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A startling 75% of millennials believe that text messages are a useful method to get appointment reminders, and 90% of those texts get opened within 3 Minutes. Text messaging for dentists is the way to go!
This guide will be your one-stop shop for everything you need to run effective text messaging campaigns that boost patient relationships with you, help send dental appointments and reduce no-shows.
How Do Text Messages Engage Dental Clinic Patients
We get to spend more time on mobile devices by the day. In fact, patients are more receptive to text reminders than phone calls. Ideally, dental offices send texts to keep many patients living their busy lives up to date about so many things. This is a vivid example of the effectiveness of text message marketing for any dental clinic that uses it.
Automatically Welcome New Patients
SMS are usually sent to new patients to introduce the dental office or the dentist to the patient. This is done to foster communication and have a feel of their dental experience at the office. Welcoming the new patients would indicate a fresh start, and the welcome message can also be used as an opportunity to inform the new patient about a special product or service they may be interested in.
Set Appointment Reminders
Studies show that people forgetting is often to blame for up to 44.8% of missed appointments. Sending appointment reminders to patients instead of phone calls or emails as it gets delivered and opened almost instantly.
Let’s face it: emergencies happen. Texting to communicate such updates to patients is a way to save time that would have been wasted if phone calls were used. Texts also help communicate emergency appointment rescheduling to busy patients who never pick up the call.
Give Product Updates to Patients
In dental practices, SMS marketing and text communication can also be a viable means of updating and informing patients on new products. This way, it can also serve as an affordable mode of advertisement.
Benefits of SMS Marketing for Dentists
SMS marketing is a great way to get in touch with your patients. Remind your patients of appointments, reduce no-shows, and save wasted time on phone calls.
Fosters Patient Interaction
Using 2-way texting ensures that you are easily accessible to patients who seek to contact you without coming to your office. It also helps create a different avenue for patients to communicate, as not all patients would prefer to visit a dentist’s office all the time.
It is cheaper to set up a text message marketing campaign for dental practices than to set up a dental website or email marketing campaign. Text message marketing gives you a wider audience and added benefits than its alternatives at a cheaper rate.
42% of patients typically do not show up for their appointments, costing time and money. The use of dental office text messaging for appointment confirmations reduces no-shows and last-minute cancellations among patients.
Texting your customers directly makes them feel more connected and engaged with you than when they receive an automated email. The personalized nature of SMS messages helps create help your dental practices overcome the corporate nature of business communication.
It takes seconds to send text reminders instead of minutes or hours like email campaigns do. Reminders have the potential to have a snowball effect that increases the possibilities of your patient’s oral health improvement.
Is Text Messaging an Effective Marketing Channel for Dentists?
Text messaging is an effective marketing channel and a great way to stay connected with your patients. Text messages are more personal than phone calls, so you can ensure they know exactly what they’re signing up for when using your services.
It is also convenient for patients because they can be sent anytime or night—and even on weekends! And if the patient needs immediate attention, text messages are easier than calling someone back, hoping they can answer.
Text messages can be sent to a large number of people at once; this makes them ideal for communicating with patients who may not have access to email or social media accounts like Facebook or Twitter.
What Kind of Messages Can Dentists Send to Their Patients
As a dentist, you need to communicate frequently with your patients, to remind them of appointments, to remind them to stay healthy, and any other information that may be necessary. Text messaging has many use cases, but the following are the main ones all dental practices must follow.
Sending SMS to Remind Patients About Their Appointments
According to one study, sending reminders three days and one day before the appointment is more efficient than sending just one reminder three days or one day in advance. You might want to schedule SMS reminders to your patient that their next appointment is coming up soon by sending them an SMS message or email with the date and time of their next appointment. This can help ensure that patients show up on time for checkups and keep track of the date, so they don’t forget about it later on when it’s too late!
