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Follow-Up Marketing: Converting Clicks to Patients

By: Wendy O'Donovan Phillips


You have the perfect practice website. You are doing everything you can to drive traffic to the website: SEO, online ads and social media. Yet the schedule still has holes in it.

How is this even possible? And how will you ever recoup all of those marketing costs?

Take a deep breath. There is an answer.

If you haven't already, have your website provider send you a Google Analytics report detailing the number of website clicks by source. It will show you how well all of those efforts are working. You will get clarity on exactly how many new visitors came to your website as well as a breakdown of who visited organically (from your SEO efforts), who visited after clicking on an online ad and who arrived via your social media efforts.

Now, consider the patient journey:

Let's say Ann is new to the area. She spends her lunch hour on a Tuesday in November researching area dentists online. She sends a text to her local aunt and another text to a new neighbor asking who their dentists are. At one point, she clicks a link to your website and noodles around for a bit, becoming curious about you. Then the workday resumes, and she forgets all about her search.

In fact, she forgets all about it for four months. See, Ann had a dental cleaning, X-ray and exam just before relocating. She has a need to find a new dentist, just not an urgent one.

Suddenly one Thursday in March, she gets a call from her son's new school. He has knocked his tooth out on the playground. Frantic, she searches her web history for family dentist, finds your website address again and calls for an emergency appointment.

Bam! All those online marketing efforts are paying off. It's just taking a little longer than expected.

Want to shorten the cycle? Explore nurture marketing, content marketing and referral marketing strategies to complement your online marketing efforts. Here is a general overview of each:


  • Nurture Marketing - While online marketing makes potential patients aware of the practice, nurture marketing entices those already aware (including lapsed existing patients and potential patients like Ann who know about you but are not ready) to re-engage with the practice.


  • Content Marketing - Especially effective for building the cosmetic side of the practice, this is the act of sharing thought leadership in the form of educational articles or videos via email or social media. The goal is to create interest in high-dollar services that require a high level of dentist-patient trust.


  • Referral Marketing - The goldmine of all marketing, referral marketing strategies are often custom-developed for the practice to encourage its raving fans to refer as often as possible, never leaving referrals to chance but actively inviting them.

Don't fret! You are already taking all of the right steps to attract patients to the practice. It may simply be time to make a few slight tweaks to the overall marketing strategy in order to move past clicks and gain more conversions.




About the author

Wendy O'Donovan Phillips is CEO of Big Buzz (www.bigbuzzinc.com), the nation's third-largest dental marketing agency and only full-service firm, offering more than 50 different marketing tactics, all backed by research. She is the author of "KABOOM! The Method Used by Top Dentists for Explosive Marketing Results," which is on the Amazon Top 100 List for Dental Office Practice books. She has been honored by the American Marketing Association for excellence in her field, and she has been hired by the American Dental Association as an expert consultant in marketing. Her firm celebrated 10 years in business in 2017. Read more insights like these at www.bigbuzzinc.com/blog.

View all articles by Wendy O'Donovan Phillips

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All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.