3D Dental Copywriting That Compels People to Choose Your Services

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Saying something is good, great, state-of-the-art, etc. makes a point. But if you want your dental copywriting and dental marketing content to have “punch” you must go deeper.

I occasionally watch a local news program during lunch. It’s one of those noontime programs that features entertaining, informative special segments during the hour long broadcast.

The host anchor made a comment during an episode’s cooking segment that I’ve laughed about many times since. The segment featured the use of beer in a particular recipe for a meat based pie.

The guest cook discussed the various ingredients and in particular the use of beer for added flavor. The host anchor responded off-the-cuff and enthusiastically – “I don’t drink beer…but I sure do like it in my pie!”

I don’t know why the anchor’s statement made me laugh. But after doing so, it made me think.

Products and services have multiple benefits.

Beer, for example, is a refreshing, enjoyable beverage. Even so, many don’t prefer drinking it…but they will add it to a recipe.

That said, the dominant benefit that’s used to market beer is what? It’s not people sitting around, partying, pouring beer into a kettle on a stove top.

There are dominant benefits and there are dimensional benefits.

Copywriting master, Clayton Makepeace says there are “3 deadly blunders” made in marketing copy and content.

  1. Mistaking features for benefits.
  2. Mistaking processes for benefits.
  3. Missing different types of benefits.

His solution: “Drill down to the real, bottom-line rubber-meets-the-road benefits your product (or service) provides.”

Someone “drilled down” and discovered (perhaps while sipping an ice-cold, refreshing brew) that beer adds flavor to a favorite recipe. Beer as a refreshing, relax-with-my-friends beverage is a dominant benefit. Beer as a flavor-enhancing ingredient in your main course is a dimensional benefit.

3D your products and services to add compelling power to your dental marketing copy and content.

Comprehensively inventory your product/service features.

List every objective fact your product/service has. What’s unique, special, compelling, interesting, etc. about the dental service you’re promoting right now?

List everything you can think of.

  • What’s its purpose? What does the service do for your patient/client?
  • What are its physical characteristics? How will a patient/client experience it visually, by sound, taste, etc.?
  • How long does it last? What will the experience be like? When will results be seen? How does it compare?
  • What’s been said about it? How have others experienced it? How is it guaranteed?
  • What choices are offered? Size? Color? Flavor? Is it customizable?
  • How is it priced? Is it dividable by cost per year, month, week, or day?

“Attach a ‘Why’ to each feature”

Feature: Digital x-rays are the latest, state-of-the-art technology. Why: Faster image views means less time in the operatory.

Feature: A TV in every exam room. Why: More comfortable for the patient and time passes quickly during the appointment.

The “Why” forces you to think about benefits. People are sold by benefits not features.

Transform features into benefits.

Force the all-important question before you promote your product/service. And the question is: “What’s in it for me?”

Features must connect. Your patients or clients must experience (via your copy/content) how the service directly improves their life.

What fear does it help them overcome? How does it save them time and money? What have others experienced by using it?

“Dimensionalize each benefit.”

Feature: A TV in every exam room.
Why: More comfortable for the patient and time passes quickly during the appointment.
Benefit: Your appointment is over before you realize it.
Dimensionalized benefit: Great for fidgety kids. The time zips by. In fact, just last week little Jimmy asked if he could stay longer at the office!

Get “emotional” by connecting each dimensionalized benefit with a dominant resident emotion.

Think about how your patient/client will FEEL personally after they’ve enjoyed each benefit your service/product provides.

And there’s another emotional perspective people have too.

How will your patient/client feel as others see them enjoying your services’/product’s practical benefits? That’s an even deeper question.

There’s more to your services and products than meets the eye. Go deeper and tap into the compelling reasons people will buy-in.

Question: Why is it easier to focus on features than diving deeper into benefits? How is dimensionalizing your benefits useful to you? Comment.

4 Words That Can Transform Your Dental Marketing Copy

Benefits sell! That’s core to effective copywriting and the power language you need to promote your dental services.

The Sunday edition of my local newspaper featured two ads that got my attention. How they got my attention is what’s important to this post (realize henceforth – I’m more critical than the average reader).

First, it WASN’T the somewhat eye-candy graphics or the positioning on the page (two big deals to most newsprint advertisers). Second, it WASN’T the headline – at least in the way you might be thinking.

The ad’s colors and placement did draw my eye to it. But it was the headline that bothered me.

The ad writer did the common, believed effective, ad naseum, amateur, I-have-a-gazillion-ads-to-write-today-so-I’ll-take-the-easy-way, feature-first headline approach. And perhaps wrapped it up by asking the design department to throw in some cool colors and bold fonts so people notice.

I confess – I read the ad. Was I compelled?

That’s the question your copy must answer – is it compelling?

