numbers, but almost no one has clear data on their recare rate specifically from marketing patients. If you want to grow, you need to know the latter, because only marketing patients are scalable.

  1. Average Time to Appointment

Here’s something you may not know: most dental practices make new patients wait well over a week between setting an appointment and showing up in person. If you can offer an appointment in around 2-3 business days, then you’ve got a huge advantage over the competition. If you’re too slow at getting new patients in the door, though, your CPA will go up dramatically.

  1. Marketing Phone Conversion Rate

When your marketing funnel works right, you should have prospective new patients regularly calling your office. Your front office team should aim to convert at least 80 percent of these callers to new patient appointments. If you’re falling below that rate, then there’s room for improvement.

  1. Marketing No-Show Rate

Sometimes, a patient just doesn’t show. While it happens to the best of us (the industry average is 25 percent), you can do better. Aim for a no-show rate of below 10 percent and if you’re missing that mark, take note. You may need to start sending reminders via calls, emails, and texts; check your availability; or take a look at how your front desk team is performing on the phone.

  1. True Lifetime Value (TLV) & Return-on-Investment (ROI)

What do all of your marketing efforts add up to? By measuring the lifetime value of each new patient, you can get a clear picture of your ROI. This will help you make sense of how far to go when budgeting your ad campaigns. Be sure to distinguish segment your marketing patients from your other patients when measuring LTV so you can understand the impact of your marketing.

Putting Your Numbers to Work

Collecting data is just the beginning. Once you’ve got a clear, accurate picture of how your practice stacks up across each marketing metric, then you can start to adjust your approach to produce better results.

This doesn’t have to mean boosting your ad budget, either. Say, for example, that you see that you’re spending almost $220 to bring in each new patient. What can you do to drop that number below $200?

As you review your marketing numbers, you notice that your phone conversation rate is low — maybe 60 percent. That means that when a potential patient calls your office, your odds are little better than a coin flip that they’ll actually make it into your waiting room.

You’ve found an operational shortcoming — an area where your team can improve. Here, a short-term investment in phone training for your call team could rocket your phone conversion rate above 80 percent. You’ll see dramatically better returns simply by getting more out of the system you already have in place.

Need Help?

If all this feels like too much to add to your already-full plate, SMC is here to help. Industry leaders in digital marketing for dental groups and emerging DSOs, SMC uses rigorous data collection to help you get the most out of every dollar spent and give you a strong, steady stream of new patients.

SMC also provides real-time access to all of your marketing numbers through the company’s app, including new patient counts and ROI. Plus, SMC works on a monthly subscription model — just like Netflix — so you’ll never have to sign a long-term contract.

When it comes to growing your patient base,
there’s no shame in taking the easy road.
Contact SMC today!


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