In the last blog post we talked about ensuring that your website had some form of longevity. One of the biggest problems of a website is you spend so much time and effort attracting visitors to the site yet when they visit the simply bounce and leave again, off to go back to doing whatever it was they were doing before.
To get the most out of digital marketing we really need to work to ensure that your website has ongoing marketability, even if people don't visit the website any longer!
Sounds strange… So how do we do that?
Let me introduce you to gentle e-mail marketing. If we can collect someone's e-mail address whilst they are on your website, whilst they are a hot prospect and interested in your services then we can continue to communicate with them after they leave your website.
I can almost hear you groan, “e-mail marketing is spam”, I can hear you saying.
Wait one moment – here’s an example…
If you do the National Lottery online you will know that if you win something then they send you an e-mail.
Every Saturday I'm avidly checking my phone waiting for that e-mail notification that I'm a lottery winner… I've occasionally received an e-mail which tells me I need to log into my account and check, my heart is racing as I visit their website to find out I've won an almighty £25!
This example shows the e-mails per se are not spam, it is the CONTENT of that e-mail that makes it spam, some e-mails (like ones from the National Lottery) we are eager to receive and waiting to turn up. How great would it be if you had a prospective patient anticipating the next e-mail from you?
Let me show you how.
The trick is to turn marketing backward, rather than ask “what can I get out of this prospect?”, ask the question “what can I give this person for free that will build trust and reduce risk?”
The answer is generic dental health advice and information.
If you create a free guide, place it on your website on relevant pages and allow people to download the guide for FREE but in exchange for an e-mail address you can help to demonstrate you care about the readers of your site at the same time as collecting their e-mail address. You can then follow them up with a gentle series of e-mails which continues to build a relationship and answer their dental questions.
Here's an example.
On your dental implants page create a free guide entitled “Everything you need to know about replacing missing teeth.” In your guide you can talk about
- dental implants
- dental bridges
- not doing anything at all and the consequences of not doing anything at all on the adjacent and opposing teeth, retention of surrounding bone and possible consequences of restoring at a later date with a compromised bone quantity and/or tooth position.
We can then follow-up that free guide with a gentle series of e-mails which looks at:
- How comfortable is it to replace missing teeth? (Notice we don't talk about pain or discomfort rather, how comfortable we can make it)
- How much does it cost to replace missing teeth? Here's your opportunity to talk about the various different options.
- Where else to go to find out more about replacing missing teeth? Direct them to various dental implant company websites and other useful resources.
- How many dental implants might they need? this is a great opportunity to talk about different options and how you can help.
- What's the process for replacing missing teeth? This is where you can talk about planning stages, diagnostics and allow the patient to understand more about the process.
I could go on, but you get the picture…
As you can see, each e-mail is simply answering various patients concerns, each e-mail may not be entirely relevant to that person depending upon what their particular question is, but because we've written a series of e-mails we can be assured that at least one e-mail is going to be absolutely applicable to that person.
Now, we don't send all of these e-mails out in one go. We want to make sure they look natural and don't clog up someone's inbox.
The best sequence to send these e-mails out is based upon the Fibonacci series of numbers and the golden proportion, exactly the same formula you would use to calculate the width of centrals, laterals, and canines when doing cosmetic dentistry. This sequence of numbers is a beautiful sequence which appears often in nature and looks extremely natural.
So send your e-mails out with the following number of days between each e-mail 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55 etc continuously add the previous 2 numbers to give you the 3rd number and then continue to repeat this process will give you the full Fibonacci series of numbers.
As you can see the e-mails get further and further apart as the prospect gets further down the e-mail series. I get a HIGH open rate of 70-100% using this system, so I know it works.
In each of the e-mails resist the urge to sell, sell, sell, rather handout your useful free and relevant advice to build trust and lower risk and at the same time give the patient a simple way to move into the next stage of the process, typically this may be a discounted dental health check or free consultation.
Make sure your e-mails have a button which is clickable that drives the person to this consultation. Again, this should not simply be phoning you, this should be a free consultation which is claimed by downloading a voucher from the website, this voucher then means that this marketing is then trackable when people come in to the practice but also if you have a voucher downloaded from the website means that we are again collecting people's e-mail addresses rather than simply suggesting they phone us which they probably won't remember to do the next day!
If you are then really clever you can use e-mail automation to drop people into additional campaigns, for example, let's say they click the free consultation button in one of the follow-up e-mails but do not take action, we can have an intelligent e-mail system recognises this and then drops them into an additional campaign letting them know the advantages of a free consultation, how gentle you will be, how much you will listen to their concerns and how easy it is to book.
All of these e-mails should be run from an e-mail management system, I recommend Aweber which starts at $19 per month (a highly affordable option) if you repeat this process with straightening crooked teeth, dental health, cosmetic dentistry and facial rejuvenation you will have built a robust marketing strategy which works off of your website 24-hours a day, 7 days a week never sleeping.
What you will find is that your return on investment from the website goes up enormously, no longer are people visiting your site and bouncing off again, they are now interacting with your site, we are collecting their e-mail address and we are using your website as simply the starting point in building a relationship with your prospective new patient.
Everything with the patient at the centre and not you.
If you treat e-mail like this, as a way to help people you will find e-mail can be one of THE best ways to maximise the benefits of digital marketing.