Dental Email Marketing to Increase Patient Flow

Achieving a 450% patient increase in November and December for a multi-location dental practice was a win for our client, and made everyone involved feel proud.

To be fair, by no means are we the only ones responsible for this increase in patient flow. This is an established practice, with talented internal teams that support marketing campaigns where it matters most – directly with their patients.

This particular campaign was strong because of the processes put in place to support it.

It is a repeatable, achievable strategy that any dental practice can accomplish, even at a smaller scale.

It’s All About Their Benefits

Wouldn’t it be great if all of your dental patients could actively plan out their check-ups and procedures throughout the year. They’d get the dental care they need, while at the same time, making the most of their own dental insurance plans.

Unfortunately, we’re all busy and sometimes our own dental care planning takes a back seat to soccer tournaments, vacation plans, and day-to-day life.

So how does a practice work to change this without coming across as self-serving?

It Started with a Survey

This annual campaign, called “Getting the Most out of your Dental Insurance” focused on patients’ awareness and understanding of their own benefits plan.

It began in July with an email marketing campaign to the entire patient list, promoting a short online survey created with the following focus points:

  • We wanted to get patients asking themselves whether they take full advantage of their benefits – every calendar year.
  • To generate awareness that unused benefits do not “roll over” into the next year.
  • That paying insurance premiums and not using their benefits was the equivalent of paying their insurance provider for nothing.
  • We also introduced the idea of larger treatments that could be split between years in order to maximize coverage.

Published Results

We gathered the data and produced a report to re-engage patients in a second email marketing campaign. We included comments gathered during the survey, as well as the top reasons people gave as excuses or reasons why they didn’t fully use their benefits.

  • This allowed us to create some visual campaigns with memorable quotes.
  • Stats that we could publish and promote online and offline.
  • And a call-to-action that would be used throughout the remainder of the campaign.

Facebook Remarketing Campaign

We utilized content created throughout the campaign to gently remind patients about their “unused benefits” in a friendly and fun style – while they were on Facebook.

We retargeted using custom audiences: those patients who visited specific pages related to the awareness campaign.

An Increase in Planning for Larger Procedures

If we stopped here, this still would have been a successful campaign. But one of the key goals identified by the client, was to increase planning for larger procedures by the patient base that was most sensitive to pricing and payments.

They tagged client files on an ongoing basis that were potential candidates for more extensive dental treatments involving multiple visits.

This segmented email list was targeted with a 3rd email campaign, that noted the procedure discussed, and the options to split the treatment over the two calendar years.

Direct follow up by phone occurred within a week of the email campaign.

Misfirings

There can be a benefit to simply sending email reminders to clients about their expiring benefits. But this isn’t always true.

There are 3 elements that are important and help you make the most of this type of campaign:

1. Repetition

2. Timing

3. Tone – keeping this light and educational without being pushy or “salesy.”

As long as you implement the process appropriately and put in the work to get there, these kinds of results are achievable.

NOTE: Many extended health benefits include physiotherapy, chiropractors, massage therapy, acupuncture and much more. These are all healthcare practices that can utilize this same strategy.

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