One of the best things about being a dentist is when a patient turns to you after a really successful appointment and thanks you for your service. If you have given them friendly, professional service from start to finish you will often find patients are very happy with you, thanking you profusely for your time.
This is a golden dental marketing opportunity that many dentists completely miss! If you have done some excellent work and left your patient feeling content and ready to sing your praises, you need to take advantage of this and use it to attract more people to your practice.
This can be remarkably easy. All it takes is a brief mention of how the patient can recommend you to their friends and family; most of them will be more than happy to do so if you have been good to them. However, you need to make this process as easy as possible for them.
One of the best ways to do this is with dental referral cards. This is one of the most cost-effective dental marketing strategies, as all you need to do is keep a stockpile of cards ready to hand out to patients when they are happy with your service.
These can also be used to increase your engagement with your current patients. You can send out referral cards – along with a well-written covering letter – to advertise new services that you offer, or just to keep your practice at the forefront of their minds.
However, you need to make sure your cards are well-designed, easy to understand and appealing to potential new patients. They should both promote your services and make your practice stand out, all without becoming too confusing! Here’s how to design effective referral cards your patients will be glad to hand out:
Easy to use
First and foremost, the design of your cards should make it as easy as possible for the family and friends of your patients to see who you are, what you offer and how they can contact you. In this respect they are a bit like business cards, but geared more towards advertising your practice.
Your contact details should be the most prominent aspect of the referral card. You can usually trust your patients to tell whoever they give the card to that you are a good dentist, so you don’t need to give an overview of your practice in any great detail. However, you might want to include a few of your best services or any special offers you have on.
Referral cards can be easily forgotten if you are not careful with the design. Hand out something bland and nondescript and it won’t matter how good your service was. The card will be left at the bottom of the patient’s bag and no referral will be made.
A well-designed card will be eye-catching and difficult to forget. This could be because of a bright colour scheme, a memorable logo or some other quirk of design that sticks in your patients’ minds and makes it more likely they will remember and use the referral cards.
Finally, you need to show you are a professional, well-respected dentist with your referral cards. You should know your market and what they will respond well to, so make sure your cards reflect this. You don’t want to plaster them with vivid colours and humorous slogans if they will respond better to a formal item.
On the other hand, you don’t want to be too prim and proper if it is going to put your potential patients off visiting you. It is often better to err on the side of being professional rather than humorous, but you should have a good idea of what your target market will like. Basing your design on this should ensure your cards are a success.