The Rule of 7 is a marketing principle that states that your prospects need to be exposed to your offering at least seven times before they actually notice it and take action.
While this principle is admittedly a bit dated, it is still instructive for dental practices who want to promote their in-house dental membership program to new and existing patients.
Most dental practices keep a brochure about their membership plan somewhere in the office and sometimes remember to hand it to an uninsured patient who is interested.
The result? Very few members.
A successful in-house membership program can be your practice’s secret weapon against declining reimbursements rates, but only if you can turn your uninsured patient base into profitable, and loyal members.
In this article, I’ll walk you through how forward-thinking dental practices are applying the Rule of 7 to market their in-house membership program. Below are various interaction points throughout the patient journey where your practice needs to keep your in-house membership program top-of-mind.
Putting them all together allows you to promote your membership offering to patients 7 times – the magic marketing number.
Most patients will head to your website to find your office phone number or get your address on their way to an appointment. Your practice website likely lists your information, services, team member biographies, and payment policies.
What about your membership program? Most practices not using Pearly fail to highlight anything about their membership program.
This is a mistake.
You and your marketing agency spend time and money to bring prospects to your website.
Promoting your membership program on your website allows you to maximize your digital marketing spend.
From adding a new page to using the Pearly website widget, take full advantage of your digital real estate to promote your membership program to patients before they come in for an appointment. This exposure helps ‘prime’ the patient for the additional messages they’ll see in your office.
Front Desk Poster
When a patient enters your office and approaches the front desk, they should see a poster introducing your in-office membership plan with a concise description of the benefits.
Typical headlines include: “No Insurance? No Problem! We offer an in-house membership plan” or “No Dental Benefits? Ask about our membership plan!”. The poster should then highlight how patients can save money, save time, and never deal with the headaches of insurance.
No Insurance? No Problem! We offer an in-house membership plan.
The membership plan is then ideally introduced verbally by your front desk team at check-in for patients without dental insurance. If the uninsured patient is in the office for a professional cleaning, for example, this presents the perfect opportunity to highlight the specific savings the patient can get by enrolling in your membership plan.
Promoting your membership plan should not end at the front desk. Once a patient is in the chair, the dental hygienist should be well-versed on the benefits of memberships and use this opportunity to sell the value in an understated and respectable manner.
Most membership plans include all preventive care, such as regular professional cleanings, and the importance of regular visits to the dentist goes hand-in-hand with the structure of most in-office membership plans.
Front Desk Brochure
After the patient is finished with treatment, the front desk team has another opportunity to engage the uninsured patient to discuss the benefits of membership. Make sure to have a stack of professionally designed brochure the patient can grab on the way out.
For practices using Pearly, we provide free and customized posters, brochures, and buttons. We understand the importance of marketing your membership plan in your office and our team makes the process turn-key.
If the patient expresses interest in the office, sign them up!
Enrollment should take no more than 90-seconds and you can easily create their account and collect credit card details.
Text & Email Invite
Not all patients are ready to commit in the office so, in addition to the brochure, ask the patient if they would like to receive a text or email linking to a sign-up page containing more information.
Pearly has an innovative feature that allows your front desk team to send an invite instantly.
The invite should contain a link to your online sign-up page that empowers patients to learn more and sign-up from any device. We’ve seen patients enroll on their smartphone between the office door and their car in the parking lot!
Retargeted Display Ads
You may not be familiar with the term “retargeting”, but you have certainly experienced the online advertisements.
Retargeting works by keeping track of people who visit your website and then displaying your ads as the visit other sites online. For example, if you look at a pair of shoes on and then head to check score of the game, you may see an ad for the same pair of shoes you were just looking at.
Leading dental practices leverage retargeting to promote their in-house membership program to people who recently visited their dental website.
Imagine a patient just got home from an appointment, brochure in-hand and an invite text on their phone, but hasn’t yet enrolled in your membership plan. The patient then sees a compelling display advertisement on their favorite website. This re-confirms the value and can spark action.
Retargeted display ads can be quite cost-effective, and practices using Pearly leverage our templates and expertise to deliver the right message, at the right time. We use retargeted display ads to tell dental practices about Pearly even after they've left our website.
In fact, since you're reading this, you may see one of the following ads on various sites around the web and on social media later today.
Despite what you may hear from digital marketing experts, direct mail is definitely not dead for promoting your in-house membership plan. Direct mail can be particularly effective for targeting retiring baby boomers who may have just lost employer sponsored dental benefits.
You may already send appointment reminders via direct mail, and segmenting your list between insured versus uninsured can allow you to include messaging about your membership plan.
According to Forbes, American’s are exposed to around 4,000 to 10,000 ads each day. Given this volume, everyone has an internal screening process to determine what to engage with and what messages to ignore.
Remembering the Rule of 7 can help your practice cut through the noise and act as rocket fuel to boost your membership program. Best-in-class practices can turn 60%, 70%, 80%, or more of their uninsured patients into in-house plan members.
Your practice can generate recurring revenue, increase net revenue, and improve patient loyalty by successfully launching and growing an in-house membership program.