Dos and don'ts for marketing: Implement 15 ongoing strategies

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Internal marketing, which focuses on generating new patient referrals from your current patients, is far more cost-effective than external marketing. Because you have existing relationships with them, see them face-to-face during appointments, and have ready-made channels of communication established, encouraging patients to make referrals requires no expensive outreach. With the right strategies, you should be able to get at least one referral every year from 40% to 60% of your current patients.


Implement multiple strategies to reach everyone. Different patients will respond to different approaches. With some, all you have to do is ask, in conversation or with signs. Others will respond to educational strategies, recognition programs, or fun events. Rather than trying to guess which will work best, use a variety of strategies so you'll have something for everyone.


Don't continue using strategies that aren't working. Monitor the referrals brought in by each strategy. If any show poor results, replace them with alternative strategies and begin tracking those as well. You should always have several new strategies (or old ones that may be ready for a comeback) that you can implement on short notice.

Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the chairman and CEO of practice management consulting firm Levin Group. You can connect with Levin Group on Facebook and Twitter (@Levin_Group) to learn more strategies and share ideas. Also, check out Dr. Levin's free practice management videos at

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

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