20 Tips to Grow Your Dental Practice in 2021

Over the past year, the dental landscape faced shifts and changes on all fronts as the pandemic forced dentists across North America to shut down their dental practices. Although many dentists reopened and adjusted their practice management strategies, several dentists are still reeling from the financial impacts of low dental spending in 2020 – down by 38% from 2019

In 2021, we have to work together to pave a path towards growth and recovery for dentists and the dental industry. As you continue to rise to the challenge posed by the pandemic, we’ve compiled 20 dental marketing and practice management tips that you need to implement in the new year to grow your dental practice. With these tips, you can put your best foot forward and position your dental practice for a more profitable 2021. 

  1. Reflect on your previous goals
  2. Gather insights from your 2020 marketing data
  3. Audit your marketing strategy
  4. Consult with a dental marketing specialist
  5. Leverage the expertise of fellow dentists
  6. Ask your team for feedback.
  7. Gather patient feedback
  8. Identify your KPIs and set new goals.
  9. Create a marketing strategy for 2021
  10. Support your team’s growth and expertise
  11. Update online directory and listings 
  12. Improve your dental website
  13. Set up Google Analytics for your dental website
  14. Claim your Google My Business profile 
  15. Use content marketing to nurture patient leads.
  16. Improve patient communication
  17. Run a reactivation campaign 
  18. Ask Patients to Make Referrals 
  19. Get more involved in your local community.
  20. Keep reviewing your strategies. 
  1. Reflect on your previous goals

Chances are, at the beginning of the year 2020, you set business or marketing goals for your dental practice. While the pandemic may have disrupted your plans and progress, the new year is an opportunity for you to reevaluate goals, practices, tools, systems, and strategies that you implemented last year. By revisiting your past goals, you can get a better sense of how much the dental industry has evolved and the direction and insights you need to grow your dental practice. 

  1.  Gather insights from your 2020 marketing data

Pull together data and reports that can help you assess your dental practice’s performance over the past year and expose gaps in your marketing strategy. Dental metrics — such as patient acquisition, attrition, retention, treatment acceptance rates, patient acquisition costs, costs per lead, number of active patients, number and source of new patients, and production per active patient — are useful for gathering insights about your dental practice. 

  1. Audit your marketing strategy

Now that you’ve reflected on your previous goals and assessed your performance reports, you should take some time to review your existing marketing strategy. Take note of marketing processes or tools that gave you the most return on investments in the past year. Consider reinvesting in tools that helped you improve your patient communication, increase and nurture patient leads and gather new and useful patient reviews in the past year. 

  1. Consult with a dental marketing specialist

If you’re having trouble making sense of your dental practice’s performance metrics, exposing gaps in your marketing strategy, or maximizing tools that can save you time and money, speak to a dental marketing expert. Connect the Doc’s dental marketing specialists can support your dental practice’s growth by optimizing your marketing process. We can assist you in the planning and execution of your 2021 dental marketing strategy. To get started, all you have to do is schedule a free marketing consultation.  

  1. Leverage the expertise of fellow dentists

As a dentist, you can benefit a lot by staying connected with your local dental community or associations such as the American Dental Association and the Canadian Dental Association

If you aren’t already a member of a dental association, now’s the time to join one. Your network of dental healthcare providers can keep you up to date on trends, new practices, tools, and technologies that can help you improve the way you manage and market your dental practice.

  1. Ask your team for feedback

As you optimize your business and marketing strategies, it is vital to involve your team in the process. Your team interacts with patients frequently, and over time, they would’ve observed lapses in your dental practice’s operations. They can suggest opportunities to improve your patient experience. Gather feedback and insights from your team on how you can better serve your patients and make their work easier. 

  1. Gather Patient Feedback

Your current process and strategies have impacted your patients in one way or the other. Your patients are on the receiving end of your treatments, operations, and practices. Patient feedback can help you better understand your patients, improve your workflow, boost your dental practice’s online reputation, and set your practice up for sustained growth. Use patient engagement tools, like Connect the Doc’s review tool or Survey Monkey’s survey forms, to gather important feedback, recommendations, and reviews from your patients. 

  1. Identify your KPIs and Set New Goals

We’ve discussed the importance of reflecting on past goals, processes, and results while gathering insights and feedback from experts, fellow dentists, team members, and patients. As great as these insights may be, they are pointless until you use them to set new goals for your dental practice. Identify your dental practice’s key performance indicators for the year 2021 and determine how and when you would monitor them over the year. KPIs, such as practice production, collections, practice profits, and average production per patient, is essential for setting benchmarks and monitoring your dental practice’s growth and productivity over time. 

  1. Create a marketing strategy for 2021

Once you’ve identified your KPIs and set new goals, create a workflow and strategy that allows you to execute the ideas you have and reach the KPIs you’ve set. Successful dental practices invest in developing and implementing marketing strategies that help them engage and get more patients. Your patients should be at the center of your marketing strategy. 

Think about ways to improve your patient communications and engagement, simplify your scheduling process, enhance your dental practice’s visibility online and in your local community and leverage your active patients’ reviews and referrals to attract new patients. Connect the Doc offers an array of tools and services that can help you improve all areas of your dental marketing strategy in 2021. Connect the Doc’s marketing specialists are well-positioned to support you in developing and executing a comprehensive marketing strategy for your dental practice this year. 

