Dental Marketing 101: 4 Dental KPIs You Should Be Tracking

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The Connect the Doc Team
June 14, 2023
min. read

It can be challenging to make the most of your dental marketing budgets and resources if you don’t have set benchmarks and measurable goals. After all, like Tony Robbins once said, “you can’t hit a target if you don’t know what it is.” To grow your dental practice, you need to identify, measure and track your key performance indicators (KPIs). 

What are Dental KPIs?

Dental KPIs are metrics used to assess the performance of your dental marketing strategy. These metrics are measurable and essential to the growth and success of your dental practice. Without KPIs, you run the risk of losing progress, limiting your reach, or swaying away from your business and marketing objectives. Simply put, your dental KPIs keep you focused and on course to meet your targets. 

In this article, we will discuss four dental KPIs you need to know as a dentist. You’ll learn the importance of measuring these metrics, how to measure them, and the steps you can take to improve your current dental marketing performance. 

Dental KPIs for Your Marketing Campaigns

1. Leads Generated

Leads are contacts who are interested in your dental practice, in one way or another. These are the people who respond to your marketing and communication efforts. Lead generation is the process of attracting and converting these individuals from strangers to active patients. 

Ideally, you should have a database for recording the details of each lead you generate. An excellent dental CRM can track your lead generation process and let you know how many leads you’ve generated at any given time and from any marketing campaign. The more leads you generate over a period, the more successful your marketing efforts are at attracting more people to your dental practice. 

To generate more leads, you should keep your messaging clear and simple, add engaging call-to-action on your website and all communications, leverage paid ads, use the right lead generation software, and source dental reviews. Consider working with a dental marketing agency to get expert advice and strategies to generate more patient leads. 

2. Cost per Lead

Cost per lead refers to the measure of your marketing investment that attracts and converts each new patient lead. The metric is important because it helps you measure your dental marketing strategies’ true success and identify the marketing campaigns that are getting you the best results. Most importantly, it tells you how well or poorly you’re spending your marketing budget. 

To calculate your cost per lead, divide your total marketing investment on a campaign by the total number of leads generated from that campaign. The lower your cost per lead, the better. To keep your cost per lead low, consider prioritizing the marketing channel that gives you your best results or highest number of leads. For many dentists, marketing channels like reviews, reputation marketing, and content marketing are untapped sources of leads. 

3. Patient Retention Rate

Your patient retention rate is the opposite of your churn rate or patient attrition rate. It is the percentage of patients who remain your patients after a period. The more patients stay with your dental practice, the higher your patient retention rate. This metric is great for assessing your performance as a dental healthcare service provider. 

To calculate your patient retention rate, subtract the total number of new patients (N) who joined your practice during a period from the total number of patients (E) at the end of that period. The number you get from this subtraction is the number of patients who didn’t leave your practice. Now divide this number by the total number of patients (B) who were part of your dental practice at the beginning of that same period. 

N = total number of new patients who joined your practice during a period

E = total number of patients at the end of that same period

B = total number of patients at the beginning of that same period

Patient Retention Rate: (N - E)/B

To improve your patient retention rate, find new opportunities to provide value to your patients. You can do this by offering discounts, streamlining your appointment scheduling process, and improving the accessibility and responsiveness of your team and dental website. Furthermore, you can improve your dental communications, gather patient feedback and acting on them, and focus on strategies for boosting your dentist-patient relationship. 

4. Lifetime Value

Lifetime value refers to each patient’s contribution to your dental practice throughout their time as a patient. This metric is important because it tells you how much you can expect from each patient. With this in mind, you can plan your dental marketing budgets and efforts to match the value you’re expecting from each patient. The longer a patient stays with your practice, the higher their lifetime value. 

To identify your patients’ average lifetime value, calculate the average amount spent by patients per year, then multiply that number by the average number of years patients remain your patients (the industry average is ten years). Now, assume that each patient will refer and bring in two new patients throughout their time as a patient. With this assumption, you can multiply your current total by 3 to get your patients’ average lifetime value. 


Average Amount Spent by Patients (S) = $500

Average Number of Years Patients Remain Your Patients (Y) = 10 years

S x Y = $500 x 10 years = $5,000

If each patient refers two new people to your practice, who become your patients: 

(Each patient’s value) + (Two new patient’s value) = $5,000 + 2($5000) = 3 x $5,000 = 15,000

To improve your patients’ average lifetime value, consider enhancing your dental practice’s visibility, claiming your Google My Business profile, fine-tuning your patient communications, encouraging more patients to make referrals, and gathering reviews and patient feedback.

With these four metrics, you can make your dental marketing budget and efforts count. These KPIs help you remain focused on what matters and get your desired business and marketing outcomes. Connect the Doc’s marketing experts help dentists across North America to identify, measure and track these KPIs and more. Contact us to learn how to improve your dental marketing metrics.

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