Getting open mouths into the office is key factor in the success of any dental practice. According to data compiled by Quality Dental Plans, a new patient is worth an average of $1,502 to the practice in their first year, so it’s no wonder the dental industry spends millions annually on marketing and advertising to generate new patient leads. Word of mouth from loyal customers is of course free, but online and print advertising is not. Sites such as “1-800-Dentist” can provide a steady source of leads, but often at a cost of $200 – $300 per potential new patient. But no matter much money a practice throws at outbound marketing, the consumer’s ability to afford care is often the final determining factor in whether or not the lead turns into a procedure.

In other words, an effective marketing plan is important, but less so if the customer you’re reaching doesn’t have the ability to consume your services. An estimated 135 million people in the United States don’t have dental insurance. And 50% of those without insurance have reported putting off dental procedures because of budget concerns. As we all know, postponing important dental work just means bigger problems and more expensive procedures down the line.

The overall effectiveness of a marketing plan shouldn’t be measured in how many leads enter your office, but how many of those leads are turned into procedures. It’s no wonder thousands of dentists throughout the country are maximizing their advertising dollar by integrating bold, comprehensive financing solutions, allowing them to say yes to more patients, turning more leads into procedures, and ensuring better dental health in their community. In the coming weeks, we’ll look at different forms of innovative financing solutions, including in-house financing, membership programs, and third party financing, as well as how these methods can integrate to create a comprehensive program, allowing you to grow your practice and say yes to more patients.