Welcome to the latest issue of Straight from the ’Box.
It may sound odd to start planning for the winter holiday season while it’s so incredibly hot outside, but now is the time! Patients with complex dental needs, and those who need to space out treatment for scheduling or financial reasons, should begin now to get their smile ready for the whirlwind of parties and get-togethers that come with the holidays.
The Q2 results for the SmartBox Challenge are in! SmartBox dentists all over the country have really stepped up their game, and the competition is getting fierce. Congratulations to the staff of the highest-performing practices who will receive fabulous gift cards for their efforts.
If you’ve always wanted to have a more niche-focused practice but found the prospect of making the switch daunting, you’ll be pleased to know that this issue will provide you with the keys to having the kind of practice that will make you eager to get into the office, while also providing time away to enjoy life!
Google has “birthed” a trio of ad products, but we’re pretty sure that there’s no need to send a congratulations card. Learn more about the change and what it means for your paid media campaigns.
Thanks for reading Straight from the ’Box. As always, we’ll keep you posted.
The SmartBox Challenge
The SmartBox Challenge
Congratulations to the SmartBox Challenge Q2 leaders!
Kudos to the practices that took the top honors in Q2; for the sake of confidentiality, we’re not releasing the practice names. Those doctors were privately notified.
In the next week or so, all participating dental practices will receive their individual Q2 standings. We’ll repeat that process for Q3 and Q4 results.
Here are the top results for Q2; you can compare your numbers against theirs.
The 12 Onyx Award winners improved their SmartBox score (the combined average of the answer and scheduling rate) by at least 5%. The improvements ranged from 5.4% to 10.2%.
The nine practices with the highest overall SmartBox scores (as defined above) receive this award. The scores range from a low of 73% to a high of 91%.
The Pearl Award goes to the practice that increased its SmartBox score by the greatest amount over the previous quarter. The winner in Q2 improved its score by a whopping 20.4%!
Just as a reminder, here’s what’s at stake for 2018’s top-performing practices:
- First Place: a fabulous $10,000 all-inclusive vacation!
- Second Place: a $5,000 getaway to Las Vegas!
- Third Place: a $2,000 spa package!
You and your staff work hard all year. By consistently supporting your team’s efforts to appoint as many new patients as possible, they’ll earn their own reward at no cost whatsoever to you!
If you have any concerns about your Q2 new patient numbers, have a talk with your CSM.
* Some of the quarterly top-performing practices are in states that don’t allow these type of competitions and are therefore not eligible for awards. Still, congratulations to those practices for their outstanding performance!
New in ’Box
Transformation Is At Hand
Exam. Drill. Fill. Crown. Plane. Repeat, day after unending day.
Is this why you got into dentistry? To do routine, low-value cases from now until you retire or sell your practice?
It’s undeniable that quite a few general dentists would prefer to do more focused dentistry. Maybe you’re one of them, but the prospect of turning your general practice into a niche practice seems overwhelming when you’re already so busy.
Now, you can learn how to transform your general practice into the niche practice of your dreams!
In conjunction with Dr. Ron Receveur of New Albany Implants, SmartBox is hosting a series of Dental Practice Transformation Seminars.
Dr. Ron forged his own path from general dentistry to owning the destination implant dentistry practice in the Midwest! And in the process, he increased his earnings from $1.8 million to $3.4 million in just four years, and is on track to beat $4 million in 2018!
Dr. Ron works just three days a week while handling only the cases he loves to do.
When you attend the amazingly affordable Dental Practice Transformation Seminar, you’ll learn exactly how Dr. Ron did it, and how to avoid the many mistakes he made along the way. Regardless of the type of niche practice you’d like to have, the techniques you’ll learn in this seminar will help you achieve it.
For more information about attending the Dental Practice Transformation Seminar, contact your CSM.
We Have Ignition. Now What?
AdWords Gets A Whole New Look
Alas, poor AdWords. We barely knew ye.
In late June, Google announced that it’s rebranding its ad product. Replacing the familiar AdWords platform are three distinct branded products: Google Ads, Google Marketing Platform, and Google Ad Manager.
As part of this move, Google is introducing Smart Campaigns that are targeted at small business owners. The premise behind these campaigns is that through machine learning, you can launch and run different types of digital campaigns with a “set it and forget it” mindset.
If only it was that easy… but it’s not. This is a smart move for Google, but not necessarily for you. Here’s why.
The default campaign setting is going to be to optimize for clicks, not conversions. Clicks are good and necessary, but they don’t put one thin dime in your pocket.
Machine learning is coming along, but it still has serious limitations. For instance, minus the human touch, it’s not at all clear whether Google’s AI (artificial intelligence) can and will create the right negative keyword lists and run search query reports to consistently ensure you are not wasting money on keywords that don’t convert.
