Digital patient communication has consistently increased over time and currently sits at an all-time high. Studies show that 90 percent of healthcare and dental industry patients want emails from their providers, but only 15 percent of patients actually receive them. Why?
There are a few reasons. It could be that their providers don’t have a system to send consistent emails or if they do, patients don’t know about the service, so they never signed up. Whatever the reason may be, email is a core way for your office to differentiate itself next to your competitors and build lasting relationships with your patients.
Emailing is a great way to stay in touch with your patients and continue their positive experiences outside of the office. In addition to building stronger relationships with your patients, emails can also translate to these tangible benefits:
The more you show up in their inbox, the more you stay fresh in their mind. This could be the difference between them scheduling an appointment and not.
Staying top-of-mind is also essential for gaining more referrals. If a current patient happens to know someone looking for a new provider, you have a higher chance of being recommended.
Your patients are busy. Appointment reminder postcards may end up at the bottom of their stack, or worse, in the recycling bin. Instead of just relying on traditional methods, you can reach inactive patients somewhere they check every day — email.
Balancing the number of emails you send patients is a delicate dance. You don’t want radio silence, but you also don’t want to inundate your patients to the point they opt-out. Here are some occasions you should include in your email communications:
Any time you launch a new service you should send an email blast. As a best practice, you should segment your patient base into different groups to ensure you only send emails that interest them. For example, you wouldn’t want to send your patients with dentures an email about your new teeth whitening service. Sending unsegmented emails will lower your open rate and increase unsubscribers.
Whenever an associate doctor comes on board or a hygienist goes on maternity leave, you should send them an email. This shows you care about their comfort and want them to know they will see new faces the next time they visit.
In holiday emails, you should include your special hours, whether or not you will offer emergency services, what patients should do in the case of an emergency, and when your office will reopen. This is also a good opportunity to showcase promotions or openings you have for last-minute visits.
You have to admit, when you get a mailer, coupon, or an email from someone outside of your family for your birthday, it makes you feel special. Birthday emails are another simple but effective way to build better relationships with your patients and stand out from your competition.
If you don’t take advantage of email and implement these practices, you will miss out on marketing opportunities right under your nose. Email campaigns cost much less than paper, mailers, and stamps.
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