TheWealthyDentist.com™ Newsletter Archive – TWD – 009

News From The Wealthy Dentist #9: September 6, 2006

In this issue…
  • Here Comes Tina: Dr. Cheap’s Provocative Dilemma
  • No-Charge Video Tutorial!
  • Think You Can Skimp On Your Practice Sign? Think Again!
  • Across the Pond
  • Heroes and Zeros!

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Why Invest in Practice Signage?
Is your practice signage budget a little skimpy? It’s time to re-think your strategy!

Let’s say you’ve decided to open a new facility or update your current practice. The project has gone far longer than you planned, and your budget is overextended. You decide it’s time to think about a sign. You shop around for something affordable and simple – just to let people know you’re there.

You decide you don’t need to wow anybody with your sign, just give patients some way to differentiate between your building and the doctor next door. Obviously unbeknownst to you, you’ve just committed one of the most horrendous marketing sins – underestimating the value of signage!

Let’s say your goal is to earn an extra $1 million in profit over the duration of your practice – we’ll say 25 years – as a result of your signage. It may sound ambitious, but bear with me. That means you’ll need to collect an additional $40 thousand each year.

Now, let’s say your average value of a new patient is about $750 gross and $555 net, , assuming a 96 percent collection rate and variable expenses of about 22 percent. Over a course of a year, you would need to attract 72 new patients, or about 6 patients each month, to reach your goal. All the money you earn will be pure profit; there’s no need to pay out for special offers or gifts often associated with promotions.

If you’re able to draw in high-value patients, targeting cosmetic dentistry, implants or sedation, your potential profit can triple! Not too shabby, eh?

Now a good sign – a really great sign – can easily attract 6 new patients a month, assuming you aren’t serving a declining market. If you take the time to design something fantastic the first time around, you won’t have to constantly re-invest time and money for improvements.

That’s not to say your sign won’t need updating; it’s important to keep with the times. I only mean that a great sign isn’t something you constantly need to tweak, like other marketing strategies. That’s why it’s so important to set a decent budget for your investment right from the start.

  • For detailed help on designing and positioning and positioning your sign check out our tutorial: The $1,000,000 Sign!

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Across the Pond

Scotland’s New Strategy

After feeling the heat following the Dr. Sathyamoorthy debacle, Scotland has settled on a new plan for filling its dentist gap – one that bypasses the immigration subject entirely.

A new grant scheme would attract dental students from within its borders, donating about $7500 per student per year. The donation – or bribe – is designed to pull students away from more profitable private practices and into a struggling NHS upon graduation. Is it worth it?

Read more

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Here Comes Tina!  

Dr. Cheap’s Provocative Dilemma  

by Jim Du Molin

Tina is a reasonably attractive young lady whose Web site I ended up visiting when trying to track down a complaint from an ex-Internet Dental Alliance member (IDA). Oh! Did I forget to mention that Tina’s Web site features a live pornographic video stream of all of her everyday activities? And, I do mean all of them!

The good doctor cancelled his service because his scheduling coordinator’s boyfriend kept telling him that he could build a better Web site for half the cost of our monthly support fee.

When the doctor cancelled, we offered to transfer his domain name, CheapDoctor.com (not his real domain name), for a modest fee that covered our costs. The doctor declined our offer, saying the boyfriend had already purchased a new domain name for $70 that he felt would better serve his needs. Unfortunately, neither we nor the doctor could predict the Internet’s future direction at the time.

Life moves on, and after about nine months the doctor’s original domain name came up for renewal in our system. We had no use for CheapDoctor.com, so we allowed it to expire and it automatically returned to the pool of available domain names.

Here Comes Tina!

As it turns out, when CheapDoctor.com was made available once more, it was immediately picked up by a professional pornographer and redirected to Tina’s Live Web Cam site. Why, you ask, would a pornographer want CheapDoctor.com? In a word -Traffic!

