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For dental practices looking to increase the number of new patients...

Building an effective dental marketing strategy will attract potential patients to your office, convert prospects into new patients, and gain valuable referrals. A dental marketing strategy focused on increasing the volume of new patients considers multiple facets of your dental office and provides a clear path to reach your business goals.

This guide will walk you through how you can use the latest marketing strategies to reach new patients today. It will show you how the perfect combination of traditional marketing, local ads, and online pay-per-click (PPC) advertising will bring in new patients, and it will also discuss the power of call tracking and coaching for offices and group practices. 

Call tracking software empowers you to find out which specific marketing efforts are bringing in leads to your dental practice.

For example, if your practice is using social media, billboards and a website to generate leads, call tracking software identifies which among them brings in the most leads. More sophisticated software, like Patient Prism, also records and analyzes the incoming phone calls, as well as how your front desk staff handles them, to help you spot weak spots and train staff properly to convert these first-time callers. 

You’ll find that by monitoring the sources of your incoming calls and focusing on the principals of a good phone call, you can stop the hidden bottleneck that’s preventing you from growing your dental office and boosting your revenue.

If you’d like to jump around from topic to topic, you can choose from the menu links to click to the sections that interest you the most.

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Dental Marketing Strategy

When putting together a dental marketing strategy for your office or DSO to attract new patients, you must consider, first and foremost, your target audience. From demographics to your geographic location, accessibility, service offering, pricing and reputation, all will contribute to defining the right advertising mix that will move the needle and attract more dental patients.

Dental Marketing Strategy

  • Selecting the right channels
  • Building a dental marketing plan
  • Hiring dental marketing consultants/services

Selecting the right channels

Reaching new dental patients involves setting up different channels. Each of these channels can be utilized together or individually. You should select the right mix of both traditional and online channels. Identifying which advertising channels work best for your dental office requires paying close attention to the calls your dental office is getting and investing in the ones that bring you the most new patient calls.

Online channels for dental marketing:
Local SEO
Social Media
Video Ads
Offline dental marketing
Radio / Streaming Services
Print Ads
Direct Mail
Local Businesses

Building a dental marketing plan

If you have never used advertising to promote your dental office, a good way to create a plan is to survey your top 20 patients. Find out how they found you in the first place and what media they consume or spend a considerable amount of time on (Facebook, newspapers, Pinterest, etc.). This will help you build a profile of your best patients’ preferences, so you can attract more new patients like them to your practice.

Once you’ve decided on the channel mix you’ll use for advertising your dental office, you’ll want to establish a budget and timeline for each channel. You’ll also want to decide on what tools you’re going to use to measure their impact. That way you know exactly how well each channel works, what’s not working, and how you can improve upon your advertising in order to bring in new dental patients.

Another good way to create an effective marketing plan is to hire a professional consultant or service.


Hiring dental marketing consultants/services

Running a successful dental practice keeps you so busy it can be difficult to focus on marketing. If you find yourself overwhelmed with the idea of marketing or you just want to ensure that the job is done properly from start to finish, you may consider outsourcing to a consultant or use a dentist marketing service.

What to look for when choosing a consultant or service

You can find marketing consultants online, and when choosing one you should look for a company that aligns with your own thoughts and wishes for marketing. Your marketing consultant should:

  • Assist you in designing your own unique dental marketing plan
  • Keep costs in mind so that each channel you choose maximizes return on investment
  • Brainstorm with you and provide you with new, inventive ideas for marketing your dental office
  • Offer you timely data tracking so you can easily see what works and what doesn’t
  • Help you maintain focus and offer professional insight to save you from making mistakes

Here are 7 actionable ideas to grow your practice:

