Is email marketing dead? Not by a long shot. In fact, it’s still one of the most effective ways to reach your audience and provide value without feeling disruptive.
Why is that the case?
Even in today’s digitally connected society where we routinely communicate in snippets of 140 characters or less, people still prefer to stay connected with brands via email. Email helps you build trust, remind patients about appointments, and keep people engaged with your practice.
That’s especially true for dentists. Let’s face it. Most people don’t enjoy going to the dentist, so they need a regular, friendly reminders about scheduling appointments or they’re likely to forget.
If you’ve already established an email list, you have a perfect base for building out marketing campaigns. And even if you haven’t, getting started is as simple as asking your current patients for their email address.
Try These Six Email Marketing Ideas for Dental Offices
The intimidating part of launching an email marketing campaign is deciding what to send. How do you create emails that people will read instead of sending to the spam folder?
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Appointment Reminders. This is the easiest way to launch an email marketing campaign for your dental office. It also makes asking people for their email address less awkward. Personalize the email with the patient’s name and appointment time, and try including the dentist’s signature in a script font to make it feel more personal. You can automate reminders to go out a couple of days before the appointment so people have time to reschedule if they need to.
- New Patient Follow-Ups. When a new patient visits your office, send them a follow-up email thanking them for their visit. This is an excellent way to build rapport and leave a positive impression. Your follow-up might also include a special offer for their next appointment, a survey about the service they received, or a referral coupon.
- Special Promotions. Do you offer new patient specials, referral bonuses, or candy trade-in promotions after Halloween? Promote these offers in your email newsletter for increased exposure to people who are already engaged with your practice. Be sure you keep a close eye on the competition when you create your specials—you don’t want to offer a $99 promotion package if the dentist down the street offers the same thing for $79!
- Tip of the Month. Consider a monthly newsletter that includes a dental hygiene tip or explains a particular type of procedure. Use your newsletter to educate patients about how the services you offer can make their lives better. Your newsletter is also a great place to showcase testimonials from happy patients.
- Patient Appreciation Events. If you really want to make your patients feel special, consider hosting patient appreciation events such as a raffle, coupon, or giveaway. Promote these events with your email to increase participation. Be sure to let people know how to enter and how they will be notified if they win.
- Billing and Online Payment Options. If you offer online payment options, you can send an email letting patients know when their bill is available to view online. This gives people an easy way to take care of business when they have a few spare moments without having to call or visit your office.
What Else Do I Need to Know?
Building your email list and planning your strategy gives you a great starting place for engaging more effectively with current and future patients. But it’s only a start. Any successful email marketing campaign must work in tandem with your website.
Every email you create should include an offer (the value you’re delivering to the patient) and a call to action (what you want the patient to do). If you’re sending an appointment reminder, for example, the value you’re providing is a reminder to come get their teeth cleaned. The call to action is to click on the “Confirm Appointment” button. Once they click that button, they will be taken to a landing page on your website (in this case, a “Thank you for confirming your appointment” page).
In order to serve your patients effectively, your website should create a positive experience for every visitor. Check out our tips for improving your online patient experience for ideas about making that a reality.
And if you need some website inspiration, check out these three providers who are nailing it with their medical website design.
For more tips, tricks, and marketing ideas for dental offices, contact one of our marketing experts for your free consultation!