Fee for Service Dental Marketing: Proven Strategies

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Marketing is essential for any business, but for fee-for-service (FFS) dental practices, it takes on an even greater significance. Without the cushion of insurance reimbursements, FFS dental practices must rely heavily on their ability to attract and retain patients directly. This article will delve into why marketing is especially critical for FFS dental practices and explore various proven strategies, including emergency marketing, patient membership plans, Google Maps optimization, enhancing patient experience, direct mail marketing, and other methods to attract uninsured patients.

Why Marketing is Critical for Fee for Service Dental Practices

Building Direct Relationships with Patients

Unlike traditional dental practices that operate under insurance agreements, FFS dental practices depend on creating and maintaining direct relationships with their patients. This direct relationship necessitates a robust marketing strategy to communicate the value of services, establish trust, and ensure patient loyalty.

Emphasizing Unique Value Propositions

FFS dental practices often offer more personalized, high-quality care compared to insurance-based practices. Effective marketing helps convey these unique value propositions to potential patients, showcasing why choosing an FFS practice over an insurance-based one is beneficial.

Financial Stability and Growth

Without the predictability of insurance reimbursements, FFS dental practices must consistently attract new patients to maintain financial stability and foster growth. Strategic marketing campaigns can drive patient acquisition and retention, ensuring a steady revenue stream.

Emergency Marketing: Leveraging Urgency

Targeting Urgent Care Needs

Marketing emergency dental services present a prime opportunity for FFS dental practices to attract new patients. Marketing these services effectively can capture patients who need immediate care and might not have an existing dental provider. The best fee for service dental marketing leverages urgency and provides ways to help the patient feel comfortable.

Creating Urgent Care Campaigns

  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising: Run PPC campaigns targeting keywords related to dental emergencies. These ads can capture high-intent searches and direct them to your practice.
  • Social Media Promotions: Use social media platforms to promote your emergency services, highlighting availability and quick response times.
  • Local SEO Optimization: Ensure your practice is easily found by optimizing your website for local search terms related to emergency dental care.

Converting Emergency Patients into Regular Patients

Once you’ve treated an emergency patient, follow up with them to convert them into a regular patient. Offer them a discount on their next visit or introduce them to your patient membership plan.

Patient Membership Plans: Attracting and Retaining Uninsured Patients

Designing Attractive Membership Plans

Patient membership plans can be a game-changer for FFS dental practices, especially for attracting and retaining uninsured patients. These plans can offer a range of benefits, such as regular check-ups, cleanings, and discounts on other services.

  • Tiered Plans: Offer multiple tiers of membership plans to cater to different patient needs and budgets.
  • Inclusive Services: Ensure that the plans include essential services like routine exams, cleanings, and X-rays.
  • Discounts on Additional Services: Provide discounts on non-included services to incentivize patients to opt for additional treatments.

Marketing Membership Plans – Fee for Service Dental Marketing

  • Website Promotion: Highlight the membership plans prominently on your website.
  • Email Campaigns: Send targeted email campaigns to existing and potential patients, explaining the benefits of your membership plans.
  • In-Office Promotions: Use brochures, posters, and staff recommendations to promote membership plans to visiting patients.

Google Maps Optimization: Enhancing Local Visibility

Optimizing Your Google My Business Profile

A well-optimized Google My Business (GMB) profile can significantly boost your practice’s local visibility.

  • Complete Profile Information: Ensure your GMB profile is complete with accurate information, including address, phone number, and hours of operation.
  • High-Quality Images: Upload high-quality images of your practice, staff, and services.
  • Patient Reviews: Encourage satisfied patients to leave positive reviews on your GMB profile.

Local SEO Strategies

  • Localized Keywords: Use localized keywords in your website content and meta descriptions.
  • Local Listings: Ensure your practice is listed in local online directories.
  • Backlinks from Local Sources: Obtain backlinks from reputable local websites to boost your local SEO rankings.

Patient Experience Strategies – Fee for Service Dental Marketing

Enhancing the Patient Experience

A superior patient experience can set your FFS dental practice apart from competitors. Here are some strategies to enhance patient experience:

  • Personalized Care: Train staff to provide personalized care and attention to each patient.
  • Comfortable Environment: Create a comfortable and welcoming environment in your practice.
  • Streamlined Processes: Use technology to streamline appointment scheduling, check-ins, and follow-ups.

Checklist and Quiz for a Quality Patient Experience

Create a checklist and quiz to ensure your practice consistently delivers a high-quality patient experience. Here’s a sample checklist:

  1. Greeting: Are patients greeted warmly upon arrival?
  2. Waiting Time: Is the waiting time reasonable and comfortable?
  3. Cleanliness: Is the office clean and well-maintained?
  4. Staff Friendliness: Are staff members friendly and helpful?
  5. Patient Communication: Is there clear communication about procedures and costs?
  6. Follow-Up: Is there a follow-up procedure to check on patient satisfaction?

Create a quiz for patients to assess their experience, with questions covering the above points and a scoring system to identify areas for improvement.

Direct Mail Marketing: Reaching Your Local Community

Crafting Effective Direct Mail Campaigns

Direct mail can be an effective way to reach potential patients in your local community.

