You finally took the leap and created your own In-House Dental Membership Savings Plan. But how do you get patients to join? You have to market your plan and let patients know you offer a new savings program.
Coming up with a successful strategy to market your dental membership plan can be tough to do. So we’ve compiled over 30 different ways to market your dental membership plan to make life easier for you and your team.
Marketing your In-House Dental Membership Savings Plan
- DO THIS FIRST!
- Using your Team
- In-Office Collateral
- Digital Marketing
- Social Media
- Print and Traditional
- Locations and Events
Your Website: The #1 First Step when Marketing your Plan
Before you read any further: The VERY FIRST STEP when launching your plan is to create a dedicated web page on your website for your in-office membership plan. This page is known as a landing page, and it will lay out your membership options, while providing more detailed information on any in-office dental savings plan(s) you offer.
It’s a fundamental step, since it gives you a single resource where you can direct prospective patients or anyone who wants to learn more about your program.
The page should also provide a link to purchase your plan (which is where using a good online dental membership platform comes in handy), or at minimum let patients know how they can purchase a plan offered at your practice.
Now that you have a place for patients to find more information about your discount program, you can start on creating your marketing plan and strategy.
Using your Team to Build Awareness among Patients
1. Appointment Reminders
If you’re going to be contacting your patients to remind them of their appointment, you might as well use that time to your advantage and mention your dental membership plan. Make it a routine to discuss your plan whenever you talk to your patient. The more you mention it, the more they’ll think about it. Once they have all the facts and time to think about it, they might eventually sign up. Add something like “Be sure to ask about our dental membership plan at your upcoming appointment. See you soon!”
2. Have a Conversation with Uninsured Patients
There could be a million reasons why someone doesn’t have dental insurance. Rather than getting personal and asking why they don’t, mention to them that there is another option. Inform them of how they can benefit from your plan and why it might help them more than traditional insurance. Say something like “If you do not have access to/are not interested in dental insurance, joining our dental membership plan could be a great alternative.”
3. Have Your Staff Wear a Pin
If every employee in your office is wearing a pin on their shirt that says, “Ask about our membership program,” it’s bound to catch the attention of your patients. They will notice the call to action and be intrigued. If they don’t ask about it, you can always start the conversation about it, and they will be reminded of it every time they see someone wearing the pin.
4. Team Building: Staff Incentives and Contests
Set monthly or quarterly goals for your team, such as discussing the plan options with patients, or helping patients purchase the plan. You can even gamify the activity by offering rewards to team members who achieve the most success connecting with patients. Gamification can build team morale and make it fun for everyone to participate.
Keeping track of goals on a leader board encourages effort and helps determine the top performing team members at the end of the reporting period. Alternatively, an online dental membership platform, like DentalStores, can automate this process and track sales by team member in real time.
5. Membership Signup Bonus
Everyone loves free stuff, right? Offer your patients a small gift for signing up for your membership plan. It could be your favorite toothpaste, or a gift card to purchase products or services.
People are more inclined to join something when they are getting additional benefits. It’s always good to make your patients feel appreciated and strengthen your relationship. Simply add something like “Join today and get a free giftcard!” to your business cards or brochures to let patients know.
Alternatively you can use an online membership platform that automates this process by bundling your choice of products, gift cards, or other services, into each sale and then automatically delivering these bonus items to your patients upon signup. This type of service requires no work on your end, so you can get creative with membership signup bonuses and incentives.
6. Patient Referrals
Reward patients who refer others to your plan. You can make a reward system where every person they refer, they get a point. Once they get 5 points, they get a gift card or a small gift.
The best way to keep track is to look for an online dental savings plan platform that allows you to customize your membership registration form so that it asks for this information during sign up.
Everyone loves free stuff! A small incentive for a referral can go a long way towards new memberships.
In-Office Marketing Collateral for your Dental Plan
1. Signs/Posters in your office
Here’s marketing that’s quick and easy to do: Print out a few signs or posters, and hang them around your office. They don’t have to be fancy – a sign can be a simple printout created in MS Word.
Just provide some basic information about your dental membership plan and direct questions to team members. Listing a few of the key benefits and emphasizing anything that makes your plan stand out is helpful. Show the savings or describe how easy it is to signup.
You can take the information from your posters and signs and elaborate more in a brochure that you can handout to patients. It gives you the space to discuss your plan in-depth and provide answers to common questions. This can be especially useful to people who prefer having something physical they can look at rather than looking at a website on their phone.
Some Membership Platform Services help you create a brochure when you signup, but if you’re winging it on your own, you can use a free service, like Canva, to whip up a simple, yet visually appealing, brochure.
Have some stickers on hand with the name of your office and a little blurb about your membership plan. Stick them on every paper, envelope, or card you hand out. Don’t let anything leave your office without a sticker on it! You can create custom stickers with a service like Sticker Mule.
4. Business Cards
Next time you’re printing your business cards, add some info about your membership plan. You don’t have to add much, just something short and simple, so people know you offer it. Have them displayed at the front desk, hand them out to patients, or include them in mailers, goody bags or other giveaways. Canva is a free online service, and makes it pretty simple to create/design just about anything you need to print for your business, especially business cards.
