The Intake

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8 scary-good Halloween dental marketing ideas for your practice

Use these marketing ideas to scare up some patient enthusiasm at your dental practice this October.

halloween ideas for a dental office

At a Glance

  • A whopping 73% of people plan to celebrate Halloween, making it an opportune moment to engage your dental patients and prospective patients.
  • Halloween marketing helps dental practices build awareness and promote dental health.
  • Dental practices can host contests, offer candy buy-back programs, create social media videos, participate in trick-or-treating, and more.

More than just the spookiest day of the year, Halloween is big business. Spending for the holiday is expected to reach $12.2 billion in 2023, up from $10.6 billion in 2022, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). 

The same survey by the NRF found a whopping 73% of people plan to celebrate, making it an opportune moment to engage your patient base. Getting in on the fun can put your dental practice on the map, so here are a few tips to engage your patients.

Halloween dental marketing ideas

Use these 8 tips to boost your Halloween dental marketing and build awareness during this festive time.

1. Host a dental costume contest

Host a social media costume contest where patients are encouraged to dress up in dental-related costumes. To enter, patients must post their pictures on social media and tag your office. Give prizes to your top choices.

Patient Perspectives Report

2. Offer a candy buy-back program

Halloween and dental care don’t usually go hand-in-hand. To counter the effects of the season's sugary treats, start a dental marketing campaign to rid your patients’ homes of candy by offering to “buy” it back. 

You could give out Halloween dental goodie bags containing stickers or other small toys. ”

Ask patients to surrender their candy to your office staff in exchange for non-sugary alternatives like nuts, pretzels, or microwave popcorn. Alternatively, you could give out Halloween dental goodie bags containing stickers or other small toys — or splurge for a big prize like a kids' electric toothbrush.

3. Challenge patients with a guessing game

Rename candy corn “rotten witches' teeth” and fill a jar with them. Place it on your front desk and challenge patients to guess how many are in it. Post a photo of the jar on your dental social media pages so both patients who visit your office during this time and those who don’t can enter. Give the winner a non-sugary treat.

4. Record a “scary” video

Make a “scary” Halloween dental promo video. For example, you might tell a tale of a patient who didn’t go to the dentist for a decade, with your actor wearing a pair of witch dentures. Post it on Instagram reels or TikTok to create buzz for your practice.

5. Participate in trick-or-treating

One of the classic Halloween dental marketing ideas: open your doors to trick-or-treaters on Halloween. Invite parents to bring their costumed kids to your office in the hour before trick-or-treating begins to collect a few goodies. As a dentist, you wouldn’t dream of giving out candy, so hand out healthy snacks, fun toys, or knick-knacks.

Download the report

6. Email Halloween savings for patients

Not everyone will be able to make it into your office around Halloween, so send out a special trick-or-treat email with savings opportunities for your patients.

Consider sending out a special trick-or-treat email with savings opportunities.  ”

For example, you could offer a special discount on out-of-pocket services like teeth whitening. Or, you could encourage patients to enter a raffle for a larger prize.

7. Share healthy Halloween tips

Most people hand out candy to trick-or-treaters on Halloween, but many would be happy to give something a bit healthier. Write a blog post listing non-sugary ideas that can be doled out instead.

Maximize your reach by posting it on social media. Since halloween appeals to a mass audience, this is one of the best dental marketing ideas, as it has the potential to be shared beyond your immediate patient followers.

8. Hold a coloring contest

Entertain kids who come to your dental practice during the month of October by inviting them to participate in a coloring contest. Parents will be grateful for this distraction, as it will keep them occupied in the waiting room.

Don’t see many children at your dental practice? Adult coloring books are a great way to pass the time, too, so you can include people of all ages in your contest. Reward both adult and child winners with a prize, and post photos of their creations on social media.

Dental marketing ideas centered on Halloween are a great way to promote your practice. This gives you the opportunity to have a little fun with your patients while encouraging them to be mindful of their dental health.

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How to get patients to keep coming back. Learn what influences patient choices and behaviors in the 2023 Patient Perspectives report.

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Catherine Tansey, business writer and reporter

Catherine Tansey is a business and healthcare writer and reporter. She has close to a decade of experience writing and reporting on small business best practices, emerging technology, market trends, and more. Catherine has several family members who own private practices in mental health services, dentistry, and chiropractics, and she’s seen firsthand the pride and privilege practice owners feel to be able to support their communities.

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