By now, most businesses have made the transfer to online communications. However, healthcare is one sector that is often still going through the process of learning how to communicate online. Patients will obviously eventually need to meet their dentist face-to-face, but their search for the right dentist starts online.
Email marketing is a highly effective digital marketing strategy, no matter what type of business you are. It is a very powerful tool that any business in any field and of any scale can use to acquire, engage and retain clientele. You need to understand, however, that there is an art to email marketing. With everyone being able to unsubscribe with the touch of a button, you need to find the fine line between marketing interesting, informative and insightful and bombarding and hassling your clientele.
Email marketing helps you connect with your audience to promote your brand and increase traffic to your dental practice. You can actually do a lot of things with emails. Not only are they a great way to market your business, they are also a great way to sell products and drive traffic to your website and clients to your actual practice.
Click here to read more about content writing for dentists.
Most people also try to fix their problems at home or attempt to avoid them and doing that also starts online. This is where quality content comes in. Your content needs to be good quality so when you start your email marketing campaigns, your patients have good content to read when your emails direct them there.
Email marketing for dentists helps practitioners to:
- Provide quality and helpful content
- Engage existing and potential patients
- Increase revenue
- Prove personalised experiences
- Advertise discounts, deals and promotions
- Increase brand awareness
Click here to read more about marketing a dental practice.
Does email marketing work?
While email marketing has a lot of competition in the marketing department, it is undoubtedly a marketing method that still works, while still being very cost effective. Companies that utilise email, and do it well, can reap the benefits that come from that market technique.
Sending mass emails to your marketing list can increase your brand awareness, keep existing patients engaged, help retain patients and promote your special offers.
4 types of marketing emails
We have outlined the main four types of popular email marketing campaigns and how you can use them effectively to help your business grow:
One of the most popular and common forms of email marketing are regular email newsletters. As a dental practice, you can use an email newsletter to provide your patients with helpful knowledge and updates.
It is important to add value to all your patients’ inboxes.
To do this, you must create engaging content, including new blogs, how-tos and announcements of new services or deals and prices.
Send a few articles, blogs or videos out in a newsletter once a month. Maybe include a promotion or two. Behind-the-scenes stories of your team and the practice will also help build a relationship with your patients.
Acquisition emails can help your dental practice acquire more patients by reaching out to those who have opted to receive your emails but have not yet converted into consistent patients.
By creating attractive offers, discounts and deals, as well as informative content, you can show all those in your email list that perhaps have missed their routine checkups or have been avoiding the dentist. Or, perhaps simply showing those who are unsure of which local dentist they should go to, the value of becoming an active patient at your dental practice.
Acquisition emails are a great way to move all potential leads through the conversion funnel a lot faster and grow your patient base as well as drive additional revenue and target users who have expressed some interest at some point in what your practice has to offer.
Promotional emails are one of the greatest ways to drive new signups, sales and new service offerings for your dental practice. Promotional emails include offers that both entice and encourage your target clients to buy a new service. Use promotional emails to reward engaged subscribers with exclusive email only offers, drive new products you are selling or any new services you are offering. Cosmetic procedures that are hot and trending, such as Invisalign, are always procedures that many potential patients are always on the fence about. Therefore, offering promotions on services like this helps entice those patients into buying into that service.
Benefits of email marketing for dentists
Email marketing is a powerful tool that can be used to engage, acquire and retain patients for your dental practice. By implementing a successful email marketing campaign, your dental practice can benefit greatly. It is important to select the correct email marketing campaign to achieve your goals with this type of marketing.
Build brand awareness
Before you email your patient list, take some time to design your email template. You need to make sure your emails are consistent in style, reflect your brand and look professional. A poorly formatted, plain email may be worse than no email at all.
Include your brand colours and logo, make your email reflect the design and look of your website. Create a consistent brand and get it out there via email.
Drive traffic to your website
Remember, when your target audience finds your email content interesting or valuable, they are a lot more likely to share it, forward it on or click on your links (make sure to always include your social media links and share buttons).
By emailing a blog, or even just a section of it, and encouraging audiences to click the link, you drive more traffic to your website. You can also increase your social media following and engagement by encouraging them to share and link them on your profiles.
Click here to read more about creating a website for dentists.
Build a relationship
As your business is a dental practice, it often means that interactions with your patients can be very limited in the sense that they will only ever see you for scheduled visits. However, this does not mean that you can’t build impactful and lasting relationships with these patients outside of these appointments.
Keep in touch
Being a dental practice, is it quite easy to overlook the importance of keeping in touch with your patients when at best, you will only ever see them every 6-12 months. However, with the use of email marketing, you can fill the void in between those routine visits and build trust and relationships with your patients.
In doing so, you are providing a bigger service than simply taking care of their teeth every appointment. Depending on your email campaign, you can provide patients with various helpful tricks and tips and information that is useful to them, which will make them want to stay subscribed to you. Email marketing will help you create a community of patients.
Top tips on email marketing for dentists and dental practices.
Building a subscriber list
The only way to make full use of email marketing is to have a subscriber list. You need to build a list of contacts that you can start sending emails to.
Create a simple contact form on your homepage, called something like ‘Sign up to our newsletter’, or ‘Special offers’. Keep the form as simple as possible, all you need is a name and an email address. You will get more sign-ups that way.
Include requests to sign up for marketing emails in your communication with new and existing patients. Add these to your email marketing list as well.
Maintain relationships with current patients
Now you have your patients emails, you are able to contact your patients and you are given an opportunity to build their trust. You need to prove that you are using their contact information to send them useful and insightful emails, not useless junk or constant emails bombarding them. To keep the patients you already have, you need to keep in frequent contact with them while establishing a regular and personal connection with them.
