The value of patient retention
Many dental practices make the mistake of focusing only on gaining new patients. They fail to effectively address the need to retain those they already have.
Did you know that the most valuable asset that a practice has is its existing patient base? Every practice wants and needs new patients, but your surest and most predictable source of new revenue is right under your nose. It comes from loyal patients who already know your practice.
It’s also far easier (about 50%) to sell to existing patients than to new prospects. Acquiring new patients is expensive (five to ten times the cost of retaining an existing one), but the average spend of a repeat patient is a whopping 67% more.
There are further staggering statistics on the value of existing patient reactivation versus new patient acquisition:
- The probability of selling to an existing patient is 60 to 70%, while the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5 to 20%.
- A 2% increase in patient retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10%.
- Attracting new patients will cost your company five times more than keeping an existing
- A 5% reduction in the patient defection rate can increase profits by 5 to 95%.
Do you know why your patients are leaving you?
Did you know that the average dental practice loses between 15 to 20% of their patient base per annum? Yet only 7 to 8% will move out of your area each year.
Therefore, the rest of your patients are leaving for other reasons. If you are not tracking your numbers, this steady erosion of your patients can go unnoticed for years. When you do notice, it may well be too late.
It is critical to start monitoring, stop this steady loss of business, and turn your existing patients into loyal ones.
One main reason for patients leaving a practice is that the practice does not stay in touch.
If you don’t stay in touch with your patients, they will think that you don’t care, they won’t know what other services you are offering that may be of interest to them and their network of family and friends, and they won’t be educated in understanding why they need to come in for regular check-ups or to complete their treatment plan.
Regular communication with your existing patients is critical and email newsletters are one of the most cost-effective marketing methods you can implement.email newsletters are one of the most cost-effective marketing methods you can implement.
Why you need to sending email newsletters
A growing number of professionals use newsletter marketing to build their practices. Email newsletters are ideally suited and highly effective for the unique marketing needs of professional practices. Unlike traditional advertising, newsletters are not viewed as self- serving, because each issue provides valuable information.
Email marketing campaigns give you the opportunity to distribute information to a wide audience of patients at a relatively competitive rate. Research shows that email marketing has one of the best return on investment ratios.
Email newsletters benefits
The benefits of email newsletters include the following:
- They enhance your company’s reputation and increase lead generation.
- They increase the lifetime value of your clients.
- They are a very cost-efficient and cost-effective communication channel with your clients and/or referring practitioners.
- They leverage your marketing efforts.
- They provide instantaneous and trackable results.
- There is an opportunity for your clients and/or referring practitioners to easily and immediately interact with you and for you to promote dialogue with your clients and/or referring practitioners.
- They provide a higher response rate because it is being sent to a more receptive audience.
- They are more cost efficient than a printed newsletter because of the significant savings in time, printing and mailing costs.
A patient email newsletter demonstrates your concern for the people your practice serves and aims to strengthen that relationship. It is a convenient and impressive way to keep in touch on a regular basis, especially with patients you may not see often.
Find Out More
Contact My Dental Marketing on 02 9410 1507 and www.mydentalmarketing.com.au to learn more about using email newsletters as part of your dental marketing and to talk through any other specific marketing questions that you have about your practice.
Carolyn Dean is the author of ‘Fully booked – Dental marketing secrets for a full appointment book’ and is the managing director at My Dental Marketing. Carolyn is a widely known seminar speaker and dental marketing consultant working with over twenty-five years’ experience in sales and marketing, working with some of the largest global IT organisations.