Find Everything Networking on The BRIDGE!
The BRIDGE is an online network from LMT dedicated exclusively for members of the Dental Laboratory community. Join free to learn more about Networking and other topics.
Having an extremely busy week being connected to educational events, I just want to motivate those, possibly...See more on the fence about marketing their lab this way; My real 'strength' is networking with 10-20 speakers who will talk and give programs FREE to any dentist group I arrange meetings with.
Most labs have no idea how many study groups are out there seraching for speakers,also its good to get approved for giving out credits.
More than 40 technicians from D&S Dental Laboratory made the trip to LAB DAY Chicago, most of them riding...See more together on a chartered bus from the lab's Waunakee, WI location. "We always look forward to LAB DAY Chicago to catch up on industry news and see new, exciting developments from vendors. The education and networking opportunities are especially valuable, with so many knowledgeable people from across the country in one place," says Travis Zick, President, D&S Dental Laboratory. "Our technicians enjoy talking to exhibitors, visiting with other technicians, and learning a few tips they can bring back and implement in their daily work. For the young technicians, getting outside the lab and seeing the imprint of the industry as a whole is a valuable, eye-opening experience." — tagged LAB DAY Chicago
Last week our lab sponsored Dr Howard Farran (CEO of dentaltown.com) to over 100 dentists and 14 vendors...See more exhibiting; It was ,as usual with Dr Farran, a raving success. Howard is a staright forward power-information type of guy that tells it like it is,and teaches the dentists how to succeed in a challenging economy.
The point is that it is events like these that can build your laboratory. Is it for everyone,of course not. But even if you do not 'want to' or 'cannot' get in front of a group to speak, let alone simply make an informercial and introduce your speaker, then all is not lost: simply have someone do it for you,perhaps your most outgoing tech, an outgoing office staff person,etc. However, I have to tell you, our lab is connected to 100 (yes,100) events a year, with study clubs, county societies, our own seminars directly sponsored & marketed by us, and with specialists looking to build & maintain their referral base.
Think about how long it would take you to be in frontof 20 (let alone 100) dentists and have their attention! Here you can do it, in a most memorable way, and at NO cost to you. (Should I repeat that: no cost to you)
Our lab has been using education honestly not just as a marketing tool, but as a genuine way of upgrading the dental community here in our target market(NJ), sometimes changing dentists lives(yes,I'll explain this in later posts), and filling a true void in continuing education,since we only have one dental school in the state.
I will talk about negotiating with venues,how to select venues,speakers:negotiating and selection, how to market & guarantee you'll fill up your seats, using telemarketing,direct mail,and networking to market your events but in a very cost effective way, and partnering with 'vendors' who want exposure to the dentists at your events! (I hope to write a detailed article for LMT on this)
Over the years our lab sponsored over 1000 events,including week long cruises to Carribean,Alaska and Mediterranean,and several weekend trips to Las Vegas.
Over half our clients come from continuing ed events,and it is also an opportunity to bond and maintain relations by seeing your current clients at these events,
Whether you are thinking of getting started in this arena, or you are a seasoned event planner,I am confident you'll find some pearls in my upcoming posts. But it's pretty late having driven back from an evening seminar tonight so,see you guys soon!
I want to get a large presence on the web but I don't have the time.
There are so many tools you can...See more use to spread across the web and join networks that will build your business presence. But how do we manage all the different platforms for meeting, discussing and educating our potential customers on what our business' are all about?
Let's tackle the big 4 first:
A blog - blogs are a more formal way of creating discussion and interest and is usually where your content starts. Once everything is connected you should only ever have to spread content through the web by posting on your blog. To do this you need to install plug ins to forward your content on and post it on your behalf.
LinkedIn - asks for your website and your blog. If you are using a popular blogging platform like wordpress you can integrate your blog right into your LinkedIn profile (look up my LinkedIn profile if you want an example) you can also post to twitter from LinkedIn in your settings menu.
