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Dental Marketing Ideas That Won’t Cost You a Cent

by | Jan 25, 2022 | Dental Office Marketing

Am I spending too much or too little on my dental practice marketing? This is a question we see come up often in the dental industry. Hundred or thousand-dollar monthly marketing campaigns and paid ads may reap results, but you don’t need to shell out lots of money to get new patients through your doors. So you can breathe a sigh of relief!

While effective dental marketing doesn’t need to be expensive, it should prioritize patients and ensure that their needs and desires are top of mind. Before any marketing endeavor, ask yourself, “How does this serve the patient? Am I answering a common question, providing desired information, or enhancing the patient experience in some way? If the answer is no, then it’s time to move on.

So how can you amp up your marketing on a budget while providing value for patients? Here are six dental marketing ideas that won’t cost you a cent.


✅ Optimize your website and mobile site

If this suggestion has you thinking about taking a course in SEO and SEM, hold your horses. (Although, we won’t dissuade you!) Optimization can refer to search engine optimization, but it can also refer to how user-friendly a website is. There are plenty of minor adjustments you can make to your existing website to make it more user-friendly and easier to navigate so patients can have their questions answered quickly at a glance. Here are some examples:

✔ Is your contact information easily accessible on your homepage? Do patients have to scroll far down the main page or navigate a complex menu bar to find what they need? Make sure your practice address, contact information, and hours of operation are prominently displayed on your homepage as well as at the footer menu of every page.

✔ Are the calls-to-action (CTAs) clear? The best CTAs are short and direct, though feel free to get creative! Some good examples are: “Schedule an appointment” or “Call us now”

Having a user-centric website will make it easier to convert patients on their first visit to your website.

✅ Complete your Yelp! and Healthgrades profiles

Many patients use review sites to find a dentist. If your practice profile isn’t up to date or incomplete, potential patients will quickly move on and call a competitor. The next time you have a spare ten minutes, ensure all your profile is in good standing and includes:

  • your “About me”
  • a list of all practice specialties
  • all locations of your practice, if applicable
  • all accepted insurance plans

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✅ Train the front desk to ask for reviews and referrals

Did you know that word-of-mouth marketing can bring in five times more sales than paid ads? How’s that for free and effective marketing!

Once you have your online review profiles complete, be sure to send texts to patients after their appointments with a link to the platform of your choice asking for a review. You can also train front office staff to ask for reviews and referrals in person when patients sign out. You might encourage your staff to say something like “Thank you for visiting us today. We hope you’ll share your positive experience with friends.” And of course, once you get those glowing reviews, make sure you know how to respond to them.

✅ Lean into the human element of dentistry

The key to good marketing (in addition to being consistent) is to lean into the human component of dentistry. For example, instead of putting a post on Instagram, that says, “We do implants!” Create a post that profiles a patient who got implants and includes a quote about how it improved their quality of life. Tapping into why someone might get implants or any other procedure done will help patients relate to your practice on a deeper level.


✅ Write a “thank-you” note

This old-fashioned approach can make you stand out in patients’ minds. The key is to mail this note as quickly as you can after the appointment. The more time goes by, the less meaningful this gesture becomes. This is also a great approach for retaining new patients as well as thanking existing patients for referrals.


✅ Run a giveaway contest

Ask local businesses to donate their goods and services as raffle prizes, building different gift baskets or gifts. This approach is mutually beneficial as you and the participating businesses get a chance to market yourselves. Once you have a prize organized, allow patients to enter through social media or when they come into your office. Promote the giveaway on social media and remind patients of it at checkout. And of course, don’t forget to thank your local partners!