In this episode of Dental Marketing Mastery, we answer a few questions about how to get more dental reviews to maintain a good online reputation and give a special announcement.

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Podcast Highlights:

We just attended the “Get it Done Weekend” and it was great! It is a great place for dentists to get all of their requirements done in one day.

How Do I Defend Against Illegitimate Reviews?

  • Practice Management and Marketing
  • What the web surfer sees
  • Who leaves illegitimate reviews?
  • The amount of positive dental reviews it takes to counterbalance these bad reviews
  • How to get more patient reviews?
  • How to respond to negative patient reviews?

Is All Mail Dead?

  • No way!
  • Statistics on mail
  • Are you using clipper? A value pack?
  • The difference between good mail and bad mail (hint: It’s price incentives)
  • Which mail mediums are out?
  • The bell curve when some mail mediums become ineffective
  • What’s the ROI on good mail?

How Often Should I Email Patients? I Don’t Want to be a Spammer!

  • Separating what is promotional vs. what is internal
  • Newsletters vs. confirmations or recalls
  • The magic number is 4
  • Saying as much as you can
  • Promoting one thing at a time
  • Your mail formula for the next 2 years
  • Effective landing page use
  • NPI Concierge

Announcement: The ADA

  • We will be at the ADA!
  • October 19-23
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • We have a surprise for you!

Podcast Transcription:

Hello, and welcome once again to the Dental Marketing Mastery series. This podcast is brought to you by DentalWebContent.com and New Patients Incorporated. I’m Howie Horrocks, the Founder of New Patients Incorporated, along with me once again, as my friend and partner and the President of New Patients Incorporated, Mark Dilatush.

Howie: Well, hello, everybody. Welcome to another edition of our podcast. And once again, we’re here with our good buddy, my good buddy, Mark Dilatush. How you doing Mark?

Mark: Hey Howie. Good. Just got back from get it done meeting with you and Lee and yes, you had to go to Minnesota for three days. But you survived. I’m quite I’m quite proud of you.

Howie: I’m sitting on a guy sitting next to a guy on the plane. We’re leaving Vegas. And it’s a you know, 89 degrees, and when I tell him the weather in Minneapolis is like eight degrees. And I Why are we leaving?

Mark: Yeah.

Howie: Anyway, it was a good meeting. It was fun.

Mark: It was. For those listening if you see a get it done meeting in your area, good friend of ours, Brian Laskin, put some on their design to get all of your requirements, your CEs, your, you know, things like HIPAA, your certifications. It’s designed to get all of those things done in one shot in one day. So that you’re not dealing with them, you know, all throughout the whole year with various team members. It was well attended. And it was very well received the doctors like I can’t believe I just got all that done in one day. Yeah, they’re doing it.

Howie: Yeah.

Mark: So that was good. Yeah.

Howie: Appropriately

Mark: Yeah, that was good.

Howie: Was appropriately titled.

Mark: Yes.

Howie: Well, today, I think what we want to do is dive into our mailbag.

Mark: Mailbag

Howie: or electronic mail bag

Mark: or electronic mail bag, otherwise known as Josh.

Howie: Yeah.

Mark: So Josh, well, now we got some of these on the chat, too. Um, but Okay, so we try to organize your questions. I mean, we have our own topics that we title and put out there. Every once in a while, in our podcasts, we’re going to grab some questions that come in. And we’re going to call them mailbag or miscellaneous, or even miscellaneous mailbag, whatever. And then you’ll know in the title what it is, and you can listen or or choose not to listen. But here are we have four topics or four questions that came in is, one is how do I defend against aillegitimate online review?

Howie: that’s a that’s a very good question, isn’t it?

Mark: Yeah, I think how many times doctors have asked me that right directly. I might as well answer it for a lot of amount of time. I think my mail is wearing out, I mail through clipper magazine locally. Is mail, is all mail dead? That’s a good. That’s a good question.

Howie: That’s the second question. Okay.

Mark: That’s the second question. Right. Question number three is How many times should I email my own patients? I don’t want to be a spammer.

Howie: Yeah, good.

