A simple scheme to build new patient sign-ups for dentists
There are numerous techniques dentists can use to encourage new patients sign-ups by harnessing the power of the Internet. There is the “long game” whereby you build a great website and then invest in SEO to gain prominent ranking positions; along with faster methods, for example advertising via Google AdWords or on Facebook.
All of these methods have pros and cons as we’ve discussed earlier in our blog. For example, you tend to get higher quality traffic, i.e. patients ready to “convert” (sign up) when they find you in Google, when compared to the less-engaged traffic you might expect from a Facebook ad. However, Facebook can get your name out there much faster than the time it takes to build dominant Google results.
The best campaigns will use a combination of techniques, so typically a very solid foundation using SEO to build a steady and sustainable flow of enquiries, coupled with advertising via Facebook and AdWords to “top off” as required. Many are also still using the more traditional leaflet drops and even radio ads to supplement their online initiatives.
In today’s blog we will look at a technique dentists can use to gain new enquiries quickly, namely Facebook advertising with the use of e-newsletter follow-ups.
Placing ads on Facebook is a fast way to stimulate a lot of traffic to your website. To do it properly, you should consider the use of an experienced marketer who will understand the techniques required and the various targeting parameters which are available. Without this, you can end up wasting a lot of money.
Your marketing advisor will also advise setting up landing pages to use with your campaigns – these are very specific web pages which are hyper-focussed to the subject matter; so for example a campaign to capture new braces patients would have a landing page (or pages) finely tuned to the topic concerned. The idea here is that you need to grab the attention of the user immediately and encourage then to contact you and/or sign-up to your newsletter. Without these targeted landing pages, it’s too easy for the user to click away elsewhere and you’ve lost them. So carefully constructed ads and landing pages are important to the success of such campaigns. Use attention grabbing headlines, patient testimonials, perhaps an offer or even video to make sure your new prospect is sufficiently interested by what you have to offer them.
Hopefully the user will get in touch with you on the first contact but we would be naive to think that this is always the case; some will but the majority actually won’t. Therefore we need a technique to follow up on the users to encourage contact a second, third or even fourth time around. There are ways you can do this via “remarketing”, for example re-presenting your ad back to users who have already visited your web pages; however today we will look at using an e-newsletter follow-up, using the excellent Mailchimp system.
Using MailChimp as a marketing follow-up
To do this, you must have captured your potential new patient’s email address in an appropriate way and with the necessary consent. This is particularly important in the new GDPR environment, hence your Facebook landing page would incorporate a prominent contact form with the the necessary consent tick-box. Perhaps stimulate sign-ups by offering a free information download or an offer, as the thought of a “freebie” really does encourage people to subscribe.
Next you configure targeted email using MailChimp to revisit all of the benefits of treatments etc which you broadcast in your advertising campaign. Test this thoroughly and then send it out to all of those who expressed an interest and signed-up earlier. You may also have used other channels to gather emails of people interested in your services, so add these in if it’s appropriate (and where you have the appropriate consent!)
It is important to avoid spamming people as this is a sure-fire way of getting them to un-subscribe and possibly even bad-mouth you in the community. So be cautious before sending out too many follow-ups.
There are other e-mail systems you can use which are much more sophisticated than this, for example Infusionsoft, whereby you can segment your target audience and send specific content to them sequentially. However, this is not a cheap system and not something to delve into if you are new to this type of marketing. Try a simpler approach first and then build on it as appropriate.
Using a Facebook (and/or Google AdWords) can generate interest in your dental business very quickly and whilst the traffic “quality” may not be as good as that from traditional Google searches, it can still generate useful patient enquiries. But don’t just stop at a “one-hit” campaign where you hope your users will get in touch immediately – most of them actually won’t. By capturing email sign-ups and then following up on the initial leads using a simple system like MailChimp, you get additional opportunities to stimulate new enquiries.
If you are interested to see how this can work for your own dental practice, please get in touch with us here at Dental Media on 01332 672548. We’ll be pleased to scope out a campaign specific to your needs.Google+