Dental Marketers are preparing for the incoming demise of third-party cookies as the policies and external factors begin to make targeted marketing a tad difficult.
As a result, we all shift our gears towards organic growth and evaluating our digital strategies. Cost per acquisition starts to increase, and the efforts become more expensive. So the focus goes back to retention, engagement, upselling, cross-selling, and the overall optimized customer experience.
Yet that’s not the end of the line…
There are still numerous first-party data that can deliver an optimized and personalized experience to our users. These first-party data can be collected through product interactions. We can leverage these data points to provide personalized and relevant information through various channels of digital.
Instead of talking about a hot new channel of marketing, let us take a moment and appreciate the unsung hero of digital marketing. Yes, I’m talking about email marketing because guess what…your next engagement is already sitting in the user’s inbox. Messages that will sit with your customers forever until they are deleted. A direct form of communication between your customers and prospects that requires no swipes.
In honor of this hero, let’s recognize that marketers across all industries treat email as some unexciting channel that “does the job.”
It is important, but nobody likes to talk about it. The same channel, though, worldwide, resulted in almost more than 300 billion communications daily. Can you believe that number?
What does that number tell us? First, the same batch sends strategy that worked five or ten years ago will have slight difficulty sitting well with the customer.
Do I consider that a limitation or an opportunity? Definitely an opportunity. Because we can be more intentional about our messages and stop spending time on things that do not work. It will save us more time and help us do more effective marketing within our time and budget.
What you can expect out of this article:
- Learn about the building blocks of running a successful email marketing campaign
- 5 Ways to enhance your dental email marketing campaigns
What are the Building Blocks of Having a Successful Email Marketing Campaign?
Going back to what I said, about 300 billion emails are being sent and delivered daily. As dental marketers, we have to ensure our emails pass to land in users’ inboxes and stand out among all other emails.
In previous articles, I touched on user experience. Today, consumers are looking for a personalized and responsive experience across all their digital interactions. On a website, search, or social, it is a matter of seconds to capture someone’s attention. Email is no stranger to this. With many emails landing in our inbox, we can clearly see the importance of standing out.
To answer this demand, dental marketers need to know how to leverage the data. Not just any data, but the RIGHT data. Your first-party data is of most value in this instance.
What are some examples of the first-party data that can be leveraged in emails?
- Contact information (Email address, first name, last name)
- Prior interactions – what did the user interact with? What products/solutions/ treatments are they interested in learning more about?
- Purchase history – what treatments do they stop by for? What products or solutions do they use?
- Purchase or Interaction Trends – Seasonality or trends that might infer/predict future purchases
- External Factors – Insurance premium, a peak time in the year
- Behavior – Time of the day, day of the week
- Time spent on site – what was the top information they engaged with on the site?
Let’s dive back into the best practices to have a successful email campaign:
1. Leveraging Data to Personalize in Real-time
Your customer shares so much data with you while engaging with your brand. So the matter is to find out how you want to react to all this data? Email should be one of the ways to leverage this data to increase consumer engagement. Therefore, your emails should be personalized based on some if not all data points mentioned above.
If you are sending out an email, use their first name in the subject line and salutation to keep things more friendly. Maybe have your own signature included at the bottom. Step away from making them feel like just another number in your database. Perhaps they are in a region that might respond positively to receiving a discount. Maybe the trends show you that they are more likely to purchase a particular treatment from you. The end of the year is coming. Perhaps you want to remind them to use their insurance to get all their dental work done. Maybe you can offer them a night guard after their treatments are done. Opportunities are unlimited.
2. Don’t Leave Your Email Marketing in a Silo. Let it be Part of Your Omni-channel Journey
Email marketing is a quick and direct form of communication with your users. It is beyond just a channel. It can generate revenue, create customer loyalty, and therefore needs to be part of the foundation of your comprehensive marketing strategy. Keeping email as a silo channel will limit your capabilities to create an overall unified and robust customer experience.
The best way is to complement your interactions with an email with one or multiple supplemental outreach channels. You can do this by print, social, text messaging, web, or app push notifications.
3. Leveraging Predictive Analysis and Capabilities in Email Marketing
What is the size of your market?
How many potential customers can you have?
How many patients can you accept?
Leveraging predictive analysis is a powerful tool in your email marketing.
Automation can help you further personalize your email marketing experience to remain competitive. Intelligent automation features can help you optimize your send time, optimize your campaigns and channels, predict churn, and forecast future purchase behaviors.
You might ask why I asked those questions at the beginning. Companies typically jump into prediction without figuring out their data model. While there is no Golden rule for the number of data points required for creating a proper predictive model, we still have to consider that the machine will only be as wise as we make it and the problem you would like to solve. For example, we might require tens of thousands of data points for a typical image classification model to train our classifier. You probably need 10 times as many observations as you’d like to feature for a regression model. For a time series problem, you should always have more data points than your parameters. A data scientist can help you figure all that out.
4. Leveraging Next Gen Interactivity via Email:
When we are talking about email marketing, we are no longer talking about static HTML code. Instead, done right, you can utilize transformation via email marketing in the form of simple messages, dynamic web applications, delivery updates, responsive surveys, in-message shopping, and more.
