The Official 2021 Marketing in Dentistry Guide

Managing all of the marketing aspects it takes to bring in a consistent flow of new patients can be overwhelming. Even the best dental marketing companies and expert agencies struggle with coming up with creative ideas for effective marketing campaigns and advertising methods for offices and clinics.

We sure do! That’s why we focus our lead generation and strategies for dentists using our previous dental marketing campaign data. From Pediatric to Cosmetic, no matter what kind of specialty clinic we have you covered!

To help guide you, we wanted to provide this guide we made using marketing data to make it easier to understand and implement for your practice’s success!

New Patient Tactic #1: Digital Marketing for Dentists Starts with Your Website

Web marketing and development for dentists is important. While your website doesn’t create new patients on its own, it is a vital tool for capturing prospective patients from your other marketing avenues, as well as directly from Google. Without an optimized website built to capture leads, your practice could be wasting up to 96% of hard-earned visitors.

Many dental marketing firms specialize in constructing websites; whoever you choose, here’s what every dental practice website should design include:

  1. One or more lead capture forms that offer something free in exchange for the prospective patient’s contact information. This can be a free download, a coupon or an appointment.
  2. Contact information on the top of every page.
  3. 5-Star Reviews from happy patients.
  4. A “Services” page with a list of the services your practice offers.
  5. An “About Us” or “Meet the Team” page with staff bios and headshots.
  6. Page titles optimized for the search engines with keywords and your practice location.
dental marketing website header
  1. Add a pop-up to your website to capture the contact information for more prospective patients. Our Catch-That-Lead Tool does this automatically, while consistently split testing new pop-up designs for your practice.
  2. Add code to your website to automatically mail a postcard to anonymous website visitors who don’t fill out one of your contact forms.

Need Help Improving Your Website? Our Web Design Packages start at $495. Go to

New Patient Tactic #2: Dental Direct Mail Marketing with Postcards

With the latest DMA report finding that the response rates of direct mail are triple that of social media, paid search, and email, direct mail has proven time and time again to be advantageous for practices. I’m sure you understand what it is, but how does it work?

1. We start with the dental mailer’s size and format.

While there are many different types of dental direct mail marketing pieces available to send (letters, brochures, etc.), postcards are the most popular option for dental practices due to their high response rates and low postage costs.

dental postcard sizes

Postcards typically come in 3 sizes:

  • Standard (4.25” x 6”)
  • Jumbo (6” x 8.5”)
  • Colossal (6” x 11”)

We will help you determine the best card size for you so that you can access maximum USPS   discounts.

2. Next, you have to design your dental postcard.

Certain design elements (such as the headline, contact information, discounted offer, etc.) are critical for a campaign’s success. Below we’ve outlined the 12 elements of effective direct mail graphic design based on the campaigns we’ve run for 6,246 dentists nationwide:

effective dental postcard design

3. Finally, who will you mail to?

There are several mailing list options to choose from, but the two main categories are:

  • Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM):
    • This option selects a mail carrier’s route and delivers mail to every mailbox along that route. It is the least targeted but least expensive mailing list.
  • Targeted:

Some practices target specific demographics to reach only the most qualified patients. These list types cost just a few pennies more per piece, and are often worth it for practices looking to target a specific type of new patient.

4. The last piece of the puzzle is deciding your mailing schedule, or how often you want postcards to land in mailboxes.

Our dental success data shows that consistent weekly or monthly mailings were 700% more successful than one-time drops. The most successful practices mail consistently for 6-12 months.

For free dental postcard templates, visit:

New Patient Tactic #3: Dental Social Media Marketing

Dental web design isn’t just your website; also focus on coming up with the best dental social media marketing ideas for clinics and practices.  No matter what type of dentistry your practice specializes in, your prospective patients are on Facebook and Instagram—81% of adults and 71% of America as a whole have a Facebook account. Ignoring this marketing channel just isn’t an option anymore.

An effective ad on Facebook and Instagram includes:

  1. Precise targeting to reach only the most qualified patients in your service area.
  2. An ad design that matches the branding for your practice and your other dental promotional materials.
  3. An offer that new patients can’t refuse.

Pro Tips:

  1. Make sure you set an appropriate budget so that you aren’t over or under spending based on your target audience.
  2. Test different ad formats (photo, video or carousel) and increase bids on the best converting
  3. Continuously monitor ad performance and split test new ad ideas and target

Need help with your dental office Facebook and Instagram advertising? PostcardMania’s Everywhere Dental product automatically targets the same people you are mailing postcards to with matching ads on Facebook and Instagram.

New Patient Tactic #4: Digital Marketing For Dentists: Email

While we don’t recommend Email Marketing to generate new leads, it’s an extremely efficient follow-up tool that your practice can’t afford to ignore.

