Dental Email Marketing: Best Practices for Patient Engagement and Retention

Dental email marketing best practices help build better patient relationshipsimproving patient engagement and retention overall. A Patient Relationship Management (PRM) system is a key factor to success.

Dental email marketing is an important element for any modern dental practice’s marketing toolkit.

Email marketing alone has produced impressive results and revenue for businesses—yielding the highest return on investment (ROI) for the past 10 years, along with the highest conversion rates (66%).

In the absence of frequent face-to-face contact, dental email marketing facilitates a more personalized connection between a dental practice and its patients. It helps maintain existing patient relationships and builds trust, as well as also offers a measurable way to target new patients, develop your dental practice’s voice, establish authority, and grow your practice. And, of course, it remains an affordable yet effective channel for generating revenue–for every dollar spent on email marketing, you can estimate a $32 return on your investment (ROI). That’s a win-win!

Are you among the 37% of dentists who intend to roll out an email marketing campaign this year? You’ll need a marketing platform catered specifically to the dental industry to manage your dental-patient relationships. Transform your dental practice and optimize your patient-practitioner relationship with the right dental patient relationship management system that meets both your dental practice’s needs and your team’s needs.

Here are four dental email marketing best practices to enhance patient engagement, improve patient retention, increase efficiency, and enable profitability for your dental practice.

Personalize Emails

Personalization is a key dental email marketing best practice. A personal touch goes a long way in truly reaching your patients. Email marketing is no longer about pushing out generic email blasts to anyone and everyone on your email list.

Creating relevant content intended to match your patient's interests with tailored messaging for individual patients is the most effective way to connect with them and forge a stronger relationship.

Research shows personalized emails get an average of 14% improvement in clickthrough rates and a 10% jump in conversions.

Personal connections increase your approachability and patients will be more likely to read your messages and feel compelled to act upon them. No one likes to feel like the anonymous target of an email campaign, so it’s crucial to speak to patients directly and sincerely as you would if you were face-to-face.

A good subject line will first draw your patient’s attention, and addressing them by name is a key component to personalizing the message. Most people are far more likely to open an email addressed specifically to them by name. The email trifecta is to then discuss treatments or services that speak directly to their needs. And bingo, they are all ears!

Behavior-Based Triggers for Dental Email Marketing

One simple strategy to heighten your personalization efforts is to set up your dental email marketing campaigns based on behavior-based triggers. For example, send welcome emails to every patient who signs up for your monthly newsletter. These types of behavior-based triggers are effective in making your patients feel the messaging is crafted specifically for them. It shows you care, are in touch, and are in tune with the dental industry standards, professionally and personally—which generates great dental practice office buzz!

Dental email marketing can also remind past patients of your engagement. Consistent communication can boost dental practice referrals and increase the chances of first-time patients coming in for a second visit.

Looking for more dental marketing know-how? Join a Mini-Masterclass on Dental Practice Marketing.

Segment Your Audience

All marketing starts with your target audience, and sending targeted emails based on further segmenting your target audience is just smart marketing.

If you want to maximize ROI, it’s crucial to reach the right person at the right time with the right message.

Segmenting your patient base is an excellent strategy to get the most out of your dental email marketing campaigns and accurately target your patients’ needs. Segmenting increases the relevance and impact of your messaging, and improves the likelihood of receiving a timely response.

The process of segmentation involves splitting your patient list into smaller sub-lists according to shared demographics, behaviors, and motivations.

Refine your dental email marketing segmenting strategy, by answering these questions:
  • Who are your current patients—are they new, active, or inactive patients?
  • Do they have an open treatment plan?
  • What are their common denominators?
  • What treatments or services would they most likely be interested in?
  • What problem does my patient have, and how can we solve it?
  • What treatments plans do we offer that the competition doesn’t?
  • How do they book appointments–via phone, email, or online?

Knowing which specific patient segment to target will add focus to your dental email marketing campaigns. If you want to establish meaningful relationships with your patients—you should know what makes them happy, what troubles them, and what their specific pain points are.

For example, segmenting might look like: sending a message of appreciation to a group of loyal patients, sending welcome messages to new patients, or sending out promotional emails or special discounts to re-engage inactive patients with open treatment plans. You could also send thank you messages with a special reward attached to patients who offer referrals to your dental practice.

It’s important to evaluate your email marketing funnels to send appropriate content to your patients based on where they are in their dental care or treatment cycle. Send specific messages based on patient activities or for ADA (American Dental Association) treatment codes with email automation software programs.

The time is now to formulate routine marketing strategies for keeping track of your current patient base!

dental email marketing

Focus on Existing Customers

There is a tremendous opportunity for email marketing in the dental sector, the largest being engaging and retaining existing patients.

An effective patient retention strategy must include encouraging inactive patients to return for dental care treatment. Special incentives or discounts, or even a gentle nudge through an email reminder can be a good starting point.

Shockingly, only 20% of North American dental practices engage in email marketing and 53% of dental practices that use email marketing have fewer than 500 subscribers. And average open rates (13%) are lower than most industries, as is the case with average clickthrough rates (29%).

Dental email marketing software can create an effective drip campaign—a marketing strategy consisting of multiple yet highly relevant automated emails sent out at specific times and dates. These are designed to engage existing patients, keep them informed, and make them feel like part of your dental practice family.

For example, a drip campaign might look like this: once a patient books an appointment, they receive a confirmation email, a reminder email 24 hours prior to the appointment, and after their treatment, they receive an invitation to share feedback about their experience or leave a review. This is also a smart way to easily attract new patients, as good reviews will raise your dental practice’s profile in the community and build social clout.

Not only does consistent follow-up improve the patient experience, but streamlined correspondence also makes the entire process more clear-cut and comfortable for them.

Stay Connected with a Monthly Newsletter

Sending out a monthly dental newsletter to your patients is an effective way to maintain a connection and ensure your dental practice remains top of mind for your patients.

This is the ideal opportunity to share any newsworthy information about your dental practice; latest trends, new service offerings and products such as dental implants and teeth whitening, handy hints for dental health, exciting upcoming events, as well as discounts and special promotions. Consider inviting them to visit your website to check out a new blog post, or engage socially in a specific area of interest. You could even offer existing patients an incentive—perhaps a discount for a treatment or service—if they write about their experiences.

Above all, make sure the content you share is relevant and timely while reinforcing the positive connection between your patients and your practice.

Putting Your Dental Email Marketing Strategy All Together

Dental email marketing is an effective strategy to enhance your reputation in the dental industry.

In addition to strengthening the patient-practitioner bond, sharing relevant dental health information with patients—oral hygiene guidelines, videos, or blogs about common dental questions—positions you as a credible expert, and patients will trust you and your dental practice more.

We’ve unpacked the most effective dental email marketing strategies for patient engagement and retention, from personalizing email messages to accurately targeting the varied segments of your patient base.

But how do you get started with dental email marketing?

Don’t waste your time on platforms that disconnect each part of the patient journey or on ones that don’t sync with a dental practice’s specific needs. You need an all-in-one solution!

Grow Your Dental Practice with RevenueWell

RevenueWell offers an all-inclusive, intuitive platform that both dental teams and their patients love. Over 7,500+ practices trust the RevenueWell team to help them get more patients through the door as well as to manage their existing patient base while running more productive, efficient, and patient-friendly dental practices.

RevenueWell is your complete solution for the entire patient journey: it seamlessly handles a host of patient relationship tasks, such as sending appointment reminders and confirmations, follow-up messages, newsletters, email, and social media messaging.

Want to know more? Schedule a demo with RevenueWell today to learn how our dental marketing platform can revolutionize and grow your dental practice.