I recently read about a marketing company that performed a study on the effectiveness of testimonials in marketing. We already know that over 70% of Internet users believe online testimonials. This new study showed that sales letters that included testimonials had a 166% better conversion rate than those without.
So how can you use dental testimonials? I’m talking about dentist reviews.
- Social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, are great places for patients to write about their dentist. Whether you’re in Texas or Kalamazoo, your patients can write reviews on Facebook and Twitter.
- Blogs are another great place for dental patient reviews. A guest blog by a patient, describing his or her experience with your office, is a type of testimonial, but it’s more of a journalism project.
- Your website’s gallery page is also perfect for patient reviews. Use a before and after photo, include a brief case description with links to services embedded in the text, and then post a review by the highlighted patient. Is this using testimonials in marketing? It could be construed as such. As an alternative for Texas dentists, you might link to the patient review on Yelp! or in a guest blog.
- In your newsletter or email blasts, invite patients to share their experience on Yelp!, Google Places, Facebook, or your blog.
A Note for Texas Dentists
In Texas using testimonials is taboo. The Texas Dental Association marketing guidelines state that dentists cannot use patient testimonials in marketing. Dentists who do could risk their license. The only action I’ve seen is a letter from the dental board to the dentist stating that the information in question must be removed within 10 days or further action will be taken. I strongly believe this will change in the next few years. With sites like Google Places, Yelp!, and Merchant Circle, people freely post testimonials all over the Internet, and they could not care less what the dental board thinks. In fact, nothing can be done about it because these dentists reviews are not coming from Texas dentists.
Scared of Yelp!?
You’ve probably heard about dentists who’ve pursued legal action against review websites and patients who post false information in negative testimonials. It can be difficult or impossible to get bad reviews removed from sites that are not under your control. If you have bad reviews, the best advice is to get patients to post good reviews so that the good pushes the bad into history. However, if Yelp! makes you nervous, don’t use it. Instead, gather patient testimonials in places where you have control of the content: your website and blog.
If you’d like to leverage patient testimonials in your dental marketing plan, call Modern Dental Practice Marketing today, and speak with Jill. You can call 972-781-8861 or email us at [email protected]. MDPM builds and maintains blogs and websites for dentists, physicians, and businesses in the medical industry.