July 9, 2015

What is your "Cost of Customer Acquisition" - The Dentist


"Cost of Customer Acquisition" is probably one of the most important pieces of knowledge to have in business.  This tidbit of information makes your small business act very big.  This Tidbit of information is what makes businesses grow.  This Tidbit of information is what makes you more money and builds you a business that has asset value (sellable (ahh retirement)).
So let's figure this out.  How do I figure out what my Cost of Customer Acquisition is?  Probably the best way (aside from hiring an expensive consultant - which I DO NOT Recommend) is use some industry averages.  They are available in your profession - attend a marketing seminar (they are at every Dental Trade Show).  Note, if someone who is selling you marketing, claiming expertise in your business, and can not tell you what your profession's Cost of Customer Acquisition is, they ARE NOT an Expert.

In the dental business there are at least two cases: The Dentist - your patients are forever; The Orthodontist - your patients are single purpose.

Because Customers are for Life,
Returns Just Continue to Grow
This article addresses Dentists.
Dentists have a high Cost of Customer Acquisition - sometimes much higher than the charge of an initial visit (which is many times discounted).  Dentists market themselves in many ways - each serving a purpose.

Internet and Social Media - A necessary evil.  People may "check you out" on Yelp or Facebook.  High labor cost - low direct / measurable return.  I don't want to underplay this; your social media presence is required in supporting your brand - ask me why (for another article).

EDDM with a Call to Action
Direct Mail - EDDM (USPS Every Door Direct Mail) probably has the highest return for Dentists; your patients come back over and over and over - for their lifetime in many cases.  We have dentists that spend 500% - 1000% their initial appointment fees (seems like a loser, but...) - they know, once the family is in - they are in for life.  Retention rates on someone who sits in the chair range from 80% to 90%.  The loss leaders are typically a cleaning, x-rays and  /or a heavily discounted initial visit.  The returns on such sound almost unbelievable - well over 10,000% (no typo - ten-thousand percent and I am being conservative).  Remember, this is a "Local" Bang-for-the-Buck; there are diminishing returns.  Do EDDM in a neighborhoods then move on to the next LOCAL neighborhood.  Do not repeat more than once every 4 month to the same neighborhood (every 6 months is better).  Believe it or not, there are even better times of year to do this.

Referral Card
Referral Marketing - On EVERY patient visit, the patient and / or their parent should walk out with a stack of referral cards (business card size).  This referral card should provide an initial visit hook (like the EDDM) and some type of monetary return to the referrer - like a $10 discount for every referred new patient - they will think $100s - you will get new patients for life.  Massive returns and massive branding for your practice - Everyone is a winner.

Call Me for advice - We Consult, we Print, and we will measure (count your money) if you like..

Bob Leonard
561-371-4113 (Call My Cell)
772-905-4383 (On the Treasure Coast)
512-593-8830 (in Austin)

EDDM is a services provided by all LightsOn / Time4 offices.
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