1. “Welcome to the neighborhood” greeting cards—Lists of new homeowners are available from many sources, sometimes at a cost. Take advantage of these lists and send out a “Welcome to the Neighborhood” card to these new potential patients.

2. Get involved in your community—Patients are more likely to feel connected to a dentist they encounter outside of the dentist’s office. Sponsor local events, from charity events to school athletics, by buying advertising, donating items with your logo on them, setting up a booth, or just making your presence known.

3. Start a blog—Don’t underestimate the power of a blog to connect with potential patients, to give them interesting information that’s relevant to their lives.

4. SEO friendliness—Make sure that your website is heightened with SEO content. SEO content drives people to your page by listing it higher in search engines.

5. Offer free or discounted exams/cleanings—Everyone loves a deal, but do your research first. Make sure you’re not offering the same incentives as every other practice in town. Your advertised specials should be different enough to catch patients’ attention.

6. Offer a pre-pay 5% bookkeeping discount—Discounts always attract patients, and this one has an added bonus in that patients will be more likely to keep an appointment if they’ve prepaid.

7. Engage on social media—Social media is a must in today’s society. From Facebook to Twitter to Instagram to Pinterest, social media platforms offer unique and engaging ways for your dental practice to interact with patients. Make sure the content is interesting and relevant. Quotes and humor usually work well, but whatever it is, try to make it something readers will want to share.

8. Facebook retargeting—What’s the best place to remind people they’ve been to your practice and need to book an appointment, or read reviews about your practice? Facebook. If you get 2,000 clicks per month to your website, you can retarget the Facebook ads to drive incredibly cheap, targeted clicks to your site.

9. Create cross-referral alliances—Forming cross-referral alliances with other doctors and businesses in the area can be a great way to find new patients. Make sure it’s a doctor or you’re comfortable sending people to or this strategy could backfire.

10. Send a monthly e-newsletter—Keep in contact with current and potential patients by sending out a monthly e-newsletter with dental tips, new technologies and information, and maybe something “fun.” E-newsletters work as a gentle reminder to make your next appointment without being pushy or overt in the call to action.

11. Grow and manage patient testimonials and reviews—Reviews are steadily becoming more important as new patients conduct online searches to find a new dentist in their area. Kindly ask patients to write reviews on sites such as Google and Yelp and make sure to respond to reviews, whether good or bad.

12. Optimize your website for mobile—A lot of people search for local services, including dentists, from their phones or tablets instead of a traditional computer. Make sure your website is optimized for these devices so that it is easy to navigate and gather information, no matter how a potential patient accesses it.

13. Develop a referral incentive program—Incentivize current patients to refer their friends and family to your practice with discounts on future services, gift cards, or special prizes.

14. Be an expert—Patients want to know they’re in good hands. By writing occasional articles for magazines or newspapers and then featuring them on your website and in your office, you give patients a sense that you’re an expert in your field, which builds confidence in your abilities. This content should also be placed online and be SEO friendly, which Crawford & O’Brien can help you develop.

15. Identify and engage your target audience—You can’t reach everyone, everywhere. But you can decide who your target audience is and find unique ways to reach them. Crawford & O’Brien recommend a targeted media, social media, and webpage as part of your marketing scheme.

16. Use videos to market your practice—There’s no doubt about it: videos are more engaging than plain text. Speak to potential patients by posting a well-made video on your website, which maybe features a tour of your office. Visuals tend to work better than other marketing schemes.

17. Use a unique and consistent logo and tagline—This may sound obvious, but consistent and attractive branding is one of the most important elements involved in gaining new patients. It will create brand recognition and a sense of awareness among your patients and any new clientele.

18. Always have a call to action—Don’t forget to put a call to action and phone number at the bottom of every page of your website and on every piece of marketing material!

19. Market results, not services—No one is spurred into action by hearing about having cavities filled or getting a cleaning. They’re inspired to call your practice by remembering they want a beautiful smile, white teeth, and a healthy mouth. Remember the message, and wait for the calls to come rolling in.

20. Pay Per Click (PPC)— PPC advertising is a great way to get the most from your marketing plan. These purchased advertisements help develop a clientele and recruit new traffic based on paid placement on a search engine. It targets consumers based on their searches, and leaves you in a position to attract new people to your page, another strategy that Crawford & O’Brien encourages.

21. Search retargeting—You know how you can place ads on Google for certain search words such as “dentist in city”? That’s Google Adwords. Within Adwords, you can do what’s called search remarketing, which only shows search ads to people who have previously visited your website. So imagine this: someone visits your website and they leave it to go back to Google to look up competitors or do more research, and they see a different ad that you display that says, “You just visited my website. Here’s 20% off if you call right now!” That’s powerful stuff.

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