Email Marketing for Dentists: An Extensive Review
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The success and failure of your professional dental practice, to a great extent, is decided by the connectivity that your practice develops with the old and new prospective patients/clients.
When you are providing a treatment, you need to use all your heart and mind. But when it comes to running the professional practice and make it profitable you need to think and act like a marketer or a businessman.
The role of connectivity in your dental practice:
A patient will visit your clinic most frequently once in every 6 months (unless of course there is some urgency). So, once the treatment is over and because of your good treatment the patient is relieved of his/her dental problem, there is a possibility that the patient might not pay a visit to your practice for next one year. Here, in an ironical way, your efficiency as a dentist, is acting as a pseudo deterrent.
So, for the growth of your professional dental practice, it is essential that your practice stays in constant touch with the patients. Even with the patients, who you feel were rightfully not satisfied with some of the aspects of your dental practice.
As it has been rightly said – Out of Sight leads to being Out of Mind
One of the most powerful modes to maintain this connectivity is the use of Emails. Yes, you heard it right! The good old Emails.
In this world of overcrowded social media, email is the only connectivity tool, which has the potential of establishing a direct and personal communication with your old and new patients. In an ideal sense, as a dentist, you must take advantage of all the connectivity tools that are available in the current age.
You must never make the mistake of putting all your eggs in a single basket or overlooking other connectivity tools focusing only on the social media reach.
In this post, we will have an extensive discussion on the power of Email in the marketing of your dental practice and how you can leverage this power. It will be a long post with lots of useful information that has the capacity to elevate your practice to the next level.
We will cover this extensive review under the following headings:
- Benefits of Email Marketing Vs the Social Media Marketing.
- How to collect the Emails and build a list?
- The various types of Marketing Emails that Dentists can use.
- How to write a good marketing Email for your Dental Practice?
- What are the various tools that you can use for Email Marketing?
- Email marketing statistics point that you must know for assessment.
#1. Benefits of Email Connectivity Vs Social Media Marketing
The first natural question will be – does email marketing has any apparent benefit over the latest obsession of social media marketing.
Yes, there are many benefits and let us make a list of those.
You do not own the social media platform:
All the contacts that you establish or acquire on the social media platform are restricted to that medium only. You are just using their platform to make the connectivity.
On the contrary, Emails of your patients/clients once acquired belong to you. After acquiring the email, you are not dependant on the social media platform to establish a connection.
The Price Factor:
Unlike the good old initial days, the social media platform is no more providing a free organic reach. All the major social media platforms have now adopted the paid reach module, where in order to reach more number of people you will need to pay them a good amount. More the people you want to reach, more you are required to pay.
In comparison, Email was and till today is free. There is no direct cost of using or sending emails. Of course, if you want to use extensive Email marketing then there are some associated costs to it. But the monthly costs of Email marketing are significantly low compared to the daily expenditure of paid social media marketing.
The “EASY” factor:
Planning a social media campaign is not easy. It has a lot of variables to consider. Ignoring any of these variables will lead to the complete failure of your social media marketing.
But email is comparatively easier to use. All you need to take care is to write a good email before you send it to your connections. That is all.
The article continues in the next slide.
In the next slide, we will see how a dentist can create an email list of previous patients and potential new clients?
Press Next to go to Next Slide
We are talking about how dentists can leverage the power of email for the growth of their dental practice. In the previous slide, we discussed the benefits of email marketing. In this slide, we will see – what are the various ways to build an effective email subscriber list?
#2. How to Build An Email Subscriber List?
In the previous paragraph, we talked about the advantages that an email marketing campaign has over the social media marketing. So, the next obvious question is – How to build an Email subscriber list?
Before you can plan to start your email based connectivity, you need the real emails of people. This will consist of your old patients and also the future prospective clients. Use the simple points mentioned below to collect authentic emails:
Online collection of Email ids:
For collecting the emails you will need to have an Email Signup form. You can put this Email collection form on your Facebook page, Twitter feed, Linkedin profile or on your website.
It is very easy to do. There are online services that help you to create and add email subscriber form to your online assets. If you want to add email subscriber form to your social media platforms then you can use services like Shortrask, Tabsite & Antavo.
At DentalOrg.com we use the online services of Get Site Control to collect the Email of interested readers who visit our website. We try to make sure the Email subscription box is as less intrusive as possible. At the same time, it gives the website readers an option to connect with us by providing us their email id, if they choose to.
On location collection of Email ids:
You also have the option to collect the Email ids from your patients on location in your dental practice. It is very simple. You just need to add a space for the email in the patient filling form in your dental practice. Check out a demo patient registration form below.
Many doctors have been collecting the email ids for years but have never put it to any use. So, do not repeat the same mistake. From today onwards, start collecting patient emails and keep a record of it. Even if you collect 100 emails in 3 months, it is a great result. You have potential 100 happy patients to connect with on a regular basis. With time this list will keep on increasing.
