October is National Dental Hygiene Month and it’s also the perfect time to create new dental advertising materials to reach out to your dental patients. Sponsored by the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA), the theme of 2010′s National Dental Hygiene Month is “Healthy Habits Are Easier Than You Think.” To build a profitable and thriving dental practice, it’s important to have a few healthy business habits too! Even the most robust practice will lose patients over time due to natural attrition, referrals to a competitor, cost competition, dissatisfaction, or perceived indifference. It’s worth noting that perceived indifference (even if it’s just perceived and not actual indifference) sends customers away nearly five times more often than dissatisfaction and seven times more often than for competitive reasons. Think how a quarterly patient newsletter might impact your patients. How do they perceive your practice now? Do you communicate with patients outside of the appointment reminder call or follow-up invoice? Imagine how you could improve your patients feelings toward your dental practice when you demonstrate your interest in their health and wellbeing outside of their regularly scheduled appointments and payments. Relationship marketing makes up the largest percentage of advertising budgets in all business sectors and sizes. Businesses spend more money on building customer relationships and improving customer satisfaction then on trying to win new ones because it costs more to acquire new clients than maintain the ones you already have, and there are generally much better opportunities to be had with clients who have already made a commitment. A consistent relationship marketing campaign designed to communicate and educate patients, especially when paired with new dental advertising materials supporting the message of National Dental Hygiene Month, can reap measurable rewards. Even if your dental advertising materials are used simply to improve dentist-patient communications, you can experience outstanding benefits. Effective dentist-patient communication is essential to keeping patients, and a multi-channel patient retention campaign is extremely effective because it’s not selling. It’s a means of sharing ideas and knowledge and providing much needed and appreciated guidance. By using patient newsletters to reduce patient attrition by just 2%, an average-sized practice can improve its gross income by $500 – $7,000 over ten years. Take advantage of the ADHA’s promotional efforts about the importance of regular hygiene visits in October, and create new dental advertising materials or patient newsletters to reach out to the current patients in your practice now!