Email marketing advice dentists need to know

When marketing your dental practice, email can be highly effective—but only if it is used well.

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When marketing your dental practice, email can be highly effective—but only if it is used well. Think about the emails that you open and the ones that you delete, unread. Usually, the ones that are happily read have one or more positive attributes in common. Here are a few ways to make your patients want to open and read your marketing emails:

1. Make sure each message has a purpose.

Know what you want to say before writing or commissioning a marketing email. Is it a reminder about checkups and maintenance? An announcement about a new office? Never email just because it's been a while since you've reached out to your list. It should always be worth your patients' time to click the link and read what you have to say.

2. Personalize messages.

A mass email sent to every patient with no personalized greeting may not get opened and probably won't be closely read if it is. Always refer to patients by name when sending emails. Remember to talk to them about their interests in the body of the email. Segment contact lists to tailor messages to different patient groups such as pediatric patients or those undergoing extensive cavity repair.

3. Choose subject lines thoughtfully.

When someone scans your subject line, the email subject should be obvious. Keep subjects short so that they are not truncated. Use an invitation that entices recipients to continue reading.

4. Include visual elements in emails.

Pictures and videos draw people into your message. Researchers say that about two-thirds of people learn visually. This makes charts, graphs and checklists a win, as well. Add an attractive visual just under your greeting, then add more where they make sense throughout the rest of the message to your dental clients.

5. Include links to social media accounts.

With over one billion active users, Facebook is one of the most active sites on the Web. Consider using it to build stronger relationships with dental patients. By linking to your professional Facebook page and other social media accounts, you can introduce more ways for patients to stay in touch. These interactions keep your practice top of mind, and may potentially make patients more likely to book appointments for preventative care.

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6. Send email regularly, but don't send too much.

When people unsubscribe from an email list, the No. 1 reason is that the sender messaged too much. Reaching out once every other week is a good way to keep your dental patients educated about care without filling their mailboxes. Plus, when emailing somewhat often, they are more likely to remember that they signed up for your email list and be willing to open and read the message.

7. Don't email people who have asked to be removed from your list.

There is no upside to continuing to email a client who has asked to be taken off your list. This can wind up angering this person and losing his business from your practice. What’s more, if enough people complain, your messages can wind up in the spam folders of other people on your list.

8. Use attractive email templates.

It's easier than ever to make visually appealing and inviting emails. Think about your practice's branding and incorporate it into your email message. This can help reinforce your image and provide an air of professionalism to any offerings.

Handled well, email can be one of the most cost-effective ways to market dental services. By sending emails that meet these criteria, you can grow your practice and form longer lasting relationships with valued patients.

Eric Krattenstein is the CMO for Mailify’s United States Division. Mailify is a global email marketing app with over 30,000 users worldwide. Formerly the Vice President of Internet marketing for an digital company in New York City, Eric has helped many businesses over the last several years construct and implement impactful digital marketing strategies.

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