I believe that email communication is one of the most cost-effective dental marketing methods you can implement within your practice. Start collecting email addresses from your dental patients as early as you can. Even if you don’t currently have an email strategy prepared, having this will prove very useful at a future time.
Email marketing campaigns give you the opportunity to distribute information to a wide audience of patients at a relatively competitive rate. Research shows that email marketing has one of the best return on investment ratios, surpassed only by search engine optimisation.
A growing number of professionals use newsletter marketing to build their practices. Newsletters are ideally suited and highly effective for the unique marketing needs of professional practices. Unlike traditional advertising, newsletters are not viewed as self-serving, because each issue provides valuable information.
Email newsletters benefits
The benefits of email newsletters include the following:
- They enhance your company’s reputation and increase lead generation.
- They increase the lifetime value of your patients.
- They leverage your other marketing efforts.
- They provide instantaneous, easily-tracked results.
- There is an opportunity for your patients to easily and immediately interact with you.
- You can promote dialogue with them.
- They provide a higher response rate because they are being sent to a more receptive audience.
- They are more cost-efficient than a printed newsletter because of the significant savings in time, printing, and mailing costs.
A client or patient newsletter demonstrates your concern for the people your practice serves and aims to strengthen that relationship. It is a convenient and impressive way to keep in touch on a regular basis, especially with patients you may not see often.
Collecting email addresses
If you do not have email addresses in your practice management software, I suggest that staff start phoning patients and gathering email addresses. Start with patients who have been into the clinic in the last six months, then those who have visited between six and twelve months ago, then twelve to eighteen months, etc.
Go through your practice management software and extract patient lists for your practice manager/receptionist. Get them to go through this list at the times when the practice is quiet.
Have a script for the caller to follow. For example:
‘Hello, this is xxxx from xxxx,
I’m phoning to let you know that we’ll be launching some special offers over the coming months and would love to be able to send you the details.
Please can I get your email address so that I can add it to our database? That way we can ensure that you’ll be able to take advantage of these offers.’
Please also assure them that you will not be selling their email address and you will only use this email address to provide special offers and information that you believe will be of interest to them.
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Named as ‘Australian Dental Industry Professional Of The Year 2018’, Carolyn S Dean is the author of ‘Fully booked – Dental marketing secrets for a full appointment book’ and is the Managing Director at My Dental Marketing. Carolyn is a widely-known seminar speaker and dental marketing consultant working extensively with dental professionals.