With countless marketing techniques available today, how do you select the right ones to grow your dental lab?
We get it:
Dental lab advertising can get complicated fast.
But here’s the good news:
We’ve worked with over 5,503 dental clients over the past 20 years and have run — and tracked — successful dental lab sales and marketing campaigns.
Before spending money on your marketing, it’s important you know the basics first. And to get those RIGHT so that your marketing will immediately produce results — as in clients, and INCOME.
That’s why we’ve listed the 13 proven strategies you can use to ramp up your dental lab advertising and consistently drive new leads to your lab.
1. Define your lab’s Unique Selling Proposition (It’s easier than it sounds)
Before you invest any money into your dental lab marketing, you need to examine how your dental lab differs from its competitors.
Dental lab owners often overlook this critical first step in dental lab marketing, and that’s why I did my own competitor analysis recently — to show you how really LOOKING at what your competitors are doing pays off.
It can influence your entire business AND particularly how you spend your marketing dollars.
In fact, understanding your competitors can help you form your Unique Selling Proposition — or USP.
Your USP clearly communicates to dentists how your dental lab is different (and better!) than your competitors. Once you define your USP as a crystal-clear statement, you’ll use it in ALL of your dental lab promotions.
If you’re the only dental lab in town, say it! That’s pretty unique, and it’s something a local dentist would want to know — that you’re nearby and part of their business community.
Or, if you’re the only dental lab using a specific type of technology which yields a smoother mold for a faster turn-around time, then that’s something a dentist would need to know, too — right?
Here are some examples of dental lab USPs to give you more ideas:
- Charlotte’s Leading Lab Authority on Digital Impressions
- The ONLY ADA-Certified Dental Lab in Montana using 3D Digital Product Preview
- 2-Day Turn-Around Time for ALL Dentures & Implants — or We Pay For It!
- Dental Lab Pros is the ONLY Dental Lab within 10 Miles of Downtown Chicago
DON’T skip this step!
Without a well-defined USP, all of your dental lab advertising money could be wasted because busy dentists won’t be able to tell HOW you’re different from other dentals labs, so your marketing could just end up ignored and trashed.
2. Use this time-tested marketing tool to generate a 2,079% Return on Investment
Believe it or not, direct mail remains the most preferred form of marketing AND it’s also MOST likely to generate your dental lab leads and sales.
Check out these statistics:
- Direct mail produces up to 500% more responses than all other marketing methods. (DMA 2015 Response Rate Report)
- 92% of consumers prefer direct mail when looking to buy a product. (DMA 2015 Response Rate Report)
In fact, many of the thousands of dental campaigns we’ve run over the past 20 years have generated up to a 2,079% ROI, so the potential for your dental lab direct mail campaign to generate YOUR lab leads and sales is quite high.
Not just any old postcard design will get you leads.
You need to make sure your dental lab postcard has EACH of the 10 postcard design elements on it, otherwise you risk your dental lab direct mail campaign not giving you the best results possible.
In short, your dental lab postcard needs to:
- Grab attention
- Clearly communicate your USP to dentists
- Mention an irresistible special offer
- Provide your lab’s contact information
- And call your dental prospect to ACT NOW on that offer.
See how the dental lab postcard above immediately grabs your attention, and you can SEE real images of dental lab products?
Plus, the orange bar at the bottom with the 50%-OFF offer… who could miss that?!
Now, ONE more mentionable on direct mail:
I recommend you use different mailing lists to target specific dental specialties with dental lab direct mail. Just like with Google and Facebook ads (that I talk about below), your dental lab advertising should be tailored to the TYPE of dentist you want to receive (and respond to) it.
For example, you could design a postcard that’s perfect for cosmetic dentists, and only send that dental lab postcard to a list of — you guessed it — cosmetic dentists!
You may be surprised at how many dentists you can target in a geographic area with your dental lab direct mail campaign…
For example, we pulled 2 mailing lists in writing this article just so you could see the dental lab marketing potential.
Look at these numbers:
- Sacramento, CA has 410 dentists and
- Wichita, KS has 154 dentists.
That’s 564 dentists (and potential clients!) in just 2 U.S. cities!
For the past 20 years I’ve personally seen dental lab postcard campaigns grow dental labs.