For that matter, how will Google consistently add keywords based on changes you are making to your business and new keywords via the search query reports? There’s also no indication how Google will optimize your ad spend based on seasonal factors such as holidays and vacation times.
An essential part of an integrated marketing strategy is to ensure that your paid ad strategy aligns with your social marketing, SEO, and traditional marketing. No word on how Google is going to accomplish that.
You should also know that Google is now even more complex: it’s not just Search but also online Video, Display ads, and Retargeting of prospects online that counts in your overall page ranking. That requires a tremendous amount of coordination between different aspects of your marketing.
The bottom line right now is that Google has basically made it easier to take your money without offering much improvement in the automation and machine learning part of their product.
If your service agreement includes paid media, relax. SmartBox has you covered.
However, if you have questions about Google’s paid media changes, contact your CSM.
Help Your Patients Start Now For A Holiday-Ready Smile!
Dentistry tends to be focused on meeting immediate needs – alleviating dental pain, restoring a person’s ability to chew comfortably, treating dental caries and periodontal disease to avoid future issues, and repairing small smile defects.
But there are many patients whose needs require a longer time frame to address. Full-mouth reconstructions, implants, and even cosmetic dentistry may take months to complete. The expanded treatment time may be due to healing periods, the sheer number of procedures to be performed, scheduling conflicts, or financial considerations.
We’re just a few months out from the start of the winter holiday season, so the time is now to help your patients with complex needs begin the process of having a holiday-ready smile.
Proactive dentists will review their existing patients to determine which are most likely to need longer treatment times and will be most likely to respond to marketing efforts to begin treatment. Your internal and external marketing should also emphasize the availability of expanded appointments, evening appointments, detailed pricing, and payment/financing options.
You might not think that your practice has many complex cases that haven’t been addressed. There’s no way to know without checking, but the good news is that you don’t need many to benefit handsomely from these much higher-value cases.
What is your greatest area of opportunity regarding your complex-needs patients? SmartBox will work together with you to build a custom marketing approach for you – landing pages, Facebook ads, additional paid media ads, contact capture, retargeting ads, direct mail, and drip email sequences.
In a busy dental practice, time can get away from you. Start now to help your complex-needs patients have the smile they want for the holiday season.
Which Marketing Metrics Should I Pay Attention To?
There’s a bewildering array of online marketing metrics out there – impressions, likes, follows, shares, reblogs, clicks, and more. While all of them are important to your ultimate success, there are three that dentists should focus on.
Most marketing metrics cover two areas – awareness and engagement. Impressions are the measure of “eyes on” your marketing or awareness. But people are exposed to a huge amount of marketing from many sources every day, and most of it generates no reaction. Likes, follows, comments, shares, and reblogs are measures of the engagement your marketing is generating. Your prospects and patients are interacting with your marketing.
But the three metrics to focus on are clicks (or click-throughs), conversions, and new patient appointments. Those are the end stages of your new patient marketing funnel and in the end, they’re the ones that truly matter.
If your paid ads and/or promoted posts are generating a good number of click-throughs, you’re driving traffic to your website. Once there, you want a good percentage of visitors to opt in to receive communications from your practice, which is the conversion stage. And from that pool of prospects, you need enough to pick up the phone and set an initial appointment.
SmartBox monitors every stage of your new patient funnel for maximum effectiveness. If you have any questions about your marketing metrics, talk with your CSM.
Make Hay While The Sun Shines
It’s fair to say that things haven’t gotten any less complicated or more settled in the world since last month. Uncertainty about the economy makes it tough to do effective business planning. However, what hasn’t changed is that there are a lot of dental patients out there who can at least afford basic preventive and restorative services.
There’s no indication right now that those patient numbers will decrease any time soon. If you and your staff have the stamina, you can make a fair amount of money now and into the foreseeable future. And if yours is a volume practice, you might want to think about what to do with those extra funds.
SmartBox has a number of dentists who are taking advantage of the patient boom to get even more patients. That’s something you might want to consider – reinvesting some of the proceeds in add-on or expanded marketing services and products.
Some of the services that dentists have added on recently are a unique landing page to promote a special or service; RAVE™ Reputation Management; and additional PPC investment, among others. You can also invest in additional options such as an add-on video package, Local360 Search Optimization, or our amazing Shock & Awe package (extensively tested and heartily approved by Dr. Ron Receveur, who’s on track to break $4 million this year).
Regardless of whether your marketing is primarily focused on quantity or quality of new patients, one thing remains true: it’s time to “make hay while the sun shines.”
Talk with your CSM about additional marketing services for your practice.