Over time digital communication with patients has been at a constant increase, and highest now of all times. Actually studies show that 90 percent of patients in the healthcare and dental industry wanted emails from their providers, but only 15 percent of patients actually received them.. Why?
Because there was not a real system in place to do so, they were unaware that this service was offered, or dental offices were not actively using their email lists, so patients never engage.
Emailing is another way to be in the forefront of your competition and build long lasting relationships with patients.
What are the benefits of emailing patients on a consistent schedule?
The more you show up in their inbox, the more you stay fresh in their mind. This could be the changing factor of them calling to set up their unscheduled treatment. Someone they know may be asking about specific services and need a new dental provider. If you are present and they know exactly what you offer, and can tell people that they ACTUALLY receive emails from their dentists more referrals will be made.
Wanting to put a special campaign in place? Maybe you would like to launch a whitening option. Instead of relying on patients who are walking in the door, this could reignite inactive patients to complete their overdue treatment and cleanings and give them incentive in order to be able to participate.
Emailing and staying touch gives that extra touch of a positive experience and rapport that every patient is wanting from their providers.
Don’t be scared to include some team pictures, vacationing memories, and office photos for to add a custom and personalized feel.
When Should We Email?
As mentioned, any time you are offering a new service you should send an email blast. When you initially enter those addresses into the system, segment them into different groups so that experiences can be personalized.
For instance, the group of patients who have dentures are not going to be able to have their teeth whitening or get excited about the newest electric toothbrush. At that point you will probably see a lower open rate and maybe even get some unsubscribers.
Any time an associate doctor comes on board, or your hygienist goes out on maternity leave, send them an email. This lets them know that you care enough about them being comfortable that you can go ahead and expose them to the fact they will see new faces the next time they are in your office.
Holidays are a given. In this email you want to include what your special hours will be, are you going to offer emergency services, what they should in case of an emergency, and when you are going to reopen the office. This is also a good opportunity to showcase that you have promotions or openings in the schedule for last minute visits.
Most importantly, BIRTHDAYS! You have to admit, when you get a mailer, coupon, or email from someone outside of your family it makes you feel pretty good. This is another simple, but above and beyond practice to incorporate to your marketing plan to be in front of your competition.
If you have not been implementing these practices you are missing out on internal marketing that’s right under your nose. Email campaigns cost much less than paper, mailers, and stamps. Also you can use reports and analytics to see what works and what can be tweaked to get the most from your efforts.