Month: January 2012

10 Steps to Create a Dentist’s Newsletter

This post is part two of “Is Your Dental Office Ready for a Patient Newsletter?”

Whether you build your own dental practice newsletter, have your office manager tackle the task, or use a service, these are 10 primary elements you need to consider.

  1. Email list: You can’t send an e-newsletter campaign without email addresses! If you subscribe to Demandforce, Smile Reminder, or another patient communication tool, you probably have a list of patient email addresses. Dental offices without a patient email list should start asking for email addresses today. Some patients may not want to provide you with their email address, and that’s fine. Don’t let those few discourage you. Most of your patients will be happy to give you an email address, especially if you explain the purpose: to deliver your dental health newsletter.
  2. Distribution Service: You can send e-newsletters through your patient communication tool, or you can sign up with a service like Many e-newsletter services exist, so do a little research and find one that’s convenient and user-friendly. You might put the task on your office manager, but if you do, be sure to assign a deadline. She should find a tool, write a synopsis, and send you her findings within a week. If you don’t have time for any of this, MDPM can handle all aspects of your newsletter creation and distribution.
  3. Column Designation: Feature 3-5 regular columns in your newsletter. The more personal, the better. Don’t be that dentist who sends out generic newsletters. With Google, people can find information about dental health when they need it. Instead, feature articles about your patients’ successes in the community. Which of your young patients made the A-honor roll? Which of your adult patients volunteers at the food bank? You might include a recipe from a staff member, photos of your team retreat, and testimonials from happy patients. End your newsletter with an article about a special offer, contest, or new service. Read More

No Prize Required for Great Referrals

In states where it’s not banned, dentists often turn to incentive programs for referrals. While I’m not opposed to incentive programs, incentives for referrals isn’t necessarily a good marketing tactic. Word-of-mouth is the most effective and efficient way for dentists to get new patients. Referred patients have a good reputation for long-term retention, so providing an incentive to increase word-of-mouth among your exiting patients seems like a good idea, at least on the surface.

Have you ever referred a friend to a business – like a particular golf pro shop or gym? How does it make you feel to provide a friend with information on where to get the best service? For most of us, giving good advice and helping our friends feels rewarding. Our conscience says “good job” for being wise and informative. There’s no guilt because there’s no tangible referral incentive. Yes, incentives can actually keep people from making referrals because they feel bribed. Emotion plays a big role in word-of-mouth referrals.

How to Ask for Referrals
There are alternatives to incentive programs. You can boost referrals very easily by asking for them. If you know that your team is friendly, helpful, and provide superior service to your patients, you should not feel guilty asking for referrals. Here’s a script to help you. Read More

Social Networking for Dentists Made Easy!

You’ve heard about using Facebook for your dental office. You may have attended a seminar about social networking or read books on the subject. Perhaps you want to Tweet, post, blog, comment, and update, but you just don’t have time. How can you reap the benefits of social networking without squeezing time from your already hectic schedule? The answer is simple. Call MDPM.

What is Social Networking for Dentists?

“Social” has to do with friendly companionship, according to “Networking” relates to a group that shares information and services of a common interest. So, social networking for dentists involves a friendly sharing of information about health, wellness, dentistry, and your local community. It has to be personal; it has to be genuine; it has to be interesting to your patients.

Why Use Social Networking in Marketing?

To dominate search results for a variety of targeted keywords with the ultimate goal of increasing your patient base.

Social networking involves daily digital interaction with your current patients, as well as reaching potential patients with your brand. Done properly, social networking is part of an overall search engine optimization plan that includes website optimization, regularly posted blogs, as well as local listings and original videos, articles, and press releases.

The more places you are online, the more posts and articles are associated with your practice, the higher you’ll rank on Google. Read More

Busy or Profitable? Your Choice.

Today, veteran dental management consultant Mayer Levitt of Jodena Consulting shares insight on increasing profitability in the dental practice. Subscribe to the Jodena Consulting blog by clicking this link.

My most recent blog post listed four ways to increase revenue in a dental practice. In retrospect, I would like to add a fifth. It is an important strategy that relates specifically to the topic of efficiency in the doctor’s appointment schedule for a busy dental practice.

The most important management system in a dental practice is scheduling, because the only thing we have to sell is our time. Yet over the years, I have observed that many practices are terribly inefficient in the way the doctor is scheduled to deliver treatment, wasting upwards of two hours every day. I didn’t say they weren’t busy–I said they weren’t efficient. There is a huge difference between being busy and being profitable.

I believe that when an effective scheduling system is introduced into a practice:

  • the stress level of every one can be significantly reduced.
  • the appointment backlog can be cut in half.
  • the need for an associate is often eliminated.
  • production is increased dramatically without raising fees or altering the mix of the practice.
  • every hour in the practice becomes a productive hour no matter what procedures are being performed. Read More