One of the most common questions that most local business owners struggle with is: “How do I invest in my marketing the smart way”?
No matter at what stage you are in your business, a plateau is eventually going to hit and you need to find ways to still be relevant in the local market.
Most business owners don’t see marketing as an investment into growing their business but more of a gambling game.
I’m sure you’ve been guilty of this train of thought as well:
“OK, I’m making X amount of revenue each month now. I can afford to spend 10–15% of it to get new customers through the door now because I will still be fine afterward if it doesn’t bring results”.
And that’s the catch with marketing your business. If you treat it as a gambling game, it will treat you back as a gambler and provide you with inconclusive and poor results.
But when you start asking the right questions like: “Ok, how can I allocate the current resources I have to 10X my business in the next months”?
That’s when you start treating the process like a proper growth strategy and not some zero-sum game.
Growing a dental practice can be SUPER challenging with the continuous changes in the healthcare and insurance industries. You often struggle to break even financially even if you own your practice. You want to get a steady flow of leads coming in the office.
In the following guide, I will show you my strategy on how to promote your dentistry without throwing money in the black hole of advertising and how to become the #1 Dental Authority in your local area.
It’s a 3-step system based on Facebook Ads, Sales Funnels, and Marketing Automation. Let’s get right to it.
WHY FACEBOOK ADS?
The fact that you are reading this already proves that you are ahead of the curve and realize something that most dental practices do not; you should be advertising your practice online using Facebook ads.
The number one struggle that every dentist faces is getting CONSISTENT lead flow. Now, look at Facebook for a moment. It’s been around for almost 14 years. It has over 207 million users in the US alone.
What has Facebook been doing this whole time? It’s been gathering information about you. Every status post you ever made, every friend you ever tagged in a picture, every page you ever liked and even activities you’ve done outside of Facebook like googling “Where can I find colored party hats?” has been registered. Facebook has learned more about who you are and what you might be inclined towards liking. It has created an online persona based on your preferences and those of the people close to you.
Now you can either look at this in two ways. “Facebook is creepy and it shouldn’t know all of this” or “Facebook can open new opportunities and suggest me new things I probably like”.
Now imagine the power you could have as a business owner in finding the people that actually want your business and would love to give you money so you can help them with your services.
A successful business is one that is able to solve a problem for a specific group of people and to do that you have to know where to find them. And there’s no better place than Facebook to do that.
And they are not really expensive. In fact, they are the cheapest option when it comes to digital marketing compared, for example, with Google Ads and Yelp Ads if done correctly. Facebook Ads are also more precise and easy to track ROI than traditional offline marketing.
The reality is that if you are using Facebook Ads correctly and targeting appropriately, then your ROI is HUGE when you consider the lifetime value of a customer.
Here’s how to use Facebook Ads as a primary lead generation source the right way. (First step of the process)
A GREAT OFFER FOR DENTAL LEAD GENERATION
The very first thing that will catch a potential customer’s attention is a great offer and to develop it you have to decide WHO the offer is meant for.
Build a JAW-DROPPING OFFER that speaks to a certain online persona that you want to attract to your dentistry. This offer usually needs to be something that’s so irresistible that people will rush to sign up for.
One of the most effective and sustainable services you can offer to generate new dental leads is offering a FREE Teeth Cleaning Session for new patients.
I can already hear you saying. “Now wait a minute, Andrei! I don’t want to do stuff for FREE. That’s not good for business”.
As I mentioned before, we are not gambling here. This strategy is sustainable because then you can then up-sell these leads into a paid service such as teeth whitening or cavity repair. I’ll show you later in this guide a more detailed breakdown of this exact process.
Let’s say that based on your current customer base you know that the specific demographics that this offer appeals to the most is women age 25–44, that make over $50K per year. We can use this information to build the audience for your cleaning offer.
And there we have it. A broad estimate of how many people we can reach with this specific targeting. When starting new campaigns, usually it’s better to go broad so you can gather more data on the people that view and click the ad so Facebook learns who to put the offer in front of. After data is gathered you can go deeper into targeting by using life events or other specific demographics so that you can drive down the cost of getting a lead.
Facebook is not magic. It’s science-based. A combination of marketing psychology and data analytics. It’s not enough that we create an offer and show it to the right audience. We must use the right copywriting and design that makes the offer stand out in someone’s news feed.
