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Tips for driving more patient referrals

People talking to each other on a couch

In a field like dentistry, where trust is such a big part of the buying decision, referrals are a critical part of the marketing mix. Here are a few strategies to get your patients talking about your practice to friends, family and coworkers.

Show them a sign

Hanging a sign near the front desk to let patients know you appreciate referrals can yield more results than you might think.

Host an event

Planning an event one evening is a great way to get new people into your practice in a relaxing, non-clinical way. Be sure to advertise the event well in advance and give people a real reason to attend. Include a short oral health care seminar to add value, and food, drinks and prizes to make it fun.

Utilize email

From adding a referral section to your practice newsletter to sending out a special offer for referrals as a separate email campaign, there are lots of ways to drive referrals using email.

Try a giveaway

A common tactic to drive referrals is to give a small incentive, like a free cleaning. For many, this isn’t a big enough carrot to get them to act. Instead, you could invest in one more significant prize and give it away with a raffle.

Referral program

Your referral campaign doesn’t have to be a one-off event. Creating an ongoing referral bonus program that provides your patients with an easy way to reduce the cost of their dental care or qualify for rewards, encourages patients to make referrals all year long.

Just ask

It’s possible that some of your patients might think you don’t even want new patients. Asking patients at the end of their appointment is a simple but effective method to generate referrals. “We’re accepting new referrals at the moment if you know anyone looking for a dentist.”