ATTRACTING NEW DENTAL PATIENTS WITH FACEBOOK ADs – A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE
BY: Matt Dykstra
You run a great dental clinic.

Your patients leave with a bright smile and renewed feeling of confidence. They keep referring you to their friends and family.

Word of mouth marketing works great.

Yet…You stay up at night worrying about your patients…

No, not wondering how to make them look and feel better…

You already do that!

But figuring out how to get MORE of them…

Most importantly, how to get NEW patients for your dental clinic in a more predictable way.

Competition is fierce. There are several other dental clinics right around the block (they may even be in YOUR building).

Once the patients choose your clinic, they love you and keep coming back.

But how do you get NEW patients to drop by YOUR practice?

I know, it is hard to keep up with the new marketing tools.

You are overwhelmed and marketing feels extremely complicated.

You may have tried SEO, Reputation Management, Local Presence – all of these are all critical factors for succeeding in the local marketing game – but they have not brought in consistent results.

Plus these take time and energy and money.

You do not have that much time.

You have bills to pay, employees to support…

If you want new patients fast, then investing in a streamlined marketing funnel with Facebook ads may be the right step for you.

Before, you say that you have already tried Facebook ads and they did not work, allow me to share some of the experiences.

I audit a lot of Facebook campaigns run by other dental practices and see many of them making the same mistake: They boost one or two of their Facebook posts and expect the new patients to start rolling in.

That’s not how lead generation on Facebook works…

Let me share the exact steps we apply to help other dental clinics attract new customers.


Step 1 – Get Your Practice Known on Facebook 
Everyone is on Facebook today.

Which makes it a great platform for your practice to be on as well.

Imagine YOUR next patient is scrolling through the newsfeed right this moment. They do not know who you are and they may not even need a dentist right this moment.

And that is fine!

You can capture their attention via great content, build trust and then present them with an offer that will add value to them.

And magically, they turn into your loyal patients.

Sounds simple?

Yes, the process is generally correct, but, the sad reality is that very few people engage with organic Facebook posts.

Yes, you do need to create quality organic content to get noticed.

But this also means that you will need to create Facebook Ads if you want to reach your future patients predictably.

We found that a two-fold Facebook Strategy is most effective. This strategy includes:

1. Sharing organic educational content to build your relationship with people who may be interested in your services later on

2. Using best-performing posts strategically in paid ads to drive traffic to your offers.
 
To build organic engagement, start by creating educational, inspirational or entertaining posts on your Facebook page.

Video works best – For example, help they learn about 5 Dental Myths that are not True or point them to Top 10 Dental Health Blogs

Use best-performing posts in Facebook Ads. Facebook may even notify you of the best performing posts and encourage you to create ads with them.
How Do I Create My First Facebook Ad? 

You may have seen the “boost” button next to Facebook posts. Resist the temptation to simply “boost” your posts.

While it will help you reach a bigger audience on Facebook, it will not bring you results
Instead, use Facebook Ad Manager to create an actual ad with Video Views or Engagement objective will allow you to expand your audience broader.

 FREE Facebook Ad Cheatsheet!
Our 1 Page Guide with the EXACT Campaign Objectives, Audience Targets, Creative Types & Placements to create a WINNING Facebook Ad Campaign!
Try experimenting with different types of campaigns:

• Engagement and Video Views Campaign Objectives will help you connect with the patients who have never heard of you. These help with winning trust that you help you convert them into patients later.

We ran many tests to compare using Video Views vs Traffic and Conversion ads at the initial stages of the campaign.

Guess what?

In the end, you may spend a bit more on the campaigns, but the quality of the patients is much higher in the end if you “warm up” your leads first.

Who Do I Target on Facebook? 

You may have heard of interest targeting and you may be tempted to try testing “interest targeting” on Facebook.

There will be a time and a place to get more sophisticated with your targeting as you learn more.

We have found that the simple zip code targeting is quite effective.

