The million-dollar question you’re probably thinking about is: How do I gain more customers for my dentistry?
You’ve come to the right place – we’re here to answer just that. In this article, we’ll be covering what dental marketing means and how to build a marketing funnel for dentist. If you want to increase the number of customers for your dentistry, it’s important to understand what a marketing funnel is and how it affects your business. If you’re curious about how marketing funnels can boost your private practice, then this article is for you.
Marketing Funnel for Dentist: What Does This Mean?
Dental marketing is the process of increasing the number of interactions between your dentistry and possible customers. Dental marketing is important because it helps your private practice gain more customers.
If we want to tackle the challenges of dental marketing efficiently, one of the best ways to do so is by using marketing funnel for dentist.
A marketing funnel is a customer journey model that breaks down the steps customers take when going through the buying process. To help visualize this, we can look at the AIDA model (Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action) to tackle what each step of the funnel means:
The AIDA model simplifies the customer journey into a nice and clean visual image for us.
It’s called a funnel because many people take the first step simply by being aware that your product exists. As people go down each step of the funnel, some lose interest. This isn’t a bad thing – it is part of the process that helps you tailor an interest group that is excited about your brand. At that point, closing the sale would be easy because you don’t have to do much further convincing to this group.
If you want to maximize customers for your business, it’s important to understand how marketing funnels affect your business. Let’s look at a few examples.
Example 1: Local Family Dentistry
Let’s frame this one from an owner’s perspective.
Imagine you are the owner of a popular local family dentistry called Springs Grove Dentistry. Let’s also assume lots of locals are already familiar with your company. This is the first step in the marketing funnel. However, many of them will undoubtedly drop out before reaching the second step, interest, because they might have reasons to be drawn to another private practice, such as familiarity, personal recommendations, coverage plans, etc.
We can expect some of your crowd to lose interest as we go down the funnel. If a patient needs wisdom teeth surgery and your private practice doesn’t offer it, it’s pretty obvious that they would find it elsewhere. It’s only natural that we can’t convert everyone into being patients for your dental clinic.
However, those who are interested in Springs Grove Dentistry will move to the second part of the funnel. Those who are interested and can afford your services will progress into the second step – desire. At this point, all you have to do is close the sale for people who already want your service.
You’ve managed to convert a group of patients into actual paying customers for your private practice. In this example, we can see how the funnel flows:
- 1. Patient acknowledges the Springs Grove Dentistry
- 2. Patient becomes curious about Springs Grove Dentistry
- 3. Patient needs a dental service
- 4. Patient purchases a service
In this example, by using a marketing funnel for dentist we can see how our customers would flow through the buying process. Let’s look at another example where we actually fix a problem located in our marketing funnel.
Example 2: Sunrise Health Clinic
In this example, we’ll be visualizing from the patient’s perspective. We’ll call the company Sunrise Health Clinic.
Let’s say a customer, John, has Rheumatoid Arthritis and wants to sign up for an affordable healthcare plan at a clinic that offers coverage. John has had a hard time finding clinics near his area that cover his needs. Before John signs up for any health coverage plan, he would definitely look at what each package has to offer.
Sunrise Health realizes that there’s no private practice that covers Rheumatoid Arthritis and decides to hire specialists due to demand. They now offer health care coverage for John’s condition.
Out of all the health clinics, Sunrise Health Clinic is the only private practice nearby that offers treatment for John’s condition. John does his research and is now interested to learn how to enroll in a plan.
John visits Sunrise Health to get a free consultation on what package he should enroll in for his condition. After John weighs in on his benefits and costs, he decides that he wants the package as he needs treatment for his condition. John applies and gets approved for the plan, and Sunrise Health gains another patient.
How can we analyze John’s sales funnel when applying for healthcare? Let’s break down this example and see what Sunrise Health Clinic did right:
Firstly, Sunrise Health Clinic tracked people like John’s customer journey when trying to purchase a healthcare plan. We can expect his journey to look something like this:
1. John is aware he has rheumatoid arthritis and realizes he needs coverage.
2. John browses around for different healthcare packages.
3. John discovers there is no clinic that offers services regarding his condition.
4. John has to deal with long distances to find a clinic for his condition.
Sunrise Health was smart and did their research for people like John. They located an opportunity to widen their funnel and hired specialists to treat John’s condition. There was a demand in the market and Sunrise Health took that chance to increase awareness by covering this need.
Next, Sunrise Health added Rheumatoid Arthritis coverage in their coverage plans. Instead of having coverage a special case, they included it in their plans. This caught John’s interest and made him desire coverage.
