Think back to when you graduated from high school or college. You hugged all your friends, said your goodbyes, and promised to keep in touch. Despite your best intentions, more and more time passed without contacting each other and you slowly drifted apart.
The same thing can happen between a dental practice and its patients. The more time they have between appointments, the less likely they are to continue engaging in their care. So how can you keep your patients from drifting away?
One of the most effective ways to stay in your patients’ thoughts between appointments is to send an email newsletter. Here are a few tips on how to build one that your patients will look forward to reading.
1. Mind the Frequency: There’s a balance between staying in the front of your patients’ minds and cluttering their inboxes. A monthly newsletter is the best way to go, but if you don’t quite have the time for that, quarterly works as well. Whichever way you choose, be consistent.
2. Set Specific Goals: Outline the overall purpose of your newsletters before you begin writing them. Are you hoping to educate your patients? Build relationships with them? Notify them of upcoming events or promotions? Taking time to determine your goals means you won’t get lost when figuring out what to write.
3. Create Readable Content: When it comes time to write articles for your newsletter, make sure they’re easily readable. A length of 200-400 words is a good guideline to stay within. Practice creating content that is engaging and easily digestible but also provides value to the reader.
4. A Picture is Worth 1000 Words: A newsletter that consists only of text isn’t going to grab a reader’s attention at first glance. Add images or videos to keep things interesting. However, don’t just copy images from a google search. Make sure that you’ve either purchased an image license or downloaded them from a free stock photo site. Pixabay, Pexels, and Unsplash are great places to get free stock photos.
5. Post it on Your Website: If your practice doesn’t have a blog, now is the time to get one started. Regularly posting blogs on dental topics will improve the chances of your website being found on search engines. If you don’t have time to write articles specifically for your blog, take care of two things at once by re-posting newsletter content on your website. Bonus points if you also share it on social media!
6. Print Some Copies: Whenever you send out a newsletter, print off a few color copies and keep them in your lobby area or at the front desk. Not only does this provide reading material for waiting patients, it also acts as a brochure for your services that they can pass on to friends and family.
7. Automation is Key: Sending out your newsletter at the same day and time each month can be inconvenient and time consuming. Thankfully, many free and paid services allow you to create a newsletter whenever it’s convenient and schedule it to be sent out in the future. Most programs also track analytics so you can adjust your content to maximize engagement.
If you’re hoping to educate your patients, stay engaged between appointments, and increase referrals, sending out a newsletter is a great place to start. Use these tips to make sure your newsletter is one your patients look forward to reading.
Lindsay Kyle, LindenWords