Informing Patients about Special Offers and Deals
If a product is about to go on sale, like a toothbrush, then let your patients know about it by sending out an automated message with links where people can buy it online! This will get potential customers excited about trying out new things while also ensuring everyone knows what products are available at all times. This way, everyone has access whenever there’s something new available!”
Automated Birthday Greetings to Regular Dental Patients
Everyone loves to be appreciated, and there is no better way to create a personal bond with your patients than sending texts to wish them well on their birthdays. In the automated birthday greetings, include a discount for the patient as a birthday gift to remind patients that you care about them.
Announcing the Opening of a New Dental Clinic
The announcement of a new dental clinic is an excellent opportunity to inform patients about the many benefits they will receive by choosing your dental practice. The message can be programmed to be sent to patients around the locality where a new branch is being opened.
It’s also an opportunity to let them know that you’re expanding your services and adding new equipment, technology, and staff members to help make their visits more comfortable. An announcement like this can help improve patient satisfaction by showing them that you care about their needs as much as they do.
Ask Your Patients for Positive Reviews
It is always the best practice to receive feedback from your patients. There are many ways to do that, and here are some of the ways you can ask using SMS messages.
- Ask your patients to write online reviews. If they don’t have the time, send them a link with the information you want them to provide in their review, such as the date of their visit to your dental office and what was done during that visit.
- Respond directly when someone leaves feedback about one of your services or products. Having to hear from the doctors, rather than an automated message, goes a long way to foster positive relationships and leads to positive reviews elsewhere.
- Instead of ignoring criticism, address it directly—and honestly! This shows confidence in yourself and your clinic.
How Can Dentists Get Started with Text Message Marketing?
Patients enjoy their experiences as much as they value their health, there is no doubt about it. Managing and keeping an eye on your patient’s health is never enough; they need to know you are there for them at every turn.
Here’s how you can engage your patients and generate leads from your dental office with text messaging.
Get a Mobile Number for Your Practice.
This is the easiest way for patients to contact you, and it’s required if you want to send messages from your dental office’s phone.
Your number should be easy for people who don’t know anyone at your practice or anyone who might have trouble remembering it. You are advised to get a mobile number with repeating numbers so the patients can remember it easily.
Determine Your Goals for the Campaign
Do you want to increase patient volume? Increase online referrals? Promote a new product? Or perhaps just have fun by sending messages at random times to get people engaged with your practice? What do these things mean for the success of your business? Determining clear goals from the start is the best way to have a robust SMS marketing strategy.
Decide on the Best Time to Send Messages
Text messaging works best when received during off-peak hours so that more people will see it and respond favorably. It’s crucial to choose a time that is not too intrusive. This way, you don’t risk alienating your customers and losing them to another dental practice.
Craft a Clear Copy
After you are clear about the goal, make it clear in your writing. Most text messaging strategy are short because you only have 160 characters to communicate your message. For example, if you are sending text reminders about a special offer, your copy must be about that offer and not contain anything distracting.
SMS Examples and Templates for Dentists
Now that you’ve seen how important SMS solutions can support your business, dental office text messaging does not need to be a stressful process. We’ve put together SMS templates that you can begin to send out to your patients immediately:
Appointment Confirmation Text Message Template
Use this template to avoid no-shows and save time. It will allow the patient to cancel, confirm, or reschedule the appointment.
- Good day, [NAME]This is [HEALTHCARE-FACILITY]. You will be seeing Dr. [NAME] at [TIME] on [DATE]. To Confirm, Cancel, or Reschedule, reply with a 1, 2, or 3.
Appointment Reminder Text Message Template
This template can be used to remind patients of their appointment and will be sent at a closer date or time to the appointment. It automates the reminder process and makes it easy for the patient to reschedule, cancel or confirm.
- Hello [NAME],Just a friendly reminder, your appointment with Dr. [NAME] is scheduled for [DATE] at [TIME]. Reply with “Reschedule” if you need to do so.
Simple Reminder for Appointments Text Template
This is a shorter form of appointment reminders, and it also contains the option for rescheduling.