Once you are ready with an email subscriber list, then the next step is to send emails to your contacts that will connect with them and also propagate a positive message about your dental practice.
#3. Types of Marketing Emails that Dentists can use
The types of Emails that a dentist can use for marketing are little different from the ones used in corporate marketing. The end point of corporate emails is to drive home the sell. Many times people just ignore it but big corporates are not much affected by it. Their email marketing is in millions, so few thousands ignore does not matter.
But as a dentist, you are reaching to a selected few individuals. So, you cannot afford to be ignored. At the same time, you also cannot afford to irritate your contacts. So, the emails that you send must be useful to them in terms of their health and also provide some information about your dental practice.
1. Appointment Reminder: This is to be used for the patients who are having a future appointment. Along with the appointment reminder, you can also add the latest offers & treatment modules available for the patients.
Benefit: Patients always appreciate a timely reminder. In the busy day to day work, they tend to forget about dental appointments. The appointment reminder letter installs a faith about your dental practice.
Check out a demo email marketing mail for a dental brand.
2. News Letters with Promotion: This type of email marketing can be used to reach all the patients who have visited your dental practice or have subscribed to your online profiles (website, social media etc.). These are promotional emails but in the guise of awareness. In these newsletters, you can add useful oral health information along with the additions in your dental practice. You can also provide special coupons to the patients and their families.
Benefit: A regular newsletter marketing keeps the visibility of your dental practice in front of the previous patients and also in front of the future clients.
3. News Letters with Social Works Message: If you want to make a name in your community as a dentist, then you need to carry out community works. So, whenever you are starting with your next social work you can send out a personal marketing email to your old patients and website subscribers to inform them about the event. You can also invite them to join the event.
Irrespective of whether they attend the event or not, this type of email marketing creates a positive vibe about your dental practice. This kind of social work initiatives always creates a good word of mouth promotion for the dental practices. It also establishes your individual brand as a dentist withing the community.
Benefit: Dentistry is, after all, a locally based venture, which means to succeed you will need to support and good will of the people in your locality and around it. Hence it is always wise to do socially based activities to make yourself known in your local community. This has a great potential in the long run.
The article continues in the next slide.
In the next slide, we will see how can we write a great marketing Email for your dental practice that your patients will like and respond.
Press Next to go to Next Slide
We are talking about how dentists can leverage the power of email for the growth of their dental practice. Till now, we have covered 3 points in the previous slide. Next, we will look at how to write a great marketing email to send to patients and your subscribers.
#4. How To Write a Great Dental Marketing Email
Now comes the real action. You have to write a good Email addressing your patients. The real task is making the Email personal and nor make it appear like one more marketing email that people receive every day in their inbox.
You have the option to make the Email very attractive using online services. Something like the picture below.
But with growing filters being employed by the email servers, design heavy emails are getting flagged or being placed in the promotion tab of the inbox.
As per my personal preference, it is always better to write short personal emails (which do not look like marketing emails) and addressing it directly to the patient. This kind of email looks like the picture below.
This type of Email is more personal and most of the times land in the inbox of the recipient. We will see more about this towards the end of this article. But for now, you can follow these points while crafting a marketing email for your dental practice.
1. Keep The Headline To The Point & Appealing:
Keep the headline short, crisp and to the point. Very long email heading subject – appears intimidating and spammy. Very short, then you do not convey your message properly. Many times it is just the email heading that decides if the patient/client is going to open your mail.
2. Create a timetable or schedule of Emails that you plan to send:
It is a fact that, regularity builds up trust. In the case of email marketing for your dental practice, it holds true. Also, in the case of email marketing, the cardinal rule is “Less is More”.
An ideal case of sending the marketing mail for your dental practice is Once or maximum twice a month. You cross this thin border, then you become an irritant to the email receiver.
3. Share links to informative contents: We have already discussed in detail about the benefits of having a dental website and why every dentist must have a dental website. Once you have a dental website, you need to write good quality dental articles. Share the links to those articles in the email.
4. Ask their opinion and views: Always end the mail, asking the opinion the reader. The goal is to invite them into the conversation and make them feel the part of the whole process. Also feel free to add the testimonials of past patients. Testimonials are always a great way to boost confidence in your dental practice, especially if you are trying to reach, new patients via email.
5. Provide your social and real life proof:
When you email to market your dental practice, then it is highly imperative that you provide a complete social and real-life proof. There is nothing more “out of place” feeling for an email receiver than opening a mail on a dental practice but no associated proof attached to it.
Hence, it is highly important that you, provide all the necessary proof.
- Provide links to your website & social media profiles.
- Provide you complete practice address with email, phone number, and associated contact information.
The points mentioned above are just some of the basics of how to craft an email for the marketing of your dental practice. It is a vast subject to discuss. But if you follow the 5 points mentioned above, that should be adequate for the marketing of your dental practice.
#5. What are the various tools for Email Marketing?
