How to make inbound marketing work for your dental practice

inbound marketing for dentists

If I wake up with a toothache, the first thing I do is open up my laptop and hop on WebMD to make sure it’s not directly related to a terrifying tumor in my brain. This is obvious. I need to make sure I’ll live long enough to find a dentist.

The second thing I do — after I’ve determined that my toothache is not linked to anything life-threatening — is look for ways to relieve that toothache, or look for the right dental practitioner to do it for me.

This process is not unique. One in three people use the Internet to determine a medical or dental condition before they seek treatment for it, and then they’ll use the Internet some more to figure out what treatment to get and where to get it.

Attracting the right visitors to your dental practice’s website

This is the research phase — or, if we’re talking inbound marketing (and you know we are), the “attraction” phase, where potential patients are attracted to certain sites based on whether or not they provide relevant information.

When you have relevant content on your website — blog posts tagged with the right SEO keywords and recent social media publishing related to your practice — that poor slob with a toothache (me) is more likely to land on one of your pages. I’m going to educate myself with the content on your website, and chances are, I’m more likely to peruse the services you offer.

Converting those website visitors into potential dental patients

Once I’m there looking at your services, I’m going to consider whether they might fit my needs. The best way to keep me interested and involved with your practice is to fill out a form with my contact information (at the least, an e-mail address).

Let’s get back to that toothache. I’ve been attracted to your website because of a blog post — titled something like “Toothache causes and treatments,” perhaps — and at the bottom of that blog post, there’s something we call a “call-to-action” or CTA. This CTA invites me to download an e-book about oral health; in order to download this e-book, I’ve got to fill out an information form with my e-mail address.

Et voilà: Now that you’ve got my e-mail address, I’ve just become a potential patient — or a lead— for your practice.

Transforming potential dental patients into actual, active patients

Now that you have my e-mail address, use it to your benefit.

A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system will allow you to keep track of the details of all your leads, so that you can engage with them at the appropriate time with the appropriate information.

As for me and my toothache, well, if I’ve decided to live with it for a couple days, I should probably get an e-mail in my inbox with a subject line that goes something like, “The horrifying risks of delaying your dental appointment.” That’ll remind me to take action and call your practice.

Delighting your dental patients means retaining them

Your job’s not done after I’ve made the appointment to take care of my toothache. It’s not done after the appointment is over, either. In fact, when it comes to your patients, inbound marketing strategy says that your job is never really done.

You’ll want to keep engaging with me, see. A week after my appointment, I should get an e-mail thanking me for visiting and inviting me to provide feedback or a testimonial. You’ll benefit by getting actual input from someone who was just in your chair — and if the feedback is positive, you can share it with other potential patients, who will then be encouraged to become actual patients…

And so it goes on and on until you’re so busy, you’ve got to open up a second dental practice, and then a third. Soon, you’re taking over the world, you King of Dentistry, you — and it was all thanks to inbound marketing! Hey, you’re welcome. No, don’t mention it. It was our pleasure. Really.

Do you have questions about inbound marketing and how it can help you attract more visitors to your site and convert them into leads and customers? Learn more about the makings of a successful inbound marketing strategy with our free e-book, An Introduction to Inbound Marketing.