What Will You Get Out of a Successful Email Marketing Campaign?
While email is a powerful channel, together complemented by other channels, it can create a massive customer engagement journey that allows us, marketers, to provide the users with a fantastic user experience, transferring small pieces of information message by message and across all channels based on relevance and type of engagement.
Email marketing will significantly impact your customer retention but, beyond that, increase the average lifetime value of a user by significant multiples when mixed with other channels and delivery methods such as push notifications, text marketing, social media, or print.
If you execute this properly, email marketing can substantially positively impact your down-the-line business outcomes.
5 Ways to Enhance Your Dental Email Marketing Campaigns
By directly addressing your customers via email, you can benefit from timely information, increasing your sales, brand awareness, customer loyalty, interactions. In addition, it is relatively a cheaper channel and is more efficient relative to other media channels. With the availability of technology, the best news is that this media type is easy to create and can be globally distributed almost anywhere.
The email newsletter is also influential. It allows you to send informational emails to your customers. For example, dental news, industry news, new product info, new blog post, education-type material. Soft touches will allow you to stay in contact with your users while providing them with valuable information.
Let’s look at five ways you can enhance your email marketing experience.
1. Regularly Check and Clean Your Email Lists
When you are sending out emails, your goal is to reach as many people as possible.
To do so, you must ensure that your list is as extensive as possible and that the contacts are up to date, clean, and opted in to receive emails from you.
Building Your Email Marketing List—to entice your customer to provide you with their email address and opt-in to receive emails from you, you must make your subscription form available and visible. The best place to have this is on your website.
Create sticky pages. If you have a lead generation running on social media or through other channels, make sure your form has a place for the user to subscribe to your email marketing.
Once the subscription happens, you have to ensure the integrity of your list. Because not all email addresses are live, and not every email address is current or being checked. So how can you do all that? First, make sure to have your team check with the patient every time they call or visit the office. You can also make it as part of their check-in form. That should qualify for patients that are routinely visiting your practice for their dental needs.
But what about those that are not frequent visitors? Typical check on the email addresses should be between one to three months. Since in the B2C environment, emails don’t change that frequently as in B2B, a quarterly check should suffice to keep things up to date. Anything beyond that should be built into your marketing strategy.
By frequently checking with your customers through email touches, information, and educational content and reviewing your bounce rates, you will sense which email needs to be updated. You can even get more sophisticated and have a preference center to have your customers update their email preferences at their own time.
2. Organize Your Email Marketing Messages
This touches two subjects: type of messages and also your targeting.
What does that mean?
Separate your transactional emails from your promotional emails. Transactional emails are server emails, system notices, service notices, or billing information.
Promotional emails are the emails you send to promote products and services.
You want to organize your emails to make sure they are going out from the correct email address. So they don’t interfere with each other. For example, we definitely don’t want to send a promo email to an accounting email, nor do we want our billing statement to be blocked because of promotional emails.
Then goes to sending the right message to the right person. How can you ensure that? Finally, it goes back to leveraging the first-party data. Granted, dentistry is for everybody. Whether young or old, you need to go visit your dentist.
But, every person classifies as a different persona. You can start classifying your customers into different personas based on your first-class data to send the right message to them. More specified and tailored your messaging, a higher chance of your emails getting opened by the customer, and a higher chance of engagement on those emails.
3. Make Your Emails More Engaging and Interactive
The messaging is very important in every email you send to the customers.
How many emails do you receive daily? How many of them do you save? How many of them do you read? How many will end up in your spam box or be deleted?
The goal is to have your readers engage with your email and remember your brand when they leave their computers. Or leave them with a spark, something to stimulate their brain with a new idea or a thought.
A common way to do this is to have the proper call to action. For example, what is the reason you sent the email? What do you want the customer to do or take away from the email?
4. Incorporate Social Media in Your Strategy
This is going back to using another channel as a complement to email.
Social media is a great place to start. The number of social media users is increasing Y-o-Y. It went from cat videos to a place businesses and consumers engage and communicate daily.
By now, you probably should already have a Facebook or social media account on another platform.
Invite your audience to like and follow your social media accounts, share your content with their network.
Combining the two worlds can draw your patients to your amazing and engaging posts on social media. The first touch by email sends the direct message you want to communicate, and social media is where you can keep them engaged with your business.
5. Be Unique About Your Dental Email Marketing Messages
Bring uniqueness to your message. Show a personal side of your practice to your patients. Show them what makes you a different practice over the competitor.
You run a successful practice—there must be a reason for that. Try to show that uniqueness in your message. Reflect your friendly and helpful practice in your messages.
Utilizing emojis is a great way to capture attention. Whether in the email’s subject line or in the body of your message. However, I should say that emojis are not all responsive and show up on screen differently depending on the user’s email client. So check your emojis cross-platform before using them.
This article was a small guide to provide you with tips on improving your dental email marketing strategies. With information provided here, you are ready to take your email marketing campaigns to the next level.
Email marketing is important tool for customer retention and prospecting and to make the most out of your email marketing goals we need to make sure it is aligned with your business goals, follows a successful strategy and is backed by the right metrics and KPIs.
Now that we talked about email marketing, I will leave you with this question. How do you measure the success of your marketing campaigns?