When it comes to orthodontist marketing, there are few allies more important than your referral partners.
For a constant stream of patients, service-oriented businesses like orthodontists need a network of brand advocates. Referral partners do amazing work for orthodontic practices like yours, building bridges so you reach more people.
A referral is one of the most effective ways for someone to make first contact with any kind of business. You’ve probably heard that many people trust online reviews nearly as much as they trust advice from a friend – but direct referrals inspire action with an urgency reviews can’t match.
In 2023, small orthodontists and small dentists alike are facing an existential threat. More neighborhood practices are being absorbed by industry giants. To maintain your independence, orthodontist marketing is crucial. Your referral partners are members of your extended brand team helping you stay afloat.
That really matters – and it’s important to honor it however you can.
Orthodontists touch others’ lives, and a big part of what they do is ultimately about relationships. Even if your referral partners will never sit in the treatment chair, you can still make a positive difference for them.
Simply acknowledging your referral partners’ contributions can make an impact.
Of course, when you bring creativity to the task, you can truly show your referral partners their piece of participation in your professional life matters deeply to you. This is an aspect of orthodontic marketing that responds well to adding your personal style and flair to the equation.
Want some ideas? That’s what we’re here for!
At New York Ave, we’ve helped hundreds of orthodontic practices to grow and thrive. One facet of that is a regular effort to reach out to new referral partners and cultivate those already in your corner. Referrals are so powerful, they can make an outsized difference in any orthodontist’s marketing strategy.
Let’s explore the top three ideas to thank your referral partners:
1. A Hand-Curated Gift Basket
The better you know a referral partner, the easier it is to find gifts that will light up their day. You might spend $100, $200, or even more on a single basket, but this expense will be only a tiny fraction of what you may receive as a result of referrals. In a sense, your partners help you to reward them.
Early in the partnership, it’s a wise idea to glean some information about your partners by getting insight that would otherwise be easy to overlook. Have a series of conversations, if possible, or use an optional questionnaire that can clue you into things like food preferences and allergies.
Gifts such as cheese, wine, and chocolate are widely (but not universally) loved. Beyond this, if partners live in other states, they may be interested in iconic gifts you can “only” get in your local area. Whether you do it all yourself or use a service, be sure the presentation of the basket is beautiful and memorable.
2. A Customized Video
You might not love the concept of the gift basket, or you might want to reach out to your partners more than once a year. Whatever the case, a customized video can be ideal. Video storytelling is the next best thing to being there. It’s a fun way to deepen the relationship even further.
When someone doesn’t have the opportunity to see you often, it’s easy for them to forget about the connection you share. What kind of information can you include in your video to help them know they’ve made a meaningful contribution to your success? There are many right answers!
Your team can also be part of your video, but these work best when you take center stage!
3. Something Uniquely You
Growing up, we might’ve had hand-made gifts rejected. But as one gets older, the novel and personal have a greater hold. After all, we live in a world where you can buy just about any present online. What do you have to offer that no one would even think about getting for themselves?
No matter whether you concoct homemade jam over the weekends or draw landscapes now is the time to show off the unexpected depths of your character. Even if someone isn’t thrilled by what you create, they’re bound to say, “Hmm!” Spark a memory and the relationship gets stronger.
Who knows, your gift may be a hit!
This short article only scratches the surface of effective orthodontist marketing. A comprehensive approach to marketing enables you to expand your referral network and keep your schedule full. Contact New York Ave for more ideas.