Show up locally by optimizing your Google My Business profile

As a local business, your Google My Business page is very important for maximizing visibility in the local search results. Specifically, your focus should be on obtaining a position in the map pack - the collection of local business listings at the top of the results page following a local search. Here are a few tried-and-true methods for optimizing your Google My Business profile:
  • List your practice in the correct category. It might sound obvious, but it’s easy to mess this one up. For instance, if you specialize in dental surgery, you may want to consider ‘oral surgeon’ as your primary category, not dentist. This has a big impact on the types of searches you’ll show up for.  
  • Add plenty of images. Not only do potential patients want to see what your office looks like, Google is paying attention to the images you upload. Be sure to use a geo-specific file name and description. Include a variety of images from both inside and outside. This is a trust signal that search engines will look for. 
  • Include relevant keywords throughout your profile. Just like you would with your website, it’s important to create relevancy and topical authority by sprinkling related terms in your Google My Business description, service information, and posts. Do you offer emergency dentistry? Crowns? Cleanings? Be as detailed as possible. 
  • Generate and respond to customer reviews. Not only are these considered by potential patients, but the search engines are paying attention to the volume, velocity, and quality of the reviews your practice receives. This is a particularly important ranking factor, so developing a reputation management strategy should be at the top of your list.  

Focus on ranking your website for topics, not keywords 

Google is getting smart - really smart. It’s no longer necessary to target just one keyword on each page. Instead, focus on breaking your website up into subtopics. These subtopics should ultimately support the main theme of your website. For example, if you provide general dentistry to both adults and children, a few of your subtopics may be around common procedures you perform, pediatric dentistry, and preventative care.

Remember - the secret to ranking your website is hiding in plain site. Analyze the websites’ ranking in top positions for the keywords you want to rank for. If you search “Emergency Dentist Boston”, what are those websites doing well that you can apply to your own? Similarly, if you do a broad search for “Boston Dentist”, what subtopics are those websites trying to build authority around? Take this knowledge and apply it to your on-page SEO strategy.

Generate more calls with a Google Ads CallOnly Campaign

The beauty of running ads through the Google search network is that you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. Unlike text-based ads you see at the top of Google search results, a call-only campaign displays your phone number when a prospect searches for your target keyword on a mobile device. What’s even better? You can set a max cost-per-click - the most you’re willing to pay for a single click on your phone number. Add a call tracking and coaching service like Patient Prism to the mix and you’re ready to go.

Prevent lost revenue by sending appointment reminders 

Growing your practice isn’t just about generating new revenue - your dental marketing plan should focus on preventing lost revenue too. One way to do this is by sending appointment reminders in the form of an email, text, or postcard a day or two before your patients appointment. This alone could add thousands to your bottom line by just preventing missed appointments. These reminders are also a great way to reach patients who need to schedule their bi-annual visit. 

There are services now that offer two-way texting, so even though they are automated through your practice management system, the patient thinks they are personalized and can even respond. 

One more tip to try: have your hygienist call his or her patients the day before the appointment to say something personal, such as “I’ve reserved this time for you and look forward to meeting you” or “I’ve reserved this time for you and look forward to seeing you again.” Your dentist may even want to use similar language with patients coming in for a big case. Many practices have found this personal touch reduces no-shows and last-minute cancellations.

Reach 2nd-degree connections of existing patients through Facebook ads

Facebook’s ad platform offers a variety of powerful targeting options to reach your local audience. Interested in reaching 50-60 year olds within a 20 mile radius? No problem. In fact, for local businesses, Facebook can be particularly powerful if you can get your ad in front of your existing patients’ friends and family. It’s the next best thing to landing a referral. Start by setting your targeting option to reach friends of people who have liked your Facebook page, then make sure your message is localized with a clear call-to-action such as “Call Now.”

Generate reviews, then promote them on Facebook 

According to BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Review 2018 Survey, 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses. Reviews are an incredibly important trust signal, for both prospects and search engines. There are plenty of creative ways to ask patients for a review, but the easiest way is to just ask. Get your happiest customers to visit your Google My Business or Yelp profile, then be sure to promote these glowing reviews through social media.

