Want more full-arch implant patients for your dental practice? You’re not alone — dentists across America see full-arch as a key growth area, with the market expected to rise by 6.1 percent a year through 2030.
However, generating more full-arch treatment is not as simple as just reusing your GP dental marketing strategy. You can’t just start running ads and close some cases the next day.
Full-arch growth is a process. It takes time, full stop. But the first step is creating a dedicated full-arch marketing funnel.
Keep reading to learn what that looks like.
What’s the difference between GP marketing and full-arch marketing for dentists?
The difference between GP and full-arch marketing starts with the patient buying cycle. GP patients operate on a short buying cycle while full-arch patients go through a long buying cycle.
Short buying cycle
- Problem acknowledged. The patient accepts that they have a problem (like a toothache).
- Looking for solution. The patient googles “dentist near me” and looks at a few options.
- Purchase. The patient schedules an exam and shows up for treatment.
Total time: 1-7 days.
Long buying cycle
- Unaware. The patient doesn’t even know full-arch treatment exists.
- Interest established. The patient becomes aware that treatment might improve their quality of life.
- Problem acknowledged. The patient decides they want to explore full-arch treatment.
- Looking for solution. The patient researches treatment options, meets with dentists, and explores financing.
- Purchase. The patient decides to start treatment with a specific practice.
Total time: 3-12+ months.
3 main phases of full-arch marketing
The difference in buying cycles means you can’t just flip a switch and turn your GP funnel into one that works with full-arch. Even after you start generating leads, you shouldn’t expect any of those leads to become patients for several months.
But you don’t have to spend those months just sitting on your hands. You want a marketing funnel that consistently engages with your leads until they are ready to show up at your office.
There are 3 main phases to full-arch marketing:
We’ll show you how to do each one.
Marketing Phase 1: Educate
Goal: Get potential patients who may be unaware that full-arch even exists to understand that they could benefit from treatment.
The education phase of full-arch marketing is about… education. (Shocker, we know.) You want to help potential patients become aware of full-arch treatment and learn enough about it to pique their interest.
To do this, you want to help patients answer four key questions:
- What is full-arch treatment? Many, if not most potential patients, may have never even heard of full-arch. And even if they have, they may not understand what makes it different from other dental implant options or dentures.
- Who needs it and why do they need it? Likewise, many potential patients may not realize they themselves could benefit from full-arch treatment — or how full-arch could improve their quality of life.
- What are the potential consequences of not doing treatment? Some practices shy away from this and focus strictly on the positives of treatment. But it can be powerful to help patients understand that not doing treatment can also impact their quality of life — sometimes significantly.
- What treatment options exist? Finally, patients need to know what kind of options they have. Treatment is not a one-size-fits-all scenario, so helping patients understand that can make it feel more approachable.
Ideally, you should build your educate-phase marketing around these four questions. Remember — this is the very top of your funnel, so your main objective here is simply to raise awareness, drive curiosity, and convince potential patients they want to explore full-arch treatment further.
Video is essential for educate-stage marketing
One of the best ways to reach potential patients at the top of your funnel is by creating educational video content. You want to address the four questions we just covered from a clinical perspective — positioning yourself as a valuable educational resource on full-arch treatment.
Do: Invest in high-quality video assets. Full-arch is an incredibly competitive market, so it’s worth spending on professionally-produced videos in order to stand out from the crowd.
There’s nothing wrong with shooting some videos on your phone, too, but those can’t replace the professional ones.
Besides, you’ll quickly make back any money you put into videos. We’ve found that practices that don’t invest in video end up spending anywhere from 30 percent to 75 percent more to generate each qualified full-arch consult than those that do.
Don’t: Worry about testimonials or other emotional video content. That stuff is valuable, but not this early in the funnel. Save it for later.
More tools to connect with educate-phase patients
Think top of funnel: Ads, landing pages, YouTube, social media
Marketing Phase 2: Validate
Goal: Connect with potential patients who understand they have a problem, see full-arch as a solution, and are looking for a practice to help them.
The validation phase of full-arch marketing is where you begin to build a relationship between potential patients and your practice. You’re no longer just educating your leads on how full-arch works or why it can help them — you’re helping them to see why you, specifically, should be their full-arch provider.
Here, you want to address another four key questions — but this time about you and your practice:
- Who are we? The basics about your practice.
- What qualifies us to provide this treatment? What kind of experience and accreditations do your doctors have?
- Why choose us? There are lots of full-arch providers out there. What makes your practice unique?
- Who else has chosen us and how has that helped them? Give examples of some of your past patient success stories here. (Make sure you have signed consent forms first!)
Try testimonials and case studies
While the education stage is too soon for testimonials, they are a huge asset in the validation stage. A good testimonial is all about showing transformation — what a patient’s life was like before treatment and how treatment has changed things for the better.
Case studies are also a valuable tool. If one (or more) of your existing patients is willing to consent to be featured in a case study, you can get really granular and go into detail about how, exactly, you turned that specific patient’s life around.
The key for both of these asset types is that they serve to highlight your practice, specifically. You’re not just talking about full-arch — you’re sharing stories of how you’ve helped real people to look and feel better.
That’s powerful stuff.
More tools to connect with validate-stage patients
At this point, patients are looking at your website or landing pages (your Google My Business and online reviews are big here too). If a patient has already filled out a contact form or called your office, email, SMS, or over-the-phone lead nurturing can be huge.
Marketing Phase 3: Cultivate
Goal: Build a relationship with patients who are already considering your practice so that they’ll schedule a consult and ultimately, choose you as their provider.
By the time the cultivation phase starts, a patient has directly contacted your office by either filling out a contact form on your website or landing page or by giving you a call to ask for more information. Now you have to make them feel comfortable.
During the cultivation phase, you or your team will speak to a potential patient for the first time. So you’ll be able to make this phase more about them, specifically.
When talking with a patient, try addressing key issues and questions like:
- What are your specific oral health challenges? Every patient is unique, so you want to make sure they don’t feel like you’re offering a one-size-fits-all solution.
- What is your level of urgency? Some patients are eager to schedule a consult while others may be only beginning their research. You want to get the first type of patient scheduled right away while building trust from a distance with the second.
- What is your financial situation? 50 percent of patients who reach out to your office won’t be able to afford treatment, so you’ll want to help patients get clear on their financial situation early on.
Tools to connect with cultivate-phase patients
While some patients might quickly schedule a consult, most will need long-term lead nurturing. On average, you’ll need to make four to 10 outbound contacts (email, phone, text, etc) with a potential patient who has given you their contact information before they’ll be ready to schedule a consult.
Here, you need to have scripting in place so that whenever you speak to these patients on the phone, you’ll know what to say. This is not the time to shoot from the hip: You want to systematize as much of this as possible so when your funnel starts producing a flood of leads, your team will be able to sort through them, qualify them, and nurture them as efficiently as possible.
Get help building your funnel
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into this. If you want help, we’ll make you a free marketing plan so you can understand your options, evaluate your market, and assess your competition.