Getting dental patients to return to your office for regular exams and treatment is the secret to a thriving practice. How can you build lasting relationships with patients and encourage more frequent visits? An email newsletter can help.
An email newsletter can alert patients to special offers, provide tips about dental health, share news about your practice and more. As patients regularly read your newsletter, they'll feel a closer bond with your practice. Here’s what you need to know to start an email newsletter for a dental practice.
- Determine the frequency. How often will you send out your newsletter? Once a month or once a quarter are good frequencies for most dental offices. You can test different frequencies to see which gets the best results for your practice.
- Collect email addresses. Legally, you can't send emails to your customers without getting their permission. When customers check out at the front desk, ask them if they'd like to be added to your email list to receive news and offers. (Read the FTC’s guidelines regarding email spam to make sure you’re complying with federal regulations.)
- Choose an email marketing service. When you use a solution specifically designed for the dental industry like Lighthouse 360, managing your email marketing is easy. Don't worry if no one in your office has graphic design abilities: Lighthouse 360 gives you access to attractive email templates so it’s simple to create your email newsletter. You can also segment your email list so your newsletter only goes to relevant recipients.
- Find photos and images to use. Visuals are essential to an eye-catching email newsletter. However, don't just grab an image off the Internet and put it in your newsletter. You must have licensing rights to any photos or images you use. iStock, CanStock Photo and Shutterstock are three stock photo sites that sell licensing rights to photos for reasonable prices. (Just make sure any stock photo site you subscribe to has plenty of dental-related images.)
- Create content for your email newsletter. Your email newsletter should include a mix of:
- Useful information for patients, such as tips on how to get children to brush their teeth regularly or comparisons of teeth-whitening techniques
- News about your dental office, such as new technology that will provide a better experience for patients, a change in office hours, or a new dentist joining your staff
- Special offers, such as discounts on cosmetic dentistry procedures
- Links to your dental practice’s social media accounts and website
- Each email newsletter should contain a clear call to action — something you want the readers to do. This could include "Call our office to schedule your teeth whitening today," "Read more about veneers," “Forward this newsletter to a friend” or “Follow us on Facebook."
- Use analytics. Your email marketing service should offer analytics tools you can use to assess the performance of your newsletter, such as how many people open each email, how many readers click on the links and what they do after that. By assessing this information on a regular basis, you can fine-tune your newsletter content, frequency and offers to get the best possible results.