And copywriting that compels doesn’t lead with features (everyone does that) it leads with benefits.

This brings to mind a recent meeting I was in. Our dental hygiene team was discussing how to promote oral cancer screenings to our patients. Even though the service is undeniably beneficial and has a relatively low cost point (beyond insurance coverage) some patients aren’t compelled.

No doubt it’s a beneficial procedure. But how do you get to the compelling core benefits without dumbing-it-down with feature heavy content and graphics (what I’ve called “est-syndrome” in previous posts.).

Here are 4 words to keep front-of-mind when mining the benefits of your dental products and services.

1) Urgency (Think-if they don’t get this now the world as they know it will end)

Act now! Limited time offer! You must do better than that.

Give your reader a hot-seat reason to jump NOW to get your product or service.

How can you tell the story in the most compelling way? That’s the question.

Urgency isn’t just about prompting a decision. Urgency is about removing the gap as quickly as possible between decision and action.

2) Usefulness (Think – this is so practical…I must show them)

Not all products and services are ultimately useful. So it makes sense that the promotional copy lacks it too.

Do the hard work required to find a product’s or service’s usefulness that’s not obvious. The ultimate task of your copywriting is painting a picture of practical action.

Who’s using the product/service? What’s happened to them? When did they first discover it’s effectiveness? Where are they looking to use it next?

3) Uniqueness (Think – no one has the “angle” we do. And that “angle” is…)

Being unique is overrated. Especially when it’s confused with creative.

How creative your copy is doesn’t necessarily mean it’s unique. You must find a way to tell the story in a way no one’s told it yet.

This may or may not be the most creative. A unique message is about captivating a person’s buying emotion in a way no one has before so the buying decision keeps repeating itself.

4) Ultra-specific (Think – then think again…and again until it’s crystal clear)

The problem with many marketing messages is just that – they contain more than one message. The key to specificity (love that word) is funneling all the possible ideas into one, compelling message.

Too many messages in a single promotion confuses. Compelling copy is about clarity.

It’s the difference in a laser and a light-bulb. One illuminates, the other penetrates.

Certainly, the end result you desire is more than merely illuminating your “market.” Why not penetrate it?

I’ll admit I’m more critical of marketing copy than the average reader. But I know good copywriting when I see it.

And usually it’s because I’m reaching for my wallet.

Is your dental marketing copy more feature focused or benefit focused?

The “Do-You-Floss?” Principle That’s Shutting Down Your Dental Marketing Message

Roadblocks keep us from getting to our desired destination. The same happens in your dental copywriting and marketing conversations, sometimes unknowingly.

Here’s an example I discovered recently that illustrates my point. Consider when a hygienist asks, “do you floss?”

Let’s be honest – the hygienist knows the answer. If they can’t tell from the tartar build up and gum bleeding, something’s wrong.

But, could asking that question be undermining the response the hygienist hopes for? Think about it.

The patient doesn’t hear, “Flossing is good for you. It helps assure good periodontal health.”

What does the patient hear?

The patient hears, “You idiot! How could you be so stupid as to put your oral health and teeth at risk? What’s wrong with you?”

The “do-you-floss?” question – subtle and rhetorical as it may be – creates a negative vibe. And that vibe creates a communication barrier to future messages.

Communication improves when the benefits of flossing are delivered along with coaching about the various tips and tools available to them.

How many of your dental marketing conversations have “do-you-floss?” syndrome? Are you shutting down the path to further, beneficial conversation because you’re putting up communication roadblocks?

Here are a few common “do-you-floss” type copywriting roadblocks and how to remove them:

“Do-you-see-how-great-we-are?”

When marketing your products/services the easiest to talk about is you. But when talking about you it’s even easier to miss who you’re talking to.

Who is your target? What do they want/need? How are they willing to engage with and spend time and/or money with you? What makes them do business with you again and again?

These are benefit oriented questions. And they lead to better marketing communications.

“Do-you-notice-how-much-we-have-to-talk-about?”

The greatest communication challenge whether writing or talking is not what to say. It’s what NOT to say!

Each marketing piece you create – boil it down to a simple, compelling, SINGLE message. Ask “what is most important to communicate here, now, and (as mentioned above) to whom?”

“Do-you-understand-what-I’m-trying-to-say?”

If English is your native language and you’ve traveled to a foreign country where English isn’t primarily spoken you know the feelings – intimidated, disoriented, lost, wondering.

These too describe what it feels like if you aren’t clear in your marketing message. In essence, if the reader doesn’t understand you.

Master copywriter, Michael Masterson says, “Good writing is good thinking clearly expressed.”

Focus on one compelling idea. Write about it compellingly and people will be…you guessed it…compelled.

And that’s the point after all – that our readers get-it.

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