In this section of the daily blog, I usually will write stuff that has been going on with me. I have stopped this a bit because it makes the blog kind of long. I have, in the past, written about what books I am reading and what movies I have watched. It was my opinion that it was taking away from the blog.
I know most of you are silent readers; you read, you don't comment, but you are happy. So, if you thought that the book and movie thing was fun and you want it back then you are going to have to say so. And if you think it is better that I left it out, then I want you to say something about that too. I am a big boy, I can handle constructive criticism. Here is your chance, but if I don't hear anything I am going to leave it the way it is.
Now that we got the business part of today's blog out of the way, lets get on with this shall we?
In lieu of the downer blog on Wednesday, I wanted to talk about how we are handling this. Things are slow, but what are we doing about it? How are we generating interest in our respective practices?
I have talked about how I think that treating people well is JOB ONE. That is, making your service Ritz-Carltonesque is so important. I think doing excellent dentistry and making them aware of your talent are also very important.
What I am talking about is showing them. Take before and afters, and show them how crappy it looked before and how awesome it looks now. Dust off your intra oral camera and show them your hard work.
Before internal bleaching
After internal bleaching.
Before internal bleaching and a new filling
After internal bleaching and a new filling.
I get so many WOWs. People are impressed. Occasionally, some one will ask if I can do that to some of their other teeth. And, well, it is good for my ego.
I have told you that every new patient that comes to my office gets a hand-written card welcoming them to the practice and thanking them for choosing our office. I told you that everyone that refers someone to our office gets a $20 gas card. I am constantly talking to my good patients about sending their friends. I think we've got the internal marketing down.
It is the external marketing I want to talk about today. We spoke a couple of months ago about generating traffic to your website. I've got this company called my3zips.com and they definitely got a lot of traffic to my site. Three months ago, I had 3500 hits to my site in 4 years. Now, after about 3 months, there have been close to 10,000 hits. That's 6500 hits to my site in 3 months and exactly ZERO people called my office because of it. But, this was free, so my expectations were really low.
Now for some things I might pay for...
My office is at the front of a neighborhood and country club. This neighborhood has 2500 homes in it. You read that right two thousand, five hundred homes.
They have a neighborhood directory. Now you know what these directories look like.
They have some ads in the front. They have all the phone numbers of everyone and sprinkled through the book are some more ads.
To me there were two choices - don't be in the directory or be in the front. I was not going to waste any money on an 8th of a page ad on page 29. To me, no one will ever see this. So I didn't think I had a choice. I had to be in this book, so that meant I was going to pay for a premium page. I bought the inside cover page and I paid out the wazoo for it, but I am at least going to be seen by my neighbors.
I am in 3 of directories of this type. I feel like I am supporting the community that has been good to me for a long time. I have to say that I don't do much more than this. I have never been a radio guy or newspaper guy. I have never really felt like the putting an ad in the high school yearbook or football program has ever generated any interest in my practice. I have done the postcard thing before but with very mixed results.
One time we did postcards and they worked. I think we sent out 1500 cards and we tracked about 30 patients from it (these numbers are off the top of my head so they could be totally off). We were thrilled. Then we did another wave of postcards, this time... nothing.
Then, trying to get people in, we did the new patient exam at a discounted rate. Once, we sent out postcards that said we would give you a free electric toothbrush if you came in for a new patient exam. Well, everyone was coming in, getting the toothbrushes, and never coming back. So now I am not a postcard guy.
Like I have said a million times... I am just a dentist. I don't know what I am doing most of the time. I don't know what type of marketing works. But I know that if it does work one time, that doesn't mean it will work again. I have a very plain website and I have never really felt that an awesome website was going to generate interest in my office.
Help me. I know you guys/gals are doing stuff that is working. Tell me your secrets. Anyone have a radio show or tried radio ads? How about the newspaper?
Have a great weekend,