Dental Open Days And How To Promote Them
Getting the word out for your implants, orthodontics and facial aesthetics public events
These days you have to work hard when it comes to marketing a dental practice and simply having a good website and some decent SEO may not be enough. The chances are that your competitors are also doing similar and it can be an ongoing task to keep ahead.
Whilst that type of digital marketing will always be very important to maintain a steady influx of new patients from search engines, there are other more immediate techniques which can also be very effective. One of these techniques is running open days, where you can market new dental treatments to existing patients and to new ones too.
Open days are particularly popular for orthodontics and implants treatments, and more recently, facial aesthetics too.
So how do you raise awareness of these types of promotional events to ensure that you have good attendance and get some worthwhile treatment bookings? With that in mind, lets take a look at how you can get existing and new patients on board by using the web and social media.
Attracting existing patients to your open day
This is probably the easiest of the tasks in that you already have a captive audience. But of course you still need to do a little bit of work to get them on board.
Whether it’s an existing patient or a new one, these types of events always work best if you can incorporate some form of incentive, for example an offer of discounted treatment or perhaps ancillary services added in for free. With orthodontics, this might be an offer of a reduced fee for consultations booked at the open day (or evening), perhaps free retainers or maybe complimentary whitening to round off the smile makeover. The key is to be creative and to offer something attractive for your patients as well as making good margins for your business.
You can do similar for an implant event, perhaps a free consultation or discounts for every additional implant required. Whatever you offer, it pays to do your research first to ensure that your proposition is at least as attractive as the next dentist offering similar services. Customers are savvy whatever service they are seeking and they will know the market, particularly when it comes to more expensive treatment types.
So once you’ve configured your offer and set a date and time for your event, how do you get the word out and get people on board? With existing patients, you would start with the basics and make sure everyone in the team is briefed and primed to “sell” the open day where opportunity arises. It may be opportune to ask a patient to review their smile questionnaire and assess how they would like to improve their appearance – at this point the open event can be introduced. Clinical staff will also know which patients would be most appropriate (and likely) to attend the event and can introduce it to them accordingly.
Don’t just rely on word-of-mouth and expecting patients to remember what you tell them. It makes good sense to have a few posters around the practice and to back this up with simple leaflets which can be handed out.
It’s also very effective to use a promotional mailing tool such as MailChimp to announce such events to your patients. This is a great way to keep them informed and you can land details of your event and your offer directly in their in-box. But please ensure you have their authorisation to contact them in this way, as you don’t want to be caught out for unsolicited mailing. This is another excellent reason why you need to put in the effort to get your patients signed-up to you email list, even if you missed out on doing this when they first registered with the practice.
Marketing your open day to new patients
When it comes to bringing potential new patients along to your open day, then there are some great tools to help with this too. Of course it makes sense to make sure your website and blog are updated with some prominent headlines and details, but how do you get this out to a much wider audience and quickly too? The answer is paid advertising using Google Ads and also advertising on Facebook.
Both of the methods mentioned above are near instantaneous and you can reach a wide audience very quickly. You will need the following:
- a great landing page which details your event, your offer and the benefits of the treatment you are promoting. Don’t skimp this – it has to be spot on to encourage interested parties to book up.
- a prominent, easy to complete contact form on the landing page where you make it super easy to get in touch. Remember that you don’t need the “marketing approval” check-box on this form and it may be slightly off-putting. If someone contacts you in this context, you are allowed to get back to them to answer their questions. However, you can’t continue to market to them going forward if they don’t take up your offer. You should however, still get them to sign-off to receive additional correspondence when they attend your open day.
- someone assigned to look after enquiries when they come in and to contact the sender promptly with details of the event. Don’t just rely on a ‘phone call; have a professionally compiled set of information ready to send them via email too.
- a professionally configured Google Ads campaign to make sure your open day is prominent in Google search.
- a professionally configured Facebook advertising campaign to broadcast your campaign to an appropriately targeted audience
You may not be familiar with the mechanics of MailChimp or indeed with advertising using Google Ads or Facebook. In this case it is strongly recommended to get in touch with our team and we can look after the complete process for you. It is very easy to waste a lot of money with pay-per-click advertising if you are inexperienced, and worse still make an embarrassing mistake if your mass emails campaign goes wrong!
With all the elements above in place and working effectively, you should receive steady enquiries for your open day event, both from existing and potential new patients. I can’t stress how important the response from the practice to these enquiries is. It should be prompt, courteous and willing to provide any additional information needed to get the patient signed up.
The next stage is up to you and your team, the event itself. But if you do this equally as professionally as your prospecting, you should be able to look forward to signing up a lot of new patients! We help many of our clients to prepare and market their dental open days, so we know how well they can work when done well.
Open days are an excellent way to sign up new patients and sell new treatments. However, you need to plan them well and implement a comprehensive promotional system to ensure your message gets out there. Some of this you may be able to do yourself, but much of the digital marketing will likely require the help of a professional to make sure it’s effective.
If you need help with promoting your dental practice open day, the team at Dental Media will be pleased to help. You can reach us on 01332 672548 for no-obligation advice.Google+