Keep in mind you are not trying to sell something to your audience in the ad. The objective is to get them to click your ad so that you can get them to sign up for your offer and be placed on your email list. Then, You can later follow up with them to book appointments and offer more services.
Bellow, you can see the offer we created for this specific audience.
It calls out our specific audience, has an attractive picture that the audience can connect with, has a clear value proposition and the offer is highlighted. Combined with a little sense of urgency and a clear Call To Action increases the chances of getting a lot of clicks for a lower cost.
THE OPT-IN PAGE
Now as I mentioned at the beginning, this is a 3-step process. Facebook was the first one. The next one is where most people start messing up the customer journey.
The second part is as crucial as the first one. And that’s the landing page. Most people have a pretty awesome website built for their practice. But then they make the mistake of driving traffic to their website in hopes of generating new leads. This is the biggest mistake you could ever make. Websites are great for building authority but they are the worst at trying to generate leads and build an email list.
What I suggest instead is creating a separate landing page, that has customized copywriting build around your main offer and that has one clear requirement from the potential lead: leave your contact details so you can get this offer.
Above is an example of a simple landing page that will effectively collect leads and it’s still within the same theme as the main ad. There are two reasons why this setup is successful:
1. The image and page text are consistent with the ad that leads them here. This is VERY important. When they land here it is imperative that it be exactly what they are expecting.
2. The second reason this is effective is that we are asking for a minimal amount of information. You don’t want the process to take more than a minute. A fast and painless experience is a great tone to set for a dental practice!
Now take a break for a second, look at your website page (where you probably have tons of menus, buttons, pictures, and text) and imagine how distracted someone might get from taking one clear action. I bet that on your website you also talk a lot about “How awesome we are…” instead of pointing the spotlight on the visitor and what he could benefit from signing up for your offer.
THANK YOU PAGE
This is how you start building a relationship with your patients even before they step into your practice.
Once they enter their information and click “Yes” to the offer they are added to your email list BUT also redirected to a Thank You page.
There are a few key elements on this page that make it successful.
It’s a great place to create scarcity and make sure that people follow up on the offer that they signed up for.
They receive instructions on how to contact you. And this is huge. You are not the one following up with them immediately and being pushy. You attract them by giving instructions on how they should get in touch with you to claim their offer before it expires.
This is where we also set up a custom tracking number that re-routes to your office when they call to schedule the appointment. This way we can track how many people that sign up actually follow up to claim the offer. This way, at every stage of the process, unlike other advertising methods out there, we know our numbers, what our conversion rates are and where do we need to make improvements.
The Up-sell Trick.
Look… once someone made a decision that they want to give you a chance it’s usually pretty hard to make them change their mind. It’s even harder when you put another attractive offer in front of them. That’s why sometimes, we might use a second small bump offer to incentivize your lead to pick up that phone and schedule a session with your dentistry as soon as possible.
This way you get a little bit more ROI from each lead that signs up, you position your brand even further and people talk more about your dentistry with others. It starts that “word-of-mouth” referral process and builds your authority.
THE FOLLOW UP
This is the 3rd part of the process. However, it’s also the most important one in getting customers to return to your dentistry over and over again.
The degree of which you follow up with your leads can make or break this entire funnel. As a health professional, it is crucial that you make the new patient feel like they are more than just a number to you. You have to reach them on a personal level.
The first thing you need to do to effectively follow up with your leads is to set up an email automation that sends emails immediately to your leads after they click the button on your landing page. This email should again thank them for signing up for your offer as well as repeat the tracking phone number from the Thank You page.
Furthermore, if they left their phone number you can also send them a personalized SMS reminding them to get in touch with you as soon as possible.
What’s so important about nurturing your email list?
If you provide them with the right care and professionalism from the moment they step into your office, you can build up the relationship with them through email by promoting more offers or special events you have going on in your dentistry. And this time you’ll do it for FREE since you own the email list.
As we are getting closer to the end of this guide, let me emphasize how important it is to set up automated systems that take care of your email list and follow up with your patients periodically.
THE DENTIST VALUE LADDER
Let’s get back to the initial point I mentioned earlier about attracting as many leads as possible to your dentistry with JAW-DROPPING OFFERS.
Anyone can make a quick buck, right?