Sunrise Health’s careful analysis helped move John down their marketing funnel. As a result, John ultimately purchased the plan and Sunrise Health gained another customer. What’s important here is that other people with Rheumatoid Arthritis will also be looking for health coverage plans for their condition, and Sunrise Health would be there to secure their needs.
As we can see, widening the funnel by referencing the marketing funnel has a scaling effect – your changes in your sales process would likely convince more than one person. It’s another key element that enables the compounding of customers for your business.
Want another example of marketing funnels? Call for a free consultation!
Marketing Funnel for Dentist: Why is it Beneficial?
Marketing funnels help us visualize each part of our process when trying to convert people into purchasing customers. By breaking down the customer journey, we can see where in the business are we losing the most people. Typically, customers will follow a behavior that looks like this:
By pinpointing where in the process we are losing customers, we can focus on finding solutions for a specific problem area instead of being lost where the problem is. If other steps of our marketing funnel have no issues converting customers to the next step, then we don’t need to spend so much time and money trying to fix it. In fact, the best part about marketing funnels is after we find the problem area we can get to work immediately on fixing the problem.
Let’s look at a case study that YoYoFuMedia did for a private practice dentistry located in Irvine, CA.
Case Study: Irvine Comfort Dentist
Dr. Stanley Chien is the owner of Irvine Comfort Dentist located in Irvine, California. However, Dr. Chien was struggling to keep his practice open because he didn’t have enough customers.
Let’s take the classic AIDA marketing funnel approach to see what we can find out
Marketing Funnel for Dentist
Dr. Chien’s practice was located in a plaza with 19 other dentists. There is high competition and Dr. Chien didn’t have an online presence with his ads. There is a high chance that the problem lies in his marketing efforts.
Dr. Chien’s private practice provides exceptional services, just like any other dentistry. No problems here.
All patients need dental services. No issues here.
Dr. Chien didn’t have enough customers at Irvine Comfort Dentist paying for his services. This is another major problem.
At YoYoFuMedia, we took the problem and broke it down. We realized Dr. Chien’s main problem was in the first step – awareness. We’ve identified where the issue is and we can get to work. Here’s what we did:
Setting the Stage
What is the first step people take when they need to find a dentist?
To set the stage, it’s important to know HOW people take action when they need a dentist. Knowing this information lets us create solutions we know for sure people will be interacting with. We tracked the users’ journey and it looked something like this:
- Patient needs a dentist
- Patient uses Google to find nearby dental clinics
- Patient browses the results on the first page of Google on his search
- Patient goes with the dentist he trusts most based on website appearance
How We Improved Awareness
After patients realize they need a dentist, their primary instinct is to Google a solution. That’s just how the world works now. So, it’s important that we adjust our strategies accordingly.
YoYoFuMedia’s marketing team decided to implement Google Ads. Promoting Dr. Chien’s dentistry with Google Ads helps increase awareness since it’s what people first see when they look up dentists in their area. We implemented this using precise keyword targetting when doing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that way Dr. Chien’s ads ranked first, dramatically increasing his website traffic. Oh, and we also increased the size of Dr. Chien’s ad on Google so more people would click on it.
For our next step, we needed to know how our customers interact with the website, so we implemented a visitor mouse tracking and screen recording system for Dr. Chien’s website. By understanding how people navigate the website, we know what customers pay attention to most and we can direct their attention towards booking an appointment. We conducted this trial through A/B testing, or otherwise referred to as split testing.
Through A/B testing, we can find out which layouts of the website work best for conversion rates. It’s more of a trial-over-time thing, so conducting this overnight isn’t something that works. To explain this visually:
Then, we introduced call tracking and monitoring to see which calls were coming from the website and which were coming from referrals. By also tracking the quality of our calls, we can see how well the front desk is performing. This helps us determine which points of contact with our customers we need to improve instead of not knowing where the problem is.
Lastly, we solved one of the most common mistakes that marketers do. When they use precise keyword targetting, they only target the vaguest search terms. In Dr. Chien’s case, the keyword “dentist.” What this means is Dr. Chien’s ads pop up for anything related to “dentist,” including searches for “dental school” and “dentist salary.” To boost customer traffic on Dr. Chien’s website, we want his ads to pop up for people who need dental services, not for those who are applying for dental school. We optimized his ads so they don’t market to the wrong groups.
We got Irvine Comfort Dentist’s ads to rank first on Google:
By ranking Dr. Chien’s ads first on google, this dramatically increased his awareness and thus, sales. It’s easy to say at this point our SEO tactics were successful and we’ve taken a huge step in fixing awareness in the sales process.
