Consumers today are increasingly intelligent. They crave information in order to make the most informed decisions and demand to be treated with respect and dignity. In addition, for a dental practice, their primary target audience is the female head-of-household. She makes over 90% of all healthcare buying decisions and wants to make the right decisions for her family. Therefore, dental practice marketing requires a more subtle and nuanced approach. One of the best marketing strategies for dental practices is to implement a patient newsletter program - either for patients of record, or to attract new patients to the practice. Newsletters can contain a substantial amount of important and relevant information that positions the practice as a thought leader. Additionally, newsletters can subtly promote the practice's services by framing the practice as a reliable and cutting-edge provider of necessary oral healthcare services and treatments. The combination of piquing the potential patient's interests in the field with providing services makes the patient newsletter a necessary component of any dental practice marketing strategy.
Plus newsletters drive more response than postcard formats.
Here are some tips on how to write effective newsletters.
Bring in different voices
If an entire newsletter is authored by just one person week after week, it can quickly grow stale and boring. Work with industry leaders that have the knowledge and insight to consumer preferences and buying behaviors in order to provide interesting and readable content. Once your newsletter program is established, practice awareness will improve and your practice's reputation will also improve substantially.
Focus on benefits to the reader
This is one area that is often unwittingly forgotten. Authors and producers of newsletters sometimes get so caught up in writing about topics they find interesting that the reader's interests are placed on the back burner. We know you love that new hi-tech device, but all patients want to know is that you have it, you're an expert at using it, and it will make their treatment less painful, more convenient and provide a better end result. At the end of the day, the reader has to be the number one priority and all articles in the newsletter should be geared toward them. The trick, however, is to make sure that the reader's benefits and interests are focused on without sounding too blatantly like a promotional piece.
In today's competitive marketing landscape, it is extremely crucial to leverage your patients as promotional machines. This can be achieved by organic sharing. Include content in your newsletters that encourages "pass it along", talk up your referral program and post news about incentives. A mailed newsletter is likely to be seen by multiple people in more than one home - include quality content to increase the shelf-life of your newsletter.
The relationship between a dental practice and all of its patients should be a personal and trustworthy one. Building such trust can lead to lifelong loyalty among patients, which is a highly desired asset for every dental practice. Patients want expert information and advice that they can trust, but they also respond strongly to personal stories about the dentist, the team and their families. Make the effort to save photos of fun events, milestones and include these in your patient newsletter mailings. For patient acquisition, change the doctor headshot in a whitecoat to a fun family image - this shows readers that the dentist is someone just like them - someone they can trust with their families health.
Finally, as your newsletters are great vehicles for communicating your expertise, your services and helping readers engage with you and your team, always ensure you have an inviting call to action to encourage patients and prospects to respond. Everyone still needs a reason to "act now".
For more information about composing great newsletter content and managing a successful annual campaign, please call for a free consultation anytime!