Here's the deal: I've busted out 2 or three "dental emergency" websites recently. In addition, I have a couple of videos ranking right up at the top. Needless to say, in the cities I have them ranked in, they are generating a boatload of calls.
....great right? Well, not so much.
- I've literally called every single dental practice in my target city that claims to offer these services.
- I've sent many FREE leads (live phone calls) to a few practices.
- I even had few discussions with dental office managers.
- Some I've even sent a screencast to walking them through the process (skipping the technical stuff and talking all about benefits/results to them).
Well...here's a few things I've learned since I actually took some time to study the niche a bit more in-depth.
1. There are plenty of dentists advertising on Adwords and even their own websites for "Emergency Dental" type of services, but guess what: they really don't specialize in that sort of thing.
You see, normally in a bad economy, there is a huge majority of people who skip out on regular dental care - hell, I even do this myself! So, most (but not all) of the time what you have with someone who is looking for "emergency dental services" is someone who has no insurance or no money.
So even if the dental practice is willing to offer a "free" exam, they are going to set the patient up on a payment plan or their going to have some other means to pay the bill.
2. From the dentists' perspective, these types of patients are 1 shot deals, very low rate of repete business.
3. Also, if they do come in for work, the dental practice will usually have to chase this patient down to get paid - or wait forever on a collections company to do it.
4. "Emergency Dental Services" implies 24/7 type of services - right? Well, Dr's don't work 24/7. You call, you get forwarded to an answering service that will then try to "schedule you in" for an appointment as soon as possible -- Aspen Dental does this quite often. Do you think someone with a painful toothache wants to wait a few days or even a day? Nope.
5. This last one I can only attribute to plain ignorance and distrust. I just called a dental practice this morning who has AdWords campaigns saying they offer these services. I got the office manager on the phone, introduced myself, and mentioned I noticed they are advertising for these services - she confirmed it. I then asked if they are looking to take on even more new patients - she said yes.
Then I mentioned that my website in her city is generating a ton of calls and I was looking for a dental practice that would like to have a few calls for FREE and then possibly either rent the website on a month-to-month basis with no contract or ONLY pay per call.
.....you know what her response was?
"We already work with a marketing group but thank you for your call" - click.
LOL! The best part is, her "website" was at the bottom of the page and it's a YellowPages site....but she hung up before I had a chance to bring that up. Anyway, clearly she didn't trust me because she doesn't have the slightest clue who I am. But I'm putting the ignorance part on her!
So there you have it warriors! KNOW THY NICHE before you invest time and money!
(I'm off to my next niche)