3D bar graph with the tallest bar colored red.

With the proliferation and ready availability of smartphones, more users are glued to their devices than ever before. This means that people are checking their email several times a day in an effort to stay connected and not let any potentially important mailers slip through the cracks. To this end, dental practices should begin to adopt some form of email marketing as part of their broader dental practice marketing campaigns.

According to the Direct Marketing Association's (DMA) recent Email Tracking Study, one in three people claimed that 50 percent of the email marketing messages delivered to their inboxes were relevant to their personal interests. This was a far cry from the one in ten people who claimed the same thing the previous year. However, a successful email marketing campaign requires the use of careful data collection and analysis, an often-overlooked portion of the format. Here are some important metrics that dental practice marketing executives should be keeping an eye out for in determining the course of their email marketing efforts.

Open rates
This is the most basic and maybe the most important metric, as it measures how many recipients are opening the email based solely on the 'From' and 'Subject fields.' While the 'From' portion of your dental practice is unlikely to change, marketers can tweak and hone their subject entries in order to figure out the perfect ones. Business 2 Community notes that subject lines should be catchy, not suspiciously spammy.

Click-through rates
These rates more accurately measure how effective the email itself is in convincing potential patients to keep clicking through onto your dental practice website to learn more information. Opening the email in the first place is a solid indicator of initial interest. However, initial curiosity needs to be converted into concrete interest in order to gain new patients for the practice. Identify the emails that feature high click-through rates to see what's working on them. This could be as simple as providing in-depth information on dental services, or as creative as charming audiences with a catchy dental poem or song.

Unsubscribe rates
No dental practice ever wants to see a high score in this metric, but inevitably some users will unsubscribe from emails they are no longer interested in. It is essential for dental practice marketing executives to keep track of this number to prevent higher unsubscribe rates in the future.