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Establishing New Patient Growth Goals and Marketing Budget

Posted on 3/19/2021 by Lori Admin
Digital illustration depicting new patient growth and marketing budgets for dentistsWe all got the memo. Goal setting is the first step in formulating a cohesive plan to accomplish anything. You wouldn't take a road trip without knowing your destination? You shouldn't do that with your dental marketing.

I talk to a lot of dentists, and when I ask them their growth goals, they often can't answer this question specifically. I hear things like 'I just want more new patients' or 'I just need to be busier'.

Is every new patient ‘call’ the right new dental patient for your practice and goals? You may get 'busier' but unless you are getting the kind of new patients you want, it’s an exercise in futility.

Setting Patient Growth Goals

Here are a few questions you should ask of yourself and your team to help you establish goals.

•  What services do we like to do the most?
•  Which of these services would you like to see more in your practice?
•  Do we have a good system in place to get a high treatment acceptance on those services?
•  How many new patients can you realistically fit in your schedule in the next month? You don't want to spend money on getting a new patient (NP) to call then not be able to fit them in immediately.
•  How many NPs are you currently seeing? Where do those patients come from? And are you tracking their referral source?

This should help you to start formulating your action plan, or as I like to call it ‘dream building’.

Determining Your Marketing Budget

Once you have established your goals, the very next critical step is to develop a marketing budget. Many practices I speak with do not have a clue what they should be investing on their dental marketing. Investing the right amount and then using that to project your ROI is a valuable exercise when planning a solid dental marketing strategy.

The American Academy of Dental CPA's recommends investing 3-7% of your gross revenue for marketing if you want to grow. If you are running a healthy balance sheet, your marketing line should be easy to identify. We find that for many clients that is between $2,000-$5,000 per month.

But what if you are a new practice? What should you allocate from your startup capital? Another important metric is the average cost to acquire a new patient through marketing. On average the cost for a NP in a general practice is $100-$200. The range depends on several factors including your location. Big City vs. Rural, and the competitiveness of the marketing landscape. For specialty practices, that new patient cost of acquisition (CAQ) can be in the $300-$500 range. The general rule of thumb is the higher the fee for the service, the higher the cost to get a new patient. It usually falls in around 10% of the 1st years patient value.

So lets say you want to add 20 more NP/month for a general practice. So, you should be looking at a budget of $2,000-$4,000 to and expect a 5-10X return on investment.

When you consider that the average value of a general practice patient is patient is $1,000 a year. If you keep that patient for 7 years, then a $200 investment to receive $7000 in revenue is a really great investment.

Get an expert opinion by scheduling a complimentary marketing analysis with one of our Senior Marketing Consultants.
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Dental Marketing Blog | Marketing for Dentists | WEO Media
WEO Media is a national dental marketing company providing dentists with a full range of services including custom websites, SEO, PPC, social media, videos, online reputation management, branding, and much more.
WEO Media, 8625 SW Cascade Avenue Suite 300, Beaverton, OR 97008-7121 / 888-788-4670 / / 3/29/2023 / Related Phrases: Dental marketing, websites for dentists, SEO for dentists, social media for dentists, online reputation for dentists