7 Newsletter Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Dental Practice

August 3, 2017    By Becky Sheetz ()

Dental Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Dental Practice

As a dentist, you have many priorities. But if you are like the majority of your peers, one of your top objectives is to keep your practice growing. Even supposing that your dental practice is doing well, you simply can’t reach your developmental goals without the right dental marketing strategies.

Top-earning dentists are smart and diligent when it comes to establishing and implementing patient loyalty­–building programs. Financially successful dental specialists also have in place professional referral-generating programs, and may have patient-focused marketing approaches as well. Regardless of the type of dentistry you practice, this article can help you improve your methods for increasing your patient base.

7 Newsletter Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Practice
For more than 25 years, WPI Communications has helped hundreds of dentists market their practices with newsletters. This article builds on that experience and illustrates how your practice can use newsletters for patients and referring providers to accomplish your dental marketing goals.

Below are seven marketing tips for you to consider when developing or refining a dental practice marketing plan.

At any point while reading, you can pause and learn more about how your practice can benefit from a dental newsletter marketing program. Simply send a quick e-mail to us at info@wpicommunications.com with the subject line “Grow My Practice!” and we’ll be happy to answer any questions—at no obligation to you!

1. Make your marketing consistent.
It’s essential to have an ongoing, repeatable, consistent means of staying in touch with your patient base and referring professionals. Today, more than ever, with so much information competing for people’s attention, it’s important to stay top-of-mind.

To maintain your professionalism, you must use an appropriate frequency. The most effective marketing programs for dental practices utilize a professional tone and are sent at appropriate intervals. Popular retail brands may blast their customers as often as every day, but your frequency should be different.

Dentists should focus more on quality than quantity. We recommend that practices send patient newsletters once a month. For dental specialists, we recommend sending referral-generating newsletters quarterly.

We recommend practices send patient newsletters once a month and referral-generating newsletters quarterly.

Dental Marketing Strategy:
Dentists can leverage a variety of different tools to stay top-of-mind, and social media is one popular way. While social channels can be quite useful for dentists, our experience shows that many practices run out of ideas for what to post. The use of newsletters is an ideal way for you to make your marketing consistent and deliver valuable content that matters to your readers, sent by you, their trusted dentist. If you use a professional dental newsletter service, you’ll never run out of ideas to write about.

Bonus tip: Social media and newsletters work well together! Repost your newsletter content, including summaries and quick bite-sized facts, on social media.

2. Brand your dental practice as the authority.
Your practice’s reputation is its most important asset. It’s the combination of many important aspects of your practice. Your reputation encompasses more than your education and experience. It includes what your staff says about the practice both inside and outside the office; what your patients post on social media review sites; and what they tell their friends, family and coworkers. And, of course, your standing among your professional colleagues—including those who could potentially send you referrals—is an important way to measure your reputation.

Financially strong dental practices are successful at branding themselves as authorities. It’s not enough for you to simply be an expert in your practice area. You must communicate that you are the authority.

Dental Marketing Strategy:
Holding lunch-and-learns and speaking at seminars are highly effective ways to brand your practice as knowledgeable and influential. Newsletters, too, create a powerful impression and are much easier and more cost-effective to initiate and maintain than a seminar or lunch-and-learn series.

Because reputation building is so important, many professional practices turn to newsletters. Each patient newsletter reinforces the message that your practice is the authoritative leader they can trust with their health. Each referral-generating newsletter subtly sends the message that your practice is the one they can depend on when they need to refer a patient.
It’s not enough to be an outstanding dentist. You must consistently and tastefully remind your audience of this. A newsletter can help dentists showcase their expertise in a meaningful way that is education focused.

3. Differentiate your practice.
Financially successful practices understand that distinguishing themselves from the others is an important key to advancement. Differentiators can fall into many categories, such as the quality of the staff and team, use of the latest technology, streamlined office processes, outstanding reputation in the community and more. By setting your practice apart from the rest, you’ll not only be able to stand out but you’ll also be able to help more people.

Think about differentiation like this. When is the last time someone told you they were excited about a brand? Maybe it was a cool store they found or their favorite spa. They didn’t tell you how it was like every other experience, but they told you how it stood out and what was different about it. They were excited enough to tell people.

You may think that patients don’t get excited about going to the dentist like they do about a spa or fun store, but still, the same principles of distinguishing yourself are important. There is a reason why your patients come back to you again and again, instead of going to another dentist. It’s important to the success and financial health of your practice that your patients feel satisfied and confident that you can and will meet their needs.

Dental Marketing Strategy:
Nothing will take the place of impeccable patient care, but a dental marketing tool such as a newsletter will help you stand out in the minds of your patients between visits to your office. It will do the same for professional providers, in between patient referrals. Newsletters do this by delivering top-quality articles that inform readers. And importantly, they show that you care enough about your readers to send them this excellent content on a regular basis.

