As the dental industry evolves, there will likely be new challenges presented. One significant challenge that many healthcare professionals face these days is how to effectively market to uninsured and underinsured patient populations. Often, these populations are invisible to routine outreach efforts, and because of this, healthcare professionals, like dental specialists, struggle to reach and engage them.
Fortunately, with an effective marketing team and strategy in place, dental specialists can tap into these invisible populations and turn them into invaluable patients. Here, you’ll learn specific strategies and tactics that can help you effectively market to not just uninsured patient populations, but to insured patient populations in the community as well.
Marketing to Insured Patients
Some effective ways to market to patients with insurance include:
1. Ensure Your Practice is Dental Insurance Friendly
Even if your dental practice isn’t in-network, this doesn’t mean you can’t run an insurance-friendly practice. You’re still able to treat patients who have insurance plans that place you out-of-network, but instead of billing through the network, you would simply bill the patient. After all, you’re not working for the insurance company — you’re working for the patient.
Keep in mind that there will be a little more competition to convince patients to use your services instead of those of an in-network provider. This is where great patient reviews, high-quality care, customer service, and top-notch marketing come into play.
2. Show If You’re In-Network with Dental Insurance
If you’re an in-network dental specialist, make sure your potential patients can find you. You’re paying a fee to be in-network, so take advantage of the perks of this status in the form of new patients. Patients care whether their dentist is an in-network provider or not, so make it known if you are.
Individuals typically turn to the internet to see which dental specialists take their insurance. Detailing insurance information on your website is the perfect way to take advantage of this. When people go on Google and type in search queries like “dentists who take (insurance provider)”, your practice will then pop up. These days, individuals are more likely to search online for dental specialists that accept their insurance than they are to use the network directory provided by their insurance company.
Marketing to Uninsured Patients
Patients without insurance can be your patients too, but it will take some strategic marketing to reach them. Some effective marketing strategies for this population include:
1. Offer a Dental Membership Plan
Offering your patients a membership plan is an excellent way to not just show them you care, but also help make them loyal to your practice. To start up a membership plan for your dental office, you’ll need to know your numbers. You’ll also require a type of membership software that will organize plans, members, and payments.
Analyze current patient demographics to determine where you’ll want to target your marketing efforts. For example, you might wish to target a large retiree population or young families. Get together with your team to analyze and discuss market data and address the specific demographics that you can expand as well as any complaints from this demographic when they’ve come in.
While you might want to bring in as many new patients as possible regardless of their demographics, to successfully market a dental membership plan, you need to understand who your target audience is.
2. Use Free Gifts
Utilizing free gifts is a great way to attract new patients to your dental practice. An effective strategy may include:
- Buying an Opalescence Go whitening kit
- Sending a direct mail advertisement or creating a Facebook ad (whichever works best for you)
- Using messaging such as: “No dental insurance? Try a free whitening kit on us.” Experiment with various messaging phrases to see what works best
- Having people fill out a form in order to get a coupon for the free gift and have them come into your practice to get their free kit
- Once they come into your office to get their kit, introduce yourself, give them a tour of your practice, and give them their whitening kit
- As you give them the kit, pass out brochures, talk about your dental membership plan, and let them know that they don’t need dental insurance for them to receive high-quality dental care
Many practices have been able to help uninsured patients receive the dental care they need and in the process, generate thousands of dollars each month in recurring revenue simply because they cut the middleman out.
3. Educate Patients
Providing education is another way to bring in uninsured patients. Marketing educational content is a great strategy to attract uninsured patients.
For instance, each local news station in every state posts articles on its website daily. These news sites are always looking for new content they can share. You could submit an article to your local news station about why patients don’t require dental insurance to receive dental care. In this article, you can educate readers about your membership plan and how it can benefit them. Provide a link to give them a way to sign up for your program.
4. Reach Out Through the Community
Always be building and managing your reputation to continually attract new patients. A great way to do this is to get involved in the community. When potential patients see your name within the community, they’ll be more likely to use your practice over the competition. A few ideas to help improve your reputation within the community include:
- Sponsor a child’s sports team
- Send gift baskets to a senior living facility
- Build a relationship with local group administrators like a PTA or religious organization
Discuss different ideas with your front office employees since they regularly communicate with patients and could potentially know of local groups in the community you can reach out to. By showing that you care about the community, you’ll also be demonstrating the care you’ll provide to all patients, regardless of whether they’re insured or not.
Market the Right Way to Patients With or Without Insurance with the Help of a Strong Marketing Team
When you can provide patients with a positive experience and you have a solid marketing plan, you can attract patients with or without insurance. Try out various marketing combinations to see which works best for your dental practice.
Whether you’re an oral surgeon or a dental specialist, if you want to appeal to more patients, you need a good marketing strategy. Let Market My Market help. Call us today at (866) 270-2250 or fill out our online form for more information.