You need a well-rounded marketing strategy for your dental practices, and that should include text messaging, or SMS, marketing. As you explore more about SMS marketing for dentists, you will learn why it is so crucial for your practice and see some dental office text messaging samples that you can use for inspiration.
What Is SMS marketing?
Start by understanding what SMS marketing is. SMS is an abbreviation for “short message service” and is one type of text messaging. Although it is called SMS marketing, you can still send MMS messages as well. These can contain multimedia, such as GIFs, images, videos, or audio files.
Essentially, this type of marketing lets you communicate with your clients via text and use text messaging to promote your brand.
Why dental practices should use SMS marketing
There is a long list of reasons that you should incorporate dental office text messaging into your marketing strategy, including:
- High open rates – Text messages have incredibly high open rates of 98%.
- Customers prefer it – over 60% of customers indicate they want to use texting to update or make reservations and appointments and will even switch to brands that offer this service.
- It’s efficient – Texting is an incredibly efficient method of communicating, especially if you use automated SMS messaging. Even if you don’t, it will be quicker than phone calls or emails.
- Boost loyalty – Text message marketing for dentists will help you improve patient loyalty. That, in turn, boosts your profits.
- Easily share updates – You can use texting to quickly share new services or promotions with your patients.
Comparing mass communication marketing for your dental practice
When it comes to dental marketing services, there are multiple methods to send mass communications. The most common include email marketing, text messaging, and social media marketing.
All of these will likely have a place in your dental practices. To figure out the extent to which you should use each, however, you need to consider their pros and cons.
Email marketing is simple to automate, and there are many platforms or services that will do this for you. You can also easily personalize email marketing, such as via segmenting your audience.
Email dental marketing tends to be easy to measure. Most systems will track information such as open rates, click-through rates, and spam complaints.
Emails also provide you with a range of stylistic options, such as fonts and images. Email is a good option if you have a lot of information to convey or need to use a lot of detail.
Emails tend to be more time-consuming to create compared to text messages, and many people don’t read emails. People’s inboxes tend to be cluttered, so they may not even see your email.
A large number of emails are undeliverable or end up in people’s spam folders.
Like emails, text messaging can be automated. Text messaging also has a nearly 100% open rate, as mentioned above.
Text message marketing most easily leads to a conversation, as talking via texts is natural. Also, nearly everyone has a mobile device that can receive text messages, and texting has a higher trust rate than emails, due to the lower levels of spam.
Texting is less than ideal if you want to share a lot of information.
Some people with older mobile devices may not be able to view the media in your messages, or even all of the characters you include.
Social media marketing
Dental social media marketing dramatically expands your reach, as you can advertise on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and more.
Social media marketing is very easy for your patients to share, spreading your branding.
People spend hours every day on social media, helping you reach a wide audience. Social media is also therefore useful for engaging patients and forming patient relationships.
You don’t need to gather contact information or consent for social media marketing.
Having a social media presence boosts your dental practice’s brand credibility, and social media tends to make your practice seem more relatable.
Social media marketing is much harder to automate. This also tends to be the most expensive of the three options, especially if you pay a professional or use a management tool. The ads can also be expensive.
There are multiple social media platforms, so creating strategies for all of them is complicated and even more time-consuming. Even choosing which to focus on can pose a challenge.
The high shareability of social media means that you have to be extra cautious to ensure that your dental marketing is not offensive to anyone.
So, which is the best?
The bottom line is that you want to combine your text message marketing with email marketing and social media marketing to get the most of your advertising. This will let you take advantage of the pros of each while minimizing the cons, as you can choose the communication method that is the most effective for a given purpose.
SMS marketing for dentists
While you can get creative with the types of dental office text messaging you use, there are a few types of messages that you will definitely want to consider incorporating.
As mentioned above, many patients would appreciate the ability to schedule their appointments via text message. This means that if you offer the ability to do so, you will have an advantage over your competitors that can help boost customer loyalty.
There are several ways you can use SMS messaging for this. You can send patients a reminder that they are due for a checkup and ask them to schedule via text.
If they already have an appointment but you need to reschedule, you can notify them and reschedule it via text.
The following is just one example of a doctors’ appointment text message.
“Hi, [Patient name]. This is [Dental practice]. You are due for your six-month dental checkup. What would be a good date for you? We are happy to schedule your appointment via this medium. If you prefer, you can also call us at [Phone number].”
Sending appointment reminders
Perhaps the most popular type of texting for dentists and their patients is sending appointment reminders or appointment confirmations. The high open rates make this more effective and efficient than calling or sending an email.
Additionally, reminders help ensure that your patients show up for their appointments. This lets you make the most of your time and helps them avoid cancelation or no-show fees, or even just dealing with a tooth-related problem longer than necessary. The business-related benefits of your ability to reduce no-shows go without saying.
You may think that you can only use text messaging to remind patients about payments, but you can actually use it to collect payments as well. Some platforms, like Podium, let patients easily pay via text. This makes paying easier for your patients, increasing your number of on-time payments and boosting customer satisfaction and loyalty.
“Hi, [Patient name]. This is a reminder that the bill from your most recent visit to [Dental practice] is due on [date]. You can view or pay the invoice at [Link].”
Every dentist knows that referrals are a crucial part of growing your client base. Asking for referrals or reviews is another potential use of SMS messaging for dentists. It can be as simple as asking your patients to recommend you to people they know if they are happy with their service. Or you can ask them to leave a review.
If you want, you can even offer an incentive for referrals or reviews, such as a discount on the next checkup or treatment.
Other potential uses
In addition to the above dental office text messaging samples, you can also send messages for the following as part of your text message marketing:
- Requesting clients fill out a survey
- Communicating with clients in emergencies or post-op
- Sharing crucial information about your practice (such as COVID guidelines, new policies, hour changes, etc.)
- Giving patients quick answers
- Sending special offers
- Announcing new services
- Contactless check-in
- Text message challenges for families with young children
- Sending SMS newsletters
Check out some of our other articles for more text message marketing examples.
Your patients want to communicate with you via text message, so incorporating text message marketing into your strategy is an excellent way to boost customer satisfaction and loyalty. Texts also have the advantages of being efficient, having a high open rate, and being easily customizable.
Whether you use the above examples in your dental practices or come up with your own templates to use, you should notice excellent results by adding SMS messaging to your existing marketing strategies. Remember that a well-rounded marketing strategy with online reviews, text messaging for dentists, email marketing, social media marketing, and traditional advertisement methods will deliver the best results.