Dentistry Today (March 2019) - Attracting new clients can be a difficult and ongoing challenge for many businesses, and it is particularly true in the medical field. Many young patients simply choose to follow in their parents’ footsteps when it comes to selecting a dentist. Older patients are often hesitant to take a risk and switch doctors.
Fortunately, fear of the unknown is often assuaged by the recommendation of a trusted friend or family member. As a result, much of the medical industry relies heavily on word-of-mouth referrals.
To capitalize on this proven marketing method, dental and medical offices across the country are taking advantage of new mover marketing. Companies such as Our Town America help local businesses draw in new customers with innovative, custom welcome packages. These packages are personalized collections of practical, one-time offers from local businesses that are delivered right to the new resident’s mailbox.
The Benefits of Snail Mail
Despite an ever-increasing inclination toward digital platforms, studies have shown that many new movers are much more likely to utilize a physically mailed offer than one that is sent electronically. An email offer is often redirected into a spam folder and never even seen by the intended recipient. With paper mail, new residents literally receive a special gift made just for them.
Capitalizing on new movers is imperative for dental offices that are looking to grow their client list. Residents who are new to the area often have no prior affiliation with any local businesses. They are actively searching for new opportunities. As a result, it is critical to reach new movers during the introduction phase.
An offer they can't refuse
In new mover marketing, the key to success is an appealing offer. Dr. Ethan Brown and his brother Jason have seen the results of an effective offer firsthand. Five years ago, they opened a 24-hour emergency care facility in Katy, Texas. Since then, they have offered a variety of coupons to new movers including a free first aid kit, $75 off the ER copay, and a $25 gift card.
In one such offer, the Browns encouraged new residents to come and simply take a tour of the office in person to receive a free gift. That way, should new residents fall ill, they know exactly where to go to receive treatment. As an added incentive, these new customers would receive an additional discount on their first medical visit.
“We’ve seen tremendous results working with Our Town America, consistently seeing four or five new patients every month. That’s huge for us because of the ripple effect,” said Jason, general manager and marketing director of the practice.
“I’m willing to bet that word-of-mouth advertising alone pays for Our Town’s services. That new mover offer entices people to physically drive to the facility, see how great it looks, and interact with our staff. They also get a free gift embossed with the ER Katy logo as a take-home reminder. That in itself is incredible,” he said.
New Neighbors = New Clients
It’s well known that obtaining new clients is often far more expensive than retaining current customers. New mover marketing is a cost-effective way of drawing in a new crowd and establishing a long-term relationship. This is a big deal when you consider that each new customer secured by a dental practice is worth an average of $1,000 a year.
As these new clients settle into their community, they will inevitably discuss their experiences with new friends in the area. This verbal affirmation of their local dental services could inspire their friends to try new things—like a new, top-notch dentist—rather than stay with their current one out of convenience.
In the medical field, this is a common phenomenon. Many people simply stick with what they’ve always done. That’s why it is so important to capitalize on new movers! This demographic is actively seeking new businesses for the necessary staples in their lives, such as grocery stores, veterinary offices, gyms, and, of course, dentists. From there, the new movers can spread valuable, firsthand testimonials to their friends and family.
Such is the case for Dr. Nate Bonilla-Wardord, owner of Bright Eyes Family Vision Care in Tampa, Florida. In 2006, Bonilla-Wardord purchased and rebranded a small practice. The previous owner had been working with Our Town America with amazing results, so Bonilla-Wardord decided to continue the relationship. In the 13 years since acquiring the practice, Bright Eyes Family Vision has expanded and opened a new satellite office, with very little marketing other than new mover marketing.
“We offer new movers a $50 voucher. With insurance, that $50 would cover their copay and some glasses purchases. Without vision insurance, it can go a long way toward the overall cost of the exam,” said Bonilla-Wardord.
Effective and convenient
“Not only is working with Our Town effective—we see referrals come in all the time—it’s convenient. Independently, it would take a lot of time to do marketing well. With Our Town, they do the leg work and provide us with a simple, powerful solution that really gets folks in the door! We get monthly status updates and reports to showcase the power of the program, so I can feel comfortable knowing our money is being used wisely,” Bonilla-Wardord said.
Our Town America’s new mover marketing can be a powerful tool for any local dentist office looking to expand its client base and reach new members of its community. Capitalizing on new movers will inevitably cast a much wider net of impact as those residents settle into their new town and share their experiences with friends and neighbors.
Michael Plummer, Jr. is Our Town America’s President and CEO. Michael strategically leads Our Town America while maintaining our core principals of connecting new residents to the local businesses in their communities.