We see a lot of dental clinic advertisements that look something like this:

Look familiar?

Many medical professionals advertise that they are accepting new patients, either on a billboard outside their practice or using another marketing channel like radio or TV.

The problem with this kind of marketing is that most people don’t care that you are accepting new patients. As my friend would say, “That sounds like a YOU problem.” And no offense, but your patients don’t care about your problems.

Instead, people generally care about what you can do for them. They want to know that you understand their problem and how you can help them solve it.

The value of an offer

The best way to show potential patients this is by giving them an offer. If you’re skeptical, check out these four reasons why it works:

Give ‘em what they love

.. and everyone loves a good deal!

It’s well known that people are more likely to buy something – even if they don’t need it – if they perceive that they’re getting a good deal on it. You’ve probably seen a scammy retailer announce that something is being sold at a discount when you know that was the original price.

As sketchy as that may be (and we’re definitely not suggesting you do that!), they do it because it works. The thrill of thinking you’re saving money is real even when you’re not actually saving money at all.

Trigger reciprocity

When you do something nice for someone – even if it’s as simple as opening a door for them – you activate a psychological principle known as reciprocity. They’ll want to do something nice for you in return.

Call it indebtedness or call it loyalty – either way, it’s human nature. And it means they’ll be more likely to come back to you once they’ve taken advantage of the offer.

Create a sense of urgency

You’ve probably felt it – that feeling that you have to act now if you don’t want to miss out on that great deal. Whether explicit or implied (and it’s much better if you’re explicit about it), an offer promotes a feeling of urgency, which is a great way to get people to act.

Show you get them

Going back to what I was saying before, the right offer shows patients that you understand what they need and want. It also shows them that you can fulfill those needs.

That brings us to the importance of picking the right offer.

Creating the right offer

The point of an offer is to attract and encourage people to come into your office and become patients of yours. But, as we’ve talked about before, not all patients are created equal.

In order to make the most out of your offer, you need to target the ideal, high-revenue patients. Who are these patients? What kinds of services are they looking for?

And if you’ve participated in our webinar, you know that you’re not going to make money from that first visit — and you shouldn’t try to. The return on investment comes over a longer period, but it’s more than worth the wait. In fact, in the United States estimates for the lifetime value of a patient can be up to $45,000 (Costes, 2013). We tend to go with a more conservative estimate of $24,000 from the Academy of General Dentistry.

If you missed that webinar, make sure you sign up now at www.dental.altivine.com for free. The training has lots of in-depth information about which offers work best for dentists, and why.

For now, let’s look at some common types of offers:

Discounts and price reductions

You might be tempted to offer a discount on a product or service – after all, lots of big corporate dental practices are doing it.

But trying to compete with a big dental practice on price is often a race to the bottom – their size means they’ll almost always have bigger margins and the ability to go lower.

You, on the other hand, would probably have to work a lot harder to make a discount worth it. And we want to make your job easier, not harder!

Free add-on service or product

Offering an add-on for free can help get people interested in a whole new side of your service offerings and attract people who are already looking for those services. For example, offering a free whitening procedure will attract patients who are going to interested in your cosmetic services.

One free whitening service will make those people likely to come back to you for follow-up whitening appointments. And because you’ve given them something for free before and they’ve come to know and trust you, they’ll also come to you for big-ticket procedures like veneers or implants – which is where your return on investment really kicks off.

Free consultation

If you offer a free consultation on a high fee service, you can create the perfect conditions for those high revenue patients to come flocking. And the great part is that of the people who see your offer, only a small percentage of them need to actually have the procedure for the offer to be totally worth it.

And it’s just a short step from a consultation to a full procedure.

The bottom line

Using an offer increases the number of people who get in touch with your office and increases the effectiveness of your advertising. Using the right offer magnifies those benefits in unexpected but measurable ways.

What’s the most successful offer that you’ve ever run? Let us know in the comments below!

If you want to learn more about how to attract 25-50 new implant, Invisalign, crown, bridge, and root canal patient leads every month who pay, stay, & refer without wasting money on marketing that doesn’t work, click here.