It can be utilized in 2 main ways:

  1. Setting up an automated email follow-up system for all new leads your practice brings in. This can be set up one time and will run on auto-pilot. Your emails should include information about your practice, the services you offer, your staff, reviews from existing patients and special offers. The objective of every email is to have them schedule an appointment.
  2. Sending out a weekly or monthly newsletter to your existing patients. These will include updated practice information, new services, new staff announcements, special offers or coupons, and informative dental articles.
dental marketing follow up email

Need help with your Email Marketing? We can help you set up an email system that runs on auto-pilot.

New Patient Tactic #5: Dental Local SEO Marketing

In short, SEO is all of the technical processes involved with making your website come up in the unpaid Google results when someone is searching for a dentist in your area. Many people find dentists using a “dentist near me” Google search, and the right SEO practices will put you right at the top of the list.

While there are hundreds of things you can do to your website to optimize it, here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Make sure your Google Business Profile™ profile exists and is claimed at
  2. Build your Business Profile by adding important information such as:
    • Your practice’s name.
    • Complete address and how your practice will display on Google Maps™.
    • Your practice’s business category (there are several dental specialty categories).
    • Contact information and practice hours.
    • Selecting your website as the URL.
    • Verify it — you can verify immediately or later. You must be authorized to manage the Business Profile to do so.
  3. Localize your website for local search engines by doing the following:
    • Put your address at the footer of every page.
    • Clearly display a phone number on every page.
    • Include location information in page headlines.
    • If you have multiple practices, create a page for each location and fill it with area-specific content.
    • Create content about any local events, community partnerships, or local charities you’re involved with.
  4. Build local backlinks, which are links to your website from a different website.

Having backlinks is important to rank high on Google. They also allow nearby users to easily find your practice on any review site or local directory. Make sure these popular websites have updated practice information:

Need help improving your practice’s ranking on Google? PostcardMania’s digital agency, PCM Digital, can manage your Search Engine Optimization efforts for you; Check out more at

New Patient Tactic #6: Dental Internet Marketing: PPC Ads

With 5.6 billion searches per day, there’s a huge chance prospective patients in your area are looking for a dentist on Google. When someone searches “emergency dental” in your area, paying for a Google Ad ensures yours is at the top, like this:

dental google ppc ad

Effectively running a campaign on Google Ads isn’t as simple as it may seem.

Here are some tips to ensure you don’t waste your budget:

  1. Select all target keywords and use exact match as much as possible.
  2. Regularly monitor all broad match keyword searches and add negatives for any irrelevant searches.
  3. Narrow your geographical target area to target a radius around your practice.
  4. Write attention-grabbing headlines and ad copy.
  5. Route clickers to a landing page that is optimized to convert a high % of visitors into leads.

New Patient Tactic #7: Dental Marketing Ideas: Referral Generation

A referral program is a good idea for any dental office’s internal marketing plan—patients acquired through referrals have a 37% higher retention rate.

One avenue we recommend to boost referrals is handing out “Care to Share” referral cards. You can also try using dental office appointment cards, which help combat no-shows in addition to acting as a reminder to refer.

Data shows that while people usually mean well, they tend to forget to refer anyone without some kind of incentive. Giving them a physical card to hold onto can help boost their memory!

dental referral postcard

Need Care to Share Referral Cards?

Head to this page and scroll to the “Care to Share” section for referral postcard templates.

Dental Case Studies

Gaithersburg Family Dental

Dental practice located in sunny Port Charlotte, Florida

dental postcard marketing
  • They set out with the goal to have their best year to date and started a postcard marketing campaign with us, mailing to a consumer mailing list for a year.
  • Their postcards were accompanied by matching digital ads on Google via our Everywhere Small Business program.
  • Over the course of the year, they brought in well over 200 new patients, doubling their new patients from the previous year.

See the complete details of their case study at

For more dental success stories, check out

SunBrite Dental

Family dentist located in the heart of bustling Las Vegas

dental postcard marketing
  • After an initial postcard marketing campaign with us that produced decent results, against our advisement, they did not reorder.
  • After 6 years of unsuccessful marketing in other channels, they returned to PostcardMania and upgraded their initial direct mail campaign with matching digital ads on Google, Facebook, and Instagram.
  • Throughout their consistent campaigns with us spanning 4 years, they’ve doubled their practice size, increasing their chair count from 1 to 4.

See the complete details of their case study at

Patuxent Dental

General practice located in the outer suburbs of Washington, D.C.

effective dental postcard
  • From their first year to the third, revenue declined 14%—they came to PostcardMania in hopes we could save their practice.
  • For their first postcard marketing campaign with us, they sent 6,000 postcards monthly to a consumer list. Their revenue went up 24% as a result.
  • Several years later, after continuously consistent results, they upgraded their postcard marketing campaign with targeted online ads—their annual revenue jumped from $700,000 to $3.2 million in just five years!
  • In the process, they tripled their staff and upgraded their entire

Speak with one of our dental marketing consultants today by calling or texting: 1-800-628-1804! Their advice is always free! 


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