How To Grow Through Internal Marketing
Drawing new patients to your practice is always a good idea, but engaging with existing patients is equally important. Marketing to your established patient base is a great way to grow your dental practice. If you’ve been wondering whether to invest time into internal marketing, read on for our seven-step countdown to the No. 1 reason why you should consider it.
7. Smart Marketing Budget
On average, it costs five times more money to bring in new clients than it does to keep existing ones. Budget-smart marketing deploys resources in ways that achieve the biggest effect for the smallest up-front cost. Aiming your marketing efforts toward your regular patients costs little compared to its revenue potential.
6. Word of Mouth
Happy patients are the best brand ambassadors you can have, as they’ll tell their friends about what great dental treatment they receive from you. Putting effort into caring for your existing patients will pay off in the form of referrals to friends and family.
Any small way that you improve patient experience is an investment into the growth of your practice because word-of-mouth marketing is extremely effective.
5. Contact Info … and More
Existing patients’ details are already in your system, and their information is updated every time they come into the practice. Reaching out to them through email or text when you already have accurate contact information is quick and easy.
You can even take it a step further. Using mail merge, personalize messages and tailor your marketing to each patient’s specific needs. Send reminders for follow-up treatments or recommend services based on what dental work they’ve already had.
4. Established Trust
Patients keep coming back to your practice when they feel safe and cared for because you’ve earned their trust. Offering a service to someone who has already chosen you as their preferred dental practitioner is much easier than reaching out to a stranger you know nothing about and who doesn’t yet like or trust you.
3. Benefits of Knowing Your Patients
Working with existing patients allows you to offer advanced dental services that support your practice better than new appointments do. Knowing what services you’ve performed for your patients means that you have a good understanding of which additional dental services they can benefit from most.
Building on the work you’ve already completed will increase your practice’s production. Be proactive in offering further services that complement previous treatment.
2. Patient Retention
Engaging with your patients goes a long way to keeping them as loyal customers. This helps you build professional rapport—which in turn will serve you for years to come as a natural outworking of your commitment to dental excellence.
Any business marketing efforts that you do to onboard new patients will be even more effective, as those patients will experience the benefits of your established in-house communication channels. New patients will soon become returning patients, and your practice and patient base will grow.
1. Turn Patients Into Fans
Finally, the number one reason internal marketing ultimately leads to the growth of your practice is this: Happy patients become superfans.
As you treat your patients with warmth and skill, they’ll soon shift from mere patients to raving fans. Fans are loyal and will not only keep coming back but also tell others of your good service everywhere they go.
Four Internal Marketing Campaign Strategies
Once you’ve decided that marketing to your existing patients is worthwhile, how do you go about doing it successfully? Sending out marketing material is one thing, but getting your patients to actually open and read what you send can be more challenging.
Here are four simple strategies to make your internal marketing efforts successful.
1. Creative Coupons
Keep your content interesting and relevant by offering discounts for future services. Adding value that benefits them directly will increase the chances of them coming back.
2. Membership Clubs
Invite patients to join an exclusive club to receive discounts and other benefits. You may make it a paid membership club to give it an exclusive edge, or you could simply create a mailing list for special offers.
For example, a membership club for kids can create buzz around healthy dental habits. This can be especially useful if you specialize in pediatric dentistry. Consider a mascot and a special “membership” badge or branded T-shirt. Send out content suitable for children, such as links to toothbrushing songs or other tooth-related activities.
3. Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs reward regular customers by offering discounts or free items for their support or patronage. An example would be to offer every tenth dental visit for free or hand out branded dental hygiene merchandise, such as toothbrushes and floss. You might even invest in loyalty cards or have an electronic tracking system.
4. Email Campaigns
Email campaigns are a simple yet effective way of engaging with your established clientele. You can inform them of sales, new products, or upcoming specials.
Emails can also be a great way to entertain and educate your patients on interesting new developments in dental technology.
Internal Marketing: The No. 1 Strategy for Dental Practice Growth
As you shift your focus to internal marketing, make sure you have an up-to-date website with current contact information so that all your patients can reach you easily.
Your existing patients are the key to your practice’s growth. As you focus your marketing efforts on them, you will experience a natural influx of new patients too.