When you hear the word “campaign”, what comes to mind? If you follow politics, you probably think about races for elected office. If you are a history buff, you might think about military strategy.
Those of us in marketing sometimes refer to “marketing campaigns” as well, and for good reason digital marketing strategies for dentists. Like political or military operatives, marketers set goals, set deadlines, and implement tactics to get desired results. But as marketing techniques have changed, “campaign” is often no longer an accurate or powerful term for current dental practices. Today’s marketing has less to do with traditional advertising and more to do with content marketing via email, the Web, and social media.
Consistency, consistency, consistency
Professional practices know a lot about commitment. Whether you’re a pediatric dentist, orthodontist, or periodontist, you’ve made a long-term commitment to your patients. Your email marketing should also focus on long-term results.
Conversely, if you send one or two marketing emails during a “campaign” period of a few months, don’t expect much. If you don’t offer commitment and consistency, your efforts will be insufficient.
Do not conquer; instead, be a partner
Political, military, and marketing campaigns generally connote conquest. The winner wins a battle or electoral votes or sells a product. But your dental marketing strategy shouldn’t aim for victory in the same vein. Instead, think of partnership. That’s because the patient is in control today.
Your patients make decisions like never before. They use digital video recorders, or DVRs, to skip television commercials. They use caller ID to avoid phone calls from telemarketers. They opt for RSS feeds and email lists, and they choose the websites they want to read. They are able to filter out the “noise” they don’t want by overlooking and even ignoring subject lines in email, social media ads, and online ads. I am sure that, as a consumer, you can identify yourself.
Earn your readers’ permission
This means that for your email marketing strategy to work, you need the permission of your readers. This doesn’t just apply to asking them to “subscribe” to your email list. It means that you have to earn their attention with each and every email you send.
This is a great advantage for oral surgeons, endodontists, prosthodontists, and other dentists, because as a trusted resource, your patients are far more likely to value the information they receive from you than from anyone else. By sending them valuable information, with consistency and commitment, to help them make decisions that will affect their families, you will earn their trust and they will read your content. And they will be much more likely to respond!
So treat your email marketing as a commitment, similar to the one you have with the patients you see every day. Use it as a resource to further build and develop your relationships with your patients. That’s the marketing strategy that will help you win as you think beyond the campaign.