Cross-Referencing Your New Patients

What is the one thing every marketing company should do? Cross reference! In this episode of Dental Marketing Mastery, Mark and Howie explain how to source your new patients and get the most out of your combination of offline and online dental marketing metrics.

Podcast Highlights:

  • Direct Mail
  • The advertising medium that works all the time
  • Multiple, long-term markets
  • Managing online and offline mediums
  • Call tracking
  • The internet’s effect on call volume
  • The average calls per year from a good mail campaign
  • Properly sourcing new patients
  • Your website isn’t generating as many patients as you think it is
  • EDDM vs. bulk mail
  • Our ADA show special

Podcast Transcription:

Hello, and welcome once again to the Dental Marketing Mastery series. This podcast is brought to you by 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. I think it’s number 65. Already.

Mark: Oh my god.

Howie: I feel 65.

Mark: You are 65?

Howie: I guess I know, I know, maybe a 67.

Mark: No, no, no your 67. Tell everybody you’re 65 because you don’t look a day over.

Howie: I don’t look a day over 64 and three quarters. I know you

Mark: have a full head of hair.

Howie: You get that all the time. All right.

Mark: Alright. Alright.

Howie: So we’re talking today about some sort of hidden truths that we’ve uncovered in direct marketing over the years. We had a really nice story come through just recently, and we’d like to share it with our audience.

Mark: Yeah, I think it’s going to be certainly a learning and teaching moment. Gosh, and looking back. I wonder how many how many dentists everywhere didn’t know the truth, and they were so close to getting it. So. Alright.

So let me set this up. I’m, with some consistencies among dentists. I think all dentists listening to this are definitely going to want to get as much out of their advertising dollar as possible, right? I don’t know any dentists that doesn’t want that. Right. Um, almost all dentists would want to find an advertising media type that lasts hopefully for their career, but absent being able to last and produce throughout their career, maybe half their career or a quarter of their career or hell, more than a year. Right. Right. Nice. If something a marketing medium and advertising media type that worked, wouldn’t it be cool if it worked for a long period of time,

Howie: it’s kind of like, the Holy Grail is set it and forget it?

Mark: Yeah, kinda. So let it run. Excuse me, so. So I think we’re all in the same boat so far. Um, and if you’ve listened to, I don’t know, probably about eight to 10 of the 65 podcasts that had anything to do with passive versus aggressive, online versus offline advertising. anything we’ve ever said about direct mail, anything we’ve ever said about going after the top half of the dental market.

If you’ve listened, or read any of our work, watched any of our seven one hour segments in our Summit Series, or seen us live at an education event, then, you know, how, you know how deeply we feel about consistency and results about longevity and results, the value it returns back to the dental practice over time of the exponential return. Build that happens, basically, almost by itself.

So if you’ve learned or anything from us, you’ve learned that we believe and it’s not really a belief, it’s, it’s not it’s not an opinion, either. We know that the only way to sustain long term in multiple varied dental markets. A consistent responses to have the proper marriage between online and offline. And, and that actually creates the subject for this podcast, because you’ve also heard us say, how important it is, is the setup call tracking numbers to your advertising, and now we we start that about 10, 12 years ago, now every marketing guru on Facebook, and yeah, and the other they say the same thing, right?

Howie: Yeah, we’ve been pounding our spoon on our high chair about that for years. I know.

Mark: Never forget the first time we came out with it, you know, suggesting it and kind of look like people looked at us like a deer in headlights. But, um, so anyway, so. So now you have an offline promotion. And let’s in this case, let’s just call it mail. Because this is really where this this holy grail of truth came to us.

It came to us by necessity, because we saw calls we saw call volume, call volume as the internet became more and more and more used by the consumer, obviously call volume would drop. But then you would look at the percentage of drops. And as long as it wasn’t a big drop, you were fine with the results. Because the the patients were still coming through, they were still calling, they will still still making appointments, you could record it, listen to what train your staff, you could do all kinds of stuff with this call tracking, not to mention that it was cheap as hell. So but here’s where it started to separate in that there was no way there was no real way to measure the number of patients who got the mail went to your dental office website and called from there.

Or we certainly didn’t measure that. It was almost immeasurable, you just kind of had to say, Well, about half, we’re going to call direct and about half, we’re going to go to your website and call from there. And most folks were okay with that. Because it makes sense. I mean, when you learn something on TV, you go to the dental office website, and you probably are going to call from there.

Howie: Yeah. And in the end, you know, who cares how they reach you?

