Question: We want to offer something to parents/kids for referring friends to our office. Any great ideas you can share?

QUESTION: You give great advice to general dentist offices, but I am in a pediatric dental office and have a marketing question. I watched the videos on referrals and offering teeth whitening as a good incentive for referring patients. What do you suggest we offer to parents/kids for referring friends to our office? We don’t have teeth whitening and 99% of our patients are insurance patients. I would like to offer a great incentive! How do you feel about movie tickets? I want to make sure it is enough to make them ACT.

Would you recommend gift cards, movie tickets or something along those lines? Or would you try to keep it more geared towards pediatrics? Spin brushes, water piks, fluoride tx or something like that?

ANSWER: I will start by saying that since I have never worked in a pediatric office, I am not going to claim that I am an expert in this area, however, I do have some thoughts. What I am about to say on this subject pertains to all offices that are running some sort of a patient incentive program. I suggest that whenever you have a contest or giveaway for patients that you have prizes that are fun and not dental.

I have two reasons for this approach:

1) I think it is more exciting for the patient to win or receive something fun, like a Starbucks gift card or movie tickets. As much as we think spin brushes and dental supplies are fun, the average person does not. [mepr-show if=”loggedout”]Members only resources[/mepr-show] [mepr-active memberships=”629,630,37388,37393,37672,37676,37670,37668,37674,44674″ ifallowed=”show” unauth=”message” unauth_message=”Answer hidden, please login or purchase a membership to view.”]

The reason whitening works is that is a cosmetic service that people do tend to get excited about. I also do not recommend that you offer incentives like a dollar or percentage off their dental work as it feels really lame. “Yippee, I got $x amount off my fillings.”

2) I want the patients to talk a lot to their family and friends about what they got from our office. You have a much higher chance of the patient being excited about two tickets to the movies and they tell their friend they got the tickets as a reward from their dentist.

Remember to check your state laws regarding giving patients gifts. Some states will not allow you to give a gift as a direct thank you for a referral, because it appears as though you are paying or bribing for the referral. However, you can run contests and send thank you cards to your patients anytime you want, as long as it is not contingent on their referral.[/mepr-active]

To learn more about asking your dental patients for referrals, watch this training webinar and following course module! [wpcourse course=”54″ module=”5″ module_desc=”true” /]