Facebook - can be posted to by a number of different platforms, almost all new networking sites integrate with FaceBook and the ones that don't won't be around for very long. FaceBook also has the ability to forward posts onto twitter.
Twitter - For me this is where the content stops. Some of you might now how to forward from twitter to other platforms but you want to create a web, not a loop - that would just be annoying.
If you have examples of how you make the best of your time by integrating social media platforms please let us know on the comment section below. — tagged Social Media
Weekly Web Tip: The less actions and processes to the user the better. Have you ever wondered why google...See more has the design they use? Huge amounts of money has been spent on research for the way that people interact with information. We see the LMT bridge now with a white background and black text because it has been proven to be the easiest text to read. Keep the design simple and easy to use.
Another aspect that google uses, that isn't always adopted by websites is keeping the information in a standard browser page. If a user has to scroll through text for 5 minutes to get to what they're looking for, then you have to redesign the page. Most web designers will automatically factor this in. But if you control the content of your website it can seem like you could never post enough information. Try to keep it to a minimum, be direct and concise.
As you design and manage your content you will learn a lot about your business, who are your real customers, who are people that show interest, are you appealing to the right audience. There is a proven test called the 'Grandmother' test. If your grandmother can read it and it still makes sense and has the right message - you've succeeded. There are lots of sites that focus just in aesthetics all over the web. If you see a page you like then emulate it, the more pride you have in your site the more you will develop it and the more conversions.
Be sure you have a goal for your site too. Many lab owners will say "More customers" is the goal and that would be a great achievement, but we're in an industry that is built on relationships. Maybe you want more awareness, education, organizing education events, networking etc. Your site can be a stepping stone to securing new business but it won't do it alone. Use it to bridge the gap, break the ice and begin new relationships with dentists you intend to do business with for a very long time.
These tips are designed to inspire and educate dental lab owners about their websites and how to apply them. If you have any experiences you would like to add, please comment.
Glad to see we have this resource for information and networking!! I went to Chicago Lab Day last weekend...See more looking for information on a scanner to purchase for my All-on-4 cases I am starting to do, and I might be more confused now than before I went. Not sure wheather to go with a 3Shape or a Nobel. Trying to decide best one to start with. Any suggestions or advise? Thanks for any help. — tagged 4 users
Nick Azar · Managing Director at Azar & Associates
The Best B-to-B Email Marketing Practices
We hear e-mail marketing is becoming obsolete and social networking...See more is morphing into the medium of choice for online communication. But in the B-to-B community, it hasnât happened yet.
So, what are some of the best practices in B-to-B e-mail marketing today?
To begin, instead of renting lists and sending emails to cold prospects, get people to opt-in to your e-list. Then concentrate on email marketing to your house file.
Emails to house file lists generates two to three times the click through rate (CTR) or higher than outside lists. And emailing to your own list eliminates the list rental charges.
The most popular method to building your own opt-in e-list is by offering a free subscription to an online newsletter, a free webinar or white paper report.
Determining how often you should e-mail your subscriber list has been the biggest worry among marketers, as they are worried about offending people. Studies shows that the biggest mistake marketers make is not emailing their list enough.
Here is a method you can use to determine the email frequency to your e-list subscribers.
Measure the opt-out rate, which is the percentage of subscribers who unsubscribe after an email is distributed to the list. As a rule of thumb, your opt-out rate should be 0.1 percent or less.
To increase e-mail frequency, add one more email to your weekly or monthly schedule. If opt-out rate stays the same, you can safely increase email frequency to the new level. If it spikes, cut back to the old frequency.
One reason for the opt-outs other that frequency is the quality of your emails. A good rule of thumb is that at least 50% of your email message should be content. If the ratio of content to sales falls below 50%, your opt-out rate will increase and your open rate will decrease.
B. Email Content
Here are a few tips to finessing your email copy.
