March 9, 2020
by Naren Arulrajah, Ekwa Marketing
Dental marketing trends come and go, but one method of advertisement will never lose effectiveness. That is word-of-mouth. Patient referrals are an important part of your income stream, and well worth the effort to optimize.
Don’t just count on happy patients to spread the word. They might not know you are accepting – and actively seeking – new patients. Furthermore, they might not be motivated to send family and friends your way.
Should you reward patients?
First and foremost, decide if you will reward referring patients, new patients, both, or neither. Rewards are usually offered as a discount or free service, which can significantly increase referrals. However, the decision is not just a matter of preference. Professional organizations and local laws often prohibit or limit this practice. For example, Alberta dentists are prohibited from rewarding patients for referrals, discounting new patient services, or using coupons.
Other ways to increase referrals
Even without a financial or similar incentives, there are plenty of ways to encourage patients to recommend you.
This is one of the least expensive marketing tactics, with virtually no risk. Even if you offer a financial incentive for referrals, it is contingent upon getting a new patient, so your ROI is guaranteed. However, that doesn’t mean it should be treated as a passive income stream. Put just as much thought and effort into your referral program as any other marketing strategy.
About the Author:
Naren Arulrajah, President and CEO of Ekwa Marketing, has been a leader in medical marketing for over a decade. Ekwa provides comprehensive marketing solutions for busy dentists, with a team of more than 180 full time professionals, providing web design, hosting, content creation, social media, reputation management, SEO, and more. If you’re looking for ways to boost your marketing results, call 855-598-3320 for a free strategy session with Naren.
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