The Easiest (most neglected) Dental Marketing Strategy

There are certain words that carry negative meaning in the minds of many. I wrote about words to avoid in dentistry in my previous blog post, Dental Curse Words.

I’ve noticed that almost unanimously when recommending “Email Marketing” to my clients, they often get the concerned look on their face. It’s the kind of look that I can hear over the phone. They instantly think “SPAM”… which of course it is not. Somewhere along the line, email marketing has made a bad name for itself.

Email marketing is still very powerful. It’s often not recommended by marketing companies. Perhaps it’s because I always hear “We’ll try it on our own.” Of course, it almost never gets done and when it is done, it’s not done well.  Let’s face it, you’re team excels in dentistry, but may not be highly trained in written communication.

Email Marketing For Dentists
Email Marketing For Dentists

So what’s the solution? Well, it’s time to start prioritizing your communication with your existing patients. It’s important to stay top of mind to generate referrals. Existing patients lead to new business. Patient referrals should ALWAYS be your top referral source, no matter the size of your marketing budget. As you get more new patients, those patients should be referring friends and family. If this isn’t the case, it’s time to implement a referral program.

Dental email newsletters can accomplish the following:

  • Generate more patient referrals (through forwarding of the email)
  • Generate more positive reviews online
  • Improve patient education
  • Promote advanced dental services
  • Improve recall
  • Improve case acceptance

Avoid getting marked as SPAM by:

  • Sending monthly instead of weekly messages
  • Sending to active patients only
  • Writing interesting, relatable topics
  • Planning out new content
  • Including topical, relevant information that can protect or inform a patient
  • Don’t be “overselling” but instead represent yourself as an advocate for your patients’ interests
  • Keeping an updated patient email list

Email marketing is the bridge between your existing patients and your new patients. It’s the ideal, most affordable marketing strategy that is most ignored. It’s the secret to improving your bottom line. It’s the glue that holds your internal marketing strategies, your internet marketing campaign, your online reputation and your social media presence together.

It’s time that I stop using the words “Email Marketing Campaign” since these words do not do justice and have been ruined by spammers. Call it email marketing or call it POWERFUL PATIENT COMMUNICATION CAMPAIGN. I don’t care what we call it, but it’s time to stop ignoring this platform. It’s time to start utilizing one of the most affordable and effective marketing strategies.

Please contact me if you are not already utilizing email marketing to its fullest. We can create a complete marketing plan to achieve your goals. Call me directly at (847) 629-4646.

Grace Rizza

Owner of Identity Dental Marketing


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Starting a Dental Practice

There are many things to consider when starting a dental practice of your own. We’ve taken the time to carefully analyze the process of starting a dental practice.

Besides marketing, you’ll need to choose a location, decide if you’ll purchase an existing practice or start from scratch. You’ll need a contractor, a designer, a management consultant to assist in hiring and setting up systems. You’ll need a dental CPA to help you appropriately allocate funds to equipment, employees, marketing and more.  Of course you’ll need a dental marketing professional to help you connect with the right kind of patients.

The process definitely seems overwhelming. Where should you begin?

Start here.

If you’re considering starting a dental practice, consider attending our Dental Practice Jump Start Event in Chicago this November. Contact Grace Rizza at (847) 629-4646 for ticket information. Seats are limited. Speakers will cover topics such as:

  • Choose the best location for your new dental practice
  • Top Mistakes Made in Office Design & Construction
  • Branding For Success
  • Marketing Must-Haves For Start Ups in 2014 & 2015
  • Hiring For Your Long term success
  • Budgeting your Build Out


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Ways to HURT your ranking on Google.

It’s no secret that SEO works for attracting new patients. Of course, you want your website to be first when someone searches for a dentist in your town.

In the race to the top of the page, there are many things you can do to help yourself get there, including:

  1. Get real reviews onto Google
  2. Have ONE person managing your online presence
  3. Blog (or pay your marketer to blog) regularly
  4. Regularly add on-site ranking factors to your website
  5. Have a custom website developed
  6. Acquire high-quality, organic back-links

You may have heard some of these things before, but have you heard about what NOT to do?

  1. (In most cases) DO NOT pay a local directory site to be listed next to several other dentists in your town.  In doing this, you are paying that directory site to outrank YOU. That’s right. Advertising on these websites helps the directory website outrank your website. INSTEAD, get first on Google and bump the directory site below yours. Invest in your own website.
  2. Change keyword focus to frequently or have a broad list of keywords. This will “water down” the strength of your campaign. There comes a time when it is appropriate to expand your keyword reach, but this doesn’t typically happen in the first 6 months.
  3. Ignore bad reviews. Bad reviews can undo all of our hard work to get you ranked. Instead, ask about our ORM (online reputation management) services to attain a 5-star reputation.


