As a dental practice, you rely on effective communication to build relationships with your patients and keep your business thriving.
One of the most important forms of communication is email. Whether you’re sending appointment reminders, follow-up messages, or marketing materials, your emails need to be clear, concise, and professional.
In this article, we’ll provide you with 10 steps to help you write great emails for your dental practice.
Before You Begin
Before you start writing emails, you need to define a clear strategy of what you want your emails to accomplish. According to a 2019 report, the average person receives 126 emails per day, with a significant portion of those being promotional or spam emails. That means the average person receives over 800 emails every week.
If you don’t have a clear plan of action, your emails will likely get lost in the void of overfilled inboxes and overwhelmed patients. Your emails need to stand out. Here’s how you build a strong foundation.
Define Your Goals
Before you start writing your email, you need to define your goals. What do you want to achieve with your email? Do you want to promote a new service, remind patients of their upcoming appointments, or simply keep them informed about your practice? Once you have a clear goal in mind, you can tailor your email content to achieve it.
Identify Your Audience
Understanding your audience is key to writing effective emails. Who are your patients? What are their needs, interests, and preferences? Why do they care about your email content? Knowing your audience will help you tailor your content and ensure that it resonates with the right people.
Start by considering the demographics of your patient base. What is the age range of your patients? Are they mostly families with young children, or is your practice focused on cosmetic dentistry for adults? Understanding the demographics of your audience will help you create content that speaks directly to their needs and interests.
Next, consider the types of services you offer. Are you a general dentist offering routine cleanings and fillings, or do you offer specialized services like orthodontics or oral surgery? Tailoring your message to the specific services you offer can help you attract the right patients and build stronger relationships with your existing patients.
Finally, think about the goals of your email. Are you trying to attract new patients, or are you focused on retaining your existing patients? Are you promoting a new service or offering a discount on an existing service? Understanding the goals of your email will help you craft a message that is clear, concise, and effective.
Craft a Clear Message
Make sure that your email is clear and easy to understand. Avoid using technical jargon or acronyms that the recipient may not understand. If necessary, provide explanations or examples to clarify your message.
One way to simplify your language is to use shorter sentences and paragraphs. This makes it easier for patients to follow along and understand the message you are trying to convey. Additionally, it’s important to avoid using acronyms or abbreviations that patients may not be familiar with.
Put yourself in the patient’s shoes. Consider what information they need to know and what questions they may have. Use language that is clear and concise, and avoid using technical terms that may be confusing.
10 Steps to Writing Effective Emails
Use a Clear Subject Line
Your subject line is the first thing your recipient will see, so make sure it’s clear and compelling. Use a descriptive subject line that accurately reflects the content of your email. Avoid using vague or misleading subject lines that could cause your message to be overlooked or deleted.
Keep it Short and Sweet
People are busy, and they don’t have time to read long, rambling emails. Keep your message short and to the point, focusing on the most important information.
Use short paragraphs, bullet points, and headings to break up your text and make it easier to read. According to RevenueWell, “the use of numbers is widespread online in article headings because it draws the reader in and lets them know what to expect when they dive into an article.”
Proofread & Edit Your Emails
Once you have written your email, it is essential to proofread and edit it before sending it to ensure that it is professional, error-free, and conveys your intended message. Here are a few tips to help you proofread and edit your email effectively:
- Check spelling & grammar: Use a spell-checker to identify any spelling or grammar errors in your email. However, keep in mind that a spell-checker may not catch all errors, so read through your email carefully to catch any mistakes that may have been missed.
- Use proper punctuation: Ensure that your email uses proper punctuation. Avoid using excessive exclamation marks or question marks, as they can make your email appear unprofessional.
- Check for tone: Ensure that your email has an appropriate tone. Avoid using language that may be perceived as rude, aggressive, or unprofessional. Instead, use a polite and respectful tone that is appropriate for a professional email.
- Use proper formatting: Use proper formatting, such as paragraph breaks and bullet points, to make your email easier to read and understand.
