Reconnect With Your Inactive Patients
Creating an insanely positive and reassuring experience for dental patients has been tough over the last three years, but the dental industry has done an amazing job in recovery.
Now, analysis of hundreds of different dental offices from across the country that utilize Practice ZEBRA® software has revealed that, on average, dental offices have OVER 2,000 patients coded “active” in their practice management system, yet those patients have NOT been in for an appointment or had a transaction with the practice in 18 to 36 months.
Zero. Nada. No visit. AKA “no production.”
These independent dental locations are successful practices with an average annual production of over $1.8 million. Are you aware of how many “active” patients your PMS shows that haven’t had a transaction with you in that timeframe?
You can find out with Practice ZEBRA, and Patient NEWS® has a very customized and targeted solution to help you recoup some of that lost production. We answer our phone, so call us for more information anytime!
This extensive quantitative data is a crucial reveal that demonstrates the impact that Covid has had on dental visits, as well as how the digital shift in patient communications has impacted patient behavior. You know, it’s not “new” news that patients lapse due to perceived indifference. Or that sometimes automated reminders and email reactivation messages can make you feel less than appreciated. Combine those factors with some old anxiety and maybe a bit of embarrassment about not keeping appointments … and now you have a sizable group of patients who need dentistry.
Let’s quantify further. The average active patient contributes $1,100 in production annually. What if you could reactivate 10% of the patients who haven’t been to your practice in over 18 months? For the average office, that could contribute $250,000. Is that worth a strategic push? We think so.
That’s why we created a customized, targeted patient newsletter to be mailed professionally in envelopes to these patient households. Featuring a warmhearted welcome back message, this campaign will help dental offices reach and obtain this essentially “low-hanging” production back to the practice.
There’s a long-standing statistic that reports that retaining just 5% of existing clients impacts profit by 25%. That’s because existing clients tend to spend more over time and refer others to the company. Today, those people also leave positive Google reviews! If you could invest $10,000 and get $200,000 back over the following year, would you?
Clearly, automated reminders and reactivation programs do a good job. But email and text do not reach 100% of patients. Nor do the “best” open rates indicate you can ever expect to reach 100% of your email list. And if those communications go to the guarantor only (and not the head-of-household decision-maker), they are even less effective over time. Hey – I’m not bashing automated communications. We have fantastic email and text appointment reminders, recall reminders, reactivations, eNewsletters, and custom digital promotions, but even with our amazing open rates, it’s just a fact that you can’t reach 100% of patients using email and text. Over time, automation loses impact. For sure digital feels like less of an investment, but print has much more brand-building power. It physically lasts longer (17 days on average in homes vs. eight seconds in inboxes), is easier to understand, has more engagement, and is perceived as special – to consumers of ALL ages. A neuro study proved that print mail is 49% more memorable than email.
Also, on average, 2,081 “active” patients haven’t been active in 18-36 months … so digital efforts aren’t working.
Patient NEWS was founded on the need for printed and tangible patient newsletters – for dentists. Just for dentists since 1993. 😊 That’s when many offices didn’t even have an electronic list of patient mailing addresses (LOL) and they would send us a big printout that we manually would enter into our system to mail. Remember those days?!! It was a long time ago BUT guess what? Your patients might be automatically receiving email or text from you but that’s not making them feel special the way dentists used to make patients feel special when they received their quarterly patient newsletter.
We do have hundreds of clients who still mail their printed, quarterly patient newsletter. And they love them! 85% of patients surveyed report appreciating receiving their dental newsletter in the mail.
Seriously, call your Account Manager and get a patient newsletter on the go. We have thousands of articles and images, and with a full editorial and design team, you don’t have to worry about any of it. We will take care of the entire process – including putting together your mailing list, incorporating your logo, staff images, and even creating personal messages. It’s hardly any work for our clients these days. Your patients and lapsing patients will hear about what’s new at your practice, the elective services you’ve got that will benefit them, and just be reminded that you care in a real, tangible way. And “what if” you could bring back 50, 75, or 100 of your quality patients? Would it be worth it? Yes, it would.
This analysis of patients who have been inactive for 18 to 36 months was a special report (which we can provide you for your practice), but what Practice ZEBRA typically tracks in an easily clickable report is “danger” patients. Those who haven’t had a transaction in 9 to 24 months. The industry average for that category floats around 25%.
So, if your practice has 2,000 patients (average), that means around 500 patients are lapsing. And when you consider naturally occurring attrition of 15-20% annually, this doesn’t seem outrageous. Although I should mention that dental offices that are top performers in retention have just 6% in danger. (This percentage doesn’t mean their production is tops, though. New patients add a lot of high-value production, so you have to have appointment space for them in your schedule.)
But, if your practice is sitting with 2,081 patients who haven’t had a visit in 18 to 36 months and those patients haven’t seen another dentist, there is likely some good production waiting to be completed.
We’ve created a special, four-page, customizable, and fun “welcome back” newsletter to be mailed to these patient homes to reactivate them for you. And it’s available at a very reasonable rate based on volume that includes content development, printing, envelopes, postage, and mailing.
This program is a WIN-WIN for your practice!
- A patient newsletter, mailed to patient homes, is the only way to reach 100% of patients.
- Compare that with email reminders, which have an average open rate of 25-45% (and reach only one person).
- Your lapsing patients will appreciate your outreach, boosting patient satisfaction.
- It will remind and show patients you care, improving retention.
- It’s likely to generate referrals of additional family members.
- Value-added educational content will boost elective services.
- With minimal investment, attracting back just a few patients will more than pay for your campaign. (Average patient annual value is $1,100.) Plus, there’s opportunity for more treatment for reactivated patients who haven’t seen you in 18 to 36 months!
To find out how many of your “active” patients haven’t been in to see your practice, call us today at 1-888-377-2404 or contact your Account Manager directly. Use PROMO CODE: INACTIVE.