Call Grace to get a free marketing plan. (847) 629-4646

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Gunshots saved my daughters life.

Thursday night around 10pm, I was getting myself ready for bed when I heard 8 gunshots outside of my house.  I live in a  safe neighborhood in the suburbs. It was rare to hear such a thing. I checked if my husband had heard it and he confirmed without any doubt that they were in fact gunshots.

I immediately called the police to report the incident and within minutes saw the squad cars circling my block. It should come to no surprise that I wasn’t going to sleep anytime soon. My husband had no problem falling into a very deep slumber, as I lie awake watching my 3 month old daughter sleep.

Out of the blue, she wakes up to clear her throat and without warning starts choking. I’m not exaggerating here. She made no sound and started frantically waving her arms about in a panic. I quickly picked her up, flipped her over and started hitting her back as I learned in CPR.  After about 8 hits to the back, a thick clear mucus came out of her nose and mouth and she started to cry.

Despite my loud screams to my husband (who was sleeping peacefully in the  next room), he didn’t wake up or even hear me. I then was faced with a decision. What to do next. The baby was now fine. She wasn’t even upset and went back to sleep. I however wanted an answer. I wanted it now.

I called the only person I know that is always awake, my Aunt Wendy. She advised that I call her pediatrician. I talked to the doctor on call who said to elevate the babies bed and call in the morning for an appointment. I followed her advice.

At  my appointment the next day, her doctor asked about the incident. He had no idea why it had happened and said not to “lose sleep” over it. Seriously?! Well that’s ridiculous advice.

After being given very little useful advice from her doctor and not wanting to “wait for it to happen again”, I started Googling. The research continued for several nights as I sat awake while my daughter sleeps. Finally, I stumbled upon something that made sense… a possible solution to my problem. I learned about milk allergies and mucus in infants. The symptoms aligned with her symptoms, which I hadn’t noticed before. As a first time mom, I thought all babies were noisy breathers while they sleep. I thought dry skin was normal for her. Her ridiculous amounts of gas, well I’ve always thought that was excessive and painful for her, but didn’t think there was anything I could do about the “colic”.

As I read more and more, I decided to change her formula (I was unable to breastfeed.) I switched her to a formula that if she were allergic to milk she should start (most likely) sleeping better. I called her doctor back on Monday to tell him what I’d done and he said it was “an appropriate” solution.


Well, healthcare has changed. Patients like myself are now used to finding our own  health solutions online. We don’t completely trust doctors anymore. We see physicians and medical providers pushing patients in and out with less and less time for appointments daily. We respect doctors, but feel that we can find the information ourselves online.

When providing a diagnosis to a patient, you should give him/her material to read. Information about the diagnosis. Periodontal disease for instance can effect your patients overall health, lead to tooth loss and cause halitosis. You know this, but your words no longer carry the same kind of weight as the almighty Google.


If I want Google to tell me that I don’t need periodontal disease treatment, I can find an article about treating periodontal disease at home. I can also find a mouthwash that fights periodontal disease instead of making an appointment for treatment. Since search engines show results based on your search, all results are biased.


My mother called this morning. She told me about the headaches she’s getting because of her TMD/TMJ. Her dentist told her to just wear a night guard, which she didn’t feel would help, since she’s tried this before. She is now looking for a TMJ specialist in her area. You may be the best TMJ dentist in your area, but if patients like my mother cannot find you with a simple  google search for TMJ services, you are missing out on patients. Other dentists, some of which are less qualified are getting the patients that are searching for you online.

10 years ago, a patient may have just gone to his/her general dentist and asked for treatment or a referral. NOW, Google is the solution for all of our health problems.

Contact us to learn more about getting found on Google.

(It’s been 2 days since my daughter’s formula change and she’s already breathing better. I’m looking forward to my first night of sleep tonight.)


(My beautiful girl)

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The “New” SEO

dental seo
Dentist Ranking on Google

Many SEO companies are now saying “link building is dead”. They are dead wrong.

SEO pro’s are noticing that Google is favoring on-site SEO ranking factors more than they did in the past. On-site factors (including how your website is developed) have been major ranking factors for years and continue to increase in importance. In the SEO world, we’ve all heard a million times that “content is king”.

Yes, content matters and development matters, but so does link building.  Your competitors can easily look at how your website was developed and copy your strategies, but they cannot easily copy quality links that have been ethically built over the course of time.