- Check for accuracy: Ensure that any information included in your email, such as dates or times, is accurate. Double-check any facts or figures that you include in your email.
- Use a professional email signature: Include a professional email signature that includes your name, title, and contact information. This will make it easier for the recipient to contact you if necessary.
- Send a test email: Before sending your email, send a test email to yourself or a colleague to ensure that it appears correctly and that there are no formatting issues.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your email is professional, error-free, and conveys your intended message clearly and effectively.
Personalize Your Message
Personalization can go a long way in making your emails more effective. It shows that you care about them as individuals and not just as another name on your mailing list. Here are a few tips to help you personalize your greeting:
- Use their name: Addressing your patients by their name can make them feel valued and important. It also shows that you have taken the time to get to know them.
- Reference their previous visit: If the patient has visited your practice before, you can reference their previous visit in your greeting. For example, “It was great seeing you at our practice last month.”
- Use their location: If you have their location information, you can use it to personalize your greeting. For example, “Greetings from sunny California!”
- Use their interests: If you know your patients’ interests, you can use them to personalize your greeting. For example, “We hope you’re enjoying the golf course this season.”
- Use their milestone: If the patient is celebrating a milestone, such as a birthday or anniversary, you can acknowledge it in your greeting. For example, “Happy Birthday, Isabelle! We hope you have a wonderful day.”
Remember to use the patient’s name correctly and ensure that you have their permission to use any personal information in your greeting. Personalizing your greeting can help to build a strong relationship with your patients and make them feel more connected to your practice.
Provide Clear Calls to Action
Your emails should have a clear call to action that tells your recipient what you want them to do next. Whether it’s scheduling an appointment, referring a friend, or leaving a review, make sure your call to action is clear, compelling, and easy to follow.
- Use action-oriented language, such as “book your appointment”
- Create a sense of urgency by using phrases like “book now”
- Make it easy to follow through with intuitive links
- Use a contrasting colour to make your CTA stand out
You want your calls to action to be as obvious as possible.
Use Engaging Content
Your email content should be engaging and informative. Use visuals like images or videos to break up the text and make your email more visually appealing. Provide helpful tips or information that your patients will find useful, and make sure your content is relevant to their needs and interests.
Visuals can be a powerful tool in your email marketing arsenal, but they should be used wisely. Use high-quality images that are relevant to your message, and make sure they’re optimized for fast loading times.
Test & Optimize Your Emails
Testing and optimizing your emails can help you improve their effectiveness over time.
Use A/B testing to try out different subject lines, calls to action, and visuals, and track your results to see what works best. Use this data to optimize your emails and make them more effective over time.
More and more people are checking their emails on their mobile devices, so it’s important to optimize your email for mobile. Use a responsive design that adapts to different screen sizes, and make sure your email is easy to read and navigate on a smaller screen.
Follow Best Practices for Email Security & Compliance
As a healthcare provider, you need to be especially careful about email security and compliance. Make sure you’re following all relevant regulations and use best practices for email security, such as encryption and password protection. This will help protect your patients’ sensitive information and keep your practice in compliance with the law.
Segment Your Email List
Segmenting your email list can help you target your emails to specific groups of patients. For example, you could send different emails to new patients, existing patients, and patients who haven’t visited in a while. This can help increase engagement and encourage patients to take action.
Follow Up with Your Recipients
Following up with your patients is an important part of writing great emails for dental practices. If you don’t get a response to your email, don’t be afraid to follow up with a reminder. You can also use follow-up emails to thank your patients for their business or to provide them with additional information or resources.
When following up, be sure to personalize your message and use a conversational tone. Keep your message short and to the point, and include a clear call to action. You may also want to offer an incentive, such as a discount or free service, to encourage your patients to take action.
Remember, following up shows your patients that you care about their needs and are committed to providing them with the best possible care. It can also help you build stronger relationships with your patients and increase patient loyalty.
That’s a Lot of Information—Where do I Start?
We know this information can feel overwhelming because there are so many factors to consider. Contact our experts at SmileShop Marketing to learn more about how we can help you create great email campaigns that work for your dental practice!