“We’ve tried Facebook ads, but it doesn’t work for us…”
“It just doesn’t work in my area…”
“These internet and website leads are just not good…lots of no-shows or bad candidates…”
It’s a story we hear every single week from orthodontists all across the nation.
But how can digital leads, specifically with paid traffic, fuel million-dollar growth for some practices…while others invest thousands of dollars for little-to-no return?
The quality of your ads matters. But that’s not the problem.
And if you think that digital advertising gives you “bad leads,” we’ve got some bad news for you— it’s not the leads that are the problem.
It’s your follow-up strategy!
Digital leads aren’t bad leads. In fact, in many ways they’re the most motivated audience you’ll find. But they’re fundamentally different from referral leads or leads who see your billboard on the way to work every morning.
But once you understand the simple winning strategy to follow up on sales leads from digital ads, they could be the fuel behind the growth you’ve been waiting for.
So first, let’s look at what makes digital leads different…
Why Are Digital Leads Different?
Three main factors make digital sales leads unique from traditional orthodontic leads:
1. They have NO IDEA who you are
In most cases, digital leads come to you from an ad or a Google search, where they have no prior exposure to your brand. So unlike referrals, or leads that arrive thanks to branding efforts or print ads, they have no established opinion of your practice. That means your first lead follow up interaction will be the critical factor in making a first impression.
2. You’re probably not the only practice they’ve contacted
In traditional orthodontic sales lead follow up, you had no real competition. After all, if your dentist recommends you to an orthodontist, you’ll generally go there and not book consults all over town. But digital leads will often reach out to 3, 4, or 5 orthodontists at once, just hoping someone gets back to them. And the office that gets back to them FIRST has up to a 78% chance of landing their business.
3. They don’t know who the best orthodontist is
Maybe you’re the most talented orthodontist in town. If so, that’s great! But when it comes to digital sales follow up, it really doesn’t matter. These leads don’t know orthodontics, so they can’t distinguish between you and a competitor based on the quality of care. So you need to stand out with your customer service by making them feel like their smile is your #1 priority.
Once you realize these things about digital leads, you can understand why flawless lead follow up is critical to turning them into patients. You can easily separate yourself from the competition, simply by showing leads you care about helping them.
So how do you do that?
The 5×6 Lead Follow Up Method That Turns “Bad Leads” Into Your Best Patients
When it comes to lead follow-up, there are 2 elements we need to consider: velocity and frequency.
In other words: How quickly should I follow up with leads? And how many times should I reach out to them?
Fortunately, we don’t have to guess at these answers any longer. Because the folks over at Harvard Business Review did an in-depth study on how to follow up with sales leads.
And the results were remarkable…
5×6 Method: The 5-Minute Rule
The “5” in our 5×6 lead follow-up formula stands for 5 minutes. And it means:
You MUST follow up with all digital leads within the first five minutes if you want to see maximum ROI from your campaigns.
A phone call is the best place to start. But if your staff is all tied up or it’s midnight, then an automated email will do the job.
And if you can make that first contact within one minute, you just might 10x your results!
Seems impossible? Here’s what the numbers tell us:
- The odds of contacting a digital lead drop 10x if you wait just 10 minutes to contact them (vs. contacting them within the first 5 minutes).
- Only 30 minutes after their initial request, your chances of reaching a lead have dropped by 100 times!
That’s right— if you wait to finish your coffee before you call, it may already be too late! And your chances only continue falling from there.
Even more, a study by Velocify shows that conversions (not just contacts) increase 391% if you contact your leads within one minute!
So the science is clear on this point— the sooner you follow up with leads, the better.
And if you’re waiting more than 5 minutes to contact your digital leads, you might be better off saving the money and not buying ads in the first place.
5×6 Method: 6 Touchpoints of Success
Did you know that over 30% of digital leads are never contacted at all?
It’s true. And over 55% won’t be contacted twice or more…
Yet a whopping 80% of conversions happen between the 5th and 12th contact!
According to the Harvard study, your chances of contacting a lead on your first attempt are only about 1 in 10 (11%).
But if you try at least 6 times to follow up with a lead, your chances of reaching them increase more than 8x— to over 90%!
If you want to grow your practice, you must make at least 6 follow up attempts with every digital within the first 5 days of receiving their request—that’s the “6” in the 5×6 Method.
You can easily see the HUGE gap between how you should follow up with leads and what most practices do. And THAT is why some practices are unbelievably successful with digital ads, while others rack up credit card bills without a penny of ROI to show for it.
Automate Your 5×6 Sales Follow Up Process
Try to tackle the 5×6 Method without the right tools, and you’ll drive your team crazy within 24 hours. They’ll likely throw up their hands and give up in frustration.
Trust us, we’ve seen it happen.
Your team has to answer the phones, do patient intake and deal with insurance companies. They can’t realistically call every lead within one minute. And especially not 24 hours per day.
But that’s okay— because not every touchpoint needs to be a phone call. You should absolutely work email and text messages (SMS) into your workflow too. After all, some people might always answer their phones. Others may only reply to texts. And some people live by their email.
But the real key to making the 5×6 Method sustainable is automation.
With software designed for orthodontists, like Practice Beacon, you can automate 80% of the 5×6 Method to execute flawless lead follow up without overloading your front desk.
You can send templated emails and SMS messages and an ideal 5×6 schedule, starting in the first seconds after a request comes in.
Practice Beacon will even call your front desk when a new lead comes in and try to connect your front desk to the lead by phone. If your team isn’t available, it sends a message to the lead instead— within 1 minute— to make first contact and put you at the top of their list!
Want To Join The Top 1% Of Orthodontic Practices?
Did you know that there’s actually a proven formula to becoming a top orthodontic practice?
You just need 3 things: flawless follow-up practices, smart tools, and effective communication.
And at HIP we’ve packaged all 3 of these items into our Patient Acquisition and Retention Framework (PARF). It’s the recipe that’s helped over 100 orthodontists build 7-figure and 8-figure practices while giving them enough time to enjoy their success.
Join the nation’s fastest-growing orthodontic practices, like Fishbein Orthodontics, Dr. Jennifer Orthodontics, AllSmiles Orthodontics, Buda Orthodontics and many more. Talk to us about how HIP’s proven methods can grow your practice faster than you thought possible!
We can only bring on a few new partners each month, so don’t wait— book a call with us today!