You’ve probably seen the term “sales funnel” quite a lot as you’ve been researching digital marketing online. They can be extremely powerful when you’re trying to convert leads, but how can you apply a sales funnel to your dental marketing strategy? That’s a really good question.
Sales funnels works as you’d expect, by collecting as many people as possible at the wide end, and gradually drawing them down the levels of your funnel until they become paying patients at the bottom. The number of people at each stage will reduce as they progress through the funnel, until you only have qualified leads. The way you set up your funnel is important, so here’s a step-by-step guide.
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Dental marketing starts with awareness
Awareness is the first stage of every digital sales funnel. This is where people become prospective patients, transitioning from never having heard of your dental practice, to becoming aware of it. This is also the stage at which the person starts to learn how you can help with problems they’re having.
The best dental marketing strategy here is to generate awareness is through content. At this stage, you want lots of people to see what you’re putting out. This maximizes the number of people in the funnel and increases the number of people making it all the way through. This is a case of quantity AND quality – obviously, the content has to be good enough that people actually read or watch it, but you need to make sure you don’t spend too much time making it, and too little working on the next piece.
So, what kind of content you be putting out to raise awareness of your dental practice?
The truth is just a 400-600 word piece about a topic people are searching can increase the chances of people finding your business. Take our client, Dr. Mandanas, whose integrative dental practice is based in Anchorage, Alaska. We write blogs for her dental practice every month and now we have our blog on the top of the Google results page for the search term “integrative dentistry.”
You can increase your chances of reaching the top-ranked spots on Google search by practicing Search Engine Optimization, which we explain in detail here. It’s a really neat way to take your dental marketing strategy to the next level. You should also note that in addition to publishing on your website, you can boost the reach of your blogs through Google Ads, Facebook ads, and social media.
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Education is the key to dental marketing
The next level of the funnel is education. This is for those people who clicked on one of your ads, navigated more of your website after reading your blog, or clicked on a link in a Facebook post. The people who click on a link on social media or an ad need to be sent to dedicated “landing pages,” which are essentially sales pages that give people all the information they need to sign on.
For example, if you’re advertising children’s braces, your ad and landing page should focus on the topic. The landing page should give some more information about the braces you offer, the problems you can fix with them, and how to get in touch with you so that they can learn more. It should be fact-based and persuasive – getting this right is essential to your dental marketing strategy.
Alternatively, if you wrote a blog post about regular cleanings and their importance in staving off periodontal disease, you could then include a link to the page of your website where people can schedule an appointment to have a check-up and cleaning.
Read more: 5 genius ideas to grow your dental practice
Dental marketing leads to engagement
The third level of the sales funnel is where prospects become leads. People in your community are aware of your dental practice, they know they services you provide, they’ve clicked through to your website, and now they need to be converted into leads. The best way to convert these people is by having them reach out to you and schedule a consultation, or to ask about your services and costs.
The question, then, is how to get these people to get in touch?
Your landing pages really need to be on point. You need to be active on social media. You need to run Google Ads for key terms people will search when they have an issue you can address. That way, you’re staying front of mind and making it as easy as possible for them to choose your practice. That way, when they’re interested enough to pick up the phone or fill out a contact form on your website, it will be an easy decision and you’ll be waiting to welcome them into your office.
Although this is a very exciting stage, we’re not done yet.
This is where you cross from dental marketing to sales. The prospective patient is now interested enough in your dental practice that they have actively got in touch with you, but if you can’t close the deal all that work will have been wasted. We call this process “conversion”, as you are converting a person from a prospective patient into an actual patient.
Need help refining your landing pages? Contact us.
Converting patients with dental marketing
Conversion may be more of an art than a science. It’s important to remember that people probably aren’t just looking at your practice. If they’re actively looking for a dentist it’s likely they’re dissatisfied with their current provider, or they have a problem. If it’s the latter case, they are likely to be looking with a sense of urgency and will be looking for a solution ASAP. Whichever of the practices they are researching is able to provide that information first is likely to convert that prospect into a patient.
According to revenue acceleration company Xant, half of prospective patients choose the company that reaches out first. Among the reasons for this are a perception that your practice is well organized, professional, eager to help, and easy to find. Those who do it well are likely to convert.
Read more: Step-by-step orthodontics marketing plan
Dental marketing needs a target
We talked at the start about the way sales funnels grab as many people as possible with a wide opening, and gradually draw people down to become patients as they pass each level of your dental marketing strategy. However, there are tools available that make this even more efficient.
The rise of targeted advertising on platforms such as Facebook, and across the entire web thanks to Google, means that you can use your funnel a bit more like the nozzle of a vacuum cleaner. By targeting your ads based on Facebook or Google’s prediction models, you can make sure that your ads are only seen by people who are likely to make their way all the way through the process. This may seem as though your numbers will be reduced, but due to the vast reach of platforms like Google and Facebook, you can still reach large numbers of people. More importantly, you’ll reach the right ones.
We hope you find this guide helpful in creating your own sales funnel. This is a great time to re-evaluate your dental marketing strategy as many people look to start returning to regular life, although now with a heightened sense of hygiene and cleanliness. Not only is this a time to welcome your regular patients back, but you can also seize the opportunity to increase your market share.
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