Offer a scholarship and share it with your local community

Scholarships are a public relations and dental marketing goldmine. Get creative by offering a scholarship through a raffle for new high school graduates, then promote it through your town's local Facebook page. Add a twist to it and drum up new business by only entering students who come in for a routine cleaning and have no cavities. It’s worth reaching out to local bloggers, journalists, and publications as well, especially if you can get creative with the application process! Check out this massive guide covering everything on how to create, manage, and promote your scholarship.

Check out this blog for more actionable dental marketing ideas you can implement today. 

How to Measure the Success of your Marketing Strategy

Once you’ve come up with a dental marketing plan and you’re ready to implement it, you’ve got one more hurdle to overcome.

How do you track your success or conversion rates for each type of advertising? If you’ve invested in a billboard or PPC advertising, how do you decide whether or not it’s bringing in new patients?

More importantly, once the patients are in the door, how do you measure your success rate for keeping those patients returning and referring your dental office?

Measurement of your advertising is critical to ensure you aren’t wasting money every month, and performance metrics are the best way to detail which part of your marketing plan is working and which is not.

Performance metrics include:

  • Number of new patients coming in every month
  • The cost of acquisition for each new patient
  • Your referral ratio per patient
  • Your conversion ratio of patients who accept treatment
  • Percentage of patients returning after six months
  • Your dental office daily performance

Beyond performance metrics, ensuring you increase your front-office conversion rate also helps reduce marketing waste, especially if your conversion rate is only hovering between 20 to 30%.

How to improve your new patient conversion rate with ease:

  • Monitor the total number of phone calls your office gets during the day and night
  • Track the number of calls that roll over to voicemail during business hours
  • Count the number of inbound calls that come from potential new patients
  • Count the number of inbound calls your office actually converts to first-time appointments
  • Set front-office quotas for higher conversions
  • Record calls with prospective new patients and review
  • Train front-office staff
  • Review your recorded phone tree / IVR (if you implemented an automated answering system)
  • Instruct your staff to make appointments with anybody who inquires about your practice
  • Track the number of inbound calls that come from different marketing sources or tactics
  • Monitor what occurs after the first appointment
  • Track additional metrics relevant to business growth (average annual attrition rate, average first-year revenue for patients, average lifetime value for patients)
  • Look at software to help you do all these things more efficiently
  • Use helpful and relevant sources from Patient Prism

The Hidden Bottleneck in Growing your Dental Practice

Marketing for dental offices begins with choosing a mix of advertising channels, then assessing which channels work best. The goal is to accelerate growth while not throwing money away on advertising that doesn’t bring in new dental patients.

This type of marketing has many specific challenges. You can spend thousands of dollars finding the right advertising channel mix, and that plan will show potential patients looking for a dentist that your office has both the service and quality to meet their needs.

However, you won’t see a specific return on your investment if your front-desk is understaffed, unorganized, or not able to convert your callers into booked appointments.

That’s why the hidden bottleneck for any dental office is the front-desk staff. When front-desk staff fail to convert phone callers into new patients, your marketing budget is going to waste.

At the top of your funnel: Awareness
The middle of your funnel: Consideration
The bottom of your funnel: Qualification
Take a holistic approach to your funnel
Patient Retention

Dental Marketing Software Solutions

Marketing software is one of the best ways to consolidate marketing efforts, improve your dental office’s online presence, and attract new patients. It can also assist in improving the relationships you have with current patients. It is also a great way to pay close attention to what’s happening behind the scenes of your office.

Dental Marketing Software Solutions

  • What is Dental Marketing Software?
  • What you should consider when buying a tool
  • When should you consider a software solution?

What is Dental Marketing Software?

Marketing software comes in different types, and the type you choose will assist you in managing, automating, and assessing your dental practice marketing.

Some of the different types of dental marketing software include:

Email Automation
Social Media Management
Call Tracking Software
Reputation Management
Appointment Reminders
Postcard Management

What you should consider when buying a tool

When choosing software to best suit your practice, there are a few things you should look for:

  • The company should have solid case studies to back up their claims of effectiveness
  • They should have legitimate testimonies from patients who have used their services
  • The company should be committed to ensuring you are fully trained and have easy access to a customer service representative if needed

Because dental practices have particular challenges, the most important part of choosing dental marketing software is to ensure that the company you choose is specialized for the dental industry.