Till now we have discussed many basic points on email marketing. Now we have reached the stage where we need to know about the various tools that are available to a dentist to carry out the email marketing. We will try to keep it simple without making it too complicated.
For your email marketing, you have two types of options
You can use exclusive Email marketing tools (Mailchimp, Convertkit etc.)
You can use email marketing using your Gmail id.
Email Marketing Tools (MailChimp etc.): These are the exclusive email marketing companies that are dedicated to sending millions of marketing emails every day. The main difference here is that the entire process of composing the email and sending it to all your email contacts takes place outside and independent of your primary email id.
In these kinds of email marketing, you do not need to open your Gmail inbox and compose a mail. You will have to compose and design the marketing email within the email marketing company website. For example, you will need to log in to MailChimp website, compose a marketing email and send it to your email contact.
Pros: You can create very sleek and attractive looking marketing emails. (like the picture above)
Cons: The major problem is that most of the marketing emails sent via email marketing companies are landing up in the promotion tabs of the recipient’s inbox. This is happening due to the security filters being used by Gmail and Yahoo. As the emails that you are sending are NOT originating from Google or Yahoo servers, they are getting filtered and landing up in Promotions Tab. How many times have you actively checked your promotions tab in your inbox?
Use for dentists: This type of email marketing is more appropriates for big corporates who send emails to millions of recipients. For an individual dentist or a group of dentists, it is not of much use because of the high pricing, a limited number of recipients, and the fact that most of the promotional emails will end up in the promotion tab of the recipient’s inbox (they may not even open the mail).
The article continues in the next slide.
In the next slide, we will see how dentists can use Gmail for email marketing of their dental practice.
Press Next to go to Next Slide
We are talking about how dentists can leverage the power of email for the growth of their dental practice. In this slide, we will see how dentists can use Gmail for the marketing of their dental practice.
Email marketing using your Gmail id:
This is the easiest and the most affordable for individual and group of dentists. In this model of email marketing, all you need is your Gmail account. Some of the services that you can use in this regard are Gmass, Mailshake etc.
You can register to these services using the Gmail id of your practice (DrDon@yourdentalpractice.com) or your regular Gmail personal id (DrDon@gmail.com). Once you register, the service gets integrated with your Gmail and you can send multiple marketing emails directly from your Gmail account. This is just like sending personal emails. As the emails are being sent from the Gmail servers, they always land in the primary tab of the inbox. These kind emails do not look like an advertisement but an attempt to make a personal contact.
So, there are more chances of your recipients (old & new) opening and responding to your emails.
We have previously covered two systems that you can use for email marketing using your Gmail. If you are interested to know more about this marketing system then you can read these 2 articles.
In this article, we will be discussing one of the easiest tools that will help every health professional to increase their connectivity and outreach. This online tool is as easy as using your Gmail. This mode of outreach is known and cold e-mail marketing.
In the 21st century, the success of any venture depends on the extent and quality of promotional campaigns. The Goal of the promotional campaign is to make the audience aware about your product and how it can make their life easy. The s Same rule applies for your dental practice also.
#6. Assessment of Email Marketing
For people who are into marketing professionally, they need to consider a lot of parameters to assess the reach of an email marketing campaign.
But as a dentist, you do not need to go into all the complex details. You just need to keep track of 3 parameters:
Number of Replies
Follow up responses from your end
Bounce rate is the number of email ids to which your marketing email is not delivered. You do not need to worry about it. These are usually the wrong email ids or inactive ones. These emails automatically get sorted by the email marketing tool you are using. The emails are not sent to these email ids the next time you send your marketing emails.
Your responses – The most crucial part of your email marketing is your reply to the email ids that have replied to your marketing email. Every response counts. A good response from your end builds on the trust factor of your dental practice.
And always remember, every patient you have treated, talks about your practice at some time with his/her friends, family & relatives. Hence, a good and considerate response by you creates a positive aura about your dental practice.
In the 21st century, it is highly imperative that a dentist makes sincere efforts to establish a steady online presence.
Do not get stressed by the number of followers in social media or email responses. Due to excessive exposure consumers do not tend to reply to every email or social media post. But that does not mean that they do not notice your regular and consistent presence.
Email has a great potential to establish a personal connection with the old patients as well as new clients. This can be very helpful in strengthening the brand value of your dental practice.
9 Point Checklist for Email Marketing of your Dental Practice
- Start collecting Emails from the patients visiting your dental practice.
- Use email subscription boxes at your dental practice website/social media profiles.
- Choose the correct email marketing tool for you.
- For dentists, E-mail marketing via Gmail is the better and affordable option.
- Frame a good email content with useful information and incentives for the patients.
- Be courteous and confident in your email. Do not give the impression of being desperate and spammy.
- At the bottom of the email. Do not forget to mention the social proof and details of your dental practice.
- Maintain a regular schedule. Twice in a month is an optimum frequency.
- Reply back to the people who respond to your emails.