Creating an Effective Contest for Your Practice

There are plenty of great strategies to promote your orthodontic practice and drive growth. From implementing effective SEO strategies to making quality signs outside your office, there are many ways to make your orthodontic practice more visible in your community. One of the more well-known strategies that can provide surprisingly rapid growth is creating an effective contest.

Why Create a Contest?

Everyone loves free stuff, and taking advantage of this fact can be a powerful driver of growth for your orthodontic practice. Small businesses that create contests often see major growth in their social media followers, email lists, and subsequently, new patients. The chance to win something without having to spend money is a major draw that will always gain attention – if done right, that is.

Using contests and giveaways also gives you a chance to sit back and relax while other people do marketing for you. Effective contests involve having followers share a link or tag a friend to win, allowing you to take a seat in your favorite chair and sip some tea while your visibility dramatically increases.

You also get a chance to learn about your current patient base by interacting with conversations surrounding your contest and requesting feedback as part of the entry process.

Determine the Goal of Your Contest

Before you start brainstorming ideas for your contest, make sure your goals are clearly defined and that by achieving those goals, you will ultimately gain more patients. Do you need more followers on a specific social media platform? Are you hoping to grow your email list? Your contest should be created with a specific part of your marketing plan in mind.

Once you have a clear goal in mind, such as getting more people in your office or more social media followers, you can start thinking about your contest strategy. Your goal will have an influence on the type of contest you end up running.

For instance, if your goal is to get more people through the door, you can create a contest that involves people coming into your office. A classic example is filling a jar with small items, such as a bunch of little tubes of toothpaste or jelly beans, and offering a prize to whoever guesses the quantity in the jar the closest. If your goal is to gain more followers in social media, offer a giveaway for users who tag their friends or share one of your posts.

Make Contest Rules Clear and Offer a Prize

Make the contest entry rules clear and create as few barriers as possible for people to enter to maximize engagement. People may not want to fill out a form in order to win a gift card to a store, but they may be willing to take a second to tag a friend for that prize.

Of course, you’ll also want to think of an exciting prize to offer. Leveraging certain times of the year can make this strategy more effective since people will be more excited about winning certain prizes. For instance, if the Fourth of July is coming up soon, have a grilling kit, or even a grill, as your prize. You’ll want to make your prize something that makes the contest entry worthwhile but you also don’t want to make your prize too good. For instance, it may not be worth offering free braces to a patient just to gain a few more followers on Instagram.

So start brainstorming at your office about where you’d like to grow and come up with a creative contest that will send your new patient numbers soaring!

Ortho Sales Engine specializes in marketing solutions for orthodontists, combines more than 20 in-house services to create customized, repeatable marketing systems, and serves as a trusted partner to doctors and their teams. To learn more or schedule a free consultation, visit