3 dental marketing
shockers I just learned
MY COMPANY HAS HELPED MORE THAN 5,130 DENTAL PRACTICES with
their marketing during the last 19 years, so we’ve collected a lot of data. I’ve
written about some of our success stories in Dental Economics. This month I
thought it might be helpful to delve a little deeper into the numbers and talk about
what the dental community as a whole is doing, either “right” or “wrong,” and see
what can be gleaned from that information.
I was more than a little surprised by what I found. Let’s
get right to it!
SHOCKER NO. 1: 18% OF DENTISTS HAVE GIVEN
UP ON DIRECT MAIL AFTER ONE MAILING
We currently have 659 dental clients in our database who
are using direct mail to market their practices. Here’s how
their mailings break down:
• 18% have only mailed once.
• 21% mail consistently (every month or even every other
• 61% have mailed more than once, but not consistently.
That 18% statistic is particularly shocking to me because
consistency is my marketing mantra. All of my clients have
heard me (and my 30-plus consultants) say over and over
again that repeated mailings are vital to a successful
I understand why it isn’t always applied though; more
mailings mean more money, right? Well, yes and no. Yes,
every mailing costs money, with the biggest expense being
postage. But every time you mail to the same list, you
become more familiar and credible to those prospective
patients, and more of them will call.
In other words, as you mail more, you generate more
responses and improve your return on investment. Yes,
you’ve spent more money. But you’ve also brought in more
revenue, and that’s the whole point of marketing.
That’s not to say a one-off mailing never works. My company has a results manager whose sole job is to follow up
with our clients and find out what made their campaigns
successful (or not). Of our dental clients who reported successful results from their campaigns, 76% mailed repeatedly.
This means 24% of them didn’t. So yes, it absolutely is possible
to have success with just one mailing; it’s just not the norm.
I mean, do you get one postcard one time and immediately take action? The idea is to reach your prospective
patients repeatedly so they understand that you are a
trustworthy, stable practice, and to keep yourself top of
mind when they need a new dentist. This leads to the second
surprise—just how few of my clients actually are taking our
advice to mail consistently and reaping the rewards.
SHOCKER NO. 2: ONLY 21% OF DENTISTS MAIL
Of those 659 dentists, only 138 of them mail monthly or
every other month (21%). They are the ones who know that
consistent marketing is the best way to generate large,
predictable results. They are also the ones bringing in the
most new patients.
But you don’t have to take my word for it. Let me show you
what can happen when a dental practice starts mailing consistently ( figure 1). You can see the correlation between this
practice’s postcard mailings and its monthly new patients.
The momentum generated by repeated mailings is evident.