Marketing can get pretty expensive, so getting the most out of your marketing spend can often be intimidating.  External marketing such as direct mail or advertisements are key to practice growth, but often an office’s internal marketing to existing patients is overlooked.  This is where dental recall and reactivation shines, as it makes sure the patients you already have are coming back year after year for additional care. We’ll take a look at one of the common barriers to patients returning for care and how to tackle the problem.

The cost of dental care is often the number one reason patients delay necessary dental work. Targeting patients with dental insurance, where cost is less likely to be a barrier, is the most effective reactivation campaign you can do. Think of what percentage of your patient file has dental insurance but haven’t been in your office lately. Oftentimes patients overlook their own benefits and a reactivation campaign focused on reminding them to use their benefits before they expire can be a great way to get patients back in the office.  This helps your patients save money on their dental care, but also creates a low barrier offer that you can use to transform a lapsed patient into a current one.

How to Launch Your Own Successful Benefits Reminder Campaigns

You will want to begin by reaching out to all insured patients with an email or text message. Allow 7-10 days for patient to call in and schedule. If no response, send a postcard. Remember to contact patients using the method(s) they prefer.  According to the ADA, 53% of the U.S. population have dental insurance, so you want to be sure you’re staying on top of your patient’s benefits.  You will want to target insured patients who do not have any upcoming appointments with benefits reminder campaigns. These patients are the most likely to respond since insurance removes most financial reasons to delay care. Reactivation campaigns that focus on a patient’s benefits are also a great way to avoid sounding too “salesy.” There are lots of great seasonal campaigns you can run for benefits reminders, and staying topical keeps the messaging relevant to what is already on the patient’s mind.

The earlier in the year you launch your campaign the more potential your campaign has to be successful. You will want to run a campaign in Spring, early Summer and another in Fall for maximum appointments.  Keep your tone friendly and fun and include the date of their last dental visit. Realizing how much time has passed since their last visit can prompt them to call and schedule. You can also use an educational approach and stress the importance of oral health and overall wellness. You still want to create a sense of urgency by reminding them that their benefits will expire, so they should be sure to schedule an appointment asap.

Tips to Remember:

  1. Internal marketing is key to keeping your schedule full year round.
  2. Using multiple channels such as texts, emails and postcards delivers the best result.  Find the mix that gets the best response from your patients.
  3. Benefits reminder campaigns work best when executed in the spring and fall each year.