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Katie Slingerland
by Katie Slingerland Published Feb 24, '20

4 Ways to Get New Patient Leads Using Auto-Responder SMS

The concept of virtual consultations within the dental industry is still new and adapting to the learning curve is important. An aspect of success when offering virtual consultations within your practice is marketing this service, educating your patients, and creating awareness. Potential patients are all around you - let’s work together to reach them. SmileSnap now has a new feature that will act as another way to market and reach new patients. We combined two things that modern day society can’t live without: texting and convenience. 

Introducing, auto-response text messaging. Enhance your marketing campaigns and work this into your current efforts. Once you set up a trigger word or phrase and begin promoting your in-app SMS phone number this feature can be worked into your digital and traditional marketing tactics. 

What is this new feature exactly? Let’s break it down

All of our customers are given phone numbers, with a local area code, when they sign up. This number is used for patient and team SMS notifications, in-app team based “live” texting, and now will be used for engagement and marketing promotions. 

Your practice will go into their SmileSnap platform and set up a ‘Trigger Word’ - for example, ‘SMILE’. Then, you will input an auto-responder text message that is going to be triggered once someone texts your in-app number that word (‘SMILE’). Your automated response will lead them to your website or virtual consultation landing page and these new patient leads will end up in your software. 

What are the best ways to use this feature to gain traffic? Here are some ideas! 

1. Referring Doctors

A lot of dental providers have a network of colleagues in which they refer patients to one another, based on the patient’s needs. First, you want to let your network of referring colleagues know that you’re now offering virtual consultations on your website. The referring doctors could either text your trigger word to your dedicated number and help them take their photos and explain their issues or guide them to perform the virtual consult on their own.  Invest some time and money in creating a visually appealing postcard, flyer, or some sort of in-office/take away marketing piece that keeps those referral patients engaged and continuing to take steps towards starting treatment with your practice. 

2. Leads that Call wanting Pricing

Pricing is a huge factor in regards to patients accepting treatment. A lot of consumers do not know what to expect when it comes to their dental needs. With pricing being absent on websites, a lot of patients will call the office to find out that initial information they’d like before coming in. Giving pricing over the phone, in the dental industry, is not common practice. Instead of ending the conversation without providing answers - you need to train your front desk employees to guide these new patients leads to SmileSnap to perform a virtual consultation. Consumers like transparency - don’t leave your call-in leads hanging. While you have them on the phone, direct them to text your trigger word to your assigned in-app number and to get their questions answered via virtual consultation. 

3. Print Marketing 

Traditional marketing tactics, such as print ads, are still relevant and can be a way to reach new patients. If print ads are something that your practice is currently implementing, our new feature is great content with a direct call-to-action. Whether you are running ads in the local newspaper, flyers, billboards - you can get your potential new patients excited with the convenience of getting started with your practice’s online virtual consultation just by sending a simple text message while they’re out and about. Who wouldn’t love finding out answers about their treatment before the in-office visit? 

4. Email Blasts

If you practice has a database of customer (past or present) emails, emails of leads, emails of no show patients, etc. you should be reaching out to them once in while with updates and news about your practice. Coming up with fresh, engaging content can be a challenge. Make your customer/lead base aware of the fact that you are offering virtual consultations on your website. Share some information about how it works, why your practice is excited to be offering this service, and some benefits for your patients (ex: saving time, transparency). The call to action will of course be having them text your trigger word to your number. You should start promoting virtual consultations within all your eblasts, in a dedicated section, to drive engagement. 

Our features are always created with our customers in mind and we take feedback seriously. Be sure to check in frequently for feature updates and if you need help figuring out the in-software set up part of our features or help with marketing ideas someone on our team is always here to help! 

Katie Slingerland
Katie Slingerland
Director, Client Success