5 Dental Marketing Strategies for Increased Patient Recall

Marketing is more than a one-and-done activity. In fact, as it relates to dental marketing ideas for increased patient recall it requires a more strategic, ongoing approach.

Why specifically recall?

Mastering the recall process keeps dentistry front-of-mind for your patients. That’s important because it creates a lifetime care focus in their mind rather than a reactive, problem-centric approach.

It’s Time to Move Beyond “Problem-centric” Dentistry.

Perhaps you’re not consistently guilty. But on occasion you might be tempted to say something to a patient such as,

“Well, everything looks good today…didn’t see any problems…”

While well intentioned, that narrative communicates something that could be harming your recall success.

Hearing “no problems” (although a good result) takes away from the lifetime value of dental care. And the lifetime perspective can make a huge difference in your recall success and overall dental marketing strategy.


Recall Success Maintains an “Audience” (Patient) Connection

Much of your dental marketing and recall effectiveness comes down to communication. But keep in mind that how your patients communicate is ever evolving. It helps to “think” like they do. One recall strategy might not be effective for every demographic of your patient base.

Mailing a postcard to a patient in their 20’s or 30’s will likely be ignored. In the same way a text or email might be overlooked by a senior aged patient.

There are exceptions as technology and mail strategies are concerned. But a more patient-sensitive recall strategy will allow you to tailor it to each segment of your database.

It’s particularly useful to ask your patients what mode of communication they prefer.

Recall Success is a Well-timed Process

Timing can vary from patient to patient. Yet generally speaking there are better days and times to assure you’re getting their attention.

For example, a Monday phone call, voice message, email, or text message is likely to be a wasted effort. Most return from a weekend of less related interaction to a full inbox or media stream.

The following are recommended communication “sweet-spots.”

  • Phone calls: studies reveal greater success on Wednesday or Thursday afternoons.
  • Emails: send midweek around 10 a.m. according to email marketing strategists.
  • Text (SMS) messages: send daily between morning and evening “rush” hours.

Recall Success is a “Rinse-and-Repeat” Process

Repetition, repetition, repetition! Repeating your message is key to compelling your patients to reschedule.

It’s important that you vary your message and take a scatter approach to how you communicate with your patient base.

And speaking of “how” you communicate…innovate around these five dental marketing ideas for recalls.


1. Revive Direct Mail

Again, a specific demographic within your patient base will respond to a compelling direct mail strategy. But the key to reviving its effectiveness is assuring it’s compelling – whomever the recipient is!

  • Send useful content via newsletters, postcard appointment reminders, and engaging (on-topic) brochures.
  • Build relational momentum on a well-timed delivery schedule. Recall mailers work best on an every three months timeline and postcard reminders three weeks before an appointment.

2. Revolutionize Email

You can keep your dental marketing costs lower by utilizing email. But that’s not the only reason to use it as a recall strategy.

Email is perceived as less invasive. Even so, it’s vital that you respect your patient’s time and inbox by making sure your email strategy delivers value.

  • Deliver routine (monthly or quarterly) e-newsletters, personalized promotions, and ongoing appointment reminders.
  • Stay connected with your patients via useful newsletter content and timely recall reminders (every six months).
  • Follow delivery frequencies that align with appointment follow-up and scheduling timelines.

3. Reconnect with Text (SMS) Messages

SMS (text) messaging can be used as an effective dental marketing tool. The reason has a lot to do with how we’ve come to use texting as a fluid communication channel.

That said, it’s essential that you respect the medium as you use it for recalls and other marketing strategies.

  • Text appointment reminders, available/last-minute schedule openings, and limited time promotions.
  • Compel a response by using a clear call-to-action that provides useful and/or immediate value.
  • Keep promotional content to a minimum via SMS. You don’t want to be, or sound, “spammy”.

4. Re-engage with Social Media Content

Social media channels enable you to stay connected to your patients via a wide variety of content. And you can engage them without direct communication by appearing in their newsfeed(s).

  • Curate and share useful dental themed content to stay front-of-mind and prompt a scheduling reminder.
  • Share your own blog content (linked to your practice website) to provide oral health tips.
  • Post patient testimonials (with permission), reminders about essential dental care (e.g. teeth cleanings, etc), promotions, team and practice photos, and targeted (paid) ads with a clear CTA (call-to-action)..
  • Share content on an appropriate schedule and maintain a balance of useful (themed) content to promotional (reminder) based content.

5. Restore Face-to-Face Connections

It’s fundamental to your dental marketing strategy that you relate personally to your patients. Access to technology and content delivery channels should align with and support good old-fashioned face-to-face communication.

  • Maintain a “marketing-mindset” that maximizes every patient conversation as an opportunity to encourage consistent oral health care.
  • Remind patients personally (as they depart each appointment) to engage with you on social media, to refer your practice to family, friends, and co-workers, and to leave a review about their experience.
  • Get out into your community. Be a recognized authority for general and oral health through community events and promotional opportunities.

Maximize your dental marketing ideas and increase your patient recall success!

Effective systems start at the idea level. And turning those ideas into a system for increasing your recall success can lead to healthier patients and more production.

Check out these related resources to generate dental marketing ideas and create a more sustainable recall system:

How to Get More Patients in Your Dental Office (And Create Long-Term Loyalty)

Key Strategies to Jump-Start Your Dental Marketing

The 3 Social Media Sites You Should Be Promoting Your Business On and Why

Download Our White Paper: Alleviating Patient Anxiety Through Office Theming

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