Growing your dental membership program can be your greatest asset to reduce dependence on PPOs which increases your profit margins, Builds a loyal patients base and generates predictable recurring revenue. When you have 1,000 patients or more on your program you will see massive benefits to your practice. If your practice has 1000 patients and you are charging 35/mo that is 35,000/mo in predictable recurring revenue or $420,000/yr. One of the benefits of creating a dental membership program is to smooth out demand and have a stable source of income. If you had $35,000/mo coming into your practice whether you did dentistry or not, what would that change for you? Could you pay payroll consistently and without the stress of not having all the funds at the right moment? Could you cover your overhead predictably each month?
We all know that PPOs delay and reject claims to the dental practice which causes issues with payments and cash flow. I recommend you start building your own membership program that you control and manage because it is your practice and you deserve to have a steady cash flow and less insurance management issues. It is obvious that creating a membership program is beneficial to your practice so let’s talk about some strategies that will help your practice get to 1,000 patients or more on your dental membership program!
Recurring revenue is the best damn business model there is.Anonymous
- Existing Uninsured Patients
If you are just getting started with building your membership program, Congrats! I recommend getting into your practice management software and pulling a report of your uninsured existing patient base. These patients are low hanging fruit! Reach out to them via email, phone text and as they come in to your office. Educate them about your dental membership program, the included benefits and the savings they will receive for becoming a loyal member.
2. Direct Mail Marketing
Having some sort of external marketing strategy to grow your membership program is essential. If you truly want to get 1,000 members you need to be proactively reaching out and educating your local market about your membership program. According to the U.S. surgeon general over 108 million Americans lack dental insurance. This is a large market that your practice can use to grow and help patients. A big mistake that practice make when using direct mail is not focusing on the right message. You need to make sure that your messaging educates uninsured patients about your program as this is the best demographic. You also need to distribute the direct mail pieces to communities where the majority of the residents don’t have dental insurance like 55 and up communities, since they are retiring or getting ready to retire they lose their dental benefits, make sure you are targeting the right locations.
3. Local Business Outreach
A great way to grow your membership is to reach out to patients that own their own company and have employees. You can easily talk to these patients and educate them on why your membership program is better and less expensive than regular dental insurance, once you sign the owner up encourage them to sign up their employees as a benefit for working at the company. You can also reach out to other local businesses in your area an educate them on your membership program. Going directly to local businesses does take a lot of time, I recommend you have a dedicated person do this role. A good strategy to follow is using ground marketing techniques taught by my good friend Michael Arias – http://thedentalmarketer.site/
4. Working With a Broker
This is a new strategy that I am personally experimenting with, but I felt the need to bring this to dental practice owner’s attention. Health insurance brokers talk to small business owners and people buying health and dental plans all day. I think it would be wise for your practice to approach a broker to see if you can hire him and pay him/her a commission for signing up patients and new businesses to your membership program. You will need a way to track sign ups specifically from brokers and a way to pay them either a recurring commission or a percentage of the first year of membership revenue, you can get creative when coming up with commission but I recommend making it a win-win for both broker and practice. I have spoken to my health insurance broker and we are creating a strategy for him to work directly with a few dental practices whose membership programs we help manage. I will be sharing this study in more detail in another article.
5. Social Media Marketing
There are several ways to promote your membership program on social media! 1. Building a following on your facebook group or page for your practice and posting creative, entertaining and educational posts about your dental membership program. Some practices make personal videos that vary from patients talking about why they love being a member to team members educating your following about insurance and why your membership program would be better for them. I highly recommend using this strategy. 2. Social media advertising, This is where you create one or two ads that educate about your membership program and you simply spend money to distribute your ads to your local community on facebook or other platforms, this could be a great way to get the word out quickly and allow patients to get educated. Best practices are to have a clear call to action and collect the leads contact info so that you can personally educate them about your membership program.
6. Getting on the News & Radio
This is another strategy that I am testing out and I will continue to update the industry on how this can effect the growth of your membership program. If you can craft and interesting story about why dental insurance is a bad deal and why your dental membership program will benefit patients then getting on T.V. with your local news station and having them interview you is a huge credibility builder but it will also reach the masses, meaning that your dental practice will be recognized and people will contact your practice to sign up. The same concept goes for new articles online and radio shows. This is the same strategy that I have used to grow BoomCloud in the dental industry. I use existing networks like podcasts industry magazines, blogs and youtube channels to create an educational message and educate practices about my software company, I am very passionate about this marketing strategy and I know it can work well for your dental practice.
There are no silver bullets to marketing, promoting and growing your dental membership program. I would recommend trying the above strategies and testing which one works for your practice, you will most likely have to use the majority of the strategies to generate a good amount of leads and then membership sign ups but it will be worth every effort to grow your membership program. If you are interested in learning more about the concept of a dental membership program you can download my ebook here – www.boomcloudapps.com/book
If you want to grow a successful membership program, i also recommend that you use BoomCloud as your software tool to help you create, organize, track and manage your dental membership program! You can schedule a demo today to see how our software will work with your practice – www.boomcloudapps.com/demo