As it turns out, we had done an exceptional job of positioning the doctor’s Web site with several of the search engines, including a very high position with Yahoo.com for the key search words “dentist,” “cosmetic dentist” and “dental implants” for his local market area. As a result, even nine months after we closed his site, the domain name was still generating a sizable number of inquires from prospective patients.

The traffic was so sizeable, in fact, that a pornographer, checking the traffic logs on expiring domain names, decided to buy CheapDoctor.com and redirect the traffic to Tina! It turns out that about two people out of a hundred who started out looking for a dentist ended up buying into Tina’s Live Web Cam. This turned CheapDoctor.com into a nice little profit center for the pornographer. I’ve always wondered what Tina got out of the deal.


Panicked Dr. Cheap Calls Expensive Attorney


Well, it didn’t take long for some of Cheap Doctor’s patients to tell him that when they were searching the Internet for his office, they ended up at Tina’s. Cheap Doctor became unglued and called his expensive attorney. Mr. Expensive Attorney immediately has to justify his fee and accuses us of negligence for allowing this terrible thing to happen. Oh my, the sky is falling!

The reality is that no one could predict, nine months into the future, that pornographers would begin buying domain names and redirecting the traffic. While we were free of liability, we are still Internet professionals, and the pornographer had truly abused the Internet Domain Registration System.

It took a little time and a lot of research, but we were eventually able to track down most of the search engine listings that were still active for CheapDoctor.com and informed them of the scam. They immediately cleaned off his listings, solving the problem.


The Importance of Domain Name Maintenance

This story illustrates some of the problems that can come up if you are not careful about properly managing your domain name. In most cases, our sister company, the Internet Dental Alliance (IDA), owns the Domain names in trust for our doctors’ Web sites.

IDA automatically chooses a Web domain name that will help rank your Web site(s) highly in the search engines. Our member doctors then have the option of choosing a marketing domain name (at no additional charge) that they can use on their stationary, yellow page ads, sign, etc. Inquirers to the marketing domain are then automatically redirected to the memeber’s primary Web site.

As part of the IDA service, we put all your domain names into a very sophisticated program that monitors their usage and notifies us when and to whom to pay the renewal fees (we pay the renewal fees there are no surcharges made to members accounts). This way we can maintain control over the ownership and avoid life’s little annoyances, like Tina.


Want to Buy Your Domain Name?

If a member wants to acquire ownership of a domain name that they have been using as a part of IDA’s service, we are happy to facilitate the process for a modest transfer fee. Basically, we want to recover our costs.

This system works well for everyone involved, and makes it possible for members to acquire their domain names if they should decide (heaven forbid) to move to another Internet service provider.

Continue story…

Heroes and Zeros

What do you mean only $40 million?

The headlines were clear: “Dentist defaults on promise of $90 million for dental schools.” It all sounds pretty awful, particularly for the named Dr. Gasper Lazzara, who says he never promised the University of Colorado nearly so much. The doctor already donated $3 million, and insists he pledged just $37 million more to support a blossoming orthodontic program. The school, on the other hand, asserts Dr. Lazzara promised another $12 million for tuition and $43.5 million for student stipends.

It was all part of a complex scheme to open more than 20 new dental clinics. Dr. Lazzara would dole out money to help dental students learn their craft and, in turn, the students would work for him upon graduating. He says he will not, however, cut a check for $90 million.

While both sides bicker about who promised what to whom, the doctor is beginning to feel a little underappreciated.

“I don’t understand how I’m the bad guy here,” Lazzara said. “It’s been a one-way street on the money pipeline.”


Dental Tourism at Its Worst

A US man is suing a Thai dentist $350 thousand in damages for dropping a screw and a dental implant down his throat during a root canal operation. The doctor sent Robert Ramos on his way with an x-ray and a couple of laxatives. Not surprisingly, Ramos complained that he suffered severe diarrhea when he returned to New York, then had to pay $8600 to complete the root canal work. Even less surprisingly, Ramos admits that he’d foregone dental care here at home to save some money. I guess you get what you pay for.

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