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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Orthodontic Marketing: 5 Secret Tips

Effective orthodontic marketing truly is the difference between a thriving and profitable practice and a stagnant office just trying to survive.

But most orthodontists are so busy running the daily operations they don’t have the time and energy to learn how to market their businesses.

Does this sound familiar? Would you like to learn the most impactful marketing techniques to take your practice to the next level?

You’re in luck because today we’ve compiled five must-know tips used by successful orthodontic professionals. Read on to discover the best marketing tactics to grow your practice with more patients in 2019. 

1. Get Referrals from Current Patients

It all starts with your own customers. Satisfied patients can be your best ambassadors to tell your community about your practice. In fact, referral leads account for 30% more new business compared to all other marketing leads.

No matter how happy a client is with your office, they will forget all about their visit five minutes after they leave. That’s why it’s imperative to put a referral program in place to capture leads during patient visits.

Make it a no-brainer by offering both your patient and the referral 10% off on their next routine visit. This is a secret way to catapult your referral program and patient.

Another effective tactic is to partner with other businesses in your area. For example, you could partner with a restaurant and offer your patients a free appetizer when they refer a new patient.

Assure your patients that their referrals will be taken care of and receive special attention. If your clients trust you, they will want to do something nice for their friends. Knowing you will be extra attentive to their referrals gives them the confidence and motivation to make a recommendation.

2. Connect With Patients

You work hard to make sure your patients have a good experience at your office. But when the visit is over, most people don’t think about their orthodontist until their next appointment. As the saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind.”

Foster a stronger relationship with your customers by connecting one-on-one with them in between visits. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to connect with modern technology.

Give your customers a coupon code to join your Facebook community or email newsletter. You can then update your clients on a regular basis with announcements and news.

Add a personal touch by sending a handwritten note through the mail. When was the last time you received a handwritten letter? A handwritten message tells your client they are important enough for you to take the time and write a note of thanks. 

Sending letters or postcards to every new patient and everyone your practice serves leaves a lasting impression. Let them know how much you enjoy helping them and that you appreciate them.

Your letter campaign shouldn’t require a lot of time. Just ask your staff members to address the envelopes. Then just take a few moments each day to write considerate notes to your patients.

3. Optimize Your Website

Your website is the hub of your online marketing efforts. Don’t just throw up a brochure-style website and call it good. Optimize your website for maximum Google traffic and customer engagement.

For a quick win, secure your Google My Business listing. Include your business address, hours of operation and answer any important questions. This ensures that your business will appear on Google and Google Maps for local searches. Any time someone in your area searches for terms like “orthodontist near me” or “local orthodontist” they will be sure to see your practice.

For a boost in Google’s search results, make sure your site is regularly updated with new content. Many successful practices have a blog on their site and write at least one article per week.

Need article ideas? Think of the questions you receive on a daily basis. Dedicate an in-depth article for each question to give people a better understanding of their teeth and an orthodontist’s helpful role.

For example, you could write content about everything from getting braces as an adult to the cost of Invisalign

4. Network with Dentists

Dentists are a natural ally of orthodontists. Ideally, when a dentist works with someone requiring orthodontic services, you want them to refer the patient to your practice.

There’s a couple of ways to network with dentists. The tried-but-true technique is to visit local dentists and simply ask for a mutual referral partnership. Many even recommend taking a dentist out to lunch to develop a friendship and referral partnership. 

A secret technique we like is to create a softball or golf game and lunch between your office and a local dentist office. This type of event is a fun way to build relationships in a casual setting. You’ll develop tighter bonds within your own team as well.

5. Market Your Practice

Every local area offers a variety of advertising and promotional outlets you can utilize to reach potential clients. You can test different marketing methods to see what works best.

Analyze your results to refine your marketing methods. In time, you’ll hit a sweet spot where you can deliver maximum results for minimal investment.

For example, you can test offline outlets such as billboards and radio ads. Typically, these mediums are best for building awareness of your practice and may take time to see results.

Advertisements in local newspapers and magazines usually deliver faster results. Attract new customers by including a 10% discount for routine visits.

The Bottom Line About Orthodontic Marketing Tactics That Work

Growing an orthodontic practice takes a lot of work in the beginning. Don’t try to do it all at once.

Take each orthodontic marketing technique one at a time and test it to see the results. Refine each process and systemize it to make it as simple as possible.

Then add the next marketing tip to your efforts. Over time, you’ll have an invincible machine that runs with minimal effort on your part. 

If you found this article helpful, we invite you to check out our small business guides to help you with all aspects of your business.