Mark: That’s a good question. Um, and this fourth one, actually, I guess. I guess some of some folks on our team or I think they’re running their mouth a little bit. Anyway, the fourth question is What the heck is going on at the ADA convention? Your staff is all excited about it? So that’s the fourth question.

Howie: Okay.

Mark: All right. Let’s go back to question number one, is how do I defend against illegitimate online reviews? And Alright, so I got to take part of this as marketing part of its practice management, actually, part of its common sense. It’s like there’s 150%, you know, to the, to the answer. Let me take the technical side first. So technically, we know that the surfer, the surfer, when they see a 5.0, review score, they question the validity of the reviews. They think that you got your whole extended family to leave a review of how great you are. Nobody believes or hardly anybody believes a 5.0 review. If you get a couple of negative reviews along the way, don’t sweat it.

Howie: Yeah,

Mark: Um, if you’re

Howie: Buy nobody can be that perfect.

Mark: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And

Howie: People know that.

Mark: We’re not perfect. You’re not perfect. Nobody’s perfect. Yeah, and Howie right. People know that. And definitely dental consumers and certainly dental consumers in the top half of the dental market know that. If it’s only one or two, just don’t sweat it. Just chalk it up. Right. Um, and our rating a Google rating your 4.6 to 4.8. I mean, that’s your sweet spot. 4.9 you’re starting to get a little unbelievable. 4.3 and 4.4? Yeah, you’re getting kind of, I don’t know, maybe I’ll click on that. And look for the people who were complaining about you. Right, so 4.6 to 4.8 that’s your sweet spot. That’s where you want to be on.

But you know, obviously there’s people out there, are dentists out there, who receive illegitimate dental office reviews from all over the place, they have kids, ex husbands ex wives. I mean, you know, or, or what the hell they’re, you know, girlfriends or boyfriends or, you know, it doesn’t anybody,

Howie: oh, or just mean people who have nothing better to do than

Mark: Yeah.

Howie: do destroy somebody’s online reputation.

Mark: Yeah, just mean spirited people, I know, some dentists to have, were on the bad end of that kind of activity for political reasons. It happens. The first way you defend against it is to make sure that your great positive dental practice reviews outweigh any negative review. If you have one or two negative reviews, so you need 14 to 16 really good positive dental reviews to outweigh it. You’ll still end up in your 4.6 to 4.8 sweet spot, you’re good to go. Um, that’s the easiest way. Some dental practices find it very hard, very difficult to get dentist to get their patients you know, to leave Google reviews. And, you know, that’s why we have Crusader, okay, so or if it’s not Crusader that you use, maybe use a different product, whatever. Okay.

The first step in defense is making sure you have 14 to 15 really good reviews for everyone, it’s not so good. Um, you can on Google, respond to a negative review. Now, if you really feel it’s an illegitimate review, and you feel you want to respond to it, because you keep getting these things, and you think they’re for nefarious reasons, again, boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, of either direction, political reasons, whatever then when you feel that way. Um, no, you have to use some tact. But no, you can say certainly respond.

Then the next logical question from the dentist is, well, how to respond to negative patient reviews? Well, normally, you would ask a question and require a commitment of effort on their part, you would say something like, you know, I’m searching and I can’t find you, would you please contact me at email that you only use for your reviews? And, you know, I’d like to talk to you about your situation, and they will invariably do nothing. And then you just respond that you haven’t heard back after a week, and you just That’s it, you just move on? Um, moving on is always best. Moving on without posting a response is always best.

Howie: Yeah, the last thing you want to do is get into a flame war with, with a member of the public, whether they’re, well, whether it’s legitimate or not, I mean, many times the, the reviewer isn’t even part of the practice has never been to see the dentist.

Mark: Exactly.

Howie: What are you doing arguing with that dork, you know,

Mark: Right. So, first step, overwhelm the negative with the positive and we know 99% of the people listening to this podcast can do that, rather easily within the four walls of their practice. So, um, you know, if you end up in a situation like that, then you know, you’re going to have to, you’re going to have to respond. You have to defend your turf, just do it with some savvy, that’s all. Question number two. I think my mail is wearing out I mail through clipper locally is all mail dead? Well, let’s, well let’s look at some statistics. Some very predictable statistics. If you’re using clipper clip, I think isn’t clipper that envelope that comes with like 93,000 coupons. Isn’t that with clippers?