The obstacle for many SEO companies:

They are lazy. They look for ways to automatically build links with software or spammy websites, instead of putting in the time to research manually build a presence. They may purchase links from a third party—this will surely get you penalized eventually and your site will disappear from Google, leaving you no choice but to start over. So, yes, now SEO companies are saying: link building doesn’t matter anymore.  Why do they say this? It’s either because they are lazy or because they don’t know how to build quality links.

If you and your competitor both have the same on-site ranking factors and you have 1,000 quality backlinks, you will outrank your competitor.

Think about it this way…

Pretend Google gives you 10 points for a proper page title, 10 points for meta description and 3 points for every other on-site ranking strategy and 1 point for every quality backlink. The site with the most points ranks first. Why wouldn’t you want to have all of the possible on-site ranking factors while continuously, manually building diversified quality backlinks?

What is a backlink?

A backlink or “inbound link” is a hyper link to your website from anywhere else on the web. There are several types of backlinks, some stronger than others. Since Google is constantly changing which types of backlinks matter most, you need an SEO company that understands that diversification matters.  Our diversification strategy is the special sauce on our Big Mac. It’s the best protection against Google Analytic changes.

The Conclusion

Both on-site and off-site SEO ranking factors count. Call us to get an estimation on what it will cost to outrank your competition. It’s more affordable than you may think, and the ROI will likely be the best you’ve seen.

Call Grace at Identity Dental Marketing (847) 629-4646.

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How to Write a Dental Marketing Plan in 2014

It’s time to start planning your marketing for 2014. It’s important to have a plan, but for that plan to be flexible. You want to make room for the marketing strategies that bring the best return on investment. Before you plan out your year, please make time for this important review.

As discussed in the video below, review the effectiveness of your marketing for 2013 by evaluating the following:

  1. Monthly Report of New Patient and how they’ve heard about you
  2. Number of New Patients from each Marketing/Referral Source
  3. The average cost to acquire a new patient per referral source
  4. The average value of a new patient from each referral source.

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SEO as of Today

Back when I started offering SEO, very few people knew what it was. Now the word gets thrown around on a daily basis by people who don’t fully understand it.

Recently, a major SEO blog report came out saying a few things that have turned people upside down and made my life a little more exciting. They are reporting that the keyword heavy domains and inbound links (backlinks) no longer matter as much.

People need to realize something very important. Just because the strength of a factor decreases, doesn’t mean you should throw it out the window and never utilize that strategy again. I promise you that if there are 2 websites that are EXACTLY the same in terms of amount of content and on-site SEO, one having quality, inbound links and the other having none, the site with the inbound links will rank higher. This is also true for the keyword relevant domain name.
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What You Can Expect from Identity Dental Marketing

When shopping around for a marketing company to help you market your practice, what things would you consider? At Identity, we’ve already predicted some of the things that would matter most to you. We offer personal customer service and a customized plan based on your goals and vision. We also have an impressive turnaround time and we value the deadlines we set.

We’ve heard that when dealing with other marketing companies, it can be difficult got a hold of someone who knows you personally or understands your vision.  Are you sick of paying for a website that is prefabricated for the masses instead of customized for your brand and goals?

At Identity, your needs come first. We are available for you and keep a constant line of communication open so that you may have the ability to make requests or ask questions about anything regarding your marketing campaign.
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Why Patients Don’t Accept Treatment

No-shows, cancellations & pending treatment plans frequently disrupt your morale and production. After investing in marketing, treating your patients like gold and providing the high quality care, how is it possible that patients choose to postpone treatment?

The answer to this question is simple. They don’t want the treatment. You may have convinced them that they need it. You may have shown them various reasons as to why treatment is going to make them healthier, but unfortunately, this isn’t always reason enough.

If I can teach only one MAIN principle in dental sales, it’s this: Sales is a transfer of emotion. It is our job to connect with the patient and let him know and FEEL that this proposed treatment is the best option for his well-being. The following strategies will contribute to more dental sales.
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Scams, Threats, and Things to Watch Out For

Lately, I’ve been experiencing more and more of our clients forwarding us emails, invoices and letters from outside marketing companies that are just plain unethical.

I’ve seen advertisements that look like invoices. I’ve seen countless companies spamming my clients about Google changes and how they “better be aware of this major change that is coming up!”

I’ve even mistakenly signed myself up for a “free directory listing” that was NOT free. Maybe you’ve seen this horrible company. Their logo is the YellowPages logo, except upside down.

When you don’t understand what hosting is, how your domain name is registered or what a free listing really looks like, you may fall prey to these scams. It’s also important for you to know what your SEO company does to protect you from Google changes.

We take pride in our ethical SEO services. We know that no matter what Google rolls out, our clients are protected from changes. We never send out letters or emails referencing the next big Algorithm change and how you better “hire us or you’ll disappear off the internet!”
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