The Secret to Reaching 100% of Your Patients: Snail Mail

August 25, 2021 Karen Axelton

When you consider how best to communicate with patients, the first thing that comes to mind is probably phone calls (the traditional method) or text messaging (the modern method). Sending your patients snail mail reminders about their upcoming appointments is so old-fashioned…or is it?

Sure, text messaging offers an efficient, effective way to quickly communicate with patients in all age groups. Today, even Americans aged 50 to 69 report that text messaging is the most common tool they use to stay connected with friends and family, more so than email.

But when you want to make sure you’re reaching 100% of your patients with your communications, you need to offer enough options for getting in touch to suit every patient. Keep reading to learn why snail mail should be part of your dental office’s marketing toolkit.

Why Snail Mail Still Works for Patient Communication

What makes snail mail such a valuable method to reach your patients?

  • It fits some patients’ needs. Some patients still prefer to receive paper communications in the mail. From seniors who don’t hear well on the phone or don’t text, to Millennials overwhelmed by their inboxes, you never know who would rather get a card or letter than a call or email. Why force your patients to communicate in the way you prefer? Instead, let them communicate the way they prefer.
  • It gets attention. Let’s face it: how many emails and text messages do you get per day? How does that compare to the number of letters or postcards you receive? It can be easy to open a text message, get distracted doing something else and forget to respond. Patients who are overloaded with emails may take days to get through them all, and in the meantime could miss an appointment. But when you only get one or two pieces of mail per day, a postcard, letter or other mailer really makes patients take notice.
  • It works for everyone. You may not have cell phone numbers or email addresses for every patient. Perhaps they don’t want to share that information, or perhaps you just forgot to ask for it the last time they visited. However, there’s one piece of data you do you have for every patient: their home address.
  • It reinforces other messages. Snail mail can provide a backup communication method for patients whose email inboxes are jam-packed. If your emails and text messages aren’t getting a response, try sending that patient a postcard or letter and see what happens.

Say It With Snail Mail

The popularity of postcards as a direct-mail tool has been on the rise for the past four years. Eye-catching and colorful, with minimal text that makes them easy to read, postcards fit the way people prefer to get information today.

If you’ve got something more complicated to say, expand it into a letter. A letter can make a convincing case for a proposed treatment plan, explain how your office protects patients from infection, or persuade a dormant patient why it’s so important to start coming back for regular dental exams.

When you use Lighthouse 360, it’s easy to create postcards and letters you're your brand’s images, colors and logos. Simply provide the image files and Lighthouse handles the rest. We’ll  provide eye-catching templates you can customize for a wide range of patient communication needs, such as recall messages, dormant patient outreach and appointment reminders.

In the midst of today’s dental staffing crisis, chances are your office is dealing with a personnel crunch. Compared to time-consuming phone tag, snail mail can offer a quick and easy way to connect with patients while building your practice’s brand…and building stronger patient relationships.





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