Here’s where I am going to suggest that the flagship of the fleet in your marketing collateral is your monthly email newsletter.
Yes – that important.
This follows on from my previous comments about your weekly blog (also high in importance).
Your blog and your newsletter are the places where you can expand into detail on:
detailed case studies about the patients and team members whose lives you have changed
your future plans for the business
post-graduate training that you are attending – and why it is important
your own customer service experiences and what you have learned from them (good and bad)
your thought leadership on dentistry, healthcare and sometimes wider issues
events that are taking place in your community
open evenings for specific treatment modalities
team farewells and welcomes
special birthdays, weddings, arrivals – even new pets
embedded videos of patient testimonials
diaries written by patients during ortho treatment
charity fund-raising in which you are involved
A client recently started their monthly newsletter with the receptionist’s celebration of her 60th birthday, having worked at the practice since she was 16-years old.
Not only did she enjoy many birthday wishes, it also encouraged the reactivation of some dormant patients.
If the newsletter content is relevant and informative, it will serve as a tickler for both existing patients and those who have visited the web site, downloaded a free guide – but are not yet ready to proceed to a first consultation.
You are keeping your culture in front of the prospect and they will return after long time periods to follow through when they are ready.
I’m a great believer in playing the long game with patients and prospects, rather than constantly searching for new strangers to interrupt.
Platforms for your newsletter can be simple and cost-effective (Mailchimp, Aweber, Constant Contact, Zoho), complex and multi-functional (Infusionsoft, Microsoft Dynamics, Sage, Salesforce) or, nowadays, built in to your practice management software (see v.12 of Exact).
There are two ways in which the newsletter system in Human Interest Marketing falls down:
there is little point in all of this effort unless you are actively collecting email addresses from patients and prospects. I’m frequently told that teams don’t have the time to collect email addresses or that “our patients aren’t on email”
if the content becomes that bland, plain vanilla, “how to floss” patient education material – or – your newsletter is simply a sales brochure for the next product that you are pushing
Done consistently and properly, your newsletter will allow prospects to ponder on your patient experience and it will encourage increased business and referrals from your existing patients.