  • Targeted Mailings: Use demographic data to target specific neighborhoods or demographics.
  • Compelling Offers: Include compelling offers, such as discounts on first visits or free consultations.
  • Professional Design: Ensure your mailers are professionally designed and visually appealing.

Tracking and Analyzing Results

Track the results of your direct mail campaigns to assess their effectiveness. Use unique codes or landing pages to measure response rates and adjust your strategy based on the results.

Other Marketing Strategies to Attract Uninsured Patients

Social Media Marketing

Leverage social media platforms to reach a broader audience. Share informative content, patient testimonials, and promotions to engage with potential patients.

  • Facebook Ads: Run targeted ads on Facebook to reach local audiences.
  • Instagram Posts: Use Instagram to share visually appealing content and engage with followers.

Content Marketing

Create valuable content that addresses common dental concerns and showcases your expertise.

  • Blog Posts: Write blog posts on topics relevant to your patients, such as oral hygiene tips, treatment options, and patient success stories.
  • Videos: Produce videos explaining dental procedures, sharing patient testimonials, and introducing your team.

Community Involvement

Participate in community events and sponsorships to increase your practice’s visibility and build relationships within the community.

  • Health Fairs: Participate in local health fairs to promote your services and connect with potential patients.
  • School Programs: Offer educational programs in local schools to teach children about oral health and promote your practice to their parents.

Case Study: Transforming an FFS Dental Practice with Membership Plans


Dr. Nelson’s dental practice, located in a suburban area, faced the challenge of maintaining a steady flow of patients in a competitive market. Despite offering high-quality services, the practice struggled to attract uninsured patients and relied heavily on walk-ins and word-of-mouth referrals.


In 2019, Dr. Nelson decided to implement a patient membership plan to attract uninsured patients and retain existing ones. The membership plan was structured as follows:

  • Monthly Fee: $45 per month
  • Included Services: Two routine exams, two cleanings, one set of X-rays per year, and 20% off other services


Dr. Nelson and his team marketed the membership plan through various channels:

  • Website: The membership plan was prominently featured on the practice’s homepage.
  • Email Campaigns: Targeted email campaigns were sent to existing patients and prospects.
  • In-Office Promotions: Staff promoted the membership plan during patient visits.
  • Direct Mail: A direct mail campaign targeted local households, offering a special sign-up discount.


The membership plan quickly gained traction, and within a year, the practice had signed up over 1,300 active membership patients. The financial impact was significant:

  • Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR): 1,300 patients * $45/month = $58,500/month
  • Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR): $58,500/month * 12 months = $702,000/year

Impact on the Practice

The introduction of the membership plan transformed Dr. Nelson’s practice in several ways:

  • Steady Revenue Stream: The practice now enjoys a predictable and steady revenue stream, reducing financial uncertainty.
  • Increased Patient Retention: Membership patients are more likely to remain loyal to the practice, leading to higher retention rates.
  • Attraction of Uninsured Patients: The membership plan made dental care more affordable and accessible to uninsured patients, significantly expanding the patient base.
  • Enhanced Patient Experience: The plan’s inclusivity of routine services and discounts on additional treatments improved patient satisfaction and encouraged regular visits.

BoomCloud: Revolutionizing Membership Plans for Dental Practices

BoomCloud is a leading platform designed to help dental practices create, manage, and grow their in-house membership programs seamlessly. Dr. Nelson’s practice utilized BoomCloud to streamline the implementation of their membership plan. The platform provided the necessary tools to easily set up and customize the plan, automate billing and renewals, and track membership analytics. By leveraging BoomCloud, Dr. Nelson’s practice was able to efficiently manage over 1,300 active members, ensuring consistent communication and engagement. This integration allowed the practice to focus on delivering exceptional patient care while benefiting from the steady revenue and improved patient retention that BoomCloud facilitated. Schedule a demo to see if BoomCloud is a fit for your practice.


Marketing is crucial for fee-for-service dental practices to attract and retain patients without the support of insurance reimbursements. By implementing strategies like emergency marketing, patient membership plans, Google Maps optimization, enhancing patient experience, direct mail marketing, and other targeted approaches, FFS dental practices can build a strong patient base and ensure long-term success.

Summary of Key Strategies

  • Emergency Marketing: Leverage urgency to attract patients in need of immediate care.
  • Patient Membership Plans: Offer attractive plans to retain uninsured patients.
  • Google Maps Optimization: Enhance local visibility with a well-optimized GMB profile.
  • Patient Experience: Focus on delivering a superior patient experience with a checklist and quiz.
  • Direct Mail Marketing: Use direct mail to reach local communities with compelling offers.
  • Social Media and Content Marketing: Engage with potential patients through social media and valuable content.

Download "The Million Dollar Membership Plan" E-book!

Learn tactics and strategies from practices that have built a million dollars in recurring revenue from their membership subscriptions alone! Creating a patient membership plan is the smartest strategy to implment in your practice. You will increase patient satisfaction & loyalty, Increase predictable recurring revenue & improve your case acceptence by 3X with members. Download the book Now!