As a healthcare professional, you might not recognize the opportunity that collecting email addresses from your patients could bring.
When patients call to make an appointment with your practice, or when they come in for their appointment, you should be asking them for their email addresses. Not only will this allow you a way to send appointment reminders and seasonal content, but it’s also a good way all around to improve doctor-patient relationships.
If you are ready to engage with your patients and stretch your outreach, here are four ways you can utilize email marketing to improve doctor-patient relationships.
Appointment Reminders and Post-Appointment Feedback
One way you can use email to your advantage is by sending out appointment reminders to your patients. Many of your adult patients are likely to work jobs that require them to have their emails up and open all day long. Sending an email appointment reminder can be a way to quickly, yet efficiently, remind your patients that they have an appointment coming up with you.
After your patient has had their appointment, it is a good time to send another email with a link to a quick feedback survey to ask how their experience was. Asking for feedback is a good way to let your patients know you care about their experience with you. However, it’s also a good way to know how you and your team can improve the patient experience.
If you’d like to amplify the amount of feedback you receive, have your staff remind your patients as they leave to look out for the feedback email that should be arriving in their inboxes later that day or the next.
When you collect patient emails, it also provides an opportunity for you to reach out a few times a year to ask for friend referrals. A good rule of thumb is to ask for referrals once you receive good feedback from the post-appointment surveys.
Make the email personal, thanking the patient for their positive review and then telling them you would appreciate any referrals they would be willing to give. If you are eager for more referrals, offer your current patient a free dental health product or a percentage off their next service when one of their friends makes an appointment with your practice.
Product Reviews and News Updates
Another way you can utilize patient emails is by sending out reviews of dental health products or updates on industry news to keep your patients in the loop. I recommend sending out an email once every quarter that has a quick review on popular dental products on the market, plus if there are any industry trends making their way around you think your patients could benefit from knowing about them.
As a dentist, you can also use this email to let your patients know of any sales you might have going on, like a percentage off a treatment that shows to be popular at that given time.
Use the different seasons and holidays as an opportunity to send out emails to your patients regularly throughout the year. This content can be quick write-ups on how people can care for their teeth throughout the different seasons. For example, you could send out emails like:
- January: Gain Confidence in the New Year with Cosmetic Dentistry
- March: Spring Clean Your Smile with a Deep Cleaning
- July: How to Avoid Teeth Stains from Summer Soda
- August: Back to School Essentials: A Refreshed Smile
- October: Protect Your Teeth from Halloween Candy
- December: Give Yourself the Gift of Dental Health this Season
If you wanted, you could find a different email to send each month to stay popping up in your patient’s inboxes regularly. Utilize fun dental days, like National Tooth Fairy Day, as a way to make your content different and more interesting than what other businesses are sending out.
How These Tips Improve Doctor-Patient Relationships
The key to improving doctor-patient relationships through email marketing is making your content personal and less generic. The use of email should serve as an extension to the communication that happened with your staff and the patient in your office.
For example, when you send a post-appointment email to your patients, take the time to add a note about how you are there for them if they continue having issues with what their specific issue was. Find ways to make your content personal and genuine.
Email Marketing: What Not to Do
If you are going to embark on sending out emails to your patient base, here are a couple of quick tips on what not to do.
First, don’t be spam. Before you send an email out, make sure it will really be of benefit to your patients.
Second, don’t email too regularly. You want to stay in contact with your patients, but you don’t want them to become inundated with emails from your office. Best practice would be aiming to send only up to two emails a month, outside of appointment reminders and post-appointment feedback surveys.
Start Email Marketing Today
If you’re looking for another way to stay in contact with your patients, start collecting their email addresses today. Be sure every time you get a new patient that you are quickly updating your email list so you are reaching as many people as possible. Don’t wait to begin an email list. Start today!
Dr. Berry, a native of West Virginia, graduated dental school from West Virginia University. He excelled in the clinic and participated in the honors program helping underclassmen. After dental school, he worked in a small Texas town, treating all types of people. As a member of the Army National Guard, he has undertaken humanitarian dental trips to Nicaragua and the Navajo Nation as well as several other areas of need. Now, Dr. Berry maintains his practice, Mountain Aire Dentistry, in Broomfield, Colorado.