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Marketing your practice profitably

Most dental practices now recognise the importance of Marketing ROI but very few are taking the necessary steps to accurately measure this metric. Advanced analytics will not only improve the performance of your marketing strategies, but help you to market you practice, profitably.

Website analytics

Simply having a website does not qualify as an online marketing. Gaining insight into your website performance is paramount. There are very simple questions that you should be able to answer as a website owner, such as:

1 – Do you know how many visitors your site is getting?
2 – What percentage of these are mobile visits?
3 – How long are people staying on your site, and which pages are they most interested in?
4 – Which keywords are they using to find you on the search engines? And, which search engines are they using?
5 – What is your bounce rate?

If you are unable to answer these questions, it becomes very difficult to know how and where to improve your current set-up. So, what’s the answer? There are a number of website analytics package available on the web but one not to be ignored is Google Analytics.

Google Analytics (GA) is a web analytics solution that gives you rich insights into your website traffic and marketing effectiveness – and what’s more, it’s free! GA generates detailed statistics about the visitors to your website; it can track visitors from all referrers, including search engines, display advertising, pay-per-click networks, email marketing and even digital collateral such as links within PDF documents.

For practices with existing AdWords campaigns, GA users can optimise online campaigns by tracking landing page quality and conversions. Goals might include sales, lead generation, viewing a specific page, or downloading a particular file. By using GA, marketers can determine which ads are performing, and which are not, providing the information to optimise or cull campaigns.

E-mail marketing

E-mail marketing is a very powerful and cost-effective method of marketing for any dental practice. Patients who have ‘opted in’ to your e-mail campaigns are a very captive audience – understanding this audience, and knowing what they want to receive, and when, places you in an strong position for running effective e-mail marketing campaigns.

There are many gains to be had from using a free e-mail marketing service, and not Outlook, which I know many dental practices use. And it’s not all about the analytics – although that is a huge part! If you’re serious about e-mail marketing, I’d recommend taking a look at MailChimp, it’s is a free e-mail marketing service in which you can design, send, and track HTML email campaigns with simple tools and an intuitive, user-friendly online interface.

MailChimp will help you to:

Create a template – Choose from dozens of pre designed templates, or start from scratch with a template builder for more customisation (if you’re an HTML expert – or paying one!)

Send your campaign – Send a campaign to your entire list, or divide your list into groups and segment by interest, location, or activity. Add Social Sharing buttons to your template, or share a link to the web version of your campaign after it goes out.

Track your results – MailChimp’s free reports tell you who is opening, clicking, and coming back for more. They’re available for iPhone and Android too. Tweet Trends gives you insight into your subscribers’ activity on Twitter, and Google Analytics integration gives you advanced stats on how your campaigns affect traffic to your website. Other features include:

– Interactive graphs that show you how many emails were delivered, how many people opened your email, what percentage clicked, and more.
– Identification of which email addresses bounced and why.
– Confirmation of who unsubscribed from your list.
– Subscriber Activity Reports which give you a real time report for every subscriber’s email activities: when they opened, what they clicked, and when they came back. You can even generate a list of people who didn’t open, and send them a modified campaign.

Call Tracking

Call-tracking is a call recording and monitoring service for both online and offline telephone numbers. In Layman’s terms, this means that you can use a unique telephone number for each of your marketing activities, and track these via an online portal to determine which has generated the most phone calls.

Online tracking: The Call Tracking software records every visit to a client’s website. The software notes the channel, time, keyphrase, visitor location, page views and any ‘actions’ performed on the site. For example, if you are running a PPC campaign, the software will report which ad the visitor used, the keyword(s) they used to find you and whether or not they made contact – both contact forms and calls can be tracked.

This is especially useful when trying to determine where your online budget is best spent – i.e., what’s generating calls, and what isn’t.

Offline tracking: You can assign unique phone numbers to each of your offline marketing campaigns too. Offline advertising examples that will work with Call Tracking include newspapers, magazines, radio, television and leaflets; if there is a phone number, it can be tracked.

A unique and infinitely valuable benefit of Call Tracking is that it offers a call recording facility. This is very useful to measure the quality of enquiries your practice is getting, and for training staff to deal with calls properly. So, not only can you see where the calls originate, you can also listen to the calls to see whether or not they converted.

With this information, you can make informed marketing decisions to improve you Marketing ROI because Call Tracking removes the guess work when it comes down to analysing how well your marketing campaigns are doing.

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