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Email Marketing for Dentistry: How to Serve Existing and New Patients

When you’re dealing with little time and a small marketing budget, allocating your resources correctly becomes crucial. Hit the biggest bang for your buck and you can expect your dental chairs to be flooded; miss the mark on your marketing efforts, on the other hand, and you will struggle to gain traction within your community. 

While email marketing may seem old-fashioned, it still gives dental practices the ability to reach their community in an impactful, simple manner. According to the annual survey from Litmus, email marketing returns $36 for every dollar spent, and that number can jump to $42 with the right tweaks to your marketing effort and even higher than $50 when you slip in live content.

If you commit to boosting your email marketing in 2022, you won't be alone, as 37% of brands opted to increase their budget this year. What’s more, an amazing 77% of marketers say they have seen an increase in their email engagement over the past year, according to HubSpot.

So what does this mean for dentists? In short, it’s time to strategize your email marketing to give patients — new, existing, and potential — what they want.

Does Email Still Matter?

With all of the emphasis in recent years on various digital marketing and social media efforts, email marketing may have taken a back seat for many.

However, that doesn’t lessen the impact of great email marketing for dentists — if anything, it makes those perfectly crafted campaigns even more engaging! Because emails can be segmented to target new or existing customers, you’re able to personalize communications to build stronger relationships with your audience.

Among the benefits you can achieve with email are:


Email gives you the ability to engage with current patients in ways that prove your worth through personalized interactions. In addition to approaching them with monthly, semi-monthly, or weekly newsletters, you can set up automated emails to survey them about a recent visit or remind them of upcoming appointments.


Email also provides a great way to get a response from people who may be looking for a new dentist in your area. When you capture a potential patient’s information through your website or social media, automated email ensures your communications begin as soon as possible.

Nearly 80% of people will open a welcome email, which is 4x a normal open rate, and they are 10x more likely to click through from that email. From here, it’s on you to engage with them effectively and give them something of value — more on that in a bit!


Automated emails also make appointment reminders a snap. If you provide an online scheduling option or use a scheduling app, emails are a great way to send a reminder that it's time to schedule an appointment or engage new patients by allowing them to schedule the first appointment right from your welcome email. 

Give Patients What They Really Want

Beyond the technicalities behind your email marketing efforts, such as automation and segmentation, you also need to create engaging emails that patients will want to open, read, and engage with.

Keep in mind that more than 40% of your emails will be opened on a mobile device, so they must be mobile-friendly. If you target a younger clientele, that number jumps to 59% for Millennials and 67% for Generation Z.

This means your subject lines must be shorter than 30 characters and your most engaging content should be at the beginning of the email.

Your emails will be more welcomed by clients and potential patients when it's obvious that it comes from your dental practice website, rather than from a generic Gmail account. Recognizing the sender is the top reason people open an email, ranking higher than when people have the time to read an email.

But what about the actual content of the email? Here are some other ways you can provide value to your patients or potential patients:

Provide Tips & Tricks

Oral health tips and/or quick videos encourage readers to interact with your email rather than unsubscribe. These also are a great opportunity to keep the faces of your practice in front of patients as your dentists or hygienists deliver these tips or messages.

Be Genuine

As a neighborhood dentist, the interactions patients have with the dentists and staff will be their most important factor in returning. Your email marketing builds those relationships when you are genuine in sharing stories and family updates with your patients. Patient testimonials also engage readers as they hear from other folks using your service.

Use Engaging Design

Engaging email design grabs readers' attention and is more likely to cause an action (visit your website, read your blog, schedule an appointment) than a wall of text. You don't have much time to get that engagement as the average reader will spend only 10 seconds with a brand email if they are not engaged immediately.

Offer Promotions

Give patients a reason to keep coming back or new patients a reason to choose your dental practice by offering interesting promotions:

  • Discounts: Offer a discount on a first-time cleaning or every fifth cleaning to engage new and returning patients.
  • Raffles: Hold raffles for those who click through for something valuable but useful, such as an electric toothbrush.
  • Contests: Engage readers with contests that could lead to additional prizes or discounts.
  • Limited-Time Offers: Create a sense of urgency with a limited-time offer but make sure it's something the office can accommodate. You don't want to offer a discount on cleaning for the next two weeks if your hygienists' schedules already are booked.

Take Your Practice to the Next Level

As you step up your dental practice's marketing through enhanced email marketing, you also have the opportunity to generate enthusiasm among the entire team. Don’t forget to engage the staff in crafting ideas for how to make your email valuable to your patients, providing ideas for videos, tips, contests, etc.

It’s also important to remember that dental email marketing is just one tactic that practices can use to increase their client base. A complete approach to digital marketing is required to get your practice to the next level.

If your email marketing is already in a great place, Great Dental Websites can complement your efforts with a holistic approach to digital marketing. Browse our services now or reach out to our team today to get started!