In that time, my team and I have compiled a massive database that holds both dental lab postcard designs and dental lab direct mail campaign data which helps us know which type of postcards will generate enough leads to grow a dental lab.
If you want to see dental lab advertising designs that have won our clients new leads and increased sales, you can have your pick. We’re ALWAYS updating our successful client case studies, so to get the latest numbers and even more ideas for your dental lab marketing campaign, call one of our marketing consultants at 800-628-1804!
3. Use these 16 website tweaks to get more leads online
Your website has mere seconds to grab your dental prospect’s attention before they either leave your website or decide to stay and continue reading.
Therefore, your website MUST not only look professional, but it must be designed to capture contact information and turn it over to you.
I found that there are 16 website design elements that help to generate leads, and they’re not difficult to implement.
You can download a list of them for easy reference —
PLUS, I’m going to show a few them below.
Here’s a dental lab marketing website my team made:
Here are 9 of the 16 website elements shown in action on this website:
1. Dental lab name and logo easy to see
2. Relevant graphics to make your website design cohesive
3. Bright yet appropriate colors
4. Obvious headline that draws in dentists to read
5. Focus on benefits of doing business with YOU
6. Call to action that grabs attention!
7. A steal-worthy special offer or discount
8. Clear navigation that’s easy to use
9. Sub-headings that guide readers through your text
10. Contact forms to capture contact data like this one:
11. Compelling button copy that makes people click
12. Reassurances that you’re a legitimate dental lab
13. ZERO programming errors
14. Search engine optimization-friendly
15. Easy-on-the-eyes layout to keep dentists reading about your lab
16. Modern design to keep dentists interested in your website
Notice the phone number on the top of the page yelling for prospects to call them — love that!
Place your phone number in the same spot on EACH page so prospects don’t need to hunt for it. The top of your website works great because that’s where everyone begins!
If you want an expert hand to tweak your website — or create an entirely brand new one — we design websites for an EXTREMELY affordable price.
Once you have your website, it’s time to drive prospects to it…
4. Nail your Google listing to generate FREE leads from Google
Register for a FREE Google My Business account. It’s how you’ll update your Google listing for your dental lab, meaning…
When someone googles for a dental lab like yours (or YOURS directly), one of the first things Google shows from its search is your Google business listing (like the one above).
Your Google listing shows pictures of your dental lab plus all of the information googlers want to see right off the bat. This information gets pulled from data you enter in your Google My Business account.
So you need to make sure you have this data entered correctly, specifically:
- Your dental lab’s actual name
- Address (Google will verify it)
- Phone number
- Hours of operation
- Category of your business (dental).
You’ll also manage and respond to your dental lab’s Google reviews from your Google My Business account — more on why that’s important in #5 next.
Again, make sure you keep ALL of your contact information updated in your Google My Business account since inaccurate information about your lab will actually prevent Google from bringing up your dental lab in searches. Meaning, your lab may end up showing up LESS in Google searches —
Which is NOT what we want considering Google is the #1-used search engine in the U.S!
So if your lab’s address OR hours change (like for holidays) make sure to update it in Google My Business.
Another benefit to keeping your lab’s information totally up-to-date is you’ll be found easier on Google Maps!
If someone uses Google Maps to search for a local dental lab, your correct and updated information on the internet (including Google My Business) will enable your lab’s ranking in Google Maps to be higher than those dental labs who don’t take the time.
So make sure your lab’s contact information is correct on these websites too:
- Other social media accounts
Plus, Google Maps results show up even BEFORE organic results…
Meaning, prospects see Google Maps results FIRST when they search on Google.
The first organic listing for a dental lab in the above search comes AFTER those Google Maps results.
Remember that Google LOVES consistency, so just keep your lab’s business information updated across anywhere it’s listed online and work on getting lots of positive reviews for your lab, which I talk about next here:
5. Use Google reviews as 90% trust and act on them
Reviews not only promote the credibility of your lab, but like I mentioned in #4 above, they play a role in helping to increase your ranking in Google searches including Google Maps.
You want to get lots of 4- and 5-star reviews of your dental lab specifically entered on Google.
