How to increase your practice marketing return on investment (ROI) with email.
Recent changes in the dental market and technology require that you increase your marketing efforts to attract and keep new patients. In the dental industry, private practices are declining in market share and must compete with mid-size and corporate dental practices (and their larger marketing budgets). Meanwhile, mobile devices and the Internet are creating more marketing channels every day.
With information overload making it harder for patients to pay attention to your practice marketing, how can you get the best return on your investment? The answer is to choose the marketing channel with the highest return on investment (ROI): email.
A Direct Marketing Association study found that email has a median ROI more than four times higher than other marketing formats surveyed, including social media and paid search. If you want to increase your practice marketing ROI, follow these email strategies:
1. Use Clear and Concise Writing and Formatting
Because you’re competing for your patient’s attention, be as clear and concise as possible. Keep your email subject line under 60 characters long. This allows patients to read the full subject in their inboxes, which helps your open rates.
Preview text (displayed in the email preview area of the inbox) should be between 60 and 90 characters long. Use headlines to make it easier for readers to skim the body of your email. Your headline font should be at least 30 pixels, and your body font should be 13 to 16 pixels.
To draw attention to phone numbers and other important information, use bullet points and bolded type. Instead of “Click Here” in your Call-to-Action buttons, use specific phrases such as “Get Started,” “Learn More,” “Schedule
Today,” or “Request an Appointment.”
2. Personalize Your Emails
Personalizing your emails helps raise response rates and build patient loyalty. Use your patient’s first name when you start your emails. Customize your birthday messages and appointment reminders too.
Include information about discounts, special offers, and events that are relevant to your patients. You wouldn’t send a pediatric promotion to adult patients with no children at home, so don’t send a tooth whitening coupon to your pediatric patients. Imagine the response rate if you emailed personalized coupons based on your patient’s particular oral health needs.
3. Segment Your Email List for Relevant Communications
Segmenting your email list allows you to send more relevant communications to your patients, and it also increases loyalty and referrals. Because you know your patients better than any other dental practice in town, you have a marketing advantage. Use that knowledge to segment your messages.
Consider how different your message would be to these different segments: patients with confirmed appointments; patients with scheduled (but unconfirmed) appointments; patients who need to schedule continuing care appointments; patients with unfinished treatment plans; patients who submitted referrals; and patients who haven’t visited your office in six months or more.
4. Automate Your Thank-you Emails
The thank-you email is an automatic marketing opportunity because you can ask patients for an online review. Include a link in your email to the online review sites where your practice needs more positive reviews.
Automate your post-appointment emails to save time for your team and to
ensure that no patients are missed. Using Patient Engage by Henry Schein One can make email marketing as easy as clicking a mouse.
5. Track Your Email Marketing Results
You probably know the business saying, “That which is measured improves.” It’s true for email marketing, too. If you track your email results, you can learn what you need to do next time.
For example, during an email campaign, your marketing software can gather data such as: the total emails sent, the total emails opened, and the number of clickthroughs or responses generated. The campaign data can help you make intelligent decisions about message content, targeted segments, and special offers.
Find out how to send more effective emails and create automatic email marketing campaigns—and save time while you do so. Visit www.dentrix.com/solutions/patient-engagement for more information.
Read “Finding Patients with Missing Email Addresses” to help ensure you have email addresses for all of your patients.
Originally published in Dentrix Magazine, Spring 2019