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Beyond Word of Mouth: 5 Ways to Build Your Practice around Clear Aligner Therapy

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If your practice offers clear aligner therapy, you want your patients to commit to a treatment process that takes time. Honesty check: Are you committed to your clear aligner marketing strategy and practice-building efforts over time?

Unfortunately, a single poster in your operatory—where some of your patients are waiting anxiously for treatment—won't cut it. And while patient word-of-mouth referrals are effective, it can take time to benefit from those referrals, as it takes time for patients to see results.

Assuming you've invested the time to properly execute clear aligner treatment, why not get the word out faster with a proper marketing strategy that engages your staff, your patients, and your local community? Below are 5 strategies you can use to build your practice around clear aligner therapy, including some examples from ClearCorrect, one of the industry's top manufacturers of clear aligners.

1. Get your staff on board. Tap into your current and new patient database before you take your marketing efforts public. Hold a staff meeting to strategize how to present and discuss clear aligner therapy with your patients. ClearCorrect offers examples of specific duties you might assign to staff members. Another great way to get your staff on board is to get them into treatment. Staff members who have been treated can more readily answer patient FAQs and start a conversation about the process.

"Never sell dentistry," one ClearCorrect provider advises. "Educate the patient, and let them ask you for it." To that point, ClearCorrect offers a helpful, printable chart, "the benefits of correcting malocclusion" that you and your staff can share with patients.

2. Next-level referrals. Take extra care of your patients who are currently in treatment. Send them a bouquet of cookies or flowers to thank them for choosing clear aligner therapy with your practice. Your gift can include branded merchandise advertising your practice, ClearCorrect merchandise, and printed referrals cards that offer free services, such as x-rays and exams. Patients will be more likely to share the merch and spread the word about their positive experience.

3. Ramp up your online presence. Your online presence is comprised of four components: website design and maintenance, search engine optimization (SEO), paid search advertising, and social media marketing. Again, make sure your house is in order before thinking about public outreach. That means updating your website and optimizing it for search engines and joining social platforms. Internet marketing firms can help with your SEO keyword rankings and paid search strategy, which might include phrases like “invisible braces,” “clear braces” and “clear aligners.” Social media is also a great way to showcase before-and-after photos. Where appropriate, use hashtags to increase your visibility on these platforms.

4. Use traditional advertising. Whether it's printed materials at the front of your office, direct mailers to local residents, or even a local radio spot, traditional advertising still has its place in practice building. Perhaps in this day of age, we should consider email marketing "traditional" advertising, given its more than 20-year history. ClearCorrect offers free email or mailer templates that dentists can send to their patient database.

5. Run promotions. It doesn't matter if a business  wants someone to test drive a car or try a new dental treatment: potential customers need incentives. There are various promotions you can run to drive case acceptance. ClearCorrect's suggestions include free whitening with clear aligner treatment, free initial consultation and treatment setup, free starter kit items, and discounts on aligners or retainers. Sponsoring or hosting a community event and drawing attention to your clear aligner offering can also be a great way to drive interest.

ClearCorrect's website, www.support.clearcorrect.com, offers more practice-building advice from successful providers. One of the best tips is to be confident in presenting the idea of clear aligner therapy to your patients. Confidence comes from knowledge, so be sure to check out ClearCorrect’s continuing education opportunities.

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