Dental Marketing: Dentists Split over Patient Mailings


Dental marketing is a hot topic for dentists. A recent Wealthy Dentist survey revealed that only half of dentist respondents send a regular mailing to their existing patient base. Internal marketing programs are among the most profitable available to dental practices.

March 14, 2008 (San Francisco, California) – A recent Wealthy Dentist survey asked dentists if they do a regular mailing to their patient base – and dentist respondents were split right down the middle! While 51% said it didn't seem worth the effort, 49% think it pays to keep in touch.

Dental marketing is not limited to direct mail marketing to existing patients, of course. Fully 90% of dentists responding to this survey say their dental practices mail out appointment reminders. Only one-third report sending a regular email patient newsletter.

Geographic location also played a particularly interesting role. Two out of three urban dentists in this survey do regular mailings. Half of suburban dentists do. Only one in five rural dentists reports doing so.

Dentists emphasize the importance of internal marketing programs. “Dentists must offer these services and make it known to their patients that they do, otherwise patients will seek it elsewhere,” said one dentist. “We are not recognized by the public and not marketed by organized dentistry! Why?” asked a California dentist.

Many dental practices find internal marketing to be pleasantly profitable. “Internal marketing by far is the best bang for the buck,” said an Illinois dentist. “In my well established practice, internal marketing has been successful for me,” agreed an Ohio dentist.

Some feel that direct mail marketing is an old-fashioned dental practice marketing strategy. “Postal mailings are a complete waste of time," declared a California dentist. "Patients ask us not to send them any more junk mail. This is not the 1970’s."

Even dentists who find intense dental practice marketing campaigns unprofessional appreciate the value of advertising to their existing patients. “Most of the marketing that is successful in the no-growth area that I live in is distasteful to me," said a New York prosthodontist. "Internal marketing to my own patients works well and is cost-effective."

Some wonder if it’s worth the investment. “It seems necessary, but it’s hard to tell if it pays off,” complained a California dentist. “Profitable enough, but very competitive,” commented a South Korea dentist.

Of course, there’s more to marketing than direct mail. “The best advertising is treating the patient as a guest in the office,” said a California dentist. "There is nothing better than the patient being ready and financially able for treatment!” added another general dentist.

"Frankly, I can hardly believe that half of dentists are not sending out regular mailings!" sighed Jim Du Molin, dental practice management consultant and founder of The Wealthy Dentist. "Internal marketing programs are among the most profitable, so it amazes me that so many dentists are failing to keep in touch with their regular patients."


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Jim Du Molin

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