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Dental Marketing Ideas: 4 Ways to Acquire New Patients

Finding new patients is a priority for dental practices. Stand out from the competition with these four innovative marketing strategies.

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When life gets in the way, one of the first things to be deprioritized is our visit to the dentist.

Out of all the primary caregivers, dentists have the largest percentage of avoidance. Over 43% of Americans admit they don’t see a dentist as often as they’d like.

That doesn’t mean to say Americans don’t find dentistry important, 95% say it’s critical to their overall health.

Knowing the population wants to visit the dentist more frequently isn’t enough. Dental practices need to get patients into the chair. 

Here are our top dental marketing tips to help you acquire new patients.

Best Dental Marketing Ideas for New Patients

The inconsistency of returning patients makes acquiring new ones a priority for dental practices. In fact, the average dentist requires 25-50 new patients per month to grow their practice.

Competition for new patients is tough, but these dental marketing ideas will set you apart. 

1. Create a Patient Referral Program

A referral program works in two ways. 

It maintains excellence within your dental practice – if you want people to refer friends and family, you need to be referable. And, it has the snowball effect of continuously bringing in those all-important new patients.

If you think your referral program has to be a direct reduction in prices, think again. 

Take Westgate Dental Care, for example. This dental practice decided to leverage its referral program as an opportunity to work with other local businesses.

One referral is one entry into the quarterly contest. 

By working with businesses outside of the healthcare industry, Westgate Dental Care’s reach goes well beyond what it would achieve by limiting the referral program to its waiting room. 

2. Sponsor Local Events

Sponsorship puts your branding in front of a new audience. Usually, in a very large format. Whether your logo is on a banner, flyers, or on event merchandise, you can be sure event sponsors will be seen everywhere. 

Tying your dental practice to a high-profile local event adds credibility, simply by association. In fact, 74% of consumers are more likely to buy from a business after exposure to a branded event. 

The thought process goes like this: Why would ‘X big local event’ want to be sponsored by or associated with an untrustworthy company?

Simply put, they wouldn’t. No event wants its reputation damaged by associating with the wrong sponsors.

Rather than investing unnecessary money in large, state-wide events, focus on your local community. Patients don’t want to travel far and wide to attend the dentist. 

A large event may expose you to thousands of people, but only a handful of those will be relevant. Sponsoring smaller events puts you in view of prospective patients within your community.

3. Provide Teledentistry

Dentist appointments have been declining since 2003. Teledentistry provides accessible, convenient care to those who need it.

The term teledentistry covers the broad use of technology within the dental industry. However, when it comes to patients, it refers to virtual dental services, usually in the form of video consultations.

It’s particularly useful for those who:

  • Live far away or lack access to a dentist
  • Have a phobia of the dentist
  • Are vulnerable or immunocompromised

In these circumstances, dental practices can use technology to leverage the dental care they offer.

There are two ways dentists can make the most of teledentistry.

1. Advertise it across your marketing channels

Let patients know you’re now offering teledentistry services by publicizing it across social media, on your website, and during in-person appointments.

Put flyers up in the waiting room and encourage patients to ask staff members about it if they know someone who may be in need of teledentistry.

2. Sign up to a teledentistry directory

With directories such as Dentulu, you can reach beyond your local community. Dental practices sign up to the directory, which patients then use to find a dentist and make an appointment. 

With no geographical limitations, you can sign up to a number of different directories. You can also niche down on what particular services you’re able to offer through a video consult.

For the 20% of Americans living in rural locations without access to dental services, teledentistry eliminates the need to travel. For dentists, the service increases your reach beyond the practice walls.

3. Ask Your Patients to Leave Online Reviews

Reviews are one of the most important marketing tools for your business.

SEO, or search engine optimization, is how your business shows up on search engines. 

For example, a patient searching ‘Dentists in Chicago’ will receive thousands of pages of results. SEO is how your practice gets to the top. 

SEO is influenced by a variety of factors, and reviews are one of them. Real patients sharing their experiences look great in the eyes of Google.

In fact, with 93% of customers influenced by reviews, it’s safe to say there’s more than one reason to invest time in a review strategy.

We recommend using a simple SMS strategy to get reviews.

How to Use SMS to Get a Review For Your Dental Practice

With a 98% open rate, texting is your best friend for effective marketing campaigns. 

A text marketing platform like SimpleTexting is the best way to manage contacts, create and send appointment reminders, and communicate with patients directly or via mass text messaging.

When you’ve signed up, you can make posting a review as easy as possible for your patients.

Today 9:20 AM
Thank you for visiting ST Dentist! We’d love for you to share your experience with new and current patients. Leave a review here:

Short-link URLs allow you to send a direct link to the review portal. As 85% of Americans own a smartphone, your patients can open a new window and leave a review within seconds. 

4. Think Outside of The Box

We’ve all received postcards in the mail from local practitioners and dentists. More often than not, the first festive holiday card through the mailbox is from a local business.

The key to acquiring new patients among the dozens of holiday postcards sent each year is to make an impression.

That’s exactly what Seth Mendelsohn did when he was looking to acquire new patients for Longmont Dental Loft.

After compiling a list of new residents in the local area, Seth and the team created branded gift boxes and hand-delivered them to those that had moved in within the last six months.

The boxes contained a layer of purple tissue paper to reflect the dental surgery’s brand colors, as well as toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, and lip balm. They also added a postcard with a handwritten note for even more of a personal touch.

Longmont Dental Loft’s time and effort on the project paid off. Delivering the gift boxes resulted in nearly six times the number of new patients joining the practice when compared with how many join after receiving a postcard.

The time taken by the surgery to hand-deliver gifts to their community showed prospective patients that this is a dental practice that cares. It highlighted the surgery’s trustworthiness and left a long-lasting impression reflected in the success of the marketing campaign.

Stand Out From the Competition With Our Dental Marketing Ideas

The high level of competition means you need to invest in marketing strategies that will make your dental practice stand out.

With the rise in technology, however, you’re no longer limited by geographical location or in-person appointments. Use this to your advantage by reaching out to patients and joining national directories.

Above all else, the key to acquiring new patients is being memorable. Showing people you care can go a long way in a small community.

Alice Dodd
Alice Dodd

Alice is a copywriter at SimpleTexting. When not teaching the world about the benefits of business texting, you can find her feeding family, friends and strangers with her latest baking experiment.

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