Digital Marketing Options for Dental Membership Plans
1. Your Office Blog
With a blog, you can provide more information than just the FAQs about your plan, you can describe the benefits of becoming a member and really convey the value of your in-house membership offering. Having a blog is traditionally considered a best practice, since you can also use the platform to talk about anything pertaining to your office, oral care products, or dental care in general. Here’s a good example of a dental practice’s blog .
2. Search Ads on Google, Bing and DuckDuckGo
These are pay-per-click platforms that allow your ads to be displayed when prospective patients are searching the internet. You can have your dental practice show up at the top whenever someone searches for key words. They will see your name pop up before any of your competitors and will make you seem like the best option.
Google owns about 90% of the world’s searches, so it’s a great platform to advertise your dental membership plan. Bing is becoming more popular as it bundled right into the new Edge browser and Windows 10, which powers billions of computers, and might be cheaper than Google. DuckDuckGo is an up and coming search engine focused on user privacy, but still allows businesses to run ads against millions of searches done on their site each day.
For the best results, you should definitely get the help of a 3rd party ad agency. Here’s a Guide to Google Ads if you want to learn more on your own.
3. Google Display Ads and Youtube Video
Want to appeal to 70% of internet users? Try using Youtube for posting videos or run ads on other videos via Google Ads.
Google Ads also allows you to place display ads on blogs or content/articles on major news and media websites.
4. Business Listings on Maps and Local Search
Business listings like Google My Business (GMB) and Bing Places are a free and easy option to get the word out about your services and membership plans. The GMB Business Panel even allows you to display offers and new content to those searching for your practice.
Email is a classic digital marketing technique. An email campaign can be 40 times more effective than social media marketing. Over 90% of internet users have an email account, allowing you to target a large group of people in almost every age group.
You can use email to introduce your membership plan to current patients who do not have insurance. A monthly newsletter with articles, promotions, or new services you’re offering is also a great opportunity to talk about your plan.
Here’s a Pro Tip: Add information and a link to your dental membership plans on your email signature. Think about all the emails your practice sends to patients – now all of your recipients will be able to learn about your savings plan.
Using a service like MailChimp (we even use it!) allows you to create and schedule emails to send to your contacts. The audience feature allows you to segment your contacts into different groups. Other free email marketing sites include Moosend and Sendinblue. Here’s a great Guide to email marketing
6. Digital TV Ads in the Office
When showing a TV ad in your office, it’s important for your content to be creative and catch people’s attention. Repeat key information and use terms or visuals they will remember. Funny, unique and visually engaging content helps – for some inspiration check out Channel D. Check out: Tips for making a TV ad
7. Get on a Podcast (or Make your Own!)
Podcasts are the new talk radio – and they’re huge! For good reason too: they often make great entertainment and can help listeners learn more about various topics. Many are recorded locally or regionally, so if you find a podcast that resonates with you or that you believe reaches the right people, you can contact them and ask how to become a guest or sponsor.
You can go on live, sponsor an episode, or just have them play your ad. You can even create your own podcast. This is a more modern approach to radio marketing. Check out: An example of our own client featured on a podcast & Most Popular Dental Podcasts
Marketing your Plan on Social Media
1. Instagram: Best for Millennials and Gen Z
Marketing on Instagram is the way to go for Millennials and Gen Z. The youngest Gen Zs are in their early teens and the oldest Millennials are approaching 40.
When posting, be sure to use a modern, striking design to catch patient’s attention. Images that showcase simplicity, technology or a new, non-traditional approach to dental care, will do well.
You can also post ads based on certain demographics. Anyone can see them without having to follow your account. You can choose if you want these ads to be seen on their feed or while they’re clicking through Instagram stories.
For additional help on social media, looking into a 3rd party ad agency or a freelancer is always a good option to really step up your game. Check out: Tips for Using Instagram for Business & Instagram Guide to Ads
2. Facebook: Best for Millennials, Baby Boomers, and Moms
Facebook is a great place for older Millennials, Gen X, Gen Y, or even Baby Boomers. These groups combined range from 40-76 years old. This platform is booming with parents, especially moms. They not only use Facebook for entertainment, but also to discover new products or services. Recommendations, reviews and other personal references are great for attracting new patients. Authentic content, like live video and behind-the-scenes glimpses does best here.
Similar to Instagram, you can place targeted ads on Facebook. You can market your dental membership plan to families, single adults, those on the verge of retirement, and many more. The audience on Facebook is very broad and can be a great option if you want to target a wide range of people. Need inspiration? Check out this dental Facebook page . If you’re interested in advertising then check out the Facebook Guide to Ads.
3. Tik Tok: Best for Gen Z
Millions of people under the age of 25 are active on TikTok. While some might be too young to fully understand or need a dental savings plan, there is still a group of young adults who may find this information very valuable.
There are many health professionals present on Tik Tok, especially dentists. They create videos of them dancing to popular audios, while giving dental advice or recommendations. Some have thousands or even millions of followers. Sneaking in a message about dental membership plans into a dance or song will catch the attention of younger people while informing them with useful information. But don’t take our word for it, see all the dentist videos on Tik Tok for yourself.
