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Top 5 Dental Marketing Tactics

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According to research, dentists need a minimum of 24 new patients per month for a dental practice to thrive. New patients are required to keep up with natural recurring attrition. Here are the five most valuable marketing tactics to consider to help you achieve your dental marketing strategy goals:

  1. Internal Marketing
  2. Digital Marketing
  3. Community Involvement
  4. Signage
  5. Print

Internal Marketing

Every dentist's bread and butter should at some point be friends and family referrals. For most dental practices, referrals may account for 50% or more of new patient referral leads. For dental specialists, this will mean doctor referrals. Within dental specialty practices, referrals from GPs may account for as much as 50% or more of new patient referrals. 

Although it may not be your cup of tea, building relationships with patients or referring doctors is an essential part of your marketing strategy – and the best part is that it costs you virtually nothing.

Building Internal Marketing For My Dental Practice

There are two significant parts to building great relationships with patients and referring doctors.

  1. How is your bedside manner?
  2. Do you have excellent front office personnel?

If you are an engaging, kind, respectful individual and treat patients like they are "Rock Stars," they will most likely keep coming back. Moreover, they will begin to refer their friends and family to you. This also includes specialty doctors who engage with referring doctors. When you start to build a relationship of trust and friendship, GPs will not only remember you, but they will be more inclined to refer to you.

Next, your front office personnel needs to be a "people-person ." This includes having kind and caring hygienists. You don't need to over-think your staff's personality traits, but having good engagement policies in your office will help your team engage and connect with your patients.

Think of things during morning huddles, reviewing the patients who come in for the day. And consider what personal connections can be made? Is it a birthday? Does someone enjoy pets? Are they in school or looking for new employment? If you can make patients feel like you "like" them, they will "like" you back and be more inclined to send in referrals.

If you have a great staff and treat your patients or referring doctors like "Rock Stars, " you're nearly done with an internal marketing strategy. The last thing to consider is communicating the need for referrals to your patient. There are many creative ways designed to incentive patients to send in referrals.

  • Referral discounts
  • Friends and family discounts
  • Discounted services for referrals
  • Gift cards and other prizes for referrals
  • Raffle tickets for reviews or social media engagement
  • Social media competitions, ie, coloring contests, photo contests, video contests, etc.
  • Rewards for any type of review. Be cautious here; you don't want to appear to bribe for positive reviews. But you may consider rewarding patients for any review.

Digital Marketing

Having a well-curated website is the foundation of your digital marketing materials. All other digital marketing strategies will struggle without a well-designed and functional website. Therefore, your website is an essential part of your dental marketing strategy. Next, an SEO strategy is the foundation of a digital marketing campaign. As an indirect form of marketing, SEO increases your online visibility, attracting those actively searching for a new dentist. Although other direct forms of digital marketing are highly successful, 7 out of 10 patients prefer to ignore the online ads and skip to the organic search results.

A well-designed dental website and SEO are enough for some practices to carry them through many years of success. We typically see this with practices that also have an awesome Internal Marketing strategy and/or amazing Signage.

When considering a digital marketing strategy, you need to consider how well your Internal Marketing, Signage, and Community Involvement is doing. You may find a delicate balance between all your marketing strategies or find stronger conversions in one area over another. For example, many dental practices require a strong online and digital presence. These tactics may include:

  • Pay-per-click advertising
  • Social media advertising
  • Social media management
  • Review generation
  • Reputation management
  • Blog Management
  • 3rd Party advertisers like Groupon, or other doctor referrals.

Pro Tip: To improve your dental website's ranking, include SEO-optimized keywords in your blogs.

When you understand where your patient referrals are coming from, you can divide your budget to include Digital Marketing, Internal Referrals, Community Involvement, etc., placing more budget into areas that make the most sense.

Be Active in the Community

Being active in community events is one of the most effective ways to improve your dental marketing strategy. You can provide complementary services to sports teams and participate in local celebratory events. Get your name on a banner, hand out brochures, and donate dental swag bags.

Whatever you decide to do, this strategy works best by doing the same sponsorship every year. For example, consider the Orthodontist who sponsors an elementary school event race each year with t-shirts and tot-bags. Or the dentist, who sponsors High School Football events with banners and gift bags. These forms of messaging work – and they can work well!


Being in a high-traffic area and having a prominent sign to your office or building is a great way to advertise to passers-by. We find practices that have a great location with a more pronounced, personal sign do far better with new patient conversions than those without. Location is pivotal to your marketing strategy. Although this is not always possible, consider high-traffic areas with the availability of larger Signage when considering a location. This type of marketing strategy nearly off-sets the costs of other marketing campaigns for the life of the practice.

We serve many dental practices with outstanding locations and Signage and find that those with a great location and Signage can cut back their budget on marketing due to the impact their site and Signage are offering.


Lastly, but most certainly not least, is printed materials. Although we live in a digital age, printed materials still have their place and are still successful in marketing to your potential patients. As a professional healthcare provider, you will want to communicate that you are indeed a professional and refined practice to likely patients. This will begin with a well-refined Brand & Identity design.

Once you have a great design and identity for your practice, consider referral pads for specialty doctors, letters, folders, business cards, brochures, etc. Your printed materials will scream with an incredible brand – we are indeed an awesome practice.

Next, consider printed advertising in Direct Mail, shopping carts, newspapers or community news, and value books. Digital marketing does not resonate with everyone. However, direct Mail may connect with those that cannot be reached digitally by reaching out and connecting with patients in a different way. 

Dental Marketing Agency

Are you looking for a Medical Marketing Agency in the USA? Medical Marketing Guru can help your dental practice reach new heights and get new patients. For more information, call us at (877) 570-9880 right away!

Posted on Apr 11, 2022
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