By Daniel A. Bobrow, MBA (University of Chicago) & MBA (K.U.L. Belgium)
Success with Web-Based Dental Marketing
This is the third and final of three Issues devoted to success with web-based marketing.
Synopsis of Three Issue Series
Success at web-based marketing means implementing strategies, both conventional and Internet-based, which direct qualified prospective patients to your website. It also means having a website that encourages visitors to willingly share with you their contact information. Finally, it means giving the market segment we call Caterpillars and Tire Kickers the means and motivation to remain in communication with your practice. This represents an especially fertile opportunity for practice growth because few of your colleagues bother to keep in touch with this market segment. By capturing visitor information and communicating with them over time, you are, in essence bringing your website to them, and it means you have the potential to dominate this highly profitable market segment.
Remember: today’s Tire Kickers are tomorrow’s Trigger Pullers!
Generating the Qualified Patient Lead (QPL) And Converting them into a Patient
As we have discussed, a good looking website and qualified visitors are certainly necessary, but insufficient, to guarantee success. Even if your Internet Marketing Performance Assessment (MPA) confirms your site is doing a good job attracting and impressing the visitor with its content, it must also generate Qualified Patient Leads, that is, motivate them to contact you or at least initially, request to be contacted by you.
Of Tire Kickers and Trigger Pullers
Website inquiries may be classified as follows:
– 20% will take action immediately (we call these the ‘Trigger Pullers’)
– 20% will not buy at all (the DNRs for ‘do not resuscitate’)
– The remaining 60% will buy from someone within 12 months. We call this group the ‘Tire Kickers.’
Many people are surprised to learn that this third category is potentially as important as the first because, if they are communicated with correctly, they represent a highly profitable source of new patients. The key is to run the race at the patient’s pace.
Generating The Qualified Patient Lead (QPL)
The home page of your website needs to cater to both the Trigger Puller as well as the Tire Kicker. For those visitors who are ready to appoint, be sure you have a Request an Appointment Form on your Home Page and a Unique Telephone Tracking Number. Both allow you to track the new patient as originating from your website, which aids in evaluating your dental website marketing investment (learn more about mastering the Art of First Impressions).
Converting Tire Kickers into Trigger Pullers
To capitalize on this segment of your market, your website must offer opportunities for the visitor to learn about your practice without having to commit to a visit. Offer special content, which results in a high perception of value to your website visitors. In so doing, you convert anonymous surfers on your website into valuable QPLs. Below are some examples of how to achieve this:
Use Sign-Up Forms And Graphics On Your Home Page and Throughout Your Website
New Patient Special:
Free Consultation When You Come In For A Cleaning
and Full X-Rays
Cosmetic Dentistry – Crowns – Bridges –
Veneers – Dentures – Whitening
Beautiful Smiles Begin Here
Now that you have delivered on your first promise to the QPL, that is, the Special Report, continue to deliver timely, valuable, and frequent (but not too frequent!) communications. Here’s a sample Schedule:
Day One – E-mail Special Report
Day Five – Audio Post Card
Day Fourteen – Email Smile Secret #1
Day Twenty-Eight – Video Postcard
Day Forty-Two – E-mail Smile Secret #2
Day Fifty-Six – Email Smile Secret #3
Day Seventy – Mail Invitation for Free Consultation
Day Eighty-Four – Email Smile Secret #4
Day Ninety-Eight – Email Smile Secret #5
Day One Hundred Twelve – Video Postcard
And so on for the rest of the year…
And here are examples of possible communications:
Direct Mail Sample
We recommend a combination of invitation and post card style mailings. The design should be similar, so you reinforce your practice brand in the mind of the QPL. The key to success with this is memorable simplicity.
Emails should include links to your photo gallery, testimonial pages, and other compelling reasons to keep in contact with you, such as attractive Special Offers.
Audio Postcard Sample:
Audio postcards are colorful emails that also include a recording of your or a staff member’s voice. This is another way to subtly create a sense of familiarity and comfort in the mind (and emotions) of your QPL.
Communications should continue for up to a year, which is what our research shows can be the ‘gestation period’ during which the Tire Kicker metamorphoses into a Trigger Puller.
By regularly and professionally following up with your website visitors, you have positioned yourself as a trusted expert in the field so, when they do decide the time is right, it’s you they’ll call.
By the way, if you already have a website, all you need to do is add the forms to your existing site, and be sure the visitors who complete them are automatically fed into your communication campaign.
Our next Issue is the first of three concerned with Communicating With Patients of Record.
AIM DENTAL MARKETING
Daniel A. ‘Danny’ Bobrow,