How We Improved Action
At this point, patients are more likely to book appointments with Dr. Chien because his online presence increased dramatically. With proper adjustments to Dr. Chien’s marketing channels, many people discovered Dr. Chien’s private practice and now come to Irvine Comfort Dentist instead of its competitors.
In fact, our digital marketing efforts at YoYoFuMedia were so successful for Irvine Comfort Dentist that Dr. Chien gained an additional 26 appointment calls in 1 month and consistently gains 10 – 20 new patients per MONTH.
We can clearly see how referencing the marketing funnel helped us pinpoint the problem area. The best part about marketing funnels is that it’s universal – it applies to any business.
Let’s see how we can replicate the success of Irvine Comfort Dental’s success by learning how to set up your own marketing funnel.
Marketing Funnel for Dentist: How to Create Your Own
Let’s find inspiration from Dr. Chien’s success story at Irvine Comfort Dental. In order to create a proper marketing funnel for your dentistry, there are a couple of boxes you need to check off to maintain a strong foundation. We broke that down for you into 5 simple steps. Let’s take a look:
1. Set a Goal For Your Funnel
What are you trying to get your customers to take action on? If you’re trying to make them book appointments, sign up for a subscription, or become regular customers, then it’s incredibly important to make that clear before setting anything up. For example, an eCommerce store would definitely want people to purchase their items. A magazine company might want people to subscribe to their articles. A car rental company might want people to become lifetime customers.
The point is when customers encounter your marketing material, you should set them up so that they help you reach your goal. If you don’t know what you want your customers to do, neither will they.
2. Create value for your customers
Why should customers trust your company to do the job well?
When doing dental marketing, it’s an absolute must that you establish trust with your customers before they even do business with you. If you can’t show your customers that you’re someone they can trust, you won’t earn their business.
For example, why do clothing companies offer free magazines? They could easily save millions on printing, shipping, content creation, etc. The list is neverending. Yet, companies continue to do it because it shows customers that these companies value them. Companies invest in their customers even before they do business with them.
Luckily, you don’t have to print magazines to build trust with your prospects. There are common alternatives to help convince people your company is reliable, such as testimonials, discounts, promotions, ratings, etc. One of the biggest ones is keeping your website updated and user-friendly. Show your customers how your dentistry cares for its customers by investing in how you present your company in even the smallest of details.
3. Maintain your marketing channels
Whether it’s through emails, flyers, or social media, you need to maintain your marketing channels. By doing this, I mean you have to track what’s working and what isn’t. For example, if your social media is bringing customers to your landing page but most people drop out after, then there’s something wrong with your website.
We can easily track these mistakes by using tools such as webpage mouse trackers and screen recordings to see why customers are dropping out. Do they seem lost when interacting with your website? Do they view the plans then find that none of them help their dental needs? There’s always a step that could be improved.
By maintaining your marketing channels, you’re able to facilitate the conversion process of turning people into paying customers for your business. Pay close attention to what marketing materials are drawing your customers in and improve the parts that aren’t working.
4. Create a relationship-building sequence of emails with a call to action
People often forget they need to schedule their dental check-ups, which is why they need to be reminded.
By creating a relationship-building email list, you can easily keep your customers up to date with your dentistry. It’s super important to have a point of contact with your customers when doing dental marketing. That way, you can remind or notify them of anything that might attract them. Things like deals, discounts, promotions, or even just reminders that they need dental check-ups plays a huge role in increasing customer retention rates. When your paying customers need a dental service, you need to remind them that you have their backs.
5. Show the results from your services
Customers need to know why your business is the best and what they are getting when they sign up for your services.
People are more visual than you might expect. When they see an image of something they want – for example, whiter teeth – they’re more likely to believe your dentistry knows how to get there. That’s why things like testimonials, before-and-afters, and reviews demonstrating positivity with your business build trust. Knowing other people have had positive experiences and having images of real results guides customers towards booking an appointment.
That being said, make sure your customers know what they will be getting. Nothing in the customer’s eyes than an honest business where its services speak for itself. Building credibility by showing your customers what your business is all about brings results.
Need help setting up your funnel? Call now for expert advice!
Marketing Funnel for Dentist: Recap
We’ve gone through quite a bit of material, so let’s recap:
- Dental marketing is the process of increasing customer interactions with your dentistry that leads to more sales.
- A Dental Marketing Funnel is a set of steps that leads potential customers into conversion.
- We can track customer movements with a marketing funnel to see where people are most likely to drop out.
- By pinpointing problem areas, we can troubleshoot the bigger issues to increase conversion rates.
- When addressing problems in your marketing funnel, it’s important to work around how your customers will behave.
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