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Regular readers of my missives will know that my #1 most recommended marketing strategies are FREE.

Whether it is FREE local media coverage or FREE conversations with current patients about your new services, FREE marketing is often the most powerful thing you can do to grow your practice.

The easiest and most effective FREE marketing you will ever do is EMAIL to current and past patients. If you are not EMAILING your existing and past patients every other week, you are missing the #1 marketing opportunity in your arsenal.

Past patients? Yes, obviously most orthodontists will have more past patients than current patients. These past patients have an intimate relationship with you. They already know, love and trust you. They will come to you for your new services and refer their friends and family, but only if you TELL them about them. This is why emailing current and past patients is critical for orthodontists.

But it is also true for GPs. Your past patients did not leave you necessarily because they were un-happy, but perhaps due to an insurance change, they moved 10 miles further away, or a long list of other reasons. Most of these patients will consider you again and drive a little further if you are offering something new and unique that is not offered by their current dentist. They will come back if you give them a reason.

Emails need to be informative, not just pitches for your new care options. They need to look professional and most importantly, their frequency should be regular. Every two weeks is probably the right number.

To learn more about proven email strategies that will help you grow your collections and receive new patient referrals from current patients, take a look at this interesting, but brief article. It is well worth reading!

Most doctors do not do email well. They ignore mine (mistake) and don’t send enough of them to their patients. You are a trusted care provider. People care about what you have to say. If you have the compelling content, you should consider communicating with your patients via email WEEKLY. Yes, every single week. Why?

Alchemy Works, an email consulting firm recently released this research:

Sending FOUR emails per month DOUBLES the number of consumers who open at least one email from you vs. those who only send ONE email per month.

I know that you do not want to become known as the SPAM king of dentists, but these are patients who have given you their email addresses. They have ASKED you to contact them. Be sure to have an opt-out feature in your emails, but research shows that you should be contacting them WEEKLY.

Do you use your emails to ask for referrals? Announce new services? Congratulate team members? Wish your patients a happy birthday? (Southwest Airlines sends me a Happy Birthday Email every year and it always makes me smile. They also send me a postcard! Do you?)

Emails to your patients WEEKLY can also help your patients understand their oral hygiene and remind them how to live the healthiest lives. This is an opportunity every doctor should be using. Weekly.

Happy Grinding to All in the New Year!

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