So, you’ve assessed your dental patient profiles — you know their varying ages, how often they come in and what kind of treatments they get. But, do you have visibility to one of the most critical pieces of information: where your dental patients are located?
Sure, you have their addresses logged, but have you truly dug in and analyzed their locations in comparison to your practice? Have you looked at where you are marketing in relation to your office location? Your dental patients’ locations should not be overlooked; this data is everything when it comes to effective dental marketing.
Performing a Zip Code Analysis
Dental Practice Management Software, including Dentrix and EagleSoft, can hold the key to understanding your patients’ information. They provide patient profile reports that display insights on your dental practice, including your patients’ age, which patients are insured, geography and your number of new patients, among other identifiers. Most dentists don’t know this report exists, so by getting your hands on this, it can put you a step ahead of the competition! That said, it doesn’t do you any good to get this software but sit on the results.
Using Zip Code Data to Enhance Dental Practice Marketing
Collecting your patients’ zip codes is half the battle. Once you have that sweet, succulent data in-hand, here are a few ways you can put the information to work for your dental practice:
Figure Out Your Patients’ Zip Codes
Now, it’s time to figure out where your patients are located. Just remember the 80/20 rule in dentistry: if you can identify five to six zip codes near your office, make sure at least 80% of your patients are coming from those areas.
You can understand the historical shift over time — the distance between patient base and practice increasing as people move — but, you need to make sure the bulk of your patients are coming from nearby. Everyone is strapped for time, and patients are no different. They want convenience; so, if your practice is close to home, that might mean the difference between keeping them with you versus them hopping to your competitor.
Determine How to Get New Patients
Knowing how to use the information of your patients’ locations can help grow your dental practice. You can tie this data into your marketing efforts! Just hone in on five to six zip codes near your practice, and you can increase your community and business outreach focuses to ramp up referrals. Get connected to patients (both existing and potential) through endeavors like sponsoring a Little League team or collaborating with organizations like neighborhood associations or civic clubs. By working with patients out and about in the community, they will develop a rapport and familiarity with you, both of which are important to building a dentist-patient relationship.
Shape Your Paid Marketing Efforts
When you think of your money spent on paid marketing, you can use this information on patients’ locations to get the most out of your funds. So, for your direct mail campaign, if you send 5,000 pieces of direct mail a month but 2,000 of those don’t reach patients within the designated five to six zip codes, you’re throwing away about $2,200 a month! It’s literally money wasted if you don’t focus on those patients closest to your practice.
Or, in the case of Google Ads, you need to look at geography. If you focus your ads on those zip codes, you can make sure the patients clicking and linking to your site are the ones you want to capture — the patients closest to you. Remember, there is a geographic component of paid search, which makes it worth it to map to those patients closest to you.
When you’re thinking of ways to capture new patients, just remember to take Google’s word for it. The single biggest feature in their algorithm is geography. You need to be focusing your efforts on the patients most likely to come to you, and those are the ones closest to you. Google will provide relevant searches near the practice, so take advantage of that!
About The Author
Tim Healy is one of the founders of TNT Dental, the #1 creator of custom websites and marketing strategies for dentists. Recognized as a leading expert in helping dental practices attract new patients, Tim has a true passion for teaching dentists the important “business stuff” they do not teach you in dental school. If there is anything Tim can do to help you, please do not hesitate to contact him directly at the office, (877) 868-4932, on his cell, (214) 680-1270, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Of course, you can always visit www.TNTDental.com to learn more.