Howie: Yeah, that’s what it is. It also goes by a different name in different parts of the country, Valpack.

Mark: That’s it. That’s it. That’s it. Okay. All right. So, all right. So basically, this dentist is calling that direct mail. And they are receiving less return or less calls. And pry I don’t know this for sure. I didn’t really speak to this just person, but I’m going to assume they’re spending the same money. So spending the same money to get less result is normally not a good thing. Normally, I bet you when he’s here, she started that mail campaign, especially if it’s in clipper magazine, because clipper magazine is nothing but ads. Right? Like yeah, umm dollars, you know, there

Howie: Yeah it is

Mark: it is for shoppers there. It’s just coupons. Right?

Howie: Yeah, the medium there dictates the message. And when you are using that kind of a medium, you’re basically advertising a deal.

Mark: Okay, so right now, they’re smart. They’re kind of small to right there. I apologize for not knowing what the heck I’m talking about here. I do know that I have seen them come to my own home. They’re in an envelope. They’re in a regular size envelope. And there’s so it must be the height and the width of the envelope. And there’s usually like 30 of them in there. Right?

Howie: Exactly.

Mark: Okay. All right. So

Howie: it’s and it’s all X dollars off on whatever

Mark: Right

Howie: in field repair or

Mark: Right, yeah, vinyl siding. Yeah, we get your windows replaced.

Howie: Yeah.

Mark: And, yeah, get new asphalt for your driveway. Right. The question is, I think my mail is wearing out, right. Let me put some statistics to that. Because if you promote to the bottom of the market, it is going to wear out, it’s going to wear out in an average US market, it’s going to wear out 28 to 31 months, if you consistently deploy in the same market to the bottom half of the market, regardless of what you’re promoting. And if you are using discounts to drive phone calls, it will begin to wear out in month 28 to 31.

If that’s the top of your bell curve, month, 28 to 31, you might be 33 months into this project. And you may see what’s happening. Or you could be 100 months into this and just waking up and see what’s happening. Um, so now the next is I mail through clipper locally. Alright, so that basically tells us your best foot forward is your deal. You have no fee.

Howie: Yeah.

Mark: Right.

Howie: Right

Mark: Isn’t that what it tells us Howie? Okay, so

Howie: Yeah, it does.

Mark: Right. What else would you basically, Doctor, you’re running out of moms who would choose a healthcare provider based primarily on price. And it probably took you 28 months to 31 months to figure that out.

Howie: Yeah, that’s a succinct way to put it exactly,

Mark: basically. And then the last question with number two is, is all mail dead? Um not only no but hell no.

Howie: Oh, yeah.

Mark: No, no, no.

Howie: it’s thriving.

Mark: Yeah, your mail is dead. Sorry, I didn’t I didn’t really mean that. Well, I kind of did.

Howie: That was mean.

Mark: Right, I know it was mean. But um, no, no, actually, what you’re doing doctor isn’t even called mail. It’s, it’s sort of a piggyback coupon. I wonder what they get for every one of those 50 coupons?

Howie: Yeah, that’s a good question.

Mark: because there’s still only spending, whatever you notice that the ship the envelope?

Howie: Yeah. Well, that that’s part of the appealing back way back in the day used to be called marriage mail where you’d have a bunch of businesses around, you’d all go together, you split the costs and you know, it’s very inviting, because it’s so dang cheap. But,

Mark: Okay yeah. Okay.

Howie: The medium is, is designed specifically to target the bottom half of the market in the dental world. And that’s something we don’t recommend.

Mark: Right, right. I mean, Well, okay, let’s be fair and honest. But we do go after the bottom half of the market for clients who have an immediate need for large volumes of new patient phone calls.

Howie: Yeah, that’s, that’s the exception.