Mark: Exactly, right. So, so as the call volume went down, so no, let’s just say average, an average market in the US will see on an average mail campaign will see 120 to 140 calls a year. And they’re not all unique. Obviously, some of them are solicitors and some lady who doesn’t want to be on your mail list. But let’s just say that’s the number. So over the years, it’s pretty much stayed the same. But the number of new patients in the practice management software was getting misdirected. What I mean, misdirected what, what I mean is, is the patient would say Yo, moment when they came in, your staff would hand them the form, and they would fill out the field, how did you hear about us, and they would type in website, or Google or I found you on the internet or whatever.

And your staff would just type that into your practice management software. And you all were just going wow, my websites kicking ass and you were really happy. Right? Well, it wasn’t your website. It wasn’t your website. And this isn’t the first go round for us. We’ve been at once we discovered this, we started analyzing, you know, multiple, multiple, multiple times and multiple even back to, um, you know, previous mail campaigns where we had still had a great relationship with the doctor, and they shared their, you know, new patient numbers with us our names and addresses Anyway, here’s the bottom line, and actually how it should be going to break.

Howie: You know, let’s do that. Then we’ll get to the bottom line. Yeah, so all of you out there. Hang on. We’ll be right back.

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

Howie: Okay, we are back and we’re talking about call tracking in direct response marketing and websites and all that stuff. So.

Mark: So yeah, they felt kind of salesy saying hey, should we leave the big reveal for after the ad we’re going to run? Anyway, we’re a marketing company, I guess can get away. Right. Okay. So anyway, so. So how do you figure out how many people from your direct respond and guys and gals, this is not just our direct response, I’m not talking about I’m not talking just to NPI clients here. I’m talking about to any dentist who does any dental direct mail marketing anywhere from any country, any country, any company, I don’t care. Okay. This applies to all of you.

Basically, if you’re going to do this, here’s what we’re going. This is our new, strong, strong, strong recommendation for all of you, there’s a few things that you need to know. Number one, the number of unique calls only represents those who called you from your piece. It does not count the people who didn’t call you from your piece went somewhere else and called from there. Number two, your internet. Your website isn’t generating as much as you think it is, if you’re doing offline promotion properly and driving the you know the proper and good volumes of properly targeted traffic to it. Number three, here’s how you get here’s what you do.

You go to your marketing firm, and you say, I’m going to send you a list of my new patients between start date and end date when you mailed. Pick two dates. And you’re going to run a list of patient names and addresses and ask your marketing company to cross reference those names with your mail list. Now, I know this sounds really simplistic, it takes about an hour or so for one of our team to do on our end. It’s not like it’s not instant, there’s no electronic way to do it. At least we haven’t found one. Because dentists will send us an email, they’ll send it in a CSV file or an Excel file or Word document or PDF. It just comes into us it so many random file types. But here’s the bottom line.

In one of the cases we just did, we analyze the practice and the doctor had 24 unique calls after four drops. I actually wrote about this story on our Facebook dental marketing mastery series. I actually wrote about this, this was a really, it was a great story for it was a great story because it hit all the all the emotional highs and lows of the dentist, the dentist is you know, hopeful that he’s spending money on advertising that’s working the emotion of potentially being disappointed because there was only 24 unique calls after four drops.

And boy, that’s a low number and I agree with him, it was a low number. And then the joy after the cross reference was, but after the cross reference, we found for 40 new patients added to his practice in four mail drops in a grossly competitive market, a 1 to 900 market. Okay. Now that is that’s just great. I mean, that’s awesome. If they those add average revenue per patient in that, in his practice was somewhere around $3,800 to $4,000, I think. And that’s just a tremendous, tremendous ROI. But here’s the here’s the here’s the beauty of this story.

Here we have a doctor who’s an incredibly stat driven doctor, he has stats on top of stats. If you want to know how much time Mary, his front desk works on filling cancellations, he could probably tell you down to the minute. I mean, this guy has numbers for numbers, right. But he believed, and his first inquiry that part of his marketing campaign that we do for him was mail and part of it wasn’t working right. And how many of you feel the same way? How many of you Well, I saw my bachelor’s and NPI clients and might feel that way. And I’m sure there’s clients of other marketing firms out there who probably feel that way. Right? Look at the difference between what the doctor felt before and after. And look at the truth. Look at the reality now what if that doctor stopped mailing?

Look at the negative impact on his practice that would have been based on information that was incomplete.

Howie: And he would he would never know,

Mark: he would never know he would just move on to the next probably salesperson. Right?

Howie: Right.

