Ways to Get New Patients into a Dental Office

by Nancy Wagner; Updated September 26, 2017
Dentist and Patient Examining X-ray

Finding new patients to consistently fill the chairs in your dental office is a never-ending challenge. The key is to use consistent marketing tactics that offer value to prospective patients. Implementing a variety of tactics to reach new patients with traditional and digital marketing tactics is ideal. That way, you reach as many potential patients as possible while helping them feel confident about booking their next appointment with you.

Offer A Deal

Mail an oversized postcard to your target market, and offer a special deal to entice them to make an appointment. For instance, you may want to offer free teeth whitening once a customer calls for an initial dental exam and x-rays. If your office is located in an area with lots of families, tie the offer to the kids, such as offering free fluoride treatments once a full exam is booked. Always include an expiration date on your postcard, and highlight it so recipients know they need to respond by a certain date to take advantage of the special offer.

Using Retargeting

Retargeting, also referred to as remarketing, helps you get a prospect's attention again after they visit your website. Retargeting uses cookies from your website to track visitors to your site. Once you sign up to place your ads on other websites, such as through Google AdWords, the cookies are used to show your ad to the same prospect on other sites. This allows your dental office to get in front of the prospect multiple times, giving you more opportunities to convince them to call and make an appointment. You even can create specific ads tied to the pages people visited on your site. For instance, if the visitor was interested in implants, an ad showing information about your implant services can be shown, while a visitor who visited a page about whitening would see an ad related to that service.

Community Welcome Packages

Join your local community welcome wagon, and provide your brochure and a small package of sample-sized dental products to introduce your practice to families that just moved into your area. This works for new businesses as well as homeowners, although you likely need to create your own basket. Deliver the brochures and dental products to the office, and ask that the individual bags be made available to its employees.

Referral Program

Some of your best advertisers are your current, satisfied patients. The key to getting referrals is to encourage your patients to talk about your services. Motivate them by offering rewards for each referral, such as free or reduced-cost dental services. Some of your patients may only need routine cleaning, so offering prizes like gift certificates to local restaurants or stores is another incentive to encourage happy patients to get new faces in your office.

About the Author

Nancy Wagner is a marketing strategist and speaker who started writing in 1998. She writes business plans for startups and established companies and teaches marketing and promotional tactics at local workshops. Wagner's business and marketing articles have appeared in "Home Business Journal," "Nation’s Business," "Emerging Business" and "The Mortgage Press," among others. She holds a B.S. from Eastern Illinois University.

Photo Credits

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