Mark: But we never go through clipper, we would never do that. Okay. And we would ask, absolutely want to control the targeting ourselves for our, for our clients, okay, to minimize their risk. And we would absolutely want to control the size and the design. So, okay. And, and we would tell this cost the customer, the client, look, you only have 28 to 31 months to take advantage of this. After that you will get a declining result in an average US market period and end of story. Okay. We only use going after the bottom half of the market very temporarily. Only for as long as we have to.

Howie: Yeah, right.

Mark: All right. Oh, I see. You want to go you want to take a break before we do

Howie: Yeah, we have to take a break and hear from our sponsors.

Mark: Sponsors is us, isn’t it?

Howie: Well, yeah. If we don’t take a break here from our sponsors, we don’t get paid.

Mark: Okay. All right. That’s fine.

Howie: We’ll be right back.

Mark: We hope you are enjoying our podcast. Let me ask you, do you have a roadmap for your marketing? Why not let New Patients incorporated do it for you. Our marketing plans have been proven effective for over 27 years for hundreds of practices across lots of different countries. We will give you the marketing data for your area, a marketing budget will show you how to allocate your budget. And then we will show you the proper deployment strategies for each medium. Click on the header where it says complimentary marketing plan when you go to www dot new patients Incorporated.

Howie: Okay, we’re back. What’s our next question Mark? Something about emails?

Mark: Hey, it is my next question. When are we getting at some other sponsor to pay us? That is my next question.

Howie: Hey, we’re working on it here at the Galactic headquarters.

Mark: Alright, so here’s a question number three in the mailbag. How many times should I email my own patients? I don’t want to be a spammer. And you know what that is that’s an excellent. Like, you wouldn’t? You wouldn’t think that’s a revelatory to use one of your favorite words, a revelatory question, but it is, it is kind of because how you engage your own patients with email is different than how you engage them visually, which is different with how you engage them with something physical, that you can hand them. This, this seemingly innocent question actually opens up. It’s not Pandora’s box, but it opens up a large box for discussion.

I want to address their initial question, how many time should I email my own patients? Now, if we’re going to assume that you mean, emailing them a promotion about some services that you provide, or some conveniences that you provide, or some technologies that you employ or what have you. I’m going to assume that that’s what you mean, because lots of offices email appointment confirmations every day to everybody that’s coming in three days from now. Okay, so that’s the first thing that I have to separate out here is, I think what we’re being asked is, how many email promotions should I send to my patient?

Howie: Or you might call them newsletters or about the office and what you provide.

Mark: Right?

Howie: Yeah

Mark: Yeah not confirmations, not recalls, right.

Howie: That’s different.

Mark: Right, other promotions. Right. Okay. If we separate out other promotions, and the answer to your question is for four times a year. And I know many doctors just went because they’re shocked that I’m not saying every nine minutes. Cause its cheap, okay, because it’s cheap, and because I can just do it and just leave the office and not worry about it. Right? Now, here’s the problem. The problem with doing it too much is if they get too many promotions from you, you actually negate the impact of the emails for confirmation and recalls.

Howie: Exactly, they tune you out,

Mark: They tune you out. Okay, so you don’t, you definitely do not want them to tune you out. You have to minimize it. Now, to follow that up. What should the content be? And this is the other part that overwhelms patients. Normally from just from the fact that people build newsletters and sell them or give them to dentists, and dentists send them thinking they’re doing a good thing, but they’re not. When you here’s the general rule, when you promote to the public, non patients,

Howie: Strangers,

Mark: strangers, you want to say as many things as you can say about your dental practice as possible within the restriction of size or length. Okay. When you’re dealing with your existing patients, the general rule is one thing at a time. And you may be sitting there going raising your hand going, Yeah, but what about all these newsletter companies? You know, they sell these four page, multi color, multifaceted multi index, multi directory, you know, whatever newsletters, right? I’m like, Yeah, well, you can sell anything.

Howie: Yeah.

Mark: Okay. Okay. Existing patients want one spoonful at a time.

Howie: Right? You know, and I think that, see, the obvious advantage you have is that in mailing to your patient base is that they know you. When they see Oh, I got something from Dr. Dr. Schmid here. They’re, they’re more inclined to read it and pay attention to it.

