Are you looking to grow your pediatric dental office? Well, get your pen and paper ready because I’m going to share with you several dental marketing ideas for your pediatric office. Better yet, you might want to print out this article and discuss these idea’s with your team. Together, come up with a marketing plan that will help to make this your Best Year Yet!
Before we get started, keep in mind that the way to mom and dads heart is to treat their children well. The way to keep mom and dad loyal to your office is to treat their children exceptionally well. Why? Happy Kids = Happy Parents. As a mother of two children, I know this to be TRUE!
Here you go, Dental Marketing Ideas for the Pediatric Office…
Open House Kid’s Day (In Office) –
- Choose a theme: Carnival, BBQ, Luau, Movie/TV/Book Characters, 50’s, etc.
- Activities: Face Painting, Balloon Twisting, Hula Hoop Contest, Karaoke, Crafts, Carnival-like games, Photo booth/props, etc. (Depending on if the event is inside or outside the office)
- Prize: Have a drawing to win a gift basket, gift card, bicycle, or team up with a local business for a donated prize.
- Food: Hot dogs, Chips, Ice Cream/Popsicle, Water, Popcorn, etc.
- Advertise: Promote via social media sites, local newspapers, in-office fliers, on continuing care postcards, and emails/texts to your current patients.
- Option: Book appointments in hygiene only, this way, you’ll have production for the day and doctor will be free to visit with guests and still do the exams.
- Memories: Take lots of pictures during the event to share on your social media sites and in your newsletters.
See also Idea’s for hosting an open house
Host Patient Appreciation Events (Outside of office)
- Skating Rink, Indoor Bounce/Trampoline, Movie Theater, Public Pool, Bowling, Local Park, etc. Invite your patients to bring a friend. Be sure to have imprinted give-away’s and information about your office at these events. Encourage all attendees to visit and like your social media pages.
Fun Dress Up/Theme Days –
What: Decorate the office, team dresses up, small prize give away’s and snacks.
Theme Idea’s: Luau, Superhero, Disney, Western, Carnival, Sports teams, (visit party stores or orientaltrading.com for a ton of theme ideas)
Children’s Dental Health Month –
- Field Trips – Invite local schools and daycare’s for a free field trip to the dentist. (Serve a Healthy snack such as grapes, apple slices, string cheese and small bottled water, Present Education stations/demonstrations-visit the ADA website and Pinterest for great idea’s for presentations, Toothbrush bags for the students and teachers/parents, show a short Video while the kids eat their snack)
Outside the office –
- What: On-site Short Dental Education Presentations/Demonstrations and Toothbrush gift bags for the kids and teachers/parents.
- Where: School’s, Daycare’s, Library, Mom groups, etc.
New Patient Experience –
Give tour of the office, send a welcome card after first visit to the child (Kids LOVE to get mail), give a new patient gift bag, sign child up to join your office kids club/team.
Participate in local Family Health & Wellness Fairs –
See Health and Wellness Fairs for some great idea’s.
Visit Local Businesses –
- Where: Pediatricians, Dental Offices, Children’s stores, Dance studios,Salons, Etc.
- What: Introductions, Referral pads/cards, Small Gifts (Imprinted toothbrushes, flosscards, lip balm, etc.) Food (Bagels, Donuts, Fruit, Pies, etc), Contest/Drawing for Prizes, Lunch-n- Learn, etc. TIP: When visiting general dentist and pediatrician offices, always treat their reception team wonderfully… if your goal is to meet the doctors and get patient referrals, you want/need them to like you. 😉
Back-To-School/School Break Visits –
Set aside some back-to-school and/or breaks from school special days in the office. Special pricing or promotion on Sealants, Ortho, Fluoride, etc. Consider doing a drawing for a Backpack filled with school supplies. Contest: nominate your favorite teacher (use social media sites to promote), prize idea’s for winning teacher: Breakfast/Lunch at the school, free teeth whitening, or team up with local businesses for prize donations.
Book Drive –
Collect new or gently used books to donate to your local library or schools. Promote via social media sites, local newspapers, in-office fliers, on continuing care postcards and to your current patients.
- Incentive: Gift Basket (put together a fun themed gift basket) Every person that donates books can enter a drawing to win a gift basket. You do not need to be a patient of record to donate books.
- Once you have collected all the books:
- Take pictures of the books
- Put together toothbrush gift bags w/office information and special offer to deliver to the employees of the library and or school.
- Deliver books and gift bags to the library and or schools.
Reception Room –
In addition to being clean and with up-to-date decor consider having in your reception room: Video games (Stationary and/or handheld devices), Books (lending library), TV (children’s movies and short dental education videos) Wall of fame, digital photo frame or photo album filled with pictures of your patients. Photo “booth” area with backdrop and photo props. Tablet/Cell Phone charging station for parents.
