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The very best dental practice marketing campaigns are multi-channel efforts, which take advantage of the numerous promotional avenues available today while targeting the constant connection of consumers to various media formats. This means that the dental practice marketing campaign should contain a majority of direct mail such as dental postcards and newsletters for both acquisition of new patients and to retain existing patients, and a digital package that includes web enhancement and email marketing. While direct mail is number one, email marketing continues to be one of the strongest means of communication between companies and customers.

The upcoming year promises to continue accelerating the momentum of email marketing. According to a recent survey, 56 percent of respondents planned to increase their email marketing budget for the forthcoming year. In comparison, only 52 percent planned on spending more on social media marketing, 43 percent planned to increase their mobile efforts and 40 percent sought to expand their search engine marketing campaigns. Clearly, many companies and small businesses believe in the power of the format, and dental practices should consider the practice for themselves.

Consumers have also spoken out regarding their feelings for email marketing. According to ClickZ, 67 percent of customers in another recent survey gave their email addresses to companies and stores to receive discounts and promotions for their products and services. Similarly, 57 percent said they were more apt to use a company's services or products after receiving an email from them. Dental practices need to seize this increasingly digital customer base and market to them and appeal to their tech-savvy nature.

One of the biggest continuing trends for 2013 is that more users are reading their emails on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets than ever before. According to ClickZ, more than 50 percent of mobile phone users rely on their smartphones to check email on a regular basis, while more than 88 percent of users check email on their phones at least once a day, so it’s important to select a dental marketing company that is abreast of the latest trends for mobile viewing. While email is part of the marketing mix, it’s important to note that according to Epsilon Targeting’s latest Consumer Channel Preference Study, aside from travel, hobbies and online shopping, direct mail is preferred over email.

Regardless of channel, and percentage mix in your marketing budget - content remains king. It is important that the information and promotions that run in your direct mail or email marketing materials are relevant to the potential patients. Providing special opt-in only discounts and updating patients on the latest interesting findings in the dental industry are examples of relevant customer information.