This platform could help you target patients just getting out of college or other young working adults. Here’s a great article on How to use Tik Tok for Business
4. LinkedIn: Best for Marketing to Businesses
LinkedIn is a hotspot for business professionals. Even though they mostly use this platform for the latest business news, they are still people with basic needs. One of those needs may be dental care for themselves or their employees.
Start by creating a page for your dental practice and then post updates or provide information about your services and plans. People can follow your page to keep up with all aspects of your practice. Developing a membership savings plan that specifically appeals to local employers would help small businesses offer affordable dental care to their employees.
You can connect with prospective patients and generate interest from businesses for free, or you can place ads with a link to your website where people can find out more information pertaining to your membership plan. For more information visit How to Create a LinkedIn Page, Company Page Best Practices and How to Make a LinkedIn Ad
5. Twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat: Best for Avoiding the Crowds
Twitter is a great option for appealing to 18-49 year old patients who like to keep tabs on current events and news. Another useful stat is that nearly two-thirds (60%) of their users are men.
Similar to other social media platforms, Twitter allows you to target a specific audience and show relevant advertisements based on user’s interests. You can post videos, pictures, polls, or just a basic text tweet. Check out How Twitter Ads work
Pinterest and Snapchat could also be useful to appeal to women and teens. Pinterest is a good place to post blogs with advice and aspirational photos of treatment. Snapchat is good for posting a quick video of your staff having fun at the office.
Print and Traditional Marketing
1. Local Newspaper or Printed Media
Target the local population by advertising your dental membership plan in the newspaper. This will grab the attention of older generations or anyone who might not have access to the internet. Even though the internet can be used for pretty much anything now, there is a large audience who still reads the newspaper. You could also advertise in local magazines or any form of printed media. This is a traditional method that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Check out: The secrets to effective newspaper advertising
2. Direct Mail
It is important to have a compelling message with a design that appeals to the demographic you’re looking to attract. You don’t need to waste a ton of time on the most spectacular design, but also don’t neglect it. It is more important to focus on the content of the message. Have a call to action that will intrigue the reader. Make sure they know exactly what your offering and explain any next steps they can take. Encourage them to check out your website and social media channels. Once again, Canva has your back to make the best postcards to send.
3. Press Release
A press release is an announcement about your service that you want to put into the news media. Journalists, both digital and print, will look for new and interesting topics they can bring to their readers.
You can use a free service, like PRLog, to distribute your press release to select publications, and over time, it could be picked up by many more. It’s always good to include keywords, and a link or phone number to get more information, as well as any benefits and/or statistics to make it more appealing.
4. Outside Signage
Advertise your membership plan with a sign outside of your office. You can use an LED sign to catch people’s attention and make them think about it before they even enter your office. This allows you to also reach people passing by your office without paying for big billboards. Check out: Examples of outside signage on Pinterest
5. Local News Stations
Your local news is one channel that almost everyone watches. They might not watch every day, but it’s a good place to advertise to people in your area. Even if they just have it on in the background, prospective patients will still be informed of your practice and membership plan. People will hear your name and then be able to recognize it if they heard it again. Learn more on How to buy local TV ads
93% of Americans tune into the radio at least once a week. Not only can people tune in from their car or portable radio, but they can also listen online. They can find their favorite local radio stations on their phone or computer wherever they are.
If you have some room in your marketing budget and want to do something BIG, a billboard is always an option. You can grab the attention of anyone in the area, whether they’re driving to work or just going for a walk. They might pass the same billboard every day on their commute and be more compelled to look into it.
Marketing Membership Plans at Locations or Events
1. Local Events
Do some research to find a local event that appeals to the demographic you want to advertise to. You can also just go to an event that is not very specific and attracts a wide range of people. You can set up a stand to talk about your dental membership plans, put up billboards or signs, or be a sponsor for the event. Have a lot of brochures to hand out to people and be prepared to talk to anyone about your services and plan.
2. 55+ or Senior Communities
You can place ads around 55+ communities, or inside of senior apartment buildings. This is a great way to attract the older crowd and emphasize how it will benefit them specifically. You can make these ads specialized to their needs and what they could get out of your membership plan.
3. Local Businesses
Partner up with some local businesses where they display ads for you, and you display ads for them. Place your brochures or signs in other businesses or offices, and they can do the same. Placing them in other health professional’s office could be a good option. Since the patients are already thinking about health care, this could make them more likely to look into more information about your plan.
4. Team up with a Local Specialist
You can get a specialist on board and extend your discount to his or her office. This will help the both of you out. Your patients could then get the benefits from your plan if they needed to seek care from someone else.
Marketing will Help you Help Patients
Congratulations! You made it to the end of your marketing journey. Just remember: No matter how big or small you are, any marketing is better than no marketing!
Take advantage of resources in your neighborhood, your patients, and staff, and don’t be afraid to branch out to social media. Don’t disregard traditional methods either – they’re more useful than you think. Marketing could be as simple as word of mouth, so never pass up an opportunity to mention your membership plan.
Ultimately marketing is a process, so you may have to test out a few different methods to find out which works the best for you. Every failure is a learning experience!