Here are some ways to do that:
- Have client-facing staff members ask for reviews
- Make sure dentists know HOW to leave a Google review
- Add a link in your email signature
- Email gentle reminders that you’d appreciate a review!
FYI, it’s against Google policy to outright solicit reviews from clients, so one way to add the review request in your email signature is like this:
“Have feedback about our service? Leave a review!”
And make sure you respond to all reviews because it’ll show prospective clients that you care enough about your lab to respond to all feedback.
Here’s another point about reviews:
When you have lots of Google reviews, your Google listing will automatically stand out to dentists and dental staff searching for you because they’ll immediately see your golden stars.
Plus, people are more likely to click on a business’s website when its Google reviews are positive.
It’s like Google has trained us to recognize that stars = ratings, and the more, the better!
I searched for a few dental labs in a couple cities as a test, and I noticed that NOT all of the top 3 search results had reviews. Some had ZERO… some had a couple…
My point is that using Google reviews is not only an area for your dental lab marketing to really shine, but again, it shows off your credibility of service instantly.
6. Target and reach even more dentists with Facebook
First, get a Facebook Business Page for free.
I recommend running Facebook ads at the same time you’re mailing your dental lab postcards.
You can match your Facebook ad’s special offer and design with that of your dental lab postcards.
So your prospects see ONE cohesive marketing message whether they receive your dental lab postcard in the mail or see your ad on Facebook.
If you want help actually getting your dental lab marketing seen by dentists EVERYWHERE they already are, we developed a solution for this to make your life MUCH easier.
Called Everywhere Small Business, your dental lab advertising can be marketed with:
- Direct mail
- Google ads (across thousands & thousands of internet websites)
- Facebook ads.
And YOU don’t have to do anything.
We’ll run your dental lab postcard campaign in direct coordination — at the same time — with Facebook ads plus Google ads. Your Google ads get blasted across up to millions of different websites in the Google network… including many HUGE websites you’d be surprised at!
Essentially your dental lab marketing will be shown EVERYWHERE your dental prospect spend their time, generating the following:
- Calls to your lab (that we track for you)
- Clicks to your website (we track these too!)
- Millions of online impressions (eyes on YOUR ads)
- Essentially MORE leads with ZERO effort from you.
Watch the Everywhere Small Business video to see how exactly this program can increase your dental lab marketing exponentially starting now.
7. Capture up to 96% more leads right from your website
95% of interested people visit your website after seeing your dental lab advertising — whether it’s:
- Direct mail
- A Google ad anywhere online
- Facebook including ads
- Or even a Google review.
After that, a staggering 96% of people may LEAVE your website…
Unless your website is armed with the 16 website points (above in #3) AND unless you specifically set up your website to capture leads.
That picture… ever feel like you’re doing THAT?
One tool you can use to capture more leads from your website is pop-ups…
But not “just pop-ups.”
Pop-ups aren’t anything new obviously, but they do work in capturing more leads from your website, specifically when you have an enticing special offer.
Word to the wise:
If you do use pop-ups, make sure to test and re-test them often. That’s the only way you’ll see which designs, colors, and special offers produce the most leads for your lab!
Or, if all that sounds too technical, we created the Catch-That-Lead Tool to manage your pop-ups and online leads for you. It’s the most affordable way for you to get MORE leads out of your dental lab marketing expenditure and simply get more leads directly from your website.
Here’s yet another option for getting more leads from your website (and one we also use)…
8. Use live chat to talk to 92% of website visitors
The beauty of live chat is it puts a real person on your website, answering questions even after your business has closed for the day.
Here’s why live chat’s so valuable today:
- 92% of consumers love using live chat on a website (Zendesk Report)
- 44% find live chat one of the most valuable website features (Forrester Report)
- 77% won’t contact or even buy from a business without live chat
Live chat turns your website into a real human interaction so prospects get answers immediately, and most live chat assistants are trained to direct calls to your dental lab when possible… getting you real leads in REAL time!
Here are a couple live chat companies you can check out:
Plus, most live chat systems today have a mobile app so that you can respond to your online visitors’ questions on-the-go and never miss a beat (or lead)!
Point blank — your website NEEDS to operate to get you leads, not just be a fancy (or expensive) spot on the internet!
