February is Gum Disease Awareness Month, and along with it comes a valuable opportunity to educate your patients on the signs, risks and treatment options associated with gum disease. It’s also a great time to leverage your marketing efforts to get more patients in your office for the month of February, and all year long.
Why is Gum Disease Awareness Month important? As you are well-aware, gum disease is so rampant it could accurately be referred to as an epidemic. Though 85% of U.S. adults have some form of gum disease, the disease usually has symptoms so subtle and painless that most patients shrug it off. How do you help patients to understand the severity of the disease — and how important treatment is — if they don’t even realize it’s a problem they have? What they may not know is that keeping your natural teeth has been tied to living longer, and that gum disease has also shown connections to other, “scarier” illnesses like heart disease, stroke, cancer and more.
Clearly, more educating needs to be done. Why not increase your appointments while looking out for your patients’ best interest?
Below are some ways you can incorporate Gum Disease Awareness Month into your marketing plan for February to help boost your business for the rest of 2018.
- Start an email marketing plan. If you aren’t already reaching out to your patients via email on a periodic basis, you should. Engaging with your patients by reminding them to schedule checkups, sending birthday or holiday greetings and giving practice updates are great ways to keep their dental care top of mind. Gum Disease Awareness (GDA) Month is the perfect opportunity to kick off a new approach to your email marketing. By sharing critical facts about gum disease, including infographics and blogs you can find at the patient resource website FightGumDisease.com, you can let patients know that this is not something to take lightly. Don’t forget to end the email with a call-to-action to schedule an appointment. Whether you set appointments through an online form, email or by phone, make sure you list the easiest and best way for patients to reach you!
- Decorate your office and website with Gum Disease Awareness swag. An easy way to make GDA a part of your everyday experience this month is with GDA swag! Whether you prefer Fight Gum Disease lapel pins for you and your staff, or if you’d prefer to print infographics as handouts or posters, there are plenty of assets for you right here to use in your efforts to decorate your office. Get creative! Or look to fellow clinicians for inspiration, like Dr. Ann Astolfi, who created Gum Disease Awareness t-shirts emblazoned with the ribbon and her practice website. Similarly, you can use gum disease elements on your own site. We even have short PSA recordings you can use in your practice hold music.
- Your patients are on social media — have a conversation with them. Using all of the same assets mentioned above, you can jazz up your social media channels out for GDA. Share facts about gum disease culled from FightGumDisease.com, or post downloadable infographics. You can even run a contest to get your patients to engage by asking them to share, retweet and repost your content in order to win a small (or large — up to you!) prize.
- Focus on public outreach. Think about taking your GDA campaign to the next level by engaging with public and local outlets. Local newspapers, web forums like Patch and public posting boards in coffee shops are all small-scale outlets where you can preach the importance of gum disease treatment, plus include contact information for your practice. If you want to take it a step further, you can reach out to a local marketing or PR firm to set up an event promoting gum disease awareness in the community.
Now that you have some ideas to get started, we’d like to hear from you on what you think works or doesn’t work. Have you had any surprising results or successes out of marketing Gum Disease Awareness Month in the past? Would you like to be part of an experts video that helps us spread the word about the disease even more? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know!