Kid’s Club/Team –
I’m not a fan of “no cavity” clubs because I like to see all children have the opportunity to be part of the office kids club/team and sometimes, a child’s unfortunate cavity is the fault of the parent. Have a club/team that is just for fun and that rewards healthy habits. Take a picture of each child to hang on your wall of fame or in a digital photo frame or picture album, as well as for your website, newsletter and/or social media sites. Present child with a certificate/wristband/t-shirt when they sign up for your kids club. Have monthly contests/drawings that the children can enter to win prizes.
Toothbrushes, Toothpaste, Floss/floss threaders, Toys, Puzzles, Kites, Books, Gift cards, Bubbles, Stickers, Balloons, etc. Kids love to leave the office with a special little gift. 🙂
Social Media –
Utilize social media platforms to keep your current patients up to date with all of your office happenings, to build relationships with local businesses and connect with potential patients. See Social Media Site Posting Content Idea’s
Answer Your Phone –
Sure, you know that the office phone should be answered within the first couple of rings by an unhurried, friendly scheduling coordinator whose goal is to schedule an appointment and wow the caller with excellent customer service but if you want to see greater results from your marketing efforts, then you must be certain that your office phone is answered during times when patients are calling. Minimum: Monday – Saturday 8:00am – 6:00pm, including lunch hours. Invest in your entire team by providing training on how to effectively answer the phone.
Forward your calls to an answering service if needed. Having a live person for the caller to talk to is so much better than your caller getting an answering machine or voice mail and then deciding to call the next dental office on their list in hopes of talking to a “live” person.
Also, despite our best intentions to not put a caller on hold we know that it still happens from time to time. Consider having an on hold message for these times, this way, you’ll have the opportunity to share office information, special offers, social media sites, etc. with the caller rather than them listen to nothing, an annoying beeping sound or lame music. See also: Should I Use A Message On Hold Service
Missed calls and calls poorly handled are missed opportunities and those missed opportunities mean missed dollars…big dollars!
For more telephone success tips, take a minute to read this helpful article: If I Call Your Dental Office Offer Me An Appointment
Host a Halloween Candy Buy Back –
For tips and ideas on successfully hosting a candy buy back see: October Dental Marketing Idea’s / Halloween Candy Buy Back
Are you ready for the #1 Way to Market your Pediatric Office? –
Consistently Exceed Parent & Patient Expectations and Consistently Be Great! Give your patients something positive to talk about to their neighbors, workmates, friends and family members. Make it easy for them to refer patients to you. (If you need some idea’s to help Improve your Office, be sure to check out my Improve your Office series: First Impressions, Make A Change and The Little Things Matter.
While we’re at it, here are a few more bonus ideas 🙂 …
Blog/Website –Become the dental expert in your community. Post articles, videos and pictures on your website and social media sites about different dental treatments/products, sports safety, what to do in a dental emergency, etc. TIP: Pin your blog posts, articles, videos and pictures to your office Pinterest boards. Pinterest is a GREAT way to drive traffic to your website. If you don’t already have Pinterest for your office, add that to your to-do-list. Have a variety of family related boards such as dental health tips, recipes, crafts, party ideas, healthy snacks, book idea’s and more. Feel free to check out my Pinterest boards for idea’s.
Sponsor local sport teams –Free or reduced rate for mouthguards for local sports teams.
Distractions –TV’s in the treatment rooms, Ceiling Tile Scenery, Etc. Make the experience as comfortable and enjoyable as possible for every child.
Contests/Drawing – Coloring contests, Monthly Gift Card/Gift Basket drawing, Wristband, etc.
Post-Op Calls – Each evening place a “just wanted to see how well you’re doing call” to any patient that had an extraction or maybe was nervous or had a rough time during their visit.
First “Happy” Visit Experience –Take picture of child in the chair (maybe holding a first visit sign or certificate) and give to parent in a cute picture frame.
I know this is a lot of information but if you’re serious about wanting to grow your practice, then it’s worth it to take the time to market your practice effectively using some or all of the idea’s that I have shared with you today. Remember, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, you don’t have to do this on your own, I’m here to help.
Before I go, here are a few Important Reminders: If you’re going to take the time to visit schools and local businesses be sure that you leave them with information about your office, special offers and imprinted gifts with your office name, phone number and website.
Also, keep track of your events, the businesses you visit, any donation requests, etc. Put specific referral source codes in to your software system, this way, when you ask “How did you hear about us?” you have the correct referral code to enter in and you’ll be able to acknowledge that source with a thank you as well as know what marketing is working to bring in new patients.
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Yours for Greater Success,
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