Always remember that even your most loyal referring dentists and patients have choices. Make differentiation a priority to keep them coming back to you.

4. Be the referral dentist of choice.
Patient referrals are essential for dentists. So how do patients decide on a new dentist? There are many factors, of course, but one recurring theme drives patient decision-making: They ask for recommendations from family, friends and coworkers. They ask in person and on social media. It’s highly likely that this week, someone asked a friend or associate which dentist they see in the community where you practice.

It’s highly likely that this week, someone asked a friend or associate which dentist they see in the community where you practice.

As for dental specialists, how do the dentists you’d like to get more referrals from select a specialist? Just as with patients, there are many factors, but being top-of-mind must be an essential component of your dental marketing approach.

Dental Marketing Strategy:
By using a newsletter marketing program, you’ll dramatically boost the likelihood that patients and other referring professionals will think of you when asked for a referral. Newsletters serve two very important purposes: They keep patients and referring dentists thinking of you, and they remind these important readers that your practice values referrals.

These reminders are critical, because if you don’t tell them, particularly your patients, they may not realize how important referrals are for you. Simply sending a newsletter on a regular basis increases the likelihood that they will think of you when asked to make a referral. Newsletters help you build on your success and keep those referrals coming.

5. Build patient loyalty.
Every dental practice needs a system for building loyalty to help ensure that patients keep coming back. Successful practices never take their bases for granted, but look for ways to show that they appreciate them. Newsletters build loyalty by demonstrating to your readers that you care about them enough to send them valuable and useful content. To build loyalty, you need a repeatable system to remind patients that they matter to you.

Financially successful dentists maintain their focus on lapsed patients. They have systems for re-activating these patients. An occasional program like an e-mail or a postcard mailer is not a system. A system is repeatable, consistent and scheduled. Keep in touch with patients on a recurring basis and you’ll demonstrate that you prioritize their health and seek to educate them on the importance of taking terrific care of their mouths.

Dental Marketing Strategy:
Professionals serious about growth have loyalty-building initiatives in place. This is a bold statement, but one we know to be true: Newsletters are the most effective, consistent and cost-effective loyalty program a practice can deliver. You’ll show readers that they matter by maintaining contact and educating them about why they need to continue the benefit of your expertise.

Newsletters are the most effective, consistent and cost-effective loyalty program a practice can deliver.

6. Educate referring dentists and patients.
It’s essential for dental practices to stay above the common, cluttered sales and marketing fray. Your marketing efforts should be patient-centric. They should focus less on “What’s in it for my practice?” and more on “What’s in it for my patient?” In the case of referring dentists, the question is, “What’s in it for your patient and your practice?”

The best, most successful dental marketing is focused on educating readers and providing value. Sophisticated audiences, like referring dentists and patients, deserve an equally sophisticated marketing message.

Rather than simply communicating for the sake of communication, education is the best way to stay in touch. For example, my financial planner sends e-cards on holidays throughout the year. I never open them. It does not hurt that he sends these, and they aren’t veiled sales pitches, but I’d much rather get content from him that I can use to make actionable decisions or stay informed of trends and developments.

The same is almost certainly true of your referring providers and patients.

Dental Marketing Strategy:
Building loyalty should be a high priority for all dentists, which makes newsletters an ideal tool. Compared to sending a brochure or running an ad, newsletters represent a very different approach. They stand above typical sales and marketing techniques. Quality newsletters are appreciated and read by patients and referral sources because they are educational and focused on delivering value. They are a subtle and useful way to influence and market to readers.

7. Make it easy.
While excellent content is important, it’s not enough. To improve the chances that your newsletter is opened, read and valued, it must be well designed and easy to digest. Even newsletters with the most useful content won’t realize their full potential if they are difficult for readers to navigate. Articles should be written in appropriately bite-sized chunks, and the design must be appealing and easy on the reader.

You’ll make the best of your readers’ time with top-quality content and a design that enables them to most quickly and effectively consume the information—in print or electronic formats. Content that is more technical and written for referring dentists is best transmitted via print.

Dental Marketing Strategy:
Make your newsletter easy to skim and navigate so it makes a great impression. All links and opt-in options should be easy and intuitive. To deliver an outstanding newsletter worthy of your reputation and achieve these objectives, most dentists choose to use a professional. With decades of experience in newsletter marketing for dentists, we possess the expertise and track record to help you retain patients, gain more referrals and grow your practice.

Find out for yourself just how easy and profitable dental newsletter marketing can be. If you’re ready to find out how you can benefit, e-mail us at info@wpicommunications.com with the subject line “Grow My Practice!” There is absolutely no obligation, and we’ll be happy to answer all of your questions.

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