News From The Wealthy Dentist #3: July 26, 2006
In this issue…
- Top the Search Engines: An Intro to PPC Marketing!
- Say Goodbye to Unprofitable Cases – You Can Do Better!
- A New Kind of Tooth Fairy
- Brits Taking Dental Woes into their Own Hands
- Heroes and Zeros!
A New Kind of Tooth Fairy
Baby Tooth Banking: Scam or Savior?
When you were a kid, you didn’t ask many questions. You were so excited to find a quarter under your pillow that you never really considered why some fairy wanted your dirty, bacteria-laden tooth. All you knew is you’d fall asleep a tooth shy and wake up a little richer. When you think about it today, it’s down-right creepy.
Today’s tooth fairy goes by a different name entirely: BioEden. It turns out baby teeth are rich in genetically unique stem cells – at least that’s what BioEden believes. These cells can do everything from repairing damaged teeth to alleviating spinal cord injuries, or curing diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cancers, stroke and Alzheimer’s, and BioEden will store a child’s tooth for potential future use (though it won’t be cheap).
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard the debate claiming other sources of stem cells have been considered ethically or morally hazy. We’ll spare you a lecture one way or the other. If successful, this new process side-steps concerns entirely. And to think of how many baby teeth you’ve tossed in the course of your career. But, alas, there are two sides to every coin.
While BioEden is confident in the science behind its business model, others sporting white lab coats aren’t so sure. Some scientists say that the results are too preliminary, or that better alternatives are right around the corner. They think it may not be worth the $600 price tag BioEden puts on its tooth storage services. It’s a sticky situation for BioEden, and a confusing one for parents weighing their options.
If it all pans out in BioEden’s favor, however, you can play a role. Dentists who regularly extract primary teeth can keep BioEden’s tooth collection kits on hand, each containing a tooth storage container filled with ToothSaver solution, ice packs and a pre-labeled shipping box. In order for the stem cells to be viable, they must be extracted from the tooth quickly.
When the tooth comes out, put it in the storage container, stick it in the shipping box with the frozen ice pack and phone the assigned shipping company. Voila – the tooth is on its way. I guess this means the pillow ritual is out the window.
So, you ask, what’s in it for you – apart from the fuzzy feeling you get when ya done good? BioEden will give you a special referral code to be shipped with the tooth. In turn, you’ll get a $50 check. Refer 3 patients and they’ll buy an ad in your local paper telling the community all about this new service you provide.
You can learn more about the program by contacting BioEden directly. They can send information on the program for both you and your patients, along with a handful of tooth collection kits.
Across the Pond
Brits Taking Dental Woes into their Own Hands… Literally.
From ‘Austin Powers’ to ‘The Simpsons,’ American pop culture has heckled Brits for their reportedly bad teeth for some time. Thanks to reforms in the national health program and fee increases in private care – both of which have made dental care virtually impossible for much of the population – things are going to get a whole lot worse.
While some are sneaking off to Hungary and Croatia – the European equivalent our Mexican border-town dentists – to save big bucks, others are taking matters into their own hands, and we don’t mean figuratively.
It’s a terrifying proposition, but one dentist has devised a do-it-yourself dental kit, going for a whole $17. Featuring a mirror, plastic tools and dental solutions, ailing citizens can now fill their own cavities and replace their own crowns. I hope ale is as abundent as ever.
You Too Can Top the Search Engines!
PPC Marketing Part 1
Just about every day I get an email (sometimes three or four) that reads a little something like this:
“Is your site at the top of the major search engines? If not – it should be, and we can get you there quickly and with little expense. We have worked with many companies and can give you solid references from many happy clients. Want a free quote? Reply to us. List all the web addresses you want us to check and the best way to reach you.”
Each one is signed by a different woman: “Karly,” Buffy,” “Marly,” etc. After three months of these emails, I realized that this must be a vast company run solely by women. Not one of these emails was ever signed by a “Ralph.”
While this type of spam is endemic on the Internet, I sill get at least one doctor a month calling me about these offers. How can they get your dental Web site to the TOP of the search the major search engines? It’s easy. It’s called ‘Pay-per-Click’ (PPC)marketing.
To understand PPC marketing, you must first understand that when you search for a phrase like “Cosmetic Dentist” on Yahoo, Google or Microsoft, you actually get two sets for search results.