Mark: Or, or he’ll respond to one of those emails, he gets in a spam folder from India, right? I will SEO your website and do PPC for you. Right, whatever. Okay, he would go in some other direction and think that what he was doing was failing without the cross reference. So here’s the bottom line. The bottom line is, is marketing and dental practice didn’t get easier over the last, let’s say 15 years and actually got a little more difficult. Tracking results got a little more difficult along with it. Um, but the good news is, is if you do it, right, you end up getting actually better results than you did 15 years ago.

Howie: So much better ROI.

Mark: much better ROI, right? Yeah, then 15, just then just 15 years ago, right? So but it’s it’s sort of an evolution, like as we evolve as we evolve our testing as we evolve all of our research as we evolve our internal numbers and our testing, as we evolve all that stuff. We try to share it with you guys. Even if you’re I mean, not our clients. So you can take what we’re learning and apply it to your own your own specific situation.

Obviously, if you’re a client, then we’re going to do your cross reference for you. Without question anyway. Okay, but um. See that way. Oh my gosh, the power, every dentist in the country is looking for an advertising medium that works consistently for perhaps the rest of their career. And that guy might of adjust stopped that from happening. Because a one hour cross reference didn’t take place.

Howie: Yeah, yeah. And that, and that’s critical to I mean

Mark: it’s critical.

Howie: This sort of encapsulates this. You know, one thing you could say is, okay, yeah, we got a response from, you know, 1427 Elm Street, and we got a new patient. Really, if you look deeper, you might find that you got five new patients from Elm Street, that address, right. And that’s the beauty of cross referencing, right, is that, you know, the mailing campaign is not going to bring in one patient at a time it might bring in whole families. And it does routinely, when you write this that if you don’t do this cross reference,

Mark: no, no, you’re going to miss all of them.

Howie: Yeah,

Mark: you’re going to miss all of them. You’re, you’re because like, let’s go back to the beginning. And it doesn’t have to be just mail doesn’t it’s not about NPI mail. It’s about anybody that males, and besides the internet, more dentists do mail than any other promotion media, outside of the inner outside of a website. They all do. Right.

So this applies to everyone this is, um, now, hang on a second, I can tell you a group of dentists that this does not apply to and that’s the dentists that do Every Door Direct Mail. You don’t get a mail list. Yeah. So you have no cross reference. Okay. There’s a million reasons why and if you don’t understand why EDM is no good, just, we have a podcast, I think, and I think the title of it is EDM is no good, right? No, I’m being facetious.

So I but basically, there’s a million reasons why it’s twice as expensive to do EDDM than it is to do regular bulk mail. Um, but anyway, so for those dentist, you don’t you can’t do a cross reference. But for so for anyone who does bulk mail, not EDDM. Anyone who does bulk mail through any provider, NPI, whoever do this cross reference really seriously, this is it’s amazing. What you think your response rate was? It’ll be end up being double or triple as the trend that the truth? What’s that saying? The truth will set you free. Yep. The truth will help you keep a good decision. If it’s a good decision, and if it’s not the cross reference sucks, then you know,

Howie: then you really know,

Mark: then you really know, then you don’t even have to, you know, okay, well, I guess I’m not going to do that again. That’s an easy decision. Right?

Howie: Yep.

Mark: Alright. So that’s, that’s our epiphany of the day of this week.

Howie: That’s our Yes, our hidden story of the of the week here.

Mark: Now, before I let you guys go, I do it. What is it? It’s August 14th, we are a little bit more than two weeks away. Two weeks away from the big reveal.

Howie: The big reveal.

Mark: The big reveal, listen to the big reveal. You are so good at these animated videos Howie? I just want to say that in front of the audience and have them give you a clap because your voice service are excellent. Anyway. Two weeks and maybe two or three days away from the big reveal of what are at a special really is what it includes. And the terms the price and if there’s a contract or no contract or what have you. On Stay tuned, folks.

Howie: Yeah.

Mark: yeah, don’t go anywhere. Because I think during that that week, we’ll probably have a podcast. I don’t go over it. I actually that let’s schedule that. Let’s do that. Yeah, just hit me in the head. So we might as well go do it. All right, good.

Howie: And Mark and I’ve been around dentistry long enough to have lived through a lot of ADA show specials.

Mark: Oh, geez.

Howie: And seriously, this is the biggest one. I don’t I haven’t even heard a halfway thought was, you know, we’re giving away too much here. But you know what, what the heck, let’s do it. It’s gonna it’s gonna knock your socks off.

Mark: So yeah, so let’s stay tuned and be in between, we’ll do a weekly podcast for you and enjoy the rest of your summer.

Howie: All right. We’re signing off now. Thanks for joining us. We’ll see you again soon.

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