Dental e-newsletters are a staple of most dentists’ marketing these days. They’re popular with a broad range of patients and potential patients. E-newsletters usually contain a mix of general interest and dentistry articles together with fun, interesting photos. That makes sense if you’re like most general practice doctors, because you want to appeal to as broad a range of patients as possible.
There’s a general consensus that what I described above is the ideal mix for an e-newsletter. It’s making your marketing into a “multi-tool,” so to speak. Multi-tools are handy to have around, but they hardly ever do a particular job as well as a specialized tool.
You may be underutilizing your dental e-newsletter by taking the multi-tool approach to content for every issue. If you’re sending out a newsletter a month, you’re in front of your patients 12 times a year. At least a few of those newsletters can be used to attract the patients you particularly want.
Think about your average case value. Would you rather stay booked with relatively low-value cases? Or would you prefer to handle more challenging cases that provide maximum ROI for the hours you invest?
Every dentist’s situation is different, so the ideal balance of “routine” patients to big cases will be different. Odds are, though, that yours isn’t quite where you’d like it to be.
That’s where focused issues of e-newsletters can help.
You can and should already be targeting your potential big cases with specific content tailored to their needs. But there’s a limit as to how often you can send focused content directly without seeming pushy and intrusive. One or two newsletter issues a year that are devoted to a particular area of dental concern, and full of glowing testimonials from patients, doesn’t feel like “targeting” to your potential big cases.
Because it’s going out to everyone.
You might think that you’d lose readers with a focused issue. That’s unlikely. A lot of people are naturally curious and enjoy learning new things. Some of your readers will skim your special issue and wait for the next one. Some will realize that they know another person who suffers from that particular condition and forward your e-newsletter. Even the ones with no interest in reading about a particular topic are very likely to unsubscribe.
We recently did something similar with our stellar Patient Attraction Magazine®. Usually, we have a mix of articles covering a range of topics on dental web marketing. However, we devoted the entire double issue (April-May 2016) to mobile e-marketing challenges.
Let’s say you’d love to do more implant cases. Prepare your mailing list by announcing beforehand that you’ll be sending out special interest issues a couple times a year. Briefly mention each upcoming special issue for at least two months before it’s released.
Then, go to town on that topic. Follow the same general rules that you would for a regular e-newsletter issue: short, easy-to-read articles; lots of pictures (if you’re careful, you can use before-and-after pictures without grossing anyone out), colorful graphics, and so on. Define the problem and the dangers of not getting it treated, but spend most of your time on the life-changing benefits. And let your patient testimonials provide the social proof for your readers.
Ideally, your entire issue will tell a coherent story from start to finish.
For a broader approach that still targets big cases, you can combine two dental concerns in the same issue, but you might have to add more pages.
Your dental e-newsletter is an excellent general marketing tool. With preparation and foresight, you can make it a tool to help you get more of the patients you want and the cases that you love to treat.