  1. Support your team’s growth and expertise

Everyone on your dental practice’s team – from your back-office staff and receptionist to your treatment coordinator and billing specialist – plays a vital role in executing your business and marketing strategies. The success of your strategy depends on how well your team can achieve the goals you’ve set. Create a work environment that supports your team’s growth, knowledge, and expertise. Provide educational resources and sponsor learning opportunities for your team members so they can keep growing and improving in the work they do. By supporting your team, you can fuel their passion, improve their productivity, and enhance your patient experience. 

  1. Update online directory and listings

In 2020, dentists and dental practices had to pivot their operations by prioritizing their online presence. Dentists signed up for online directories. While it is great to have your dental practice listed on online directories, your practice’s information on these directories must be correct and updated. Take some time to review your practice’s online listings and make sure all contact information, links, and media are up to date and adequately represent your practice. Now’s also a great time to claim your dental practice’s profile on Google My Business and other dental review sites like Yelp, Healthgrades, or ZocDoc.

  1. Improve your dental website

It would be very remiss of us to discuss your dental website. Your dental website is a crucial part of your marketing strategy, and it’ll be even more critical in 2021. As your digital storefront, your dental website is the hub that welcomes your patients, introduces your practice to them, and provides them with necessary information about making appointments with you or enhancing their dental healthcare. 

This year, let your dental website work for you by attracting and engaging more patients for your practice. To do this, you should improve your dental website’s SEO, invest in paid ads to traffic to your website, add features to your website to boost patient engagement, and finally, simplify the process for scheduling appointments through your website. Contact a Connect the Doc marketing specialist today to find out how you can make your dental website a more effective marketing tool. 

  1. Set up Google Analytics for your dental website

If you’ve made it a goal this year to improve your dental website, you should schedule a time to review your website’s traffic over time. With Google Analytics, you can track your website’s traffic via organic search and paid advertisements, review advertisement performance, and ROI and learn more about how patients engage with your website. To create a free Google Analytics account for your dental practice, visit the Google Analytics homepage and when you’re all signed up, click the Admin tab to add your website’s details. 

  1. Claim your Google My Business profile 

Google My Business is a digital dashboard that highlights your dental practice’s contact information, hours of operation, media, and patient reviews. It is one of the first things patients see when they look up your dental practice on the internet. With a Google My Business profile, you can increase your practice’s online visibility, online reviews, and patient leads. If you haven’t claimed your Google My Business profile, you should read our recent article on how to claim your Google My Business profile.  

  1. Use content marketing to nurture patient leads

Nurturing patient leads involves providing relevant, useful, and engaging information to your active and prospective patients who visit your dental website. By creating, tailoring, and sharing content on your dental website that delights and informs patients, you can build their trust in your practice and expertise over time. Integrate tools, like Connect the Doc’s Live Chat, with your website so patients can easily chat with your team and get quick responses to their inquiries. 

  1. Improve patient communication

Speaking of chatting with patients, now’s the time to review all platforms, channels, and tools you use to communicate with your patients. Whether it’s emails, phone lines, or social media, consider the most successful channels to reach, engage, and retain patients. Emails continue to be the channel of choice, so make sure you personalize your email communications, use an empathetic tone in your emails, and follow up with emails as soon as possible. The same goes for phone calls. Make sure your contact details are accurately listed on all online platforms, and consider integrating Connect the Doc’s Live Chat with your dental website. 

  1. Run a reactivation campaign 

The new year is an opportunity for you to reintroduce your practice to your patients, active or not. This is an excellent time to run a reactivation campaign. Identify patients who have been inactive for 18 months or longer and consider using your emails, phone calls, or paid advertisements to reconnect with them. You can offer incentives to these patients and gather feedback from them so you can improve your patient experience over time. 

  1. Ask Patients to Make Referrals 

As part of your marketing strategy for the year, leverage your active patients’ confidence in your expertise to reach more prospective patients. Ask your patients to refer their family and friends to practice. You could also offer incentives to them and use Connect the Doc’s referral tool to automate and simplify the process. 

  1. Get more involved in your local community. 

In 2021, make an effort to support more patients and businesses in your community. You and your team can volunteer at nonprofit organizations in your community. As an incentive to patients, make donations to an important cause when a patient refers to your practice. This is one of several ways you can make your community involvements work for your dental practice. 

  1. Keep reviewing your strategies 

If you’ve learned anything in the past year, it should be the importance of being flexible when necessary. Many patients, families, dental practices, and industries are still dealing with the impact of the pandemic and economic downturn. Be open to making adjustments in your operations and strategies over the year. Keep your patients at the center of all you do and ensure you’re continually improving their experience with your practice. 

As difficult as the past year has been for everyone, we have reason to be optimistic about the year 2021. Use the tips we’ve discussed to position your dental practice for success this year, but you don’t have to do any of it alone. Contact Connect the Doc today, and you’ll get assigned with a dental marketing specialist who can support the recovery or continued growth of your dental practice in 2021.