Believe it or not, one of the most efficient ways of marketing your dental practice is through an email newsletter. According to Mailchimpthe dental industry enjoys one of the highest email newsletter open rates among all industries at 22.43% and a relatively high click-through rate (percentage of people who click on a link in the newsletter) of 2.42%.

In this blog, we’ll look at why these numbers should matter to you.

Why a high open rate matters

Simply put, a high open rate means people are interested in the content you are offering. Your audience is willing to hear what you have to say and, being in the service industry, this presents several opportunities and benefits for your dental practice.

Here are 3:

Opportunity #1: Stay top of mind with your patients

Benefit: Increased referrals.

When you periodically “drip” on your patients, you are reminding them you are still around. Even if they never open the email or read the content, simply receiving an email from you will remind them of who you are, that you are still in business, and perhaps remind them they need to make that 6 month cleaning appointment!

Opportunity #2: Establish yourself as a thought-leader in your industry.

Benefit: Increased trust with your current patients.

When you send a newsletter full of dental content, you are communicating to the reader that you are the expert. You are providing that reassurance to your readers that you know what you are talking about. Every bit of trust you can build is so crucial in a service industry — particularly dentistry — so the next time you make a recommendation, they know and trust that you are looking out for their best interests and have the expertise to make the best possible recommendation for them.

Opportunity #3: Drive traffic to your website

Benefit: Increase your standing on Google so more people will find you

SEO stands for search engine optimization. While no one knows Google’s ranking factors (Google doesn’t share their secrets), studies have found a direct correlation between website traffic and ranking status. The more people you can get to land on your website and spend time there, the more likely Google is to rank you higher in search results which leads to more business for you!

How to get started

The toughest part of having a consistent newsletter is starting. The first step is establishing what you want to accomplish. There is no sense in spending time on something in your business if it is not going to benefit it in some way.

What do you hope this endeavor will accomplish? List your goals. Then determine how you will measure your success.

Using tools such as MailChimp or Constant Contact, you will have access to analytics so you can measure your open rate and click-through rate. You can measure that next to industry benchmarks to determine if you are connecting well with your audience. 

Speaking of audience, how will you build up your viewership?

Start with your current patients! It goes without saying that you should be collecting email addresses on your intake forms. Chances are you have all of your patients’ email addresses in your CRM database. This is the best place to start. Simply export your patient email addresses into a spreadsheet. It is important to be aware that the first newsletter you send out, you may get an unusually high “unsubscribe” rate. This is because it is the first one, they are not used to getting emails from you and they might feel like they are being solicited. This is okay, just take them off your list. Your unsubscribe rate will go down the more you send.

You should also place a newsletter signup form on your website and perhaps advertise for it on social media or on a sign in your office.

Finally, what type of content will you share?

This can be tricky because, honestly, most of us don’t have the time to write our own content. One option would be to hire this work out. There are plenty of blog writers and content creators who specialize in various industries. Websites like Upwork might be something to look into if you are interested in contracting a freelance writer. Or you can find a content generating service, just be sure they know the dental industry.

The second option is to reference articles such as Dental Economics or other publications. This is not the best option because, ideally, you want to be driving traffic to your website, not someone else’s. But it is better than not having a newsletter at all!

Third, you can write the blogs yourself! Consider taking a day or two a month and writing out a couple of blogs. After all, you are the expert! Write about whatever you think would interest your audience. Write about whatever you are interested in. If you are passionate about a topic, that will come through in your writing which will cause it to be far more engaging.

One tip is to go to Google and start to type in a question and allow Google’s autofill feature to fill in the rest of the sentence for you. For example, if you start to type in “Is a root canal…” into Google, you will see Google will try and finish it with “Is a root canal considered surgery?” and secondly, “Is a root canal painful?” These are the most searched for sentences that begin with “Is a root canal…” which tells you this is what your audience wants to know. Write about that! 

We hope this information has been helpful as you look to start an email newsletter. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions!