As a consultant, one of the first things I normally do with a new client is to work with the front desk team to set up a system to track new patient referral sources. This often requires making sure the health history includes a question about referring, the front desk team asks new patients on their initial call – and we set up a report at end of month to look at every new patient missing a referral so we can fill in the blanks. It works, but as you can see, it requires some effort.
Recently, I was introduced to a new company that has developed technology that allows you to track your marketing efforts and skip the heavy lifting by the administrative team. They shared some ideas on marketing tracking that I thought you may find helpful.
Dental Marketing ROI (Return On Investment) – How Marketing Tracking Can Help Grow Your Practice
The only real way to keep your marketing budget in check, while increasing your new patient flow and growing your practice, is to make smart, fact-based marketing decisions. Making these decisions requires good data.
The key to having good data is meticulously tracking your marketing ROI. But before you can track your marketing ROI you have to understand what marketing ROI is and how it is measured.
Marketing ROI is made up of 3 components
- Incoming leads
- New patients
It is important to remember that incoming leads that do not turn into patients may seem like failures which should not be included in your measurement of ROI, but they can be very useful as indicators of other problems.
For example, the yellow pages ad you have been running for years may seem like it is not generating any revenue if you only measure it by surveying patients who come in and pay for service. If no one reports that the ad brought them in then your inclination would be to discontinue the ad. What this method of reporting doesn’t account for is that perhaps many potential patients saw the ad, called, and were turned away by an underperforming staff member at the front desk.
So, how do you track this marketing ROI?
How do you track the leads, the patients and the revenue?
How do you track the callers to be sure your staff is converting leads?
Some dental practices work to track ROI, for example:
- Surveying patients on the phone and in person
- Google reports
- Reports from the practice management system
- Paper files
- The dreaded and ever growing pile of sticky notes
The problem with these methods is that now your staff has even more work to worry about, they may forget, or they may write something down incorrectly. Even more importantly, patient responses are in the moment and are often incorrect. You don’t really know where the patients are coming from.
A great example is pay per click online marketing. A patient may have clicked one of your pay per click ads online, made their way to your website, and then called your front desk to schedule an appointment. When they call in they may tell your staff that they found you “online” or “through your website.” Through no fault of your staff, or the patient, you will never know that it was really your pay per click ad that drew the patient to you.
A new solution to accurately track marketing ROI is an automated tracking software like Local Patient ROI.
Local Patient ROI is a fully automated system that connects to your dental practice management system and tracks your new patient leads, new patients, and revenues from each of your individual marketing campaigns. ROI can track virtually any form of marketing that you may be using at your practice. Direct mail, newspaper, TV, radio, PPC, SEO, SEM, blog posts, webinars, patient referrals, etc.
Through the use of tracking numbers and form tracking on your website Local Patient ROI is able to match new patients against records in your practice management system and produce a live, easy to read dashboard that will finally allow you make smart, efficient marketing decisions for your practice. Even better, your staff doesn’t need to manually input ANY information once the tracking is up and running. This leaves you and your team free to focus on the patient.
You can see a sample of the Local Patient ROI dashboard here. This shows that $1.1 million in revenue has been tracked from the variety of marketing programs this practice has invested in. It also shows the number of leads and new patients.
We can see that this practice has two specific marketing programs: the website and postcards (old and new). We can see the leads and patients documented clearly – along with the revenue generated by each. Easy to see what is working here!
When you know exactly how many leads, and patients that yellow pages ad produced yesterday, last week, last month, or last year it becomes much easier to decide if you should re-buy the ad or discontinue that spend. Furthermore, as an added advantage, Local Patient ROI provides call recording which gives you a training tool to ensure that you convert your leads into patients. When you see a campaign has generated many leads but very few converted to patients, this is a great time to listen to those calls to get to the root of the problem.
If you are marketing without using call recording to monitor and train your staff then no amount of good marketing will solve your problem. Making your front desk staff an active part of your marketing program by focusing on lead conversion will magnify the results of any marketing campaign you invest in. Automated ROI tracking allows you make confident, accurate decisions that drive revenue and new patients up, while pushing costs down. It also frees up your staff to spend time with patients, and it allows you to market successfully.
Request a Demo
If you’re interested in checking out the Local Patient ROI software that automatically tracks the referral source for each new patient and provides an easy to read dashboard to show you how much each marketing program is producing for you, then request a demo. Local Patient ROI is offering a discount of $96/month for anyone who follows this link: Request a Demo.
Last modified: April 19, 2016