What You Need to Know About 2023 Dental Implant Ad Costs
Here’s something you won’t hear from companies pitching Google and/or Facebook advertising for full-arch implant patients.
In many major markets (think top 50 metros), expensive digital ads have “jumped the shark.”
In case you don’t understand the phrase, it’s referencing the 1970s hit sitcom Happy Days where in the last season as the writers were floundering in efforts to develop new plotlines to keep the show alive they wrote an episode where the lead character Fonzie would water ski in his leather biker jacket and literally “jump a shark” while skiing. The show had PLAYED OUT and nothing could save it.
Digital ads for full-arch cases are “jumping the shark” (i.e. are played out) in many big urban markets due to a combination of factors.
The key indicator is that the pricing structure to be on page 1 of the Google ad service no longer matches the economics of the case. If you are on the second page of search results OR a patient has to scroll at length to find you, forget it, you’ve bought an expensive ‘nothing burger.’.
The New Reality
The cost to acquire a single full-arch case (e.g. AO4/AO6) has broken the $4,000/case barrier at Facebook and Google in many top 50 US cities! Yes, it might have only been $50 to create each prospect phone call but it took 80 phone calls to get one case thus $4000 was the actual cost of acquisition.
Here are what underlies this new reality:
- An abundance of independent practices are bidding on the top three ad slots.
- It is now a very common assumption among practitioners that implants are one of the most profitable procedures that remain. As a result, implant dentists enter the Google and/or Facebook game excitedly believing they’ll easily tap into this profitable market segment. The routinely do so, without understanding just how competitive their local market conditions are (a reason why we charge a fee to do a complete market research analysis before agreeing to advertise for anyone!). Due to ignorance of the local conditions they are side-clocked by the fact that are multiple competitors already owning the market. Their ads never get traction and the dollars are wasted.
- Past the naiveté of item #2, doctors who haven’t worked in a corporate implant center rarely understand the necessity for developing and running a sales organization within the practice just for big cases. Without a sales organization mindset, they will FAIL MISERABLY regardless of lead flow and dollars put on the ads. Yes, there are qualified patients, but it is WORK to sell cases to those coming from advertising. While most doctors can technically build a sales organization, they rarely take the time to do so and as a result this second issue destroys their shot at success from the costly ad dollars pushed into over-priced digital media. As a result of both items, they fail to make money on their ads and after 4-6 months exit after burning through $40K-$60K.
- When docs who tried and failed using digital media leave with their lumps, there are other new, un-initiated, excited, and naïve doctors who take their place! This maintains a foundational baseline page 1 price that never resets as there are always more than three bidders for those top slots and often many more than 3. In a top 20 market like Houston, Detroit, Atlanta, Dallas, etc. there are typically 30-40 dentists all bidding on those three slots!
- Deep pocketed corporate players such as ClearChoice, Aspen, and AD&I as of late 2022 are all pumping major dollars into Google and/or Facebook. The result is a further escalation in ad costs that are 3X-6X the costs as compared to before the pandemic. These deep pocket players also know they can exhaust the budgets of their local competitors via their bidding that is comfortable for their cash flow; in essence, part of the game is to lure competitors into a digital dead end street as they know they will rarely be outbid and can maintain their top three ad positions while their competitors burn through their budgets and either disappear or their ads go dark and don’t cover business hours.
- Past the escalation in costs from the above reasons, lead quality from Google and Facebook is at an all-time low.
Item 6 is worth further discussion.
By the nature of who Facebook users are who spend enough time in the platform to notice ads which are not search based ‘float’ through their feed, leads from Facebook have always been the worst of any medium. It is an audience that is not actively seeking answers via asking Google questions. This low lead quality (unmotivated and unqualified financially) has only gone lower as the platform is now in a full on retreat with it’s user base shrinking on a month to month basis.
With Google, every prospect now has a smart phone including those with zero means to buy services and who are often un-financeable. As mobile search has increased (meaning more people with no means having smart phones), lead quality has tracked in the opposite direction!
The bottom line is that most of those searching at Google and Facebook are unqualified.
END RESULT: This has multiplied the number of leads needed for a major case. At Facebook it can take up to 4X the number of leads and at Google it can now take up to 2X the number of leads compared to 2019 to find each case!
This is also borne out on the case closed percentage for every 100 leads received. A number that I will only reveal to those in discussions with us personally since no one else in the industry has insight into this number across hundreds of practices and tens of thousands of arches treated and across 17 years of direct work with practices.
When you take all of the above in total for many major markets, one now understands why these ads may have “jumped the shark!”
Stop the Insanity
As the oldest business entity involved in full arch case implant patient lead generation and case sales for implant dentists, we are ‘fed up’ with digital media pricing (and the abysmal implant patient lead quality from Google and Facebook ads).
In markets where we’ve found that ad costs/case no longer work, we realized we needed a new Plan A for doctors in this areas who want to still treat a substantial number of arches each month.
In response, we’ve purpose built a full arch implant advertising solution using traditional media that not only reduces acquisition costs by up to 75% compared to Google and Facebook but it also delivers more qualified and motivated patients compared to digital media.
In 99.5% of all US media markets, we can now provide AO4/AO6 cases to our implant practice clients for less than $750/csae including the largest metro areas. In many medium sized markets (markets ranking 50-150), case acquisition costs are now as low as $500/double arch case!
This acquisition cost reset the clock by 20 years from when I first entered this game in my personal practice with the same lead and acquisition costs I saw back then.
Our unique, purpose built, traditional mass media solution for full arch implant cases can reset your price clock for you to acquire your cases as if it was the 2001 again. It also delivers a more motivated and qualified implant patient lead to your consult room compared to both Google and Facebook due to the fact that we are selling with emotional triggers versus cold, emotion free digital ads.
What’s the Catch?
Well, the biggest one is that you must be willing and clinically able to treat at least 8-10 additional full arches each month since every market has a minimum budget mandated to buy enough mass media to generate this case flow. In other words, it’s only for those truly interested in a practice that is more than 50% implant focused. To compete with the big players in any local market, you must be willing to have your practice visible to the public as a local implant expert AND be willing to take on a 8-10 arches per month as there is no longer a “middle” or “starter” market in implants.
As part of helping every advertising implant practice understand their risks with how they now spend ad dollars for implant cases via overpriced Google and Facebook ads, I’m providing for a limited time our unique in the industry ‘Advertising Risk Self-Assessment’ tool for FREE (value $597). If you truly want to understand how to maximize your ad dollars and lower risk in full-arch case advertising, this tool is a must for your business planning for 2023.
Click HERE to download the FREE ‘Advertising Risk Self-Assessment.’
To speak personally about these changes and how they are impacting your market area OR to discuss your personal off-ramp to secure 8-10+ arches per month while removing yourself from the deteriorating conditions at Google and Facebook, book a FREE 20 minute 1:1 private discovery call (value $500), here.
Full-Arch Program Testimonials
“James, I’ve realized that after adopting your sales process for the implant cases in my practice that we have been leaving 25-50% of our fees on the table. I wish I had discovered you and your training 20 years ago!”
– Dr. Greg Sawyer, Los Gatos, CA
“The Full Arch Program with Medicare Option has given me the implant practice of my dreams.”
– Dr. F. A. Charlotte, NC