Holiday Magic: How to use Holiday and Birthday Greetings to Reactivate Patients

Reactivation campaigns in disguise. That’s the real role of birthday and holiday cards. These twice-a-year wonders of reactivation have remained a mainstay of practice marketing for as long as we can remember because, historically, they’ve been effective at pulling in lapsed patients. But, not all is well in the birthday and holiday card world, my friends. Formulaic messaging has led to advertising fatigue, turning these once viable reactivation tools into little more than an annoyance for most patients. At RevenueWell, we’ve been able to flip this dynamic on its head, helping thousands of offices increase their monthly and annual production by embracing the below tried-and-true marketing principles.

1. Increase The Frequency

The first step in getting more from your birthday and holiday card mailings is to recognize the limited effectiveness of the twice-a-year mailing. Your customers are used to far more creative approaches to reach them, and your competition is quick to adapt. So, jump in the game and mail more frequently. Do you know how many holidays there are in the U.S.? Here’s a gigantic list of the “few” you might choose from. Pick five or six of them, and send a message out to your patient base.

Bonus tip: Don’t mail patients cards for the same holidays each year. Mix it up a bit. Simply keep a spreadsheet of those you send out each year, and rotate among the holidays you think are important to hit for your audience!

2. Don’t Be Boring

Have you ever been in the middle of a TV show, and decided you’d rather scroll through Facebook than continue watching? DON’T LET BORING HAPPEN TO YOU. Your patients might think you’re great in person, but hate your messaging because it’s so robotic. Inject your office’s individuality. Instead of “Happy Birthday!” maybe say it in video format. Instead of “we appreciate your patronage,” say “you rock and we’re so glad you’re in our family!” When your patients hear your voice, they’re more likely to be genuinely touched by the message and think you’re so smart for making your messages so YOU.

Bonus tip: To keep your mailings fresh, purchase graphics online. Or, if you’re a RevenueWell customer, simply click on the campaigns tab and select one of our professionally designed and written holiday and birthday messages we’ve already created for you.

3. Offer Something. Anything, Please.

Incentives work. Patients appreciate a break, especially when they don’t have insurance. So why not take care of the patients you’ve already got? Offer them a deal toward their next visit. Or, forgive a past late-cancellation fee. If we can’t convince you to try a few monetary offers to lower your patient’s bill, there are dozens of fun freebies you can offer patients who visit your office. The point is to mix it up (like in step 2), and do it often (as in step 1).

Here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Lip balm
  • Xylitol gum
  • A year’s supply of toothbrushes
  • Toothbrush timers that could also be used as tea timers
  • Tongue scrapers
  • Coupons for local restaurants/shops/movies
  • Rinses
  • Other healthcare items like sanitizer, adhesive bandages, gift cards

Bonus tip: If you’re sending an actual postcard, ask patients to bring the postcard with them to the appointment to get the gift. Why? Because when you ask them to bring in the card, they’ll keep it visible in their house – a little bit of free advertising for those times when they have friends over, and a constant reminder of their upcoming appointment.

Secret Bonus tip #2: RevenueWell customers can add custom text, images, videos, coupons and even an appointment request link to any campaign message with just a few clicks of the mouse. Can’t beat that for ease of use!