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Digital Marketing is the Key to More Patient Referrals!

by adminjay

Word of mouth is still alive and kicking in the digital age. A friend’s recommendation carries a lot of weight if someone is looking for a dentist they can trust. When it comes to word-of-mouth referrals, digital marketing is influential on both sides of the equation: the patient making the referral and the potential new patient they are referring. In essence, a consistent and strong digital presence boosts referrals.

Existing Patients

When a dental practice dedicates time and energy to keeping its existing patients engaged through digital marketing, they are more likely to refer others. First and foremost, marketing to existing patients keeps the practice at the forefront of their minds, encouraging them to proactively refer friends and family. Reinforcing the practice’s commitment to its patients through various digital marketing channels also reassures existing patients that they can refer with confidence.

New Patients

When an existing patient refers someone to a dental practice, there is already a certain level of trust. This implied trust makes it easier to convert word-of-mouth leads into patients. Digital marketing plays a role here, too. Most of the time, a person who receives a recommendation from a friend or family member will check the practice out online before making contact. The information they encounter can be the deciding factor. A robust online presence and plenty of reviews tip the scales in the practice’s favor.

Digital Marketing to Enhance Referrals

Everything we do to promote a practice’s brand and reputation online, plus the monthly emails we send to existing patients, encourages word-of-mouth referrals. Social media posts are easy to share and repost, allowing them to reach people not currently following the practice’s page. Blog post links work similarly. While a practice’s blog is available for anyone to read, existing patients are more likely to be aware of it and pass interesting posts on to others. Monthly emails to existing patients are also powerful marketing tools. When an existing patient receives an email with a personal element, it strengthens their relationship with the practice and gives them even more faith that anyone they refer will be treated well. The practice’s blog, monthly emails, and social media posts are all excellent vehicles to subtly ask for referrals.

Stating the Obvious

Digital marketing gives practices opportunities to ask patients for referrals. It may seem obvious, but the idea of outright asking for referrals does not always occur to practice owners who are unaccustomed to using digital marketing in that way. In marketing speak, it’s a “call to action.” The call to action can be a paragraph in an email or a social media post asking for referrals. There is no shame in being direct about it. Existing patients are receptive to these messages because they trust the practice.

Dental practices can gain more new patient referrals by marketing to their existing patients and asking for referrals through their multiple digital channels. We want dental practices to receive more word-of-mouth referrals and do a lot to encourage them. From providing custom email, blog, and social media content to boosting the number of online reviews and optimizing search results, it all works towards the same goal.

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