Should you use testimonials in your ads?

I’ve had a few questions recently centering around, “Jerry, should I include patient testimonials in my ads? Is it really necessary?”

The short answer: A new pt advertisement without a testimonial is a tremendous lost opportunity.

No question, when using proper testimonials in your ads, you’ll experience a bump in response.

And, if every new patient is worth what the ADA claims ($4,800), then it could be a $4,800 improvement in your ROI, minimum.

Here’s the thing: I’ve invested millions of dollars promoting my own dental office and hundreds and hundreds of others all over the US during the last two decades. One of the top consultants in the country sends clients to me nearly every week.

My own office has more new patients than we can see and we frequently must turn down (much to my annoyance) our advertising efforts due to capacity issues.

(If you’re a dentist licensed in Oregon, looking for a new home, reach out. We need one! So, reach out to me!).

I don’t say all this to brag, but to establish a point: after all this investment and testing of dental marketing in different areas around the country, in nearly every state, I’ve found what works and what doesn’t work to attract new patients.

What’s more, 95 out of 100 dental ads I see are missing testimonials. And, if by chance an ad does have them, they are usually not relevant to the offer being made.

Bottom line:

Every chance you have to get your name and new patient offer in front of prospective patients, include a relevant existing patient testimonial.

One with a picture of the patient is best. One with their name, age, profession and city, better still.

(If you’re using a patient relationship program like Demandforce, like we do at my office, there are HUNDREDS of testimonials there we can choose from!)

Leaving out testimonials tilts the odds against your ad being successful. It increases the chances your money will be wasted and at least one less person will not be attracted to your practice, thereby not increasing your production. Worse, you won’t be able to help them.

Here’s why testimonials are so critical:

  • They build credibility via 3rd party endorsement
  • They create a personal bond/interest (Patients can see one they relate to and say to themselves, “Hey, that patient is a _____ like me!” Or, “that guy’s 80 and he got implants? Wow, I’m only 65…”)
  • They provide powerful social proof
  • They help set aside preconceived fears, concerns and even foolish notions
  • They help pre-frame a new patient’s experience
  • And, much more.

Testimonials are so important that when I’ve done nothing to an existing ad other than add a testimonial, the ad roared back to life more effective than ever before.

If you’re running ads for your practice and leaving out testimonials, my hope is you’ll reconsider and have your ad work harder to bring you more new patients.

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