Since a dental patient newsletter is one of the most powerful branding tools available to a dental practice, it’s essential to create content that will reflect positively on the dentist’s brand to help build and strengthen trust while getting consumers attention.
Connecting to consumers that are fearful, disinterested or don’t understand the importance of dental treatment requires emotional engagement. In the study, A Bias For Action, it was discovered that emotionally engaging content that EDUCATES readers on the benefits of a product or service WINS. I guess that’s why, when we pitted our dental newsletters against our top quality dentist postcards, the educational newsletter drove significantly higher new patient call response.
All of us build relationships based on trust, and that includes consumer to business relationships. The study confirmed that consumers decide to pursue or avoid based on their reaction to a message. Relationships are nurtured when you regularly put your message in front of your target audience, and relationships are strengthened by the one to one contact patients have with you and your team.
Content That Connects With People We Want To Reach
Consumers are overwhelmed with marketing messaging. We all are. When you create warm and inviting content using a clean, clear and appealing layout – and you put this content in front of your audience frequently enough – you will differentiate your brand and increase awareness. Our eye-tracking studies ensure that our dental newsletters are designed for highest readership and response.
What Should A Dental Newsletter Communicate?
Find your practice “voice” and craft content that supports your brand and resonates with your prospective patients at the same time. What do they want from you? And what are the benefits you offer to them? Identify the problems that your solution can help your audience overcome.
Consistency and Clarity
Marketing your dental practice isn’t a one hit wonder. Your address is your address. The families that live around you are the ones that will choose your practice – or the dentist down the street. That’s why you need to know which areas will be more likely to respond than others. Do your market research and map out your best opportunities for growth. Then consistently put your name in front of those folks in a differentiated way. This will drive the results you want (phone ringing - booking lots of new patients).
Your Dental Team
Your dental team has the power to build your practice – hold it in status quo – or even push it into decline. After listening to hundreds of thousands of inbound dental patient calls, it amazes us to hear how many team members just don’t understand how significant their role is. Most haven’t been trained beyond the greeting. Many feel that voice mail will pick up and therefore miss a ton of opportunities. Others don’t really care about booking another new patient. Don’t let voice mail reassure you, if you think you’ve got a rotten egg, you probably do. It’s time to track and train – or change - your people.
Increasing Marketing Campaign Results
Engage your team – from goal setting to reading and understanding your ad campaigns to closing the deal. Recipients of your dental office newsletters will have questions. It’s likely those people will talk to someone other than the doctor with their inquiry. Make it mandatory for all staff to be knowledgeable about practice services, clinical expertise, differentiators and marketing offers so they can confidently answer questions – and book appointments.
Fear of Change – let’s rock the boat baby
True story. And it’s happening right now. Names have been changed to protect the innocent (the rotten eggocent). Dr. X and her practice manager spouse put a great newsletter program in market only to find through CALL SCORING that they had the least engaged person answering their phone. Call scoring shows you exactly what is happening to all inbound calls. This practice was losing thousands of dollars in missed appointment opportunities and poor customer servicing. Instead of taking action and moving this person off their phones, they put their marketing campaigns on hold in “hopes” that this person will retire. They don’t want to rock the boat. What?
This craziness is not that uncommon. You might recognize a bit of this yourself. You avoid performance reviews, giving feedback and dealing with tough staff issues. The problem is, it’s 2017, and while you may have had the luxury of ignoring staff problems in past markets, today you must fight for every new patient your newsletter draws to you. You must protect your business. You must protect all the other people who work hard for you.
It doesn’t always have to be termination. Maybe it’s a shift of skillset. Termination is hard. But we’re talking about your livelihood. The livelihood of your entire team. Your practice security. Provide the feedback and tools people need to improve performance and if it doesn’t happen within a given timeframe, you must take action. We can provide you with the facts, unbiased feedback and the tools individuals need to improve.
Getting Better Results
Einstein said “if you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got”. Don’t expect a different result if you don’t take action when facts are presented. And don’t stop marketing because you have untrained, unwilling staff handling your phones. Fix that.
Launching an effective dental newsletter campaign;
► Women (92% of dental care decisions) respond to the full context of a message
► Women want to build rapport, not read a report
► Women connect with similarities … you’ve helped people just like them with your solutions
► Know where your core patients live and their associated demographics
► Know where your competitors are located and how they will impact buying behaviors
► Don’t try to reach into someone else’s neighborhood before you own your own
► Do a good job with layout & design. A study by DMI shows improvement impact of 228%
► Plan for effective reach and frequency – greater frequency equals greater behavior impact
► 2017 is not the time to be timid. Plan for the right reach and frequency for your market
► Don’t settle for just call tracking - definitely implement call scoring
► Explain the overall impact of a new dental patient (ie $700/year x 10 years) to your team
► Provide your call handlers with the training, guidance & motivation they need
There is no one size fits all approach to a great dental newsletter campaign. You must analyze all of the factors involved including your practice situation, previous and current marketing, existing practice and team reputation, current and expected competitive environment, new and old barriers to entry, new goals, forecasted revenue and allocated budgets.
Maybe it’s time to book an updated discovery session and market review with your PNP representative. We are always happy to take another look at your market area, competitor locations and offers, online reviews, your differentiation and offer strategies and team performance. We are committed to continuous improvement of your marketing campaigns so stay engaged with us and we’ll help improve your results in 2017.
Here’s to your best year ever!