We have discussed before the advantages of email marketing: how it has the highest ROI out of all digital marketing channels, how email marketing can drive sales, and even what open and click-through rates you should expect when you send.
It’s a fair question. After all, it’s easy to see how email marketing works for other companies (how many times have you clicked into an Amazon or Netflix email? Probably often enough for you to see why they’re valuable), but it’s not quite as easy to see how email marketing can work for your dental practice.
That’s because, for dental offices, you don’t tend to think in sales cycles, the service is at need in most cases, and the benefits of the product may require an understanding of your clients to communicate.
Can dentists succeed at email marketing with these things in mind?
1. Set the Right Email Marketing Goals
Before you consider whether or not you can succeed at email marketing, you need to consider how you’ll define success.
Not only will defining your goals help you to determine whether or not you’re succeeding, it will also help you to tailor your entire strategy accordingly.
Here are a few categories of metrics to consider:
- Email performance stats like open rate and click-through rate – How well are your emails performing? Are they being opened and clicked?
- Website statistics like site visits and time spent on pages – Are your emails driving traffic to your website?
- Dollars in Sales – Are your emails generating actual sales? You’ll want to look into attribution models, but using last interaction is one easy way to start.
2. Provide Value – Be Consultative
In order to achieve any of these goals, you’re going to need to value in your emails. The value of your content is what will drive opens, click-through rate to the website, and, ultimately, engagement from your email campaigns.
You’re an dental professional, and by definition, your value lies in your expertise. Of course you know how to provide value when the patient is in the chair. So the real question is this; How can you give away valuable expertise in your email content that supports the value of your service?
The key is to look at this as another session in the chair, but not one where their mouths are open. By sharing some of your expertise, you’re laying the foundation for a happier, healthier client. You’re giving potential customers tangible evidence that your knowledge is valuable, alongside the service. You’re building a deeper experience with your clients, not just seen as a necessary evil in the world.
This is the key to referral generation, and retention of clients. Being more than a service, you start to build the expertise that can improve lives.
3. Be Consistent With Email Marketing
I love the email that I get every week from Grammarly. Grammarly is a browser plugin that tracks your writing, correcting your spelling and grammatical mistakes before they come back to bite you. Each week, the service sends me an email that gives me a statistical analysis of my writing activity over the previous seven days – things like total words written, number of unique words used, and number of mistakes made.
Sure, the information in this email is valuable because it helps me to improve my writing, but a good part of the email’s value is also from its consistency. If this email were to be sent at random intervals, I would be surprised whenever it turned up, and I wouldn’t have a relationship with it. Honestly, I’d probably delete it – even if it contained the exact same information.
Because it shows up in my inbox each week, though, I know what to expect, and I look forward to opening and engaging with it.
It sounds simple, but, surprisingly, many firms neglect consistency. They’ll try an email newsletter a few times, fail to see an overwhelmingly obvious positive result right away, and stop. Remember, email communication is about developing a relationship, and the best relationships are consistent. If you send every few months at random intervals, you aren’t fostering a relationship through email marketing – you’re just shouting at random.
Provide good value, and provide it consistently. Your engagement and the return you generate will steadily increase.
4. Work on Your Email List
Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the importance of constructing and maintaining a healthy send list. No matter how good your content is, if you’re not sending it to the right people, you’re wasting your time.
Here are a few tips to creating and utilizing a good email contact list.
- Grow it organically. Don’t buy contacts – they are almost never worthwhile. Optimize your website for conversions, and send your emails to people who are actually interested in what you have to offer.
- Trim the junk. Yes, it can be difficult to hit the delete button on contacts – but sometimes it’s necessary, especially if you’re using an email service provider that charges per contact (ie Hubspot, MailChimp). If a contact hasn’t opened your last six emails, then it’s time to admit that they’re not going to open your next one. This will help to increase your credibility as a sender, and it will make sure that you’re getting an accurate read on stats like click-through and open rates.
- Segment your email list. The more customized you can make your communication, the more rewarding it will be, both for you and your customers. What variables matter to your business? Would you speak differently if you were speaking only to an older audience, or to an audience of past customers, or to an audience that opened your newsletter 75% of the time? Segmentation can help you provide more relevant messages that your audience will be more likely to engage with.
So, there you have it: four tips for you to use email marketing as dentist. Now, get out there, share your valuable expertise, and develop relationships with current and potential clients. Put email marketing to work for you.
Want to understand more of the foundation to our approach? Download our ebook, The Expert Ecosystem, for an in-depth look at how sharing your expertise can generate leads.
Are you ready to get started with email marketing today? As an email marketing company in Maryland, we love helping clients around the world put this high-ROI channel to use. Get in touch with us online or at 240.575.5887 to find out what your campaign could look like.