How to Market to Dental Patients of All Ages

August 5, 2017 Rieva Lesonsky

A successful dental practice attracts patients of all ages, from children getting their first exam to seniors. Every age has different needs and concerns when searching for a dentist. Here's how to market your practice to all four age groups.

Children

A child's first dental exam is a milestone for the family and, if you handle it right, can also be the beginning of a lasting patient relationship. Parents seeking a dentist for their child typically ask friends and family members, go on social media, and check online rating and review sites to find the best children's dentist near them. Make sure your dental practice has plenty of good reviews to please parents. Lighthouse 360 automatically requests, collects and posts reviews from your satisfied patients on popular review sites.

Young Adults

When young adults strike out on their own, going to the dentist on a regular basis usually isn't the first priority in their lives. Attract these patients by developing an active presence on social media and emphasizing how good dental care can keep their teeth “selfie-worthy.” Young adults love watching and sharing videos, so try creating some entertaining how-to videos on topics like “the 3 best ways to freshen your breath fast” or “can you really whiten your teeth at home with baking soda?” Lighthouse 360 lets you add posts and reviews to Facebook from right within the Lighthouse portal, so maintaining your social media presence doesn't have to take a lot of time.

Once you attract young adult patients to your practice, make sure they actually keep their appointments. With Lighthouse 360, you can send text message appointment reminders or even text back and forth with individual patients. Confirmations are sent directly to your practice’s PMS so you don't have to manually update the information.

The Middle Ages

Dental patients in their 30s and 40s are in the busiest phase of their lives, juggling careers, kids, friends and family. Convenience is key for patients in this stage of life, so make it easy for them to get last-minute appointments that fit their schedule by using the Fill-In feature of Lighthouse 360. Fill-In automatically detects cancellations and then contacts only those patients who've expressed interest in getting a last-minute appointment.

Speaking of convenience, Lighthouse 360 lets you send reminders to patients via text, email or automated phone call — whichever method your patients prefer. You can also turn on reminder messaging for patients who need to return for additional treatment. If there’s an emergency at the office and the dentist needs to cancel an appointment, use Lighthouse 360 to send an alert to all affected patients. For patients whose entire families visit your practice, Lighthouse 360’s family messaging feature lets you send one reminder message for the whole family, instead of bothering patients with a series of messages.

Patients in their 30s and 40s spend a lot of time on email for work, so marketing to them via email is a smart move. Create email newsletters with useful information about dental developments, promotions at your practice and dental care tips. You can use Lighthouse 360 to send targeted emails to specific patient groups.

The Golden Years

Adults age 55 and up often need more intensive dental care. Keep these patients happy by providing the personal touch in your office. Greet them by name and spend some time chatting. Personalized emails can help you stay connected with seniors. Since many older patients aren’t comfortable texting, the phone is generally the best way to communicate. When you use Lighthouse 360 to communicate with patients, you can automate phone confirmations so your patients get a personal touch and your staff saves time.

Has it been a while since you've seen one of your older patients? Reach out to see what's going on with a personal letter. Lighthouse 360 can send friendly, customized recall letters to dormant patients to get them back in the office.

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