Just enter the zip code for your practice and select an X-mile radius. We have found that in most cases the best radius is 5-7 miles.

You may also want to target 18+ or 25+ years old. After all, you need patients who can pay for your services.

PRO TIP: If you want to accelerate the process, you may want to add interest targeting, but do NOT get carried away or overcomplicate things

To experiment with the interest targeting, think about people in your location with interest in the types of services you provide. For example, look for people with interests in dental care, self-care, or dental-related pages.

Need to add a screenshot of the location targeting with blurred out address <use your dentist account>

To summarize: 

• Create an educational Facebook post <See Step 1 for ideas>
• Create a Video Views or Engagement (not straight Boost) Facebook Ad with that post
• Target anyone in your ideal age-range and zip-code radius. Add interests later.
• Spend $5-10/day to build the momentum

CUSTOM JAVASCRIPT / HTML
Step 2 – Share Your Offer With Potential Patients 
The goal of this stage is to get people who showed some interest to actually take a look at your offer.

You will need 3 things for this step:

• An attractive low-cost offer
• A landing page that introduces the offer and captures contact information
• A Facebook ad

Let’s schedule your first ad with an Offer 

Selling your main services to the future patients who have never heard from you may be hard.

You need to a hook <i.e. a low-cost offer> to get them to come and sample the experience before committing more.

Think of a low-cost yet compelling offer you can offer upfront.

Resist the temptation of offering FREE services. Many people who take FREE offers have no intention of buying later.

They will either schedule an appointment and not show up.
Or they will show up and never schedule a follow-up appointment or buy additional services. And these additional services is how you make the most profit from your Facebook Ads.

An example of a low-cost introductory offer will be a $49 teeth whitening + exam + X-rays. There is value packed in the offer and an opportunity to upsell additional services later.

If you are still determined to go with a FREE offer, give away a product that does not require your time (for example, a Downloadable Dental Health Evaluation Checklist).

Or you can offer a FREE high-value, a high-relevance offer that is likely to convert into a paid experience (for example, FREE Dental implant assessment).

What does a successful landing page look like? 

Never drive paid traffic to your homepage!

A successful landing page is simple and clean. It ONLY has one offer and a maximum of 3 options to claim that offer.

Note: these are NOT 3 different offers, but rather a way to claim the main offer you are presenting. People get confused when there are too many options AND they do like to be able to choose.

Here are elements of a successful landing page:

• It clearly explains out benefits of your offer.

A high converting landing page makes a bold promise focused on the outcome of the offer. Not just a teeth whitening, but a confident smile. Help your future patients imagine how they will feel with the new smile after the teeth cleaning.

• It tells them a little bit about your dental clinic.

Show a picture or better yet a video of you, your clinic, your staff. People want to see a human element behind the offer. Do not worry about a professional photoshoot. The more natural your photo is, the more relatable your offer will be.

Share testimonials from your past clients

Nothing sells better than reviews. People will want to hear from the other patients who left your clinic happy and smiling.

• It makes it easy for people to take action.

Find the perfect amount of information to collect from your prospects. Only ask for the information you will use such as Name, Email Address, and Phone Number.

Test options with collecting payment right away, sending them to the online scheduler, or collecting their information and following up with them.

Pro Tip: Use software that is designed specifically for creating a landing page. My team builds all of our own and clients’ landing pages with Click Funnels and Kyvio. Each provide many ready-to-use templates that already have samples of the headlines and elements you will need to use. <And yes, while we ONLY recommend products we have ourselves used & like. We do receive a commission from some of those links if you sign up via for the product/service from a link on this page at no additional cost to you>.


CUSTOM JAVASCRIPT / HTML
Who Should you Target with your Offer?  

Remember I mentioned before that your future scrolling through the newsfeed had no desire to schedule a dental visit?

That is why we showed them an educational ad first.

We got them thinking, reading more, learning about dental tips in general. Now it is time to convince them to learn more about YOUR dental practice.

