Email on a laptop with a cup of coffee on the table

A Comprehensive Guide to Email Marketing for Dentists

May 10, 2022

With today’s technology, the opportunities for digital marketing are endless. From webinars to video campaigns, it’s easier to connect with patients than ever. However, with so much saturation in the digital sphere, it’s also that much harder to stand out. While contemporary options for marketing could be amazing options for your practice, you also shouldn’t sleep on one powerful strategy: email marketing for dentists.

Statistics prove that email marketing is just as effective as it used to be. In fact, according to Litmus, “on average, email drives an ROI of $36 for every dollar spent, higher than any other channel.” There are four billion worldwide email users. In 2020 alone, nearly 306 billion emails were sent and received every day. And growth isn’t slowing down: This figure is expected to reach more than 376.4 billion emails a day in the next few years.

Surprisingly, despite the overall success of email marketing, it is often underused in the dental industry. This is your chance to stand out from the crowd! Let’s explore just how important email marketing for dentists is and how to put together a successful campaign, as well as great examples that you could use for inspiration.

Email Marketing is Essential for the Modern Dental Practice

Did you know that 91 percent of smartphone users check their email at least once a day? For this reason and more, email marketing is a great way to stand out from other dental practices. It is also often underutilized in the industry and provides users with significant benefits.

First, email marketing is inexpensive. Compared to many of the mainstream marketing channels, email comes with no significant added costs like there are for billboards, magazines, or ads. For smaller dental practices, using email can be an effective and budget-safe way to target their desired audience. Starting with a small number of patients, an email marketing campaign can even be completely free. Moving forward, it’s easy to keep your budget to just a few hundred dollars—whether you decide to purchase software or partner with an agency.

Perhaps the most significant benefit of email marketing is that it’s personalized to your patients. Email allows you to use AI and automation to create a unique experience for each email subscriber. For example, you can use targeted emails to share company updates, specials, or campaigns with specific people. Not only will this help you stay in touch with your patients outside of their visits, but it will also build engagement, awareness, and trust. As you share information with your patients, you can highlight your expertise. You can even use email to encourage patients to share it with their friends and family, simplifying the referral process!

How to Collect Patient Email Addresses

Once you’ve decided that email is your preferred form of marketing, you can get started on developing your campaigns. The first step is to collect as many email addresses as you can to build a robust list. This can take some time, so be sure to get started early and stay consistent.

There are a few ways you can build your contact list, including the following tactics:

  • Ask patients to fill out information forms when they come in
  • Install a widget on your website to capture addresses
  • Create a compelling image of your business card to include as a downloadable file in the email
  • Invite people through social media to subscribe to a newsletter
  • Provide valuable content and ask patients to provide their contact information to request more

Once you’ve started to collect patient email addresses, be as consistent as possible. Continue to follow up with patients at their visits to make sure you have the most accurate information. Develop more blog and social media content. The more email addresses you have, the more opportunities there are to connect with patients.

The 101 of Putting Together Campaigns

Putting together a campaign starts with developing a theme. What type of content do you want to share with your patients? Here are a few tips to add some pizzazz to your email marketing approach.

Create a Stellar Welcome Email

Subscribers are four times more likely to open welcome emails than other communication, making it one of the most important types of email marketing. Not only does your first email set the tone for the rest of them, but it is also your first touchpoint of contact, allowing you to introduce your brand to them.

Remember: Dental email marketing isn’t just about reminding patients of their visits or sending them tips about brushing their teeth. It’s about showing them what your values are and expressing that you care about them.

Develop Catchy Subject Lines

Recipients will pay more attention to your subject line than any other part of your email, so focus on making it as compelling as possible. Meet with your team to discuss some of the things they get the most questions about. For example, do patients ask about how to prevent cavities? Do they complain about tooth pain or sleep deprivation?

Then, use those points of interest to reel your patients in. Consider using subject lines like “This Is the Reason You Have Cavities” or “Tooth Pain Got You Down? Here’s How to Fix It.” These are eye-catching and immediately get to the root of a patient’s issue.

Personalize Your Emails

Personalized email campaigns will likely outperform general, one-size-fits-all emails. That’s because, the more you personalize, the more you connect. Beyond using characterization features in your emails like using patients’ names, you can also use segmentation based on location or job role, develop triggered emails, send emails based on important dates like anniversaries or birthdays, and consider sending them from a specific person on the team—such as a popular hygienist at your practice.

Track Performance with Data Analytics

Finally, don’t forget to track your performance! It’s essential to monitor your data in order to identify possible roadblocks and monitor success. Without tracking, how will you know whether your efforts have been successful? Many marketing platforms will even offer performance tracking as one of their features!

Choosing the Right Email Marketing Platform for You

Email marketing can be a lot easier to manage when you have a platform designed specifically to help you send, monitor, and personalize emails. As you narrow down your search, consider looking for options that offer the following key features:

  • Unlimited possibilities in designing and branding
  • Integration and data management
  • Template collections
  • Reliable customer support
  • Contact segmentation
  • Personalization
  • Analytics and reporting

Deciding on the right software for your team will also largely depend on your budget and nonnegotiables. Don’t forget that choosing an email marketing platform can be an investment, so don’t compromise on the capabilities you want in the system. The right decision will give you powerful features without sacrificing customer support.

Examples of Great Marketing Emails from Dentists

While one of the best things about dental email marketing is that you can customize it based on your brand and your patients’ needs, there are some emails that are an essential aspect of any great campaign. Here are a few excellent examples of emails you should consider implementing as part of your marketing efforts.

DIY Tips for Dental Hygiene

Many internet users use search engines to find information about improved health outcomes. Your practice can use this to your advantage to share reliable tips that they may be interested in. For example, you can use email as your communication tool to help your patients and share wellness tips, videos, blogs, and more. Whether it’s telling them about the best options for toothpaste or mouthwash or teaching them about methods for whitening their teeth, your patients will appreciate the extra effort that goes into prioritizing their wellness.

Appointment Confirmation and Reminder Emails

Confirmation emails are essential for any dental professional. It’s up to you to make sure your patients have no confusion about their next appointment—whether it’s their first or their 50th. Plus, sending confirmation emails to patients enables you to welcome new patients and reassure them that you’re thinking of them, their appointment form was successful, and they’ll be in good hands.

These emails are also a great opportunity to let them know about any important information they’ll need at their appointment. Will they need their insurance information? Can they fill out medical history forms before they get there? These steps can help save valuable information later and make their appointment go even more smoothly.

Interesting Office Updates and Discounts

Help your patients feel involved in the culture at your practice by sending them updates about your team. Did you just hire a new hygienist or dentist? Did someone just get promoted to a new position? Are you merging with another company? Whatever the news is, sharing them with patients can help them feel important.

Along those lines, sharing discounts or special offers will not only motivate your patients to return for years to come, but it can also help them feel valued by you and your team. What better way to show your patients you care than expressing that it’s not just all about the money?

Email marketing is an essential aspect of a transformative growth strategy. However, running a successful dental practice extends far beyond effective email marketing. From other forms of advertising to providing the absolute best patient experience possible, improving your patients’ lives and driving success means continuously improving. Are you ready to learn more about improving your practice? Visit thevivosinstitute.com/events to learn more about opportunities to earn CE credits and grow!