It’s that time that kids dread and parents dream of: back to school season is officially upon us. As summer comes to a close, students, teachers and parents across the country will have school supplies and back-to-school shopping on their minds.
That also means that parents will have a long list of to-do’s they’re trying to cross off before their kids get busy with school. Along with new school clothes, supplies, doctor’s visits and immunizations, it’s important to ensure your dental practice makes it onto that list.
Here are 3 keys ways that you can make sure parents have their kids’ pearly whites ready for school pictures as we approach back-to-school season:
First things first, it’s important to know the dates the schools in your area begin session, as some schools resume in mid-August, while others start in early September. Knowing these dates will help ensure you’re prepared and adequately staffed for this busy time of year so that you can schedule accordingly to maximize your office efficiency. This will also help you time your marketing just right to ensure that your schedule is full for the back-to-school season.
Finally, by marketing at the right time, busy parents will see that you are filling the need and will appreciate the reminder and the personal accommodations, which, in turn, will have them coming back for new school years to come. Taking steps to highlight the back-to-school season in your schedule and make special accommodations to make sure that all of your little patients get seen on time will help to build your reputation in the community in an organic way and will get you those word-of-mouth referrals and online reviews that can really boost your practice to the next level.
2. Back to School Promotions
Take advantage of the buzz around back-to-school season by sending back-to-school promotions via direct mail or email and engaging with your community via social media to bring those students into your practice before it’s time to hit the books. For best results, target direct your marketing campaigns directly to the demographics in your area with school-aged children.
Sending these timely, relevant and targeted promotions will connect with your patients this time of year. But don’t think of it as a short-term promotion. 19% of children from 2-19 years old face untreated tooth decay, according to the American Dental Association. Maintaining proper dental care is a year-round endeavor, not just in the days leading up to the beginning of the school season. Staggering your direct mailing campaigns throughout the back-to-school season can help ensure all of your patients have time to make it into your practice.
3. Make Sure You’re Fully Staffed
Being prepared for this increase in patient visits means all hands on deck. Make sure that your office is fully staffed and that everyone is aware of any promotions you’ve sent and what the upcoming schedule looks like. Don’t forget to equip your team with age-appropriate tools and other resources to make this a success.
Having your team ready will leave them and your patients smiling ear to ear.
And don’t worry if your schedule fills up, you can still leave the afternoon appointment times open for the first few weeks of the school year before kids get busy with homework and after-school activities.
Looking for More Marketing Ideas?
Here are some fun strategies for you to try out:
Send an email newsletter with some back-to-school tips for parents. This could be smile-friendly snacks, drinks and school lunches for their kids, how often they should be bringing their kids in for dental appointments, how to handle dental emergencies, suggestions for brushing and flossing, information about sports guards, sealants and more.
You can also do a Facebook Live video with the same tips and tricks from above!
Create some blog and social media content chock full of tips on taking care of the little smiles.
Share patient testimonials from children and families who have already been in for their back-to-school appointments. You can also wish college freshmen luck on their new experiences and stories about what younger students are looking forward to!
Create back-to-school promotions centered around all teachers and students.
Use email or text message to connect with parents of your younger patients who are due (or past-due) for an appointment and get them back into your office before the school year begins.
Are any of your school-aged patients due for a treatment? Remind parents to make any necessary appointments for fillings, sports guards or orthodontic adjustments before school resumes. That way, they can avoid missing class for untreated conditions or dental emergencies.
Get to Work!
The end of summer always comes way too fast and back to school season can be a busy and stressful one for parents and students alike. Don’t procrastinate. Connecting with your patients and your community with timely messages and getting your office ready for the little smiles can help ease this hectic time for you and your patients.
Still need some help?
Need more Ideas? If you are a YAPI user you can download some of the following resources:
Recall Due: School Under Way Postcard
Recall Due: Back To School Postcard
Back To School Newsletter – NEW!
(You will need to be logged in to your account to view and download these resources)