Articles & News

Autoresponders – by Carl Burroughs

In the previous articles in this series I talked about how to get more potential patients to your website through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Google Ad Words (Sponsored Links), but what happens when you get viewers to your site is another major factor in the long term success of your internet strategy.

Whether viewers of your website become patients or not depends upon a number of factors. Firstly, what are they looking for? If a potential patient recognised they need a dentist, searched on the word dentist and their preferred suburb and end up at your site, then there is a high possibility of this person becoming a patient as long as your website projects the type of practice the viewer relates to. With basic dentistry needs this matching of viewer expectations is not particularly hard.

However, if a person is looking for a more specialised or elective type of dentistry, the process changes considerably. If a patient is in pain, or is just feeling guilty having not been to a dentist in a while, they will make the booking immediately as they have already made this decision before heading to do a Google search.

If a patient is thinking of enhancing their smile through what they regard as Cosmetic Dentistry or if they have heard from a friend that they can dump their ill fitting denture in favour of Dental Implants, then they head to Google; not to book an appointment but for research. Getting this potentially big spending patient to your website has taken time, effort and money yet if all they do is use your beautifully written website to educate themselves to a specific procedure and then leave your website without contacting you, and then all the effort and money has potentially been wasted. You have no guarantee they will head back to your site when they decide they want to progress things.

The gestation period for larger elective cases can be months and sometimes years, so how do you increase your chances of getting these people into your dental practice when they are ready and indeed how do you make them ready sooner?

What I am going to share with you now improves the chances of converting a viewer to your site into a patient, by over seven times. Something that makes this approach even better is that only one in a hundred businesses who become aware of this approach ever do anything about it, even though these are the businesses that end up flourishing not struggling.

An autoresponder allows you to automatically send personalised messages to your
e-mail list. The messages will be personalised by name, plus you can produce a sequence of emails that go out over a period of time.

Here is a typical sequence of how an autoresponder works. Remember that once it’s been set up all of the following is automated, so you put the effort in once and then the rewards are ongoing:-
1. A potential patient finds your site as they have ‘Googled’ the term “Dental Implants”. They have looked over your site but they see a button prominently placed entitled “FREE CLINICAL REPORT – ten things you must know before going ahead with Dental Implants”. Your viewer wanting to know this information signs up for this report by entering their name and e-mail address into a small box and pressing the submit button.
2. Instantly they receive the first e-mail from you, in this case a pre-written beautifully presented report on the topic of dental implants.
3. In the days, weeks, months and even years ahead, your website visitor receives a series of emails from you. These e-mails take them along a journey towards proceeding with a treatment plan in your practice.

This is classic permission based marketing and the people on your e-mail lists can unsubscribe without any administration by yourself or your team. This same approach can be extended to any aspect of dentistry you wish to promote. This regular contact builds your brand with potential patients, grows your reputation as the oracle of all things dental, the e-mails will be forwarded to others to read and best of all with the exception of the ridiculously cheap set up running costs of the software involved (as low as $10 per month) it’s free.

As already stated, even though this method of marketing is highly professional, productive and has been well proven very few people will implement this strategy, so be one of the few that do – you simply won’t regret it.