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The Virginia Dental Association (VDA) is a non-profit organization of dentists committed to enhancing the professional lives of our members - 3,500 of the best and brightest dentistry has to offer.  Together, we champion better oral health care for all Virginians.

It’s been ​over 145 years since a small group of nine dentists founded the "Virginia State Dental Association". Since then we’ve grown to become a constant trusted resource for ​Virginia dentists and their patients.

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Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 4.21.13 PM

Measurement: The Other ‘M’ Word

Measurement is important. Add more foam than steamed milk to your espresso and that latte just became a cappuccino. Use one tablespoon of cayenne instead of one teaspoon and that dish just turned Cajun. Implement dental marketing campaigns without measuring results and you’ve wasted valuable time and money.  

When used effectively, not only does consistent measurement show you what is and is not resonating with current and prospective patients, it also allows for replication. And this is key, because who wants to recreate the wheel?

Let’s begin at the beginning, shall we? Your goal will determine what you should measure and which metrics will provide the most value, so start by defining it. The more specific, the better. Do you want more patients? If so, how many are feasible to add each month? Higher patient retention? What percent is attainable? More revenue overall? Which optional services should you promote? All of the above? Insert head nod. While goals ought to be achievable, they should also require effort (think your first week back in the gym after a break). 

For the sake of this article, let’s say you’ve defined your goal - congratulations! Now how do you reach it? (You know you can’t get fit sitting at the juice bar.) Enter strategy. The World Wide Web can be cloudier than 50 shades of grey, and without a clear strategy, it’s easy for you to get lost in the vastness of the Internet. Your practice’s marketing strategy is the roadmap that guides you to your intended destination. 

An effective strategy incorporates multiple factors, including your goal and the cost-benefit ratio of associated marketing tactics.  Essentially, this means that the cost of your marketing efforts shouldn’t be higher than the estimated lifetime value (LTV) of the patients those efforts will generate or retain. There are a few ways to determine a patient’s LTV, see below for one example (calculations are for demonstrative purposes only):  

Average Annual Value of a Patient
(i.e. two hygiene visits per year @ $250 each = $500) 

Average Length of Client Relationship
 (i.e. 10 years) = $5000 
Average Annual Value of Referrals 
(2 referrals x $5k) = $10,000
Patient LTV = $15,000

It’s crucial to know what results a campaign needs in order to be considered successful. Otherwise, you’re filling cavities in the dark. You might get lucky, but chances are it will be bloody.

Yes, marketing is exciting and magical. You might even be tempted to dive right in - but without clear goals it’s impossible to accurately gauge your ROI – and, like opening a bar tab on New Year’s Eve, it usually doesn’t end well. Whether you choose to outsource your online marketing or manage it in-house, it’s critical to understand and track the results of your efforts. 

Looking for more information on how to track online marketing campaigns and specific tactics? Stay tuned for the next article in this series that will focus on just that. In the meantime, here are a few resources you might like:
•         The State of Dental Practice Marketing Benchmark Report
•        On Demand Webinar: Building the Ultimate Dental Marketing Plan

If you’re ready to take a deeper dive into your current dental marketing strategy, or are looking to create one that meets specific practice needs, ProSites specializes in providing comprehensive online dental marketing services that deliver measurable practice growth. Reach out to an Internet Marketing Advisor today at (888) 932-3644 to see how we can help you meet your goals.  

Article written by Heather Frechette-Crowley, Director of Product Marketing at ProSites. ProSites is endorsed by VDA Services for their website design and online marketing solutions including search engine optimization (SEO), social media, and pay-per-click advertising. VDA members receive 25% off the standard website set-up. For more information, or to start a free trial, call (888) 932-3644 or visit  

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