But not a lot of people can get people to revisit their dentistry and pay over and over again for more expensive dental services. That’s why your point of entry needs to be low. By first allowing them to develop trust in you with that free cleaning session, you double the odds of retaining them as a loyal return customer.
We are not gambling here with our marketing trying to squeeze as much money from people. We are looking to win long-term and become the number #1 dental authority in the local area.
You might say “I want 10 patients that pay me each $1000 in the first session”.
That’s a quick buck scheme. It’s short-term thinking. People usually pay this much cash when it’s an emergency and then never really want to return because their initial experience with your dental office is “They took so much cash from me”.
And here’s why understanding your Dentistry’s Value Ladder is crucial for long-term gains on repeat.
Let’s play a quick numbers game.
Let’s say you get 100 sign-ups for your FREE teeth cleaning session. Realistically not all people are going to want anything more from you except that initial offer.
But let’s say that after you get 100 patients in, you manage to reschedule 60 of them for another service at a higher price (around $50–100). 60×50= $3000
Out of those 60 people that come for the second appointment maybe half of them will want later to do a teeth whitening session ($100–200). 30×100 = $3000
Out of those 30 people maybe half of them will need more high-end work done like fixing cavities or braces. ($200–500) 15×20= $3000
And maybe out of the initial 100 people, 7 of them will need crowns or implants that are priced at a couple of thousands of dollars. 7×2000 = $14000
So, in the end, those 100 cheap leads that came through your door in just one month ended up bringing you back $23k over the course of a year let’s say.
Only that this time the relationship with them was nurtured over a longer period of time and they trust you as the go-to place to fix all their dental problems (also their family’s and friend’s). And you probably noticed I’ve used the lowest conversion rates and the lowest prices to prove my point. Only that now you also have an email list that’s 10x bigger which you can continue to nurture long term.
In fact, if you are the owner of your own dentistry you should know how much a lead is worth to you in the long run because you also know two important key metrics:
1. How long a customer will be with you once they visit your dental office
2. How much they are going to spend with you.
So for example, if you know that on average a new patient stays with you 2 years and he pays you $3000 during this period, you know that each new customer, on average, brings $1500 to your business per year.
Now imagine getting 30–40 of these people in your dentistry each month using Facebook Ads. That’s a lot of money, a lot of business, a lot of trust and authority being build up.
THE BIGGER PICTURE
As we wrap up, if you’re the owner of a dental practice it’s important to get the BIG PICTURE, right? Don’t play for the quick buck. Play to win the long-term game and completely dominate your local market.
This is how the whole process looks like from a top-view.
There are 2 steps of revenue generation displayed here.
#1. I call the first one the front end sales part.
This is where you make sure that the ads you create are actually bringing you a positive ROI through the Ad, Landing Pages and Email Notifications. The cost to acquire a new lead should be lower than the price of your services. Of course, if you’re promoting more high-end services, that cost per lead will go up also.
But in general, you should be making a positive ROI just from the initial offer and up-sell. This is the building blocks of the automated marketing process.
#2. The second step is the back-end sales.
This revolves around you Dentist Value Ladder. It’s represented by the people you reschedule, the offers you promote to your email list and build the relationship up that eventually word gets out and this helps bring in even more referrals to your business.
Don’t be obnoxious in your follow-up efforts, but do be thorough and professional. Once they opt-in you are relationship building. You have peaked their interest and earned their trust enough to get them to give you a chance. It is then up to your excellent dental skills to keep them coming back!
It’s a complete end-to-end marketing domination plan for any dentistry that really wants to grow and make a positive impact in their local market.
No matter what stage your dental practice is in, it is easy to set yourself up for success and bring in consistent leads without gambling with your marketing. A simple automated marketing funnel can help you bring in consistent leads week after week.
This is part [1/3] of the Dental Marketing Strategy we use to help Local Dentists get more clients. In part [2/3] I will share with you what are the successful elements of a Facebook campaign for dentists. In part [3/3], I will be showing you how to use your current patient database to find brand new clients that would love to buy from you.
Subscribe below to get notified when part 2 comes out.
My name is Andrei Constantin and I’m the co-founder of Atom Leads, a digital marketing agency that loves helping local dentists thrive in the online world by creating results-based digital marketing systems that bring in more opportunities for their practice.