- REMINDER: The date and time for your next [PROCEDURE] are [DATE] and [TIME]. Reply with “Reschedule” if you need to do so.
Follow-Up Message Template
This template act as a reminder or to prompt a response to an email that was previously sent to the patient. It could be to emphasize the importance of purchasing a new product or to remind the patient about the importance of their presence at an event or meeting organized by the dentist.
- Good day [NAME],Once more, it’s that time! Call [NUMBER] or send a message with the word “Schedule” to schedule your [REPEATING-DATE] [PROCEDURE].
Template for Appointment Reminder with Instructions
This is a reminder that will contain instructions about the appointment concerning the patient’s dental health. An example is below.
- Good day [NAME],You will be seeing Dr. [NAME] at [TIME] on [DATE]. Please keep in mind [INSTRUCTIONS]. Reply with “Reschedule” if you need to do so.
Who and for What Purpose Can Send SMS to Dentists or Dental Clinics?
The use of SMS in dental practice goes beyond sending texts to customers. It also has the ability to maintain communication between the dental offices and dentists during key events.
Sending Promotional SMS to Sell Dentistry Products
If you’ve got a dental product that you want to sell, use an SMS to inform your patients. Here is a list of the things you can do:
- Send promotional SMS to dentists informing them about new dental products, medical conferences, and dental camps.
- Send SMS to your patients informing them of your products.
- Give discounts exclusively to patients who subscribe to your text messages list.
Dental Clinics Can Notify the Dentists or Surgeons through SMS
Dental clinics are busy, they have a lot of patients, and they need to be notified of upcoming events, appointments, new products, and procedures.
A dentist is no different from any other professional who works with clients on a daily basis. The only difference is that they deal directly with the patient’s health care needs instead of recommending an option from their assistant over the phone or emailing it to you as an attachment file. Dental clinics can also notify dentists in cases of emergencies. It is guaranteed to reach the dentist faster than other means could.
Selling the Office by Sending SMS to Dentists
If you are about to change the location of your dental clinic, it is important to send an SMS to the dentists so they can know about the location change.
Sharing this information through real estate SMS messages not only helps inform all your doctors and patients but also helps speed up the moving process as everyone is already on the same page instantly.
Informing Dentists About Medical Conferences
Dentists and surgeons can not only send SMS to their patients but also the dental clinics. This is useful for informing about medical conferences, workshops, or seminars that are being conducted in your area. It can be sent to dentists, dental clinics, and people generally in the dental business. They need to be informed about any upcoming medical conferences so they can attend them and share their knowledge with other doctors and students.
Some Examples of Texts to Send SMS to Dentists
Texting to dentists is a great way to engage with them and their patients, especially if you’re looking for ways to increase your bottom line. Here are some examples of texts that you can send:
- SMS from Dental Clinics: “We are looking for a dentist to take over an existing practice. The patient list is smaller, but the office is paid off, and you can grow the business in this nice neighborhood.”
- SMS from Other Dentists: “We are a group of randomly assigned dentists who are part of a large national research study designed to determine how people make their dental care decisions. We might be calling you soon! We hope that you will participate in this important study.”
- SMS from Patients: “I have been suffering toothache since last week and was referred by my family doctor. My doctor has prescribed medication that will help me wait until my appointment! Please let me know when you have an available doctor.”
Is SMS marketing an effective marketing channel for dentists?
Yes. SMS Marketing outperforms other marketing channels. With a staggering 98% open rate, you can be sure your message is read. It is an affordable and cost-effective way to deliver messages quickly.
What text messages can dentists send to patients?
You can send messages to your patients to remind them of upcoming appointments and automatically update them on promotional offers and lots more.
Are patients engaged with dental text messages?
Yes. Text messaging ensures you reach your patients in the most personalized form, driving patient engagement.
How often should dentists send text messages to patients?
In most cases, sending SMS reminders three days or one day before appointments is ideal. Depending on the type of message being sent too, some text messages may be sent every week or every month.