The first set, which is usually displayed in the top three positions and along the right side of the page, displays “Sponsored Result;” i.e., paid PPC ads. Pay-per-Click, means that every time you click on the “Ad,” the sponsor pays a fee – from $0.10 to $100.00 – to the search engine.
Once you click on a sponsored result – remember this is a paid ad – your browser automatically takes you to the advertiser’s Web site where he or she hopes to convert you into a customer.
The second set of search results are usually listed, 1-10 in the main body of the page. These are called “Organic Results,” because they are the normal or natural search results based on the search engine’s relevancy calculation. When you click on a “Sponsored” or PPC link, the advertiser pays a fee. When you click on and “Organic Result,” the Web site does not pay a fee.
Ok, what does all this have to do with the spam email at the top of this story? It means that anyone can put your website at the “Top” of the search engine results by setting up a PPC account with each of the three major search engines. They are in essence “buying” the top position. How much do you pay for this privilege? There is no easy answer to this question because you must “bid” for your position.
Take a look at the bids for the search phrase “Cosmetic Dentist,” both by itself and combined with a city, for PPC ads on Yahoo. For the term “Cosmetic Dentist,” we can see that the top bid is $1.76 per click. So the top three bidders are paying from $1.78 to $1.76 for each and every click to their dental Web sites.
For the term “Cosmetic Dentist San Francisco,” however, the top bid is $10.01 for the number one position. This table shows you the actual ads and just how much each dental office will pay for a Web visitor.
Remember, the top dentist on this list is paying $10.01 for each Internet visitor – not for a definite appointment, or even an appointment request. The doctor may also be paying a PPC management fee to a marketing company on top of this, ranging from 15 percent to a whopping 50 percent of his PPC ad budget!
So, what should you make of that daily spam email when it makes its way to your inbox? Just say “NO!” You should always know who you are sending your dental marketing dollars to, and blind email spam is not a good way to find a trustworthy marketing partner.
Is PPC a smart way to market for new dental patients on the Internet? Is it economically worth it? We will explore dental PPC Internet marketing and more in later editions of this newsletter.
– Jim Du Molin
Say Goodbye to Drill and Fill Cases!
Target High-Value Patients!
Chances are you’re reading this newsletter because you want to transform your practice into a dental marketing machine, drawing in as many patients as possible. That’s precisely what Dr. Marianne Day in Las Cruces, New Mexico said she wanted when she came to us about 10 years ago.
“I just built an outrageously beautiful new practice in downtown Las Cruces,” she said. “I want as many patients as you can possible get me, and I want them now!” I suppose she needed to find a way to pay for her new office. Unfortunately, Dr. Day got precisely what she wanted – more patients than she could possibly treat. About 57 a month, to be exact.
She complained that she spent all her time doing nothing but exams; she just didn’t have enough time for operative. The obvious moral of the story is to be careful what you wish for. The more subtle moral, however, is to establish clear goals before beginning any new marketing campaign.
Know your strengths and limitations. If you can only realistically accommodate two new patients a day, then it doesn’t make sense to try to attract anybody and everybody looking for dental care. The key is to make the most of however many patients you can serve by targeting only those that are considered to be of high-value to you, however you define value.
Consider what type of patient you feel would be best for your practice. Is it a cosmetic patient? Do you have the training for orthodontics? Create a campaign that targets only potential patients you know can satisfy both your passion and your pocketbook. Develop a high-value patient base that keeps you both busy and inspired, and be good to them.
Heroes and Zeros
Bottoms Up for Tipsy UK Dentist
UK dentist is accused of treating patients while under the influence. One woman claims he went so far as to remove three of her teeth without her permission, leaving her with an infection. Other patients say they’ve had appointments cancelled as many as six times because the doctor had too much to drink the night before. Needless to say his license is under review. Cheers.
Just Call Me Dr. 007
Bored with fighting gum disease and squirmy kids? Why not take on a few terrorists on the side? Massachusetts dentist Vincent DeVirgilio is training to do just that after joining a new medical reserve corps – a group of medical professionals preparing to respond to a biological attack. DeVirgilio, who credits the Hippocratic Oath with instilling him with a sense of duty, says an attack on a region’s food supply could lead to infection throughout he mouth. Dentists all over the country would be asked to step up to the plate. Did the sun just get a little brighter or is that just the glimmer of your profession’s nobility?