Patient retention – can email marketing help?

9th September 2022 | | Marketing

After almost 3 years of lockdowns and restrictions throughout the global pandemic, you’d be forgiven for thinking that now, in 2022, we would catch a break.  As soon as ‘normal life’ was reintroduced earlier this year, local businesses began fighting their next battle: the cost of living crisis.

A report from PayPal’s Business of Change found that 78% of small business owners fear the rising cost of living will be the biggest threat to their business over the next year, not only impacting their own costs and expenses but also reducing customer spending. Gloomily, many more (27%) fear their companies might fail as a direct result of tough financial conditions over the coming year.

So what strategies can dental practices adopt to reduce the economic impact of soaring inflation? Statistics show that acquiring a new customer costs five times more than retaining one, so when businesses are feeling the squeeze, it may be a good idea to focus on retention rather than new patient acquisition.

Email marketing is a popular, direct marketing channel, and it can be a great tool for dentists to market to their existing patients, and retain them.  So why should you consider email marketing for your practice?

Low-cost

One of the most obvious benefits of email marketing is its lower cost compared to mainstream marketing channels. There are no print or delivery costs and no fees paid for exposure like on advertising boards, magazines or TV. It doesn’t matter if your email marketing list is 500, 1000 or 10,000 patients – it costs the same to send out each time.

Easy to track

Another key benefit of email marketing is that it’s easy to see where you’re going wrong and what is working well. Most email marketing software will allow you to track open, click-through and conversion rates, making it simple to spot how a campaign can be improved. These changes can be made almost immediately too, whereas print or broadcast advertising requires quite a bit of effort to alter.

Immediacy

Due to the immediacy of email, your practice can start seeing results within minutes of your campaigns being sent. Seasonal offers with call to action are great to be advertised by email, as it creates a sense of urgency and convinces subscribers to take immediate action and book an appointment.

Return on investment

In the business world, results are arguably all that matters. With this in mind, the main reason that we recommend that you invest in email marketing is the fantastic return on investment. In 2022, it has been estimated that email marketing typically returns £40 for every £1 invested, according to Hubspot. 

Retention

An existing patient base is probably your most predictable source of new revenue, you can market new treatments and special offers, which, in normal circumstances, would be a very good strategy to consider. However, due to the likely impact of the cost of living crisis on patient spending, dentists could look to advertise their Practice Plans and the opportunity to spread the cost of treatments. Practice Plans can increase patient loyalty and build a regular income – reducing the financial pressure dentists are likely to experience in the coming future.

If you are interesting it setting up an email marketing campaign for your practice, please give us a call on 01202 677277 

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