9. Join a dental association and attend its meetings
One of the best dental lab promotions you can ever do is making sure you meet your dental prospects face-to-face.
Here are a few professional dental associations to check out:
- International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI)
- American Dental Education Association
- American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
- American Academy of Periodontology
You can also select a state-specific dental association.
If possible have your dental lab sponsor a meeting and bring in a small booth to give out information packets that promote your lab (showing images of your work) and your USP (remember that from #1?).
Just make sure to commit to attending meetings regularly so you continually meet dentists to find out how you can help them.
Along that same line…
10. Attend (and get a booth) at dental trade shows
Attendance at dental trade shows has actually increased by 3% in recent years, so why not go to one yourself and interact with hundreds of dentists and prospects?
In fact, go ahead and get your dental lab its own booth if you can!
You can feature a special offer or even a giveaway at your booth for dentists who visit it, such as:
- FREE ipad with case purchase
- Or “Win these 2 ipads!”
Make sure to have a sign-up sheet at your table for interested dentists wanting more information so you can reach out to them after the show — whether by phone or by emailing them in a follow-up campaign.
Imagine if YOUR dental lab had a booth in front of all those people? Dental lab promotion at its best!
Here are some dental trade shows and conferences:
- International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI) meetings
- Rocky Mountain Dental Convention
- American Future Dentistry Conference
- American Academy of Dental Group Practice Conference
Remember to feature the trade show right on your website and email out the dates to your contact list so prospective and current dental clients know you’re hip to new trends, and they should come along too!
11. Host seminars or study clubs for dental CE
This one’s a bit more advanced, but it may work if you have a larger lab!
With extra space at your lab’s facility, you can host seminars on new technologies in the dental field…
Or you can run seminars on dental business administration, inviting in a speaker you may know.
You can even host (and attend) CE study clubs in your lab. Your study clubs can focus on necessary CEs for dentists as well as new technological updates involving dental lab products.
If you need help getting approved to deliver CEs, attend an educational event.
Once dental prospects are IN your lab, show your product samples and make dentists and staff familiar with your team, processes… and USP!
Don’t host a seminar or CE study club just once or twice a year.
You want to build an audience who trusts your professionalism and willingness to help, so ensure you set up a schedule (like an event calendar) and commit to providing these events on a regular basis.
Send a newsletter to the study group list that you cultivate to remind your dental prospects that you are THE dental lab they need to pay attention to (and trust) for all product-related updates in the dental field.
When you network enough in-person and build a reputation as a dental lab professional who’s invested in providing educational help, your lab WILL be remembered against other labs who just won’t take the time.
12. Close up to 80% more leads with your current prospect lists
The MAJORITY of your leads will not close right away.
In fact, about 80% of your leads will close ONLY if you follow up with them on a consistent basis.
But don’t worry —
Following up with your dental leads can be done automatically with free email marketing tools.
Most email marketing tools have ready-made templates where it just takes a couple clicks to design professional-looking emails you can set up on an automatic schedule to send to your prospects. (No graphic design skills needed!)
That way, you can send consistent emails to your prospects with information like:
- What makes your dental lab different (your USP from #1)
- What your dental products LOOK like (with images)
- How you’re better than your competition
- And any special offers or promotions.
When you consistently send out dental lab marketing communication to your dental prospects, they’re less likely to forget about you and thus —
MORE likely to contact you when they’re actually needing dental lab products.
You can use that same email marketing tool to send out a monthly newsletter to keep your current dental clients feeling like they have a good relationship with you and your lab. Feature technology updates or even events (or seminars or trade shows from #10 & 11) that they’d be interested in attending too.
Again, you can set up these automated email campaigns in most email providers — such as MailChimp — or we can set these up for you easily for a fee.
I recommend you implement as many of the free dental lab marketing strategies FIRST. That way you can watch how these work for your dental lab, and later given some time and testing, you can decide how and where you want to invest your marketing dollars to drive in even more leads for your lab.
If you want more help right away with your dental lab marketing campaign, contact us for a free consultation by calling 800-628-1804 — our advice is always FREE. Remember we’ve helped thousands and thousands of dentists and dental labs and can coordinate online dental lab advertising with direct mail!
Or you can always email me directly at Joy.Gendusa at PostcardMania.com.