It is an absolute game changer for your dental business if you begin to reach out to your customers and provide them with the relevant information they need before they even realise they need it.
While it is imperative to make a routine for when your marketing emails go out to your patients, you need to make sure that you are not overwhelming your subscribers with too many emails. That's when you will start to lose your following!
Keep your newsletters monthly, keep your promotions spaced out, don’t make yourself blend in with the other emails.
Targeted and personalised emails
The content of your emails are what matters the most. The way you choose to personalise them will help you build relationships with your existing and potential patients. Segmented emails work the best, so your emails appeal to both types of patients. This ensures that each patient on your subscribers list receives content that is both relevant and useful to them.
A great example of this is age-appropriate content. This may not mean what you think it means. For example, patients over the age of 50 are less likely to be interested in receiving information about braces like Invsalign. They may be more interested in reading about how their gums change over time and your services on dental implants.
Offering content to your patients of all ages will make each patient feel as if you as a business cares about all of them individually and you are working to build on that relationship and trust.
Sloppy or irrelevant content can have an adverse effect as this will push your patients to unsubscribe. If they are subscribed to your email listing, it needs to be because you are providing them with something of value to them. The last thing you want is for your emails to be marked as spam.
Personalising your emails is a must. Feeling valued is what you want your patients to feel when they receive your emails. Your goal is to make your patients feel like they matter. Your second goal is for your emails to help build your name and dental practice as a brand. Make sure your content reflects you as a business.
Personalising your emails can consist of small things such as addressing each contact by their name instead of the vague ‘sir/madam’, sending birthday messages with offers or seasonal offers. This can be done quite simply in all mass email platforms once you link it to your contact lists.
You can even create automated emails to specific categories of patients. For instance, you could send information on children’s dentistry automatically to only patients with children. You could also send information on gum disease and dental care to all patients who have seen the hygienist.
All these can make an immense difference to how your patients feel about your practice and also how they view their dentist (as many are terrified).
What is the most important about the content of your emails and all other content that you post, is your tone. It is important that you convey the appropriate tone that reflects your practice while you are addressing your patients. These details are what can leave a lasting impression on your patients.
Click here to listen to our podcast episode about marketing to millennials.
Keep patients up to date
Your emails can often consist of special events, offers or discounts you are offering at your practice. This is the main reason why many of your patients will be interested in your emails. Lets face it, dental work is not cheap and everyone loves a good discount!
Providing updates on anything new happening in your practice, such as new equipment, new services or any new staff, anything to get your patients attention and keep your patients informed. Newsletters are a great way of doing this.
Let patients know about life events in the team as well. This creates a sense of community and will bring you closer to your patients. Birthdays, engagements, weddings, these are all great little additions to liven up an existing newsletter.
Educate your patients
You can use your email marketing to educate your subscribers. This can be through concisely worded emails or short descriptions with links to blogs and articles on your website. Linking your blog and website content can also be personalised to specific patients and you can align them to blog posts that are most relevant to them.
For instance, send that blog you wrote on top tips for looking after your braces to all your orthodontic patients.
Think about what questions you get asked a lot in the practice. What problems do you keep seeing in oral health? What are the little tips and tricks you know about brushing and flossing that patients probably don’t? Tell them about it!
Optimise for all devices
No matter what sector your business is, you need to be up-to-date with how you promote your services online. This includes ensuring that your email marketing campaign is optimised for mobile devices. Over half of emails that are sent are opened on mobile phones, therefore, it would make sense (and be in your best interest) to have the emails you send optimised for people that are accessing their emails from either a smartphone or tablet.
The recipients are more likely to open and actually read the content of the email if the email is formatted in the right way for them to view it.
While doing this, there are a few things to consider. Be sure to understand that the screen sizes are different. A laptop screen and a smartphone have very different screen sizes which is what you need to consider. You need to make sure that the content of your emails are clear and visible and not cut off around the screen.
Include Call-to-actions (CTAs)
With any content that you write, at some point you need to encourage a call-to-action. A call-to-action (CTA) is simply a button like ‘call now’ or ‘further information’. Calls-to-action are a great way to create a relationship with your audience and get them to take an action you want.
They are also a great way of pushing traffic to your website.
The point of your email marketing campaigns are to get your subscribers to come to you in some way to get you more business. This is why calls to action are so important. It allows your message to be read, then it gives your clients a way to come to you and create some form of contact. In essence, it is a technique that can make your patients become more responsive and engaged with your practice.
Calls-to-actions can be a very useful technique helping customers along the purchase process and it can also be helpful in attracting new patients to your practice.
Having a CTA, like a referral system, in place alongside the emails that you send will be helpful in monitoring how well the emails are doing and how effectively they are working.
There are various ways to monitor and track the progress of your email campaigns. These powerful analytics are able to track how many of your patients are actually opening your emails and clicking through the links.
Monitoring the progress of your email marketing allows you to make any necessary tweaks and changes if they are necessary. This ensures that you are getting the most that you can from using email marketing for marketing your dental practice.
There are some great ways to measure the effectiveness of your newsletter. You need to analyse whether your content helps build a relationship with your patients and subscribers, increases retention and engagement and strengthens patient loyalty.
Does your content (like blogs and videos) get shared or liked on social media? Does your engagement on social media or your website traffic see a noticeable uptick after sending out a newsletter? Are recipients opening the email and clicking the link within?
Further Information on Marketing a Dental Practice
For further information on how to effectively market a dental practice, check out our Learning Center here.
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