Whether you’re establishing a brand new practice or rethinking your dental marketing strategy for an existing practice, this checklist will help you plan, organize, and execute your strategy so that you don’t miss a thing. If you need help along the way, call Shauna (that’s me) at Identiwrite Creative.

The Essential Dental Marketing Checklist

(click to download)

Dental Marketing: Getting Started

✓ Practice Name
✓ Domain Name
✓ Mission, Vision Statements
✓ Patient, Employee Promises
✓ Logo Design
✓ Define Target Patient (Avatar)

Note: Always set up a way to track return on investment, and mark your calendar to assess ROI quarterly, or at least twice a year. Give dental marketing opportunities a chance to pay off, and if they do not, cut them out. Set your marketing budget based on the number of patients you want to attract each month. Too low of a budget will not yield the results you want. Keep in mind that marketing takes time to build momentum, especially for a new or faltering dental practice.

Dental Practice Online Marketing Checklist

Dental website – original content, well-optimized
✓ Blog – 1-4 times per month, original content, optimized
✓ Google My Business – complete listing
✓ Online Reviews – Yelp, Google, etc.
✓ Backlinks/Citations – name, address, phone number (NAP) the same across all internet listings; 50+ listings
✓ Third-Party Articles/Backlinks
✓ Social Profiles – optimized, postings 2+ times per week, linked from website, promoted in office
✓ E-newsletter to current patient list, with one-click sharability to social networks and by email

In this digital age, most dental practice owners are aware of the importance of websites, listings, and social media. A couple of important elements that often get overlooked, however, are dental blogs and NAP consistency.

If you change your practice’s name, phone number, or address, you must make sure to update your listings. If the search engines detect conflicting info about your practice, it will hurt your search visibility. After all, how are they supposed to figure out which of the conflicting info is correct? Even a seemingly small change – say, from John Smith Dental to John F. Smith Dental – requires a change in listings. The search engine AI isn’t advanced enough to realize that it’s the same thing, just with a middle initial added. It will see two conflicting names.

Blogs are an important digital marketing tool that many dental practice owners overlook. Many believe that their blogs won’t be read, so there’s no value to them. However, if dental keywords are properly implemented into the blogs, it will help prove that you are an authority on those topics. And if your blog gets to the first page of search results for a question, it will bring in a lot of traffic. Think about how many clicks your dental website would get if your blog was number 1 for the search term “Invisalign vs braces”!

Community Involvement Checklist

✓ Dental health awareness opportunities for your target market

  • PTA night speaker; sponsor mouthguards for a high school team
  • Realtor event speaker (cosmetic dentistry)
  • Host “Dental Implant Q&A” for senior center
  • Seasonal events: Halloween Candy Buy Back (October), Pictures with Santa (December)
  • Health fair booth at town events, farmer’s market, etc. (make your display coordinate with event – ie: at farmer’s market, dental benefits of various vegetables and fruits – strawberries are a natural teeth whitener)

✓ Promote all community involvement (of staff as individuals or group) on social media and website
✓ Promote regional, national, and global community involvement (from Crown Council to mission trips)

Print Checklist

✓ Monthly newspaper article/ad
✓ New patient packet
✓ Quarterly direct mail
✓ October: End-of-year benefits expiration letter
✓ Welcome Wagon or New Resident mailer/packet
✓ Local ad opportunities depending upon your target market

  • Billboards
  • Football game tickets sponsor
  • Grocery cart panels
  • Park bench backs

Internal Marketing Tracking Checklist

✓ Calls

  • How did you hear about us?
  • Booked appointment? Attended appointment? Scheduled dental procedure? Insurance, financing, or cash?

✓ Emails

  • Source (website, other)
  • Existing or new patient?
  • Turn around time for responses? Who responded?

✓ Social online inquiry

  • Source
  • Existing or new patient?
  • Turn around time for responses? Who responded?
  • Result?

The reason these questions are so important is that they help to highlight which areas your dental practice marketing is effective and where it’s ineffective. Where are people finding your contact info – Yelp? Facebook? A Google search? You want there to be a balance. At the same time, if it’s obvious that most people find you through a certain means, put more marketing effort there. If most people find you through Facebook, then that’s probably how people in your area look for dental offices, so you want to capitalize on that market.

Collateral Checklist

✓ Business cards
✓ Appointment reminder cards
✓ Letterhead
✓ Brochure
✓ Post-op instructions
✓ Order brochures from third parties you do business with, such as CareCredit, Invisalign, and BioLase. Stamp or sticker them with your practice information.

Posters & Signage Checklist

✓ Social media invitations
✓ Review us online invitations
✓ Promotions for third-party services, such as CareCredit and Invisalign
✓ Local school team support – photos, posters, etc.
✓ Before and after art

Media Checklist

✓ Your website tour on televisions (create a video)
✓ Review us on tablets/computers

Staff Training Checklist

✓ Personally call dental patients the day after procedures to follow up
✓ In staff meetings, review latest blog post topics
✓ “Have you seen our website?” (How to contact us online; our blog on mouthguards and concussions was really interesting – you should check it out; it’s easy to find post-op instructions on our website…)
✓ Benefits of procedures (Invisalign, Whitening, Lasers, Digital X-rays)
✓ Ask for reviews! Personally call and thank for reviews. Send T-shirt.
✓ Ask for referrals! Personally call and thank for referrals. Send T-shirt.
✓ Contests for staff (most social posts, submitted most blog posts, best patient reviews, mentioned most in reviews, etc.)

People are often hesitant to ask for online reviews. They think it’s pushy and that the client will get offended. In reality, if you’re nice about it, the patient will probably just say yes or no. And reviews are important. Your dental patients may like your practice, but if they don’t leave reviews, then potential patients may lean towards the practice down the road with three 4-star reviews.

The truth of the matter is that people probably won’t leave (positive) reviews unless you ask them to.

Patient Appreciation

✓ Contests
✓ Drawings
✓ Referral thank you T-shirt
✓ Achievement celebrations/announcements
✓ Give away logoed T-shirts, dental hygiene products, etc.
✓ Promote online with pictures (secure signed authorizations)

Patient appreciation methods help with patient retention, and they also increase the likelihood of word-of-mouth marketing. These are both worth much more than the cost of a few prizes or T-shirts.

You can always try to tackle dental marketing on your own, but with a busy practice, do you really have time for that? At iDENTiwrite Creative, we have the skills and knowledge to improve your digital presence and help you grow your practice. Contact us today to see how we can help your practice thrive.

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