If you’re not already offering dental plans to your patients, you’re seriously missing out on a trick. Dental plans are one of the best ways to grow your dental practice by increasing revenue and attracting more patients.
Maybe you’ve been too busy to dedicate time to building a dental plan or think it might be too complicated. That’s understandable, you’re running a dental practice, and sometimes there are just bigger fishes to fry! But if you invest time into creating and marketing dental plans, your dental practice growth will thank you.
In this blog, we’ve outlined the key things you need to know about designing and marketing dental plans to increase your practice’s revenue. We’ll talk about everything from the benefits of dental plans and how to create them to marketing tactics that’ll encourage your new and existing patients to sign up. Let’s get into it.
Are dental plans worth it?
Want the short answer? Absolutely!
Dental plans are one of the best marketing tools you can use to grow your practice and increase revenue. But that’s not all. Here are some reasons why you should develop and market dental plans for your patients:
- Creates recurring revenue – let’s face it: most patients only go to the dentist when they absolutely have to. By offering dental plans to your patients, they’re more likely to come in for regular checkups, cosmetic fixes, and dental repairs
- Builds patient loyalty – when you offer patients dental plans, they feel like they’re getting better value – especially when discounts or exclusive offers are on the table. This boosts loyalty and makes it less likely that your patient’s eyes will be drawn to another dentist
- Attracts uninsured patients – for patients that don’t have dental insurance, whether they’re retired or working for a small company, a dental plan is more appealing as it breaks down payments into manageable chunks. This ensures they won’t put off getting dental repairs because the pricing will be more affordable and transparent
- Helps you compete – dental plans are a great way to position yourself as a more accessible or affordable dental option – especially if your competitors aren’t offering dental plans or they’re not as appealing as yours
How to set up a dental plan
Now we’ve got you excited about all the benefits of offering plans to grow your dental practice, now let’s get into how you go about building a dental plan for your patients. This guide won’t cover absolutely everything, but these four steps are definitely enough to get the ball rolling
1. Know the numbers
There’s no point offering dental plans if you’re not going to profit from them. So your first step is to make sure you’re super clear on your numbers and have done the math to ensure profitability. Here are some things to think about to get started. It’s a good idea to work this math out with your accountant or business growth consultant (like us). Here are some things you should consider:
- Patient lifetime value – how much is a patient worth to you on average? What is your annual profit from each service? These figures will guide your dental plan pricing
- Services you can discount – identify what services have the highest profit margins; these are services you can afford to discount for subscribers to heighten perceived their value and increase sales volume
- Upselling opportunities – what are your most popular upsells? Consider adding cosmetic dentistry options like teeth whitening or invisible aligners to tempt patients to sign up
- Increasing efficiency – to grow your dental practice, streamlining processes is key. Make sure you have the capacity for the new patients your dental plans will bring and systems in place to carry out services like teeth cleaning more efficiently.
- Research competitors – this is critical to the competitiveness of your business plan – check-in on competitors to see what they offer and how they market dental plans. From your research, pinpoint how you can differentiate yourself and create more value.
2. Design your dental plan “tiers”
Now you have a good grasp of the financial side of things; it’s time to put your dental plans together into different packages. Depending on your current and target patients, your dental plans should align with the budget constraints and most popular treatments for each audience segment.
Let’s say, for example, you design a package geared towards patients over 50. For them, you might include more regular checkups, denture-related services, and more emergency dental fixes included.
For your younger over 20s audience, you’ll want to offer a more affordable dental plan that provides more cosmetic dentistry procedures/ discounts, less frequent checkups, and includes fewer emergency fixes.
Bear in mind that you don’t necessarily need to brand each membership tier by age or demographic. They can simply be “basic,” “premium,” and “VIP” – the point is to make sure there is an option that works for every segment of your patient base.
3. Get feedback from your staff
Your receptionists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants will likely have a closer relationship with your patients than you do as they chat during their wait and answer questions.
Host a meeting to discuss your dental plan options with your staff and consider their feedback. Together, you can develop an understanding of how it will work billing and appointments-wise and work out the kinks before putting the dental plans into action.
4. Prepare your back-office systems
Put the right processes in place before marketing your dental plans to patients. The more efficient, streamlined, and automated you can make your tools, software, and hardware to support dental plans, the better. This includes:
- Setting up direct debits
- Logging patient treatments
- Designing written contracts
- Emails and invoicing
- Testing online systems
- Training staff to sell plans
How to market your dental plans
You’ve put in the hours, crunched the numbers, run the dental plans by your staff, and tested them – now comes the most crucial part: marketing your dental plans. Marketing for dental practices covers a wide range of areas. So we’re going to discuss the most important tactics for marketing your dental plans to grow your practice.
- Promote them in your practice – posters on the walls, print flyers on your reception desk and coffee tables – anywhere your patients will wait or walk through should be an opportunity to promote your dental plans.
- At reception – train your staff to talk to every new and current patient about your new dental plans – highlighting the benefits and value they’ll get if they sign up.
- Create a landing page – set up a landing page that offers details of every dental plan. If possible, have your web designer install an online payment system; this will automate and shorten the buyer journey.
- SMS campaigns – set up automated text messages to market your dental practice’s brand new dental plans. They can be short and sweet, with a link to your landing page to find more information.
- Email campaigns – you likely have your patient’s email addresses on file and gather new email addresses on your website. Send frequent emails promoting your plans to make sure your audience is aware.
- Website pop up – a pop-up is a small piece of content that “pops up” once a website visitor has been on your website for a certain amount of time. Why not make your dental plans front and center as a special offer your patients can’t miss.
- Social media posts – you’d be surprised by how many patients check out your social media profiles but don’t follow you. Even if you have a low follower count – don’t forget to design engaging posts that entice new and current patients to sign up.
- Paid ads – Design paid ad campaigns for social media and Google that help you boost awareness and secure more inquiries and conversions for your dental plans.
- Promotions – want to get even more traction? Why not push a time-limited special offer or even run a competition to get the word out? You could also offer a “refer a friend” discount that helps you gain a new patient while delivering even more value for a current one.
Don’t have time to implement a dental plan scheme?
We hope this blog has inspired you to create and market your own dental plans. With today’s heated competition, it’s one of the best ways you can bring your dental practice to new levels of profit and growth. And, as you can see, it’s not so intimidating once you have a step-by-step plan.
If you like the sound of using dental plans to grow your dental practice but haven’t got the spare time to invest in them. We can help.
We offer business consultancy, digital marketing, and web design services for dental practices who are ready to streamline and automate their processes, attract new patients, and upsurge profits. Book a free 15-minute consultation today!