Do you offer teeth whitening at your office? Of course you do; most dental offices do. But how much whitening do you actually perform every month? If you’re like most practices, probably not much. The main reason for this is you’re likely not proactive about it and only talk about whitening when your patients bring it up. Can you do better? Don’t worry, this won’t be a post about how to sell more whitening chairside. You already know that talking to patients directly about whitening works – it’s just that it takes effort, a sales-oriented mindset, and you will only remember to do it a small percentage of the time. Even if you did commit to evangelizing whitening to scheduled patients, the one-to-one nature of this effort would mean you’re spreading the word pretty slowly.
What we’ll cover instead is how to get more patients asking you about whitening by directly marketing to them outside the four walls of your office. If you’re unnerved by the term “direct marketing,” please know it just means “send them stuff,” including email, text messages and direct mail, to reach them where they are. This kind of direct marketing is incredibly easy with a patient communication system like RevenueWell because it gives you prebuilt content and a quick way to reach all of your patients cost effectively – but the truth is you could probably put together a program like this yourself.
What does a good direct marketing program look like?
The most effective forms of direct marketing typically employ a blend of both promotional and educational messages – which is to say, the marketing campaigns you send out should be designed first to get your patients thinking about whitening, then to educate them about what it entails, and lastly, to ask for the sale. Here are some ideas on the campaigns you could get started on right away:
- An informational campaign to simply let them know you offer whitening. Many patients believe whitening is something they get in a toothpaste or in a take-home kit from the nearest big box store. Let them know the better way to do it is via the professional whitening services you offer at your office.
- A campaign that educates recipients as to the benefits of modern whitening procedures. You’ll want to mention that today’s products work better, faster and result in less sensitivity than ever before.
- Highlight the availability of the different options you provide. Suggest the take-home options you offer, which (you’ll mention) are far superior to over-the-counter products, and your chairside procedures. In just a few lines of text you can cover everything from simple maintenance whitening to deep bleaching that eradicates the toughest of stains. Every patient is different, so communicating a breadth of options is best.
- Tell them how affordable whitening has become: some programs, like Sinsational Smile and a few others, are very inexpensive when done as part of a hygiene appointment. Most patients don’t know this, so educate and incentivize them to consider a consultation at their next appointment.
- Campaign around holidays and events: events like weddings, graduations and proms can work exceedingly well because you’ll be sending the right incentive to the right demographic just when they’re thinking about the event you’re referencing. This sort of ultra-targeted direct marketing is very effective, and can be very profitable.
You’ll be amazed how well the above approaches can work. Whitening can add a substantial boost to the bottom line of your practice if you do it consistently and professionally. It also acts as a great conversation starter for more advanced cosmetic offerings your patients might not currently be considering. So test out these strategies, and watch them work!