Your whitening business can fill up your schedule and “brighten” your bottom line — provided you market your teeth whitening services proactively.
The teeth whitening business is a-booming! It’s worth more than $3 billion, and more than 40 million people in America will whiten their teeth in 2019! That’s a whole lot of zeroes and brighter smiles (not to mention dollar signs).
How much of that whitening business is your practice performing each month?
If you’re like most practices, probably not much. And that's probably because of a single culprit: talking about it only when your patients bring the topic up.
Instead, you should be proactively marketing your whitening services.
But that’s why this post exists.
We’ll dive into what the best teeth-whitening campaigns do differently and how else you can market this super-profitable service!
Chatting with patients directly about whitening works. But there are some eye-raising drawbacks, right?
It takes a ton of effort, you need to be sales oriented, and if you’re like most crazy-busy dental teams, you'll remember to do it only a small percentage of the time.
Evangelizing whitening to one patient at a time is a slog, not to mention expensive.
Plus, even if you commit to evangelizing teeth whitening to scheduled patients, spreading the word one patient at a time is a slog, not to mention expensive.
Marketing outside the operatory is incredibly easy, especially with a patient communication system (like RevenueWell) or a program your team designs, because you can reach all of your patients (or the right portion of them) more efficiently.
Chair-side marketing still belongs on your whitening marketing plan, but you’ll also want to add campaigns.
The most effective marketing campaigns blend promotional and educational messages.
So, for your whitening business, your first campaign should get your patients thinking about whitening; the next should educate them about what whitening entails; and the last one should ask them to make an appointment.
What else do revenue-creating whitening marketing campaigns do?
Many patients believe whitening is something they get in a toothpaste or in a take-home kit from the nearest big box store.
They may not know (or remember) that their dental office also offers whitening.
Remind them in a social media and newsletter campaign that you can make smiles sparkle in more ways than just polishing.
One challenge with a business as popular as whitening is that patients assume all whitening offers are the same. But, as we know, research says otherwise.
For example, in one study, 64% of consumers noted a difference in tooth color after using a retail whitening product, but 83% of patients reported a difference with professional treatment.
Patients assume all whitening offers are the same. But, as we know, research says otherwise
Your patients, however, may not know about the unique benefits of whitening procedures performed by a professional clinician.
As a result, you’ll want to mention that today’s products work better and faster, and they result in less sensitivity than ever before.
The take-home options your practice offers and your chairside procedures are far superior to over-the-counter products. In just a few lines of text you can cover everything from simple maintenance whitening to deep bleaching that resolves the toughest of stains. Every patient is different, so communicating a breadth of options is best.
Multiplying the types of communication your office uses to inform and educate patients about whitening not only increases the chance that your patients will see the message, but it will make the message seem that much “truer.”
Every patient is different, so communicate the breadth of your options.
So, in each stage of your campaign, repurpose your campaign content across each form of communication platform your office uses.
Some programs, like Sinsational Smile and a few others, are very inexpensive when done as part of a hygiene appointment.
Most patients don’t know this, so educate and incentivize them to consider a consultation at their next appointment.
Campaigns launched during wedding, graduation, and prom season, as well as major holidays, flourish because they send the right incentive to the right demographic just when they’re thinking about the event you’re referencing.
This sort of ultra-targeted direct marketing is very effective, and can be very profitable.
Your whitening marketing strategy's getting more advanced by the minute!
You've got chair-side marketing down pat already, and now you've got a list of go-to campaign tactics.
But those aren't the only techniques that can build demand for your whitening business.
“Heading back to college in the fall?”
“Getting married soon?”
Questions about life milestone can quickly segue into a conversation about whitening.
Each of these life-milestone questions can quickly and naturally segue into a conversation about whitening — you won’t need to hard sell your whitening services at all.
Your role in these conversations is to guide your patients to see themselves as a good candidate for whitening — after all, a brighter smile can brighten the way they feel about themselves and others perceive them.
One effective, easy marketing tactic is to pull a page out of orthodontists’ playbook: before-and-after photos and testimonials.
Use post-whitening photos and testimonials of patients throughout your office to capture the attention and curiosity of patients coming in for their regular appointments. And use your most powerful images and testimonials over social media.
Use before-and-after photos and testimonials to capture patients' attention.
Also, make it known the patients are your own.
In the “old days,” the walls of ortho offices were covered in Polaroids the patients themselves signed on the bottom with their age. People want to know this is work you have done.
So, develop a system that works for you, and show off a bit!
Have the shade guide handy, understand how to use it properly, and place it where a patient can actually see it while they’re in the chair.
Imagine ourselves looking “different” — even if it’s the shade guide — cuts through this mental clutter and allows us to see our future selves with ease. And, keeping it visible will help encourage questions from your patients.
Every hygienist should have access to it in every operatory, and everyone should know how to use it.
Okay, so maybe you’re not the kind of dentist who likes to discount. So how about this idea, courtesy of Gary Takacs: lifetime whitening.
Here’s how it works: for a one-time fee, patients are given custom trays and free touch-up gel to either take home or use in-chair as long as they keep their future scheduled appointments.
A brilliant, easy-to-use idea that helps patients maintain clean, white teeth and keeps them coming back to your office for appointments.
The usual culprit for low whitening revenue: waiting for the patient to bring the treatment up.
You’ll be amazed how well the above approaches can work.
Whitening can add a substantial boost to the bottom line of your practice if you do it consistently and professionally.
It also acts as a great conversation starter for more advanced cosmetic offerings your patients might not currently be considering.
Test out these dental marketing strategies, and watch them work!
Learn more about how RevenueWell improves case acceptance and creates more close-knit relationships between dentists and their patients.