Mark: Right.

Howie: The thing is, you can’t abuse that privilege.

Mark: Right. You can’t abuse the privilege. And when you do deliver something, make it one topic.

Howie: Yeah, just one single topic.

Mark: Here, let’s, let’s take the average dentist listening to this. Everybody, go grab a pencil and paper, I’m going to map out the next two years of your internal email promotion to your existing patients. I’d love for you to say something in an email about pedo or ortho, at the end of June, beginning of July. I would love for you to talk about something about insurance benefits around October. I’d love for you to say something about niche one, whatever niche is implants, Invisalign, sleep apnea, sedation, pick a niche, any niche, send it out in January, and in April, or may send out niche number to do that for two years.

There’s your schedule. Simple, Simple. Okay. The reason why you complicate it is because you believe you need a boatload of information to go to your existing you don’t. Okay. Um now I don’t want to be a spammer was part of that question. And the person who asked us that question was actually, emotionally they were running up against the same thought that we’re presenting to you here, you know, they themselves thought that doing it more often. It just feels weird, right? Giving them too much information feels odd. Bottom line four a year, single topics. And when you send them, please have a landing page that they can click on your website and go to and hey, for extra credit, install concierge on to that page so they can schedule their appointment.

Howie: Yes, right there when they’re reading it.

Mark: Yeah, would be nice.

Howie: That would be really cool.

Mark: Anyway, you get the point, right. Don’t just send newsletters out unless the people who are interested can take action. Oh, also, there’s another tip for you. Don’t believe for a second that you’re you’re emailing something to your existing patients that only they can take advantage of. For instance, sending an email out about the ability to fix loose dentures with implants to a 35 year old soccer mom is not a waste of time.

Howie: No.

Mark: Her mom may live eight miles away. And her mom may have been bitching and complaining for the last six months about her slipping dentures. And soccer mom gets your email and says, Hey, Mom, look what I got forwarded over to her. This is my dentist. See how this works?

Howie: Yeah.

Mark:It’s this isn’t? You know, you can also use the same content by the way on your social media. This doesn’t have to be all about email. Right, you can coordinate it with your social media as well. So anyway, have we beaten up that that question? I think we have.

Howie: I think we have. What this business about the ADA.

Mark: Oh, yeah. Okay, so all right. I can’t really say a whole lot. Whoever asked this question, probably going to pull the earbuds out of their ears in anger. Um, here’s what I can tell you. I can tell you that New Patients Incorporated and our almost entire team is going to be at the ADA in a very big way in a very large booth, in very prominent position. We are going to

Howie: This is October correct in Atlanta?

Mark: The American Dental Association annual show is…yes, I believe it’s October 19 to the 21st I think are the exhibit hours. Um, we have an event coming up, which we don’t believe we’ve ever seen ever happen ever on any tradeshow floor, let alone the ADA. And you have to be present or know someone who is present in order to take advantage of it. As the months unfold, I’m sorry, color mailbag responder person.

Howie: Whoever you are

Mark: Whoever you are as the months unfold, we will let you know what it is we’re going to give everyone the opportunity to sign up for it, whether you can be there or not. We will have plenty of team members to assign your request to should you want to take advantage of it and all that other stuff. But here’s the bottom line. Something very big and very bold is happening at the American Dental Association convention in October in Atlanta. And it won’t be long until you start seeing stuff about it on our website.

Howie: Great.

Mark: Okay.

Howie: Well, I think that about wraps this edition up.

Mark: Well, thank you Howie. Have you have you warmed up? I know you’re home now.

Howie: Oh, yes.

Mark: Yes. It’s glorious, right? It was glorious sunshine when you drove in this morning.

Howie: Yeah, I’ve got a I’ve got to get a tee time. But that’s another story.

Mark: That’s another story.

Howie: Anyway, until next time, we wish you well and we’ll see you soon. Bye.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our podcast today. You can find more podcasts on our YouTube channel, on Stitcher and iTunes. Also on our websites, dentalwebcontent.com and newpatientsinc.com.