1. Begin with an engaging headline or lead-in sentence. For instance, a dental laboratory provides dentures, partials, and crown and bridge restorations. They sent an email to past customers who once used the laboratory for one of the above services but had dropped off the customer and email list. The headline: âYou Are Still Practicing Dentistry, Right?â It struck a chord because, of course, in almost every instance, the recipient still practice dentistry. The open rate was 52.3 percent and the click-through rate was 34.6 percent. Dozens of old customers were reactivated.
2. In the first paragraph, deliver a mini-version of your complete message. Readers should know who you are, what you are selling, and why they should be interested.
3. Within the first couple of paragraphs, state the offer and provide a link to a landing page or another immediate response mechanism.
4. After the first paragraph copy, present expanded copy covering features, benefits, and other relevant information.
5. The offer and response mechanism should be repeated in the close of the email.
6. Take it easy on the ALL CAPS. Words in all caps give the impression you are shouting
7. Use wide margins. Limit yourself to about 60 character width per line.
8. The tone should be helpful, friendly, informative and educational - not promotional or hard sell.
9. Be concise. Readers are quickly sorting through many messages and arenât disposed to stick with you for a a long time.
10. Regardless of the length, get the important points across quickly.
Furthermore, an effective way to organize your email copy is to use the following motivating sequence:
a. Get attention
b. State the problem your prospect has
c. Position your product or service as the solution to that problem
d. Offer proof that your product or services is indeed a superior solution, and
e. Ask for action.
Keep in mind you donât need to fit all of your product copy and sales points within the email itself. Shorter emails are always better emails. Have multiple links throughout your email. Once at the beginning, one or more in the body, and one at the close.
In conclusion, studies found that one of the biggest influences on open rates and click-through rates is the subject line. Tests of subject lines have shown click-through rate differences of 25% to 50% and in some cases higher. Craig Stouffer, general manager of B-to-B email marketing solutions, says that subject lines 40 to 50 characters in length significantly outperforms subject lines 70 to 80 characters.
Shmulik Epstein · Owner at Dental Restorative Solutions, LLC
Anyone know what is the % of patients, that visit dentists on a regular basis, and have some kind of...See more fixed restoration in their mouth? I am guessing between 70% and 80%. I am preparing a presentation on our industry before a networking group.
Marc Daichman · Owner at Asteto Dental Laboratories
Our lab has focused for,well, a long time(25+yrs) on NJ (with a few from surrounding states) very heavily,being...See more able to serve the close areas real well; Now we are adding some out of state marketing using the internet and postcards(sending 2000/month), for labs doing business out of state,what advice can you give as to what works, what doesn't,etc and any tips/advice for postcard mailings,etc?? Locally we do tons of continung ed/networking with stidy clubs etc and have been very successful with that,be glad to share any & all tips/advice on that upon request.
Walter Orellana · Director, Sales & Marketing at Excel Studios
Just sinking my teeth into Google+ another great networking tool to add to the arsenal. Our communication...See more platform is changing at such a fast rate, if your lab doesn't embrace these millennial tools to help your business move forward it will be another missed opportunity to grow.
Walter Orellana · Director, Sales & Marketing at Excel Studios
Did you know that Twitter can be a useful tool in finding new customers or leading potential patients...See more directly into the office of your clients.
Example; The other day I came across a tweet where a female was looking into doing non-prep veneers but it turns out that in her part of town the dentist in her area didn't offer the brand she wanted. This troubled her due to being solely focused on the brand name itself and the laboratory that fabricates them.
So after connecting with her I shared some information about the different styles/brands of non-prep veneers out in the market, I was able to find her a dental laboratory close to her hometown that offered beautiful non-prep veneers who could fabricate them but ALSO connect her to one of the laboratory's customer/dentist near her home setting in motion a future consultation.
I could have pitched our non-prep veneers that our talented ceramist create but I wanted to go beyond the selling mindset of my lab and be helpful to her need, after all social networking is about connecting and sharing information not just constant selling points about your products or services. I might just send the lab a note to split the commission on that case...just kidding.
Below is an article from Dentistry Today explaining the use of Twitter in Dentistry. If the link doesn't show you can always copy and paste it in the address bar.