When should you consider a software solution?

Every practice is unique, and you need to decide which part of your marketing funnel you would like to grow. Will you use marketing automation software to maximize your existing patient base or gain new patient leads? Will you utilize call tracking software to assess how your marketing plan is performing?

The choice is yours, but if you’ve already spent a lot of marketing dollars and you want to see why those dollars aren’t translating into booked appointments, your best option is to choose call tracking software to monitor and record your incoming calls.

Call Tracking Software For Offices & DSOs



Call tracking software enables you to track marketing effectiveness by identifying which traditional and online advertising channels are generating calls to your dental practice. Although this is essential to understand where to prioritize your advertising budget, the best call tracking companies for dental practices will also provide business analytics and call coaching.

Some call tracking companies will provide call recordings, which can give you greater insight into how your front office team is handling incoming phone calls.

They can be your eyes and ears on the phone, tracking and analyzing how your staff are taking phone calls. But when you’re running a busy dental practice you don’t have time to listen in on recorded calls picked up by your staff.

You need to understand what went wrong quickly.

Patient Prism® is an advanced dental office call-management software solution designed to identify potential patients who did not schedule and get them back into your practice through rapid call analysis, marketing tracking, team coaching, and more - all within an hour of the original phone call.


The company’s cloud-based software incorporates artificial intelligence, machine learning, and call coaches to review every missed new patient opportunity. It eliminates the need for dental professionals to listen to recorded calls to figure out what went wrong.

Patient Prism's patented technology provides a visual representation of new patient calls that do not end in appointments, pinpointing call-handling concerns and providing on-the-spot call coaching to correct common mistakes. In short, it gives your team a second chance to make a great first impression and turn missed opportunities into booked appointments.

Patient Prism® answers these key questions that every dental practice owner has:

  • Which marketing methods are driving new patient calls?
  • Which services did those people mention on the call, and what is the revenue associated with those?
  • How many new patient calls led to booked appointments?
  • How are missed opportunities converted into booked opportunities in the future?


Patient Prism® is very easy to set up and use. You’ll have access to a simple dashboard that will highlight failed calls and areas of improvement, provide you with coaching opportunities and assistance, and even highlight your best staff.


Just by the simple act of monitoring your incoming calls, you can easily double your patient growth, up your conversion rates, add thousands of dollars in revenue, and completely streamline your front office practices.

Success Factors

Even a small dental practice can utilize call tracking software to boost its revenue, and you could see results almost overnight.


Success Stories

Two brothers, Nilash and Nitash Patel, are successful dentists with three practices near Tampa, Florida. Although they were considering opening a fourth office to grow their practice, they decided to tap into a hidden revenue resource and increase the patient intake at their current locations instead. All they had to do was make one small change.

Instead of wondering why people weren’t booking appointments after a call, they utilized call tracking software and found out exactly how their front desk team was performing. By adding the right tool to their practice, they added approximately $50,000 per month in new patient revenue. Over the year, they grew by $600,000.

Any dental practice can achieve the same results. Take a look at the full case study and see how call tracking software can help grow your dental business.

Read the Full Case Study

Patient Prism® Academy

Access insights from industry leaders on how to improve operations, enhance the patient experience, and grow your dental practice's monthly revenue.


Download The Ultimate Guide

Call tracking software is the best secret weapon any size of dental practice can use.

Now that you know about creating a marketing strategy and identifying where you’re losing potential patients, the simplest choice you make for your marketing is to identify which channels are making your dental office’s phone ring and how to maximize your new patient conversion ratio. See how Patient Prism® can help you achieve great results.

Grow your revenue, sharpen your plan, and watch in real-time how your front office team handles new patient appointments. It’s easy when you choose Patient Prism®.

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