Do you have to offer treatment discounts in your advertisements?

06.14.2021
Are you an orthodontist looking to attract new patients or build a strong brand in your community? Maybe both? 

Is your competition offering a $500 discount on Invisalign treatment, and you’re wondering, “Should I be offering that too? How do I make informed decisions to boost my ortho marketing strategy? Why is orthodontic marketing so overwhelming—I have patients to look after!”

Before you start crafting an eye-catching design and compelling content for your next campaign, you’ll need to consider the goal and the metric you’ll use to measure its effectiveness. 

Are you aiming to generate more leads and attract new patients? Or are you more focused on raising brand awareness and securing your position as a premium practice in the area?

To optimize the return on your advertising spend, the campaign goal (brand awareness or direct lead generation) needs to guide your campaign strategy. So, should you advertise treatment discounts? That depends on your specific business goals, and these should change over time.

(If you broke out into a mild sweat thinking of all the marketing possibilities, and you’d prefer an experienced, award-winning orthodontic marketing agency to do it all for you, we encourage you to drop us a line. You’ve got enough on your plate. We’re here to help you make the best decisions for your practice and your marketing budget—so you can focus on your patients.) 


Measuring ROI in Orthodontic Marketing

There are two main ways to measure campaign success and the return on your advertising budget:

Direct lead generation: e.g. A practice runs a Facebook campaign and receives 10 leads. 
Brand awareness: e.g. A practice runs a Facebook campaign and makes 10,000 impressions.

Both metrics hold a lot of value, but the best approach for your one-of-a-kind practice will align with your brand and meet your specific business goals. 

Direct Lead Generation Campaigns

If your practice is focused on generating more leads in a shorter amount of time, a lead generation campaign that offers a discount of $500, $750, or $1,000 on braces or Invisalign® is likely to be most effective. Orthodontic marketing campaigns that offer discounts or new patient specials create immediate value for the prospective patient, as they can claim their discount and benefit from your advertisement right away. 

Discount campaigns with deadlines also have a psychological effect on the audience, inducing a sense of urgency and a fear of loss. If a prospective patient sees that they have to book their exam before the end of the month to receive the limited-time discount, they feel the need to act immediately. 

Direct lead generation campaigns that offer discounts or specials can attract new patients more quickly than a brand awareness campaign. 

Brand Awareness Campaign

Brand awareness campaigns offer more long term benefits of exposure for your practice. So why would a practice choose the long game in advertising? Brands that are focused on building a strong presence in the area and positioning themselves as a higher-quality, premium office may be more comfortable with brand awareness campaigns.

With brand awareness campaigns, the practice doesn’t typically offer service discounts or specials. These campaigns are aimed to build a connection with prospective patients in the community, by advertising the brand’s value. You should still tout your practice’s benefits, like complimentary exams or affordable payment plans, but it’s more about spreading awareness about what you already do than adding an additional discount tag on top of your other differentiating factors. 

As your prospective patients consume your messaging through multiple channels and your brand is consistently displayed on your leads’ social media feeds or Google SERP (search engine results page), they start to recognize your brand and feel a sense of familiarity when they see your practice name, colors and other branding visual language. 

Brand awareness campaigns keep your practice at the forefront of your prospective patients’ minds, increasing the chances of them thinking of you when they’re in the market for braces or Invisalign. 

Creating Value to Attract New Patients

There’s a place for both campaign types in an effective marketing strategy. In a perfect world and with the right marketing partners (*cough* us at eNox Media), your orthodontic marketing strategy should continuously adapt to your business’s changing needs.

Your marketing strategy isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Your business needs today may not align with your needs six months from now. Your marketing strategy should continue evolving alongside your practice.

Neither type of campaign strategy is considered “better” than the other; it simply comes down to the goal of your campaign, on a campaign-by-campaign basis.

We’ve found that cost per lead and cost per start are lower for campaigns that offer discounts of $500 or $1,000 on treatment. While this is considered ideal for any business looking to increase its revenue, maintaining a strong, consistent brand is equally as important.

Yes, you may receive more leads right away from your discount treatment campaign, but offering a discount may not align appropriately with your brand. Some numbers for our statistics lovers - 

“Consistent presentation of a brand has seen to increase revenue by 33 percent” (Oberlo, 2020).
“77 percent of consumers buy from brands that share the same values as they do” (Oberlo, 2020).

Your brand’s core values and the way your brand is presented across all media channels matters. If your website states that you’re a premium orthodontist offering the highest quality of care, discounted treatment offers could send mixed signals to your prospective patients. 

There are other ways to add value to your new patients. You can publicize that you offer free exams that include X-rays and/or CBCT scans, one-on-one consultations with your experienced orthodontists, and complimentary insurance checks and filing. The best part is: you probably already offer these features! Now you just need to advertise them. 

You may think the features that your brand offers are standard, but not every practice offers these features; they’re what set you apart from your competitors. Advertising the valuable, inclusive features that your practice offers can make the difference between your practice gaining a new patient, and your competition gaining a new patient. 

You don’t have to determine these marketable differences on your own. That’s our job. Working with a network of successful orthodontists across the country, we know the best practices in marketing for orthodontists, and we pick up on the nuances that make your brand different. 

The Bottom Line

When you schedule your complimentary discovery session, we’ll discuss your offerings to help you determine your brand’s value and do the research to understand your market and your audience’s needs. Each campaign type fulfills different business needs, and we can help you find the right balance for your brand. 

We’ve helped our orthodontic partners to see significant increases in their ROI, while strengthening their brand presence in the community. Whatever your goals may be, we’ll craft a custom strategy to meet them—and we’ll keep evolving your strategy as your practice grows. 

Find out what we can do for you!