Discounts are a popular marketing strategy that dental offices often rely on to attract new patients. Of course… Who doesn’t like a good deal? The question is, however, are discounts really the best way to attract the kind of quality patient you want to retain over the long term? For some practices, yes, but for others, maybe not.
The truth is, offering discounts to new patients can be an effective marketing tool, especially if you have a well-organized follow-up and follow-up plan. There is always the option to recommend additional treatments to patients who meet a unique offering, and sometimes they will stay with your practice for the long term. More often than not, however, the practice managing the special and the patient responding to it have different agendas.
While the dental office is generally looking to attract new patients who will refer others and also keep coming back for additional treatments, patients who come in due to a special offer are more likely to be the shopper and shopper type. maybe not looking for a permanent dental “home”.
Additionally, firms may feel pressure to downsize services in order to compete in their market, as many other firms seem to constantly have special offers. But this may not necessarily be the right strategy for your particular practice.
Before using discounts as your primary strategy to attract new patients, ask yourself:
- When I run a special, do I normally receive good quality patients?
- Are patients actually showing up to receive the special?
- Do the patients who come follow the treatment recommendations?
- Do the people who respond to my specials actually turn into long-term patients?
If you answer NO to more than one of these questions, you may want to consider a different approach or, at the very least, reconsider how often and how much you are discounted on your services.
Another thing to consider is how offering discounts affects your bottom line. If you think you should always offer discounts to attract new patients, what impact does that have on your practice’s revenue? Are you missing out on profits because too many of your patients come just for specials and don’t use your practice as their primary dental practice? If you analyze your patient list and find that a good number of them have only come for specials and are not coming for regular hygiene visits or other treatments, you may be missing out. money on the table.
In fact, while offering special offers for new patients can be a great way to introduce people to your practice, it is not the only way and it is not always the most effective. If you don’t see the results you want by offering discounts, there are other things you can do to make sure your practice remains competitive.
For example, if your marketing efforts focus more on quality of care and focus on the things that make your practice unique, you will likely attract a higher caliber of patients overall. It will take longer, and you won’t get that glut of patients at the start of the campaign, but in the long run, your practice will reap greater benefits.
Patients who come to you for reasons other than a cheap procedure are more likely to come back to you in the future, and because they are less likely to just shop, the chances that they will follow your recommendations. processing are much higher. These are the patients who come to you because they appreciate and agree with the philosophy of your practice.
They will also refer other people because of the high quality care they have received.
In summary, offering discounts doesn’t have to be a go-to strategy to drive new patients, especially if it hasn’t historically yielded the benefits you expected. You can work with your marketing partner to find other, more effective strategies for attracting high quality patients who will stay in your practice for the long term.
It may take some trial and error, but with diligence and patience, your firm can begin to rely less and less on discounts.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
With over a decade of corporate dental lab marketing and brand development experience, Ms. Ulasewich-Cullen decided to take her passion for the dental industry and marketing to the next level by founding My dental agency. Since starting her business, she and her team have helped a wide variety of firms across the country focus their message, reach their target audience, and increase sales through effective marketing campaigns. She can be reached at (800) 689-6434 or by email at [email protected].