Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to bid our farewells to email…
Wait… what? Stop listening to the alarmists, people. Email is alive and well! And it is more useful than ever as a marketing tool. We’re not talking about bombarding your patients’ inboxes with a newsletter every week. But with the correct strategy, you can reach the right patients at the right time with the right message.
It’s Not For Everyone
Using emails for formal memos or letters is a thing of the past, and if your patients aren’t into it, that’s okay. Sending weekly emails, particularly if they’re not relevant to the needs of your patients, is only going to increase the likelihood that your patients will hit that “unsubscribe” link to clean up their inbox.
However, it’s still a useful tool. If you know what people want to see and have an effective strategy, email can still reach your patients. They’re still checking email. They’re just checking it on phones and tablets instead of their desktop computers. That’s why you need to make sure the content of your email is:
- Clear and concise: Get to the point quickly or you will lose your audience.
- Lighthearted: You want your emails to be read, right? Keep them fun, light, and personable so patients look forward to receiving them.
- Easy-to-read: Use short paragraphs and numbered or bulleted lists whenever possible. These are scannable items, and items that can be scanned are more likely to be read.
Email is especially useful for deepening relationships with your current patients (and in some cases, driving more value). Consider the following email strategies:
- Targeted emails: In the last month, you’ve spoken with 38 patients about adult orthodontics. Out of those, 35 have stayed on the fence. Send an email out to only those 35 patients as a reminder of your discussion. Your email will let them know you were thinking of them, which will create loyalty. It will also reintroduce the idea of something they’ve already considered, making them more likely to follow through with treatment. When they love their results, they will remember that it was your encouragement that gave them the courage to commit.
- Benefits versus features: You purchased a new intraoral scanner and are excited about sharing it with your patients. The problem is, they don’t care that it has a smaller footprint or uses some fancy new digital technology. They care about how it is going to affect their treatment. Share what matters, such as the fact that digital technology might allow them to forego the uncomfortable, goopy impressions of the past, or that digital scans are more precise, so their final product—say, a veneer—is correctly fitted and matched the very first time, and they won’t have to visit your office for further adjustments.
- Remind them that you’re an expert: If you attend special trainings or receive designations that set you apart from the other dentists in your area, brag a little bit! Remind your patients why they’re in capable hands when they visit your office. This information could also result in more patient procedures. When your patients find out that you have recently become a Premier Preferred Invisalign Provider, for example, they may feel more comfortable inquiring about treatment.
If you ask patients for their email address and they decline, it’s not a big deal. There are other ways to reach people. But don’t give up on email just yet. To paraphrase author, essayist, and avid letter writer Mark Twain, the reports of email’s death have been greatly exaggerated.
With more than a decade of experience in corporate dental laboratory marketing and brand development, Ms. Ulasewich decided to take her passion for the dental business and marketing to the next level by founding My Dental Agency. Since starting her company, Ms. Ulasewich and her team have helped a wide variety of business owners all over the nation focus their message, reach their target audience, and increase their sales through effective marketing campaigns. She can be reached at (800) 689-6434 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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