Best Marketing Strategies 8 Minutes
In this chapter we talk about some proven marketing strategies that work to grow your dental membership program.
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. One of the biggest problems that practices encounter is not marketing their program. This is crazy essential, especially if your practice wants to reduce dependence on PPOs. Remember in chapter one , we spoke about the growth mindset, one of the key principles was to use your membership program as a marketing tool or an attraction tool. If you are missing this piece in your membership program will plateau or fail.
“Smart entrepreneurs know that they key to success isn’t the originality of your offering, the brilliance of your team, or how much money you can raise. It is how consistently you can grow and acquire new customers , that’s called traction, and it makes everything else easier. Fundraising, hiring, press, partnerships, acquisitions. Hence the importance of marketing.
I want everyone taking this course to read this book, especially practice owners. It is your responsibility to know what works to grow your practice. This book as personally taught me a lot about marketing and how to get new customers. You may be able to hire an in-house person to help your practice with marketing or you will need to hire a 3rd party firm, either way, you will need to educate them on what works for your practice.
1. 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. Think if it this way, news stations, radio, news website all need interesting and informative content. Their business model requires this or they will not stay I business. Help a local reporter out or a local radio station and start educating your local community about your dental membership program.
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 which turn into membership sign ups, it will be worth every effort to grow your membership program. Read the Book Traction and start growing your dental membership program!
If you have questions or comments for me email me at [email protected]
Rock n Roll!
1. Figure out which channel you want to start with
2. Start taking action and setting goals
3. Update me on your progress – [email protected]
Jordon Comstock is the founder and CEO for BoomCloud. He focuses on teaching dental practices about the importance of creating membership programs to generate recurring revenue, build patient loyalty, increase external marketing and increase case acceptance.