Over the past several years, having a website has become the standard expectation of successful business. Most business owners have either purchased a website or have a simple webpage that directs visitors to their business. However, less than one percent of small to medium businesses utilize effective email marketing campaigns to give customers incentives to purchase from their businesses after their initial visit to the website or business. Neglecting to implement an effective email marketing campaign is the same as leaving thousands of dollars lying around on the ground each month.
Most business owners usually remember to run ads once in a while, but only a select few choose to send out an email or newsletter to past customers and prospects. This simple little strategy has been responsible for billions of dollars in profits for small business owners who choose to actually use this strategy in their business. Those who do not use this strategy, often wonder why their customers never come back to purchase from them after many hours of building rapport.
See, the truth is, no matter how much rapport you may have built with a prospect or patient at the time they were in your office or on the phone with you, the minute they walk out the door, anything and everything is fighting for their attention. They have spouses, children, jobs, relatives, vacations, shopping etc. They may have the best motives and intentions when you talk to them, but the longer you wait to follow up with them, the more they forget you.
The number one reason for missing out on the easy profits is because most business owners do not actually get their prospects’ or customers’ email address. If you never have the email address then you cannot possibly use it to market to your prospects and past patients.
When I say email marketing, I’m not just talking about collecting email addresses of patients who have emailed you with questions, because most times that doesn’t really happen. In order to have an effective email marketing campaign, you must have an enticing lead magnet that prospects will get in exchange for giving you their email address. For example, as a dentist, your “email lead magnet” could be a coupon, rewards program or a simple informative report titled, “Everything You Must Know Before Getting Your Teeth Whitened” or a similar title.
But, collecting the contact information and getting sales from your list of prospects are two different things. Once you have the email address you can then send out emails about, promotions or information. However, you cannot just send out emails begging prospects or patients to buy. One of the ways in which you can build a relationship with your prospects and patients is by sending out fun, education and entertaining newsletters. Building relationships with your patients has to be your number one priority if you want to create patients for life.
It is very important that the content of your newsletter be natural and not too well polished. The reality is, the more down to earth and simple your newsletter is, the more patients will be able to relate to you through your newsletter. In fact, the last thing you want to do is create a slick looking newsletter that uses words, phrases and pictures that are nothing like what you would actually say or do. Remember, this is about building a relationship with you and your practice. It’s not about putting out the most professional newsletter on the planet.
The content of your newsletter should include pictures of you and your staff. You should also include pictures of happy patients. It is also a good idea to include a contest or sweepstakes which rewards customers for reading the newsletter and answering hidden questions in the newsletter. You also want the newsletter to be laid back and not just industry jargon and talk. Most of your patients don’t know industry jargon and don’t care about it, but they do care about their pets, gardening and recipes. As silly as it sounds, you want your newsletter to be written for the normal guy and gal. Of course, you want to put a section promoting your products and services too, but that should be a small percentage of your newsletter.
When it comes to sending your past patients your emails or newsletter, you should focus on generating referrals. You should also put a promotion in your newsletter that rewards your past patients for coming in and purchasing additional products and services from you. With this strategy, you can choose to include the offer in your newsletter or you can send the offer separately.
Now, when you begin to consistently implement this strategy, you will begin to get a consistent and predictable flow of buying patients in your practice. It’s surprising how many dentists that think they can make a reliable, consistent income based solely on referral business alone. Sure, getting referrals is great, but do you really control that process? No, of course not. However, when you mail your list, you can control the offer you are presenting to your list of prospects and past patients. You can even choose the day that you want your mail piece to go out to them, so in my experience it’s much better when you control your own success. You should be making contact with your prospects and patients at least once a month. You want them to think of your practice when they are ready to make their purchase.