While in many countries the COVID-19 outbreak is still far from being contained, it is never too early to think about what comes afterward. When restrictions are lifted, your primary focus will be on operational matters to get your practice back on track as soon as possible. Marketing activities can easily be neglected. However, it is never a good idea to overlook this crucial aspect of running a successful practice. In view of the COVID-19 economic crisis, it is even more important to think it over carefully. The sooner you start preparing, the better you will be able to deal with the new challenges.
So, get your planning in action with these 3 tips for your marketing comeback plan:
- Prepare your re-opening announcement
- Create momentum with special offers
- Revise your 2020 marketing plan
#1: Prepare your re-opening announcement
Besides calling patients to reschedule canceled appointments, be ready with a general message for everyone that your practice is back to normal operations. It is recommended to use several channels to reach more patients. If you have a database with patient emails, prepare a template with your message. In case you don’t keep email communication with your patients, you can send a message via WhatsApp, Viber or another free messaging platform.
Also, think about short engaging posts for social media. You can draft the text now and just add photos from your practice later on. If you consider going live on Facebook on the day of the re-opening, you can write down some notes now on what you are going to say and show.
#2: Create momentum with special offers
After the initial influx of patients with postponed treatments, visit to the dentist will not be on the list of top priorities for many people for various reasons. A lot of patients will be restrained by financial difficulties in the upcoming months of economic crisis.
Use special offers to activate and bring in patients during this period. What you are going to include in the offer all depends on the specifics of your patient base and the treatments you are focusing on. In some cases, a special price for specific treatment can be most effective. In other cases, it might be better to offer a complimentary free add-on to complex treatments.
Now is also the perfect time for the good, old referral programs! Offer vouchers for free/ discounted examinations that your existing patients can give to someone else.
#3: Revise your 2020 marketing plan
Regardless of whether you work with an agency or take care of marketing on your own, you should review the planned activities until the rest of the year.
Circumstances have changed dramatically and without a doubt, a negative economic impact will be felt in all sectors. So you need to adjust your goals, budget, and strategies to meet this new reality.
Now it may be a good time to look into how to improve retention of your current patient base. Furthermore, loyal patients are a valuable source of referrals and this can help you acquire new patients with lower marketing costs. For example, you can nurture patient loyalty with Dentacoin smart apps, completely free to use. They offer different ways to engage patients – to help foster better oral care routines with Dentacare mobile app, to participate in paid surveys on dental topics with DentaVox market research platform; to share feedback on a Dentacoin Trusted Reviews directory.
There is no need to wait until the coronavirus lockdown is over. You can start preparing for your comeback straight away. It is the only way to achieve better results and a smooth transition to normal operations.