Create Custom Facebook Audiences of people who viewed your video or engaged with your page.
You can create different types of Custom Audiences. These are the ones we have found the most effective:

• People who engaged with Your Facebook Page in the last 30 days
• People who engaged with your Ads in the last 30 days
• People who viewed at least 25% of your video
• People who viewed at least 10 seconds of your video
• People who visited your Landing Page <Facebook Pixel must be installed  => Click here for a Step-by-Step Pixel Guide>

If you already have some experience with Facebook Ads, you can also create Custom Audiences using your existing customer list.

This time you will be using a Traffic or a Leads objective to promote your offer. Test each of these objectives separately.

Create several versions of your ad for several of the audience selections with a low daily ad spend ($5-10/day).

If the ads do not get good results (i.e. clicks or conversions), turn them off after 2 days.

Step 4 - Following Up with Your Future Patients 
Following up is key!  

Here are the elements of the Successful Follow up Process:

• A Thank You Page
• Integration with the CRM
• Close the Undecided

What to include on Your Thank You Page?  

Once potential leads opted into your Initial offer, show them a Thank You page. It can be a simple page with a “Thank you for Taking our Offer, here is what to expect next” message.

Or, you can get creative and immediately present your future patients with a higher value One-Time-Offer and only available at this time.

We have found that prospected patients who are already interested in the initial offer, are more likely to sign up for a higher-value offer.

For example, you can throw in a full dental check-up for $99 with the $19.99 teeth whitening if patients schedule an appointment right away.

If you are using Click Funnels or Kyvio, your funnel may already include a Thank You page template.

Make sure that your or your team immediately follows up with your new patient to confirm the appointment (especially, if it is a FREE offer) as this will reduce your "no-shows". 
 
FREE Facebook Ad Cheatsheet!
Our 1 Page Guide with the EXACT Campaign Objectives, Audience Targets, Creative Types & Placements to create a WINNING Facebook Ad Campaign!
What CRMs Should I use?  

Many Dental Practices we work with use a LocalMed for scheduling appointments online. It streamlines the process quite a bit and ensures that the leads are not getting lost in the process.

Our favorite lead management tool is Lead Owl. Some of the top benefits of using Lead Owl is immediate notifications that the dental staff gets.

For example, we have found that calling or texting within 15 minutes of people signing up for a Facebook offer increases their chance of becoming paying patients by 7x.

Text, call or email to confirm the appointment and reschedule if needed. You may even do all of these together.

Using an autoresponder such as ConvertKit or a bot sequence will automate some of these steps.

How Do I Close Undecided?  

If your leads DO NOT take your offer right away it does not always mean they would not want it (or a version of it) later.

Many people who clicked on your offer page may get distracted, have some doubts, still be in the “research mode”.

There are several things you can do to increase your chances of conversion.

If they are getting ready to leave your page without signing up for your offer, you can by showing them an Exit Popup that can help you capture their email address <That Dental Health Evaluation Checklist I talked about earlier can help you here. Or you can offer them a coupon for x% of the services in the future>

If you have collected their email address, you can either sign them up to an email sequence OR add them to the list for future promotions.

You will later use this information in your email campaign or Facebook Custom audience targeting (which is an advanced step to master AFTER your initial funnel is working).

CONCLUSION:
Creating a complete marketing system for your Dental Practice can be overwhelming and time-consuming.

Do not wait until you have ALL of the pieces in place. Implement the basic steps of this system first, test it with low marketing budgets of $5-10/day. Notice what is working and continue to experiment with that.

You can always improve and optimize once you see the complete strangers from Facebook starting to engage with your ads and signing up for your offers… But that is a conversation for another day.

Finally, if DIY is not an option, skip these steps and learn how about our 5 NEW PAYING PATIENTS in 1-Week Trial Offer!

Author: Matt Dykstra

FOUNDER of HealthySMILES.com | 
CEO, Tredigital | Fmr Microsoft Employee/Consultant | Social Media Thought Leader | Globe-trotting Speaker | Author |