Your Dental Marketing Patient Reminders Might Not Be Working

By Joanne Bishop | August 1, 2018

Patient News MPD

Patient appointment reminder services are an integral component of any successful dental practice and should be a key part of your internal dentist marketing plan.

Your solution might include a combination of personal phone calls (and many offices invest in that old-fashioned phone call because it’s so effective), email, text, and voice call. 

If you’re mostly relying on an automated solution, maybe, just maybe, you should take a quick look at your metrics to make sure you have a solution that will actually work for your practice – and whether or not you need to make some changes. 

I can’t tell you how many dentists we’ve spoken with about our internal marketing solutions, i.e. patient newsletters or email newsletters, who say “I don’t need that. I have a reminder service,” and then we take a look, and they actually only have 20% of their patient emails or 50% of their patient cell phone numbers. Don’t assume. Get your facts.

Read this:

I ran a random audit of 17 clients who use our MPD Pro (the enhanced version of our Marketing Performance Dashboard which presents actual practice metrics). All of these practices have annual production well over a million a year, and some, upwards of $3-4 million. These are no slouches. 

On average they were missing over 40% of their patient guarantor email addresses. 

On average they were missing one third of their patient cell phone numbers.

 

Let me pose a few thoughts for you (or click here now to find out what your practice metrics reveal).

  1. Does your reminder service provide oral health education, sparking patient interest in elective care and/or increasing case acceptance?
  2. Is your reminder solution hitting over 90% of your patient guarantors? 
  3. Does your reminder service include text messaging, and if yes, do you have 90% of your patient mobile phone numbers?

The latest stats for B2C email open rates for dentists hover between 15-18%. That means, if you have 60% of your patient email addresses, and 15% open them, you’re actually reaching less than 10% of your patient base. It gets scarier...

The worst office was missing 90% of their patient email addresses! The best was missing only 10%. 

Interestingly, offices that had low email collection had high cell collection, as you can see, cell phone was 10% better than email which may reflect the demographic of the area, however, you need to know which part of your demographic is driving the most production. Every time I look at a client in the MPD Pro, it’s interesting to see that some have higher millennial patient growth, however the boomers are driving the greatest value to the practice. Be cautious about making anecdotal decisions about who your audience is without knowing who will drive practice production – and what those patients’ communication preferences are! 

To truly maximize your dental marketing results, to make your dental practice as profitable as possible, to be the dentist your patients stay with, you need the visibility our MPD Pro can provide so that you can take action. 

Guess what? It’s all about having a good mix of communication touchpoints for all patients. And the good news is you can take control, have visibility into your metrics, and improve the effectiveness of your patient communications.

Implement an update at your front desk to ask about preferences, collect emails, collect cell phone numbers – even if not to implement automated reminders, but to communicate, run marketing campaigns, and stay connected. It is 2018, and this is critical for success. 

You want your patients tied to your practice as much as you can, with a next-scheduled appointment, with direct mail, with patient education, and value-adds, plus email and other communications.

Contact your Account Manager at Patient News to schedule a FREE consultation and demo of our MPD Pro. The MPD Pro is a complimentary feature of our new-patient acquisition and SEO Pro campaigns. Ask your Account Manager to get you connected today! #dentalmarketingthatworks #standoutdentist