Have Your Invisalign Bookings Fallen Away?
What’s happening and what can you do about it?
Last week I had a couple of conversations with Invisalign dentists who were looking to switch their marketing partner due to treatment bookings falling away quite considerably. Following detailed discussions and analysis of data from their failing campaigns, it was clear that several factors were in play.
In today’s blog we’ll take a look at why orthodontics campaigns of this type can often succeed but then progressively begin to fail – and what you can do about it.
This is perhaps the biggest factor and one that will dilute the efforts of even the best social media marketing agency. Quite simply, more and more practices are jumping on the Invisalign bandwagon as the promise of lucrative treatment revenues prove difficult to resist.
To put this into context, we are aware of one dentist in the NW who is training all eleven of his team to deliver “Invisalign Go” across two practices. We believe that the initiative is questionable as even with a high-profile marketing campaign, delivering sufficient new Invisalign patients to keep eleven dentists happy is quite some challenge! Perhaps a couple of trained dentists at each location and then ramp up may have been more realistic and sustainable.
The majority of our clients are now offering Invisalign or an alternative clear aligner, but there are only so many patients within a given area who are looking for treatment at any given time. Competition has increased significantly and it looks like this will continue.
As the number of dentists offering Invisalign has increased significantly, so have the number of marketing agencies offering ‘magical’ solutions to deliver patients. We are seeing more extreme methods being employed by some agencies to try to keep their ads most prominent. For example using multiple ads and switching ad copy twice a week to keep the content fresh. Regular ad maintenance has always been important but “blanket bombing” of this nature has only started to appear more recently as agencies struggle to remain relevant.
Of course this additional intervention has resulted in increased costs to the dentist with some agencies now charging in excess of £2.5k + vat per month to manage campaigns – this is without the click costs! Increased maintenance costs coupled with reduced number of cases means significant margin erosion.
As noted above, on one hand you have a few agencies who are trying to maintain their promised delivery rates by upping their game. On the other you have many more agencies that are resting on their laurels and doing little or nothing to try to compete in the overheated Invisalign landscape.
Here we see tired ad campaigns which are not being updated, poor demographic and regional targeting and lack of transparency with reporting. It’s surprising just how many dentists allow poor performance like this to go unchallenged.
Patients are becoming increasingly selective
We have quite a lot of evidence to suggest that the general public is becoming increasingly savvy when it comes to shopping around for Invisalign. They can see the significant proliferation of dentists who have been on short-courses to offer “lite” versions of orthodontic treatment and they appear to be seeking out more experienced practitioners who have years of experience in the discipline. This is understandable and you should be under no illusion that it will be a challenge to attract new cases if you only recently qualified; particularly when the orthodontist just down the road is also offering Invisalign at competitive prices (hint – lots of them are!)
What can you do to grow and maintain Invisalign case load?
Here are the key elements you need to manage to ensure that your Invisalign case load grows and subsequently does not start to slip away:
- Ensure that your website is excellent and accurately reflects what you offer. This includes keeping all of the relevant search terms e.g. “Invisalign + your location” high up in Google search.
- Leverage on word-of-mouth referrals – encourage patients to recommend you to their family and friends.
- Ensure your team is up-to-speed and consistently spreading the word about your treatments and benefits. Upsell ethically.
- Ensure that the practice literature, posters etc are prominent and accurate.
- Use social media to broadcast success and also to advertise your Invisalign offer.
- Make it attractive but don’t join the race to the bottom on pricing.
- Use an experienced agency with a demonstrable track record to help you.
- Measure the return on your marketing campaign.
- Get clear reporting from your agency.
- Check to see how they are maintaining performance e.g. are ads being refreshed appropriately?
- Don’t pay over the odds!
- Don’t get tied into onerous marketing contracts – with additional challenges in an intensely competitive environment, you don’t want to be stuck paying out if results fall away.
- Consider ongoing clinical training – remember that many ortho cases cannot be handled with “simple” aligner treatment and need to be referred away for specialist intervention. If you want to handle those more complex cases, it’s clear that you will need the skills, experience and qualifications to do so.
We are receiving more and more enquiries from Invisalign dentists who are becoming disenchanted with their orthodontics marketing and diminishing returns. Reports vary from a fall off in enquiries to increased costs and often both.
Above we’ve discussed some of the reasons why Invisalign marketing can go stale, how agencies need to be tasked to maintain performance and what you can do at the practice to help.
If you would like to discuss in more detail or would like your current campaigns audited, please get in touch with the Dental Media Invisalign marketing team on 01332 672548.