How to Use Email for Marketing in Dentistry

Emails continue to be among the top preferred media channel with adults and teenagers with 90% of adults and 74% of teenagers using email. As a dental practice, you likely have an email provider sending out appointment reminders and maybe even happy birthday messages, however most practices are not taking full advantage of their email marketing potential.

Dental practices face unique challenges when it comes to email marketing. Unlike other businesses the most popular email services, specific to healthcare providers, do not have an option to capture leads, website visitors, or new prospects into an email list and are primarily focused on communicate to your existing patient base.

But even though your practice isn’t capturing email addresses for leads doesn’t mean you can’t harness your current email service to improve customer retention rates, reconnect with unscheduled treatment plans, and reactivate missed appointments.

Your email service is already populated with email addresses for your patients. This means, you have a prime opportunity to reach out to these people in between visits to your chairs. If you haven’t started this type of outreach, or if you’re worried you’re not doing enough of it, read on. Here are the top ways you can remarket your practice in between visits via email.

Regular Visit Reminders

Routine checkups and cleanings only happen twice a year. In between those cleanings, your patients have soccer practice, holidays, school events, work events, vacations, family outings, and a host of other obligations. It’s easy for them to forget to schedule their next appointment with you. Reengage with patients that may have become inactive by inviting them to come in for a cleaning or a visit with the doctor for a complimentary smile consult.

By sending out a friendly reminder that it’s time for another trip to your office, you help keep their smiles healthier while also getting your patients back into your office. It’s this type of nudge that patients appreciate.

Treatment Reminders

Sometimes, the doctor recommends an important treatment the patients don’t follow through with. There are many reasons why a person might avoid returning for an important treatment, such as fear, cost, timing, or just being busy.

Sending emails to remind patients about the diagnosed treatment, offering more information about the benefits of the procedure, in-office financing, or sharing a case success or testimonial will help motivate those people to reconnect and return to your office.

Most of your email providers have a feature to segment your patients by procedure codes so you can email specific information by targeting all unscheduled treatment per service, like implants or Invisalign.


When you first opened your new office, did you ever host a ribbon cutting? Ran in a local 5k as a team? Or have you ever hosted a fun, sugar-free Halloween giveaway?

You have events and promotions in your office on a regular basis, but if your patients don’t know about them, how can they attend? Don’t be afraid to send an invitation to your current patients to keep them involved and interactive with your dental practice, even when they’re not in your chairs.

Create awareness of the new services, technology or offers you have by sending short announcements and encouraging patients to share with friends and family in need of a dental provider.

A simple greeting around birthdays and holidays go a long way. When your patients first check-in, they give you their birth date and the 1st day they became a patient is their anniversary date. Use this information to send a quick greeting. There’s no promotion or agenda attached to it. The only purpose of this greeting is to bring a smile to someone’s day. Create a fun video of you and the team wishing your patient a happy birthday or seasonal celebrations and contact your email provider to walk you through how to set up the video email greeting.  

New Welcome Information

When someone switches from one practice to yours, you want to embrace them with open arms. Make every new patient feel welcome and comfortable about coming to a new office by emailing them a welcome email with your website address, the link to your new patient forms, directions to your location, and a video office tour. Sending welcome information sets the tone for what the patient can expect from you, and leaves your new patients feeling excited about finding a dentist that cares.

Post-Visit Follow Up

After your patient leaves your office, do you reach out asking for a review, or for answers to a survey? If not, you’re missing out on potential remarketing opportunities.

Asking for a review plants a seed in your patient’s mind to leave a kind word about your practice on Facebook or Google. Your email providers already have created easy to use post-visit follow up emails asking patients to fill out a quick survey. Surveys are an excellent way to stay on top of your team’s customer service and see how well their interactions are meshing with the brand and culture you’re trying to build.

Make it Personal

No matter why you send an email, make it personal. Include a video of yourself saying thank you. It’s this unique touch that sends patients over the moon with good feelings about your dental practice. Be sure the service or message you are sending a patient is relevant to their needs or wants.

Although email for dentists isn’t commonly used for gathering leads, there are still plenty of ways you can harness this medium to continue bringing people back into your practice.

What other ways are you using email?

Coming up with an email plan, creating the right words, and connecting all the pieces can be daunting.

That’s where we come in.

We’ll help you utilize your email service to it’s fullest. Sign up for your free coaching call  to receive immediate tips on how to take advantage of the email software and service you are already paying for to get better patient retention and increase treatment enrollment.

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