Our friends and colleagues over at Summit Practice Solutions have some advice about how you can improve your print marketing, and you’ll be surprised how many of those ideas apply to web marketing as well. Max Gotcher and Mike Abernathy over at Summit Practice Solutions are really good at helping dentists get their practice in order.
They run a regular blog and occasionally discuss marketing in it. They are more comfortable in traditional marketing and regularly steer their clients to us for web marketing.
After all, Max and Mike are SmartBox clients, too!
One of their blogs gave some direct response marketing basics, and they are very similar to best practices in web marketing. Here are four things patients want from your ads (and website):
Choose the correct colors.
What does “correct” mean? Mike recommends blues and teals for print ads. This is rather limiting for websites. But we do recommend muted, calming tones. Using garish colors and loud tones make your website look like the Sunday comics. You want people to look at you as responsible and trustworthy.
Use a picture.
Mike recommended using a picture of a grandparent, mom and dad, and kids. This would show that you welcome the whole family. He points out that the images you use will influence how people think of you.
This is true, and that is why we try to use photos on our website that reflect the kind of patients our dentists are trying to attract. For instance, a dentist looking for younger, professional patients should use more images of that group. Conversely, a dentist who doesn’t work with children should not use photos of children on his site.
Mike recommends that ads should have a prominent phone number and website address.
He suggests using a unique line in the ad so that everyone in the office knows it is a new patient. Obviously we endorse phone tracking to know where your new patients are coming from. Your staff also knows that calls are being recorded, so they have to be in top form every time.
Finally, tell them which insurance you take.
Mike said this to contrast with the idea that dentists should tell every prospect that they are in-network. The latter is a major PR blunder, because the patient will find out that you weren’t in-network. What’s more, the insurance company will tell them how much they could have saved after the fact and give them a list of close in-network providers.
The only difference we have here is that some dentists are not trying to attract patients based on being in-network. If you are trying to get the dental insurance yoke from around your neck, or limit the number of providers you work with, don’t highlight insurance.
Market to the patients you want to attract, and if that is people who prize value over cost, downplay insurance and emphasize payment and financing options.
Those are the “do’s.” Next time, we’ll look at four “don’ts” for your print and online ads.
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