In general, our clients reach out to us whenever they have questions related to our patient engagement platform. One day, one of our dental practices called me to ask me a question. This office was having a problem with sending out a text message to all of their patients. They weren’t able to send the message because the system complained that it was too long (300 or 400 characters). Texts are meant to convey short messages and are limited to only 160 characters. Although some carriers (AT&T, Verizon, etc.) allow longer messages to be sent, there are several disadvantages of sending text messages that are too long. Patients could consider the message as spam; different carriers could treat the message differently (they might send it in multiple messages or recombine it incorrectly), etc. We have a limit on the number of characters you can send in a text message for all these reasons.
To address this office’s concern, I mentioned those disadvantages and suggested that it would be better to send it as an email if they wanted to write a longer message. Unfortunately, this practice was only collecting their patients’ phone numbers, so very few of the patients’ email addresses were in the dental practice’s patient engagement platform. The practice then realized the importance of having both their patients’ email addresses and phone numbers and has been collecting their patients’ email addresses since then. Effective communication plays a vital role in the success of a dental practice.
Benefits of collecting patients' email addresses and phone numbers
Email communication is still popular.
Data shows that email is still a popular choice for communication. According to Forbes , the average person checks their email about fifteen times per day. And in 2019, more than half of the world’s population used emails.
With text messages, there is a limit on the number of characters you can send. However, with emails, you can send as much content as you would like. There is no limit on the amount of characters/words that you can put in an email. If you need to send a detailed message to your patients, email is the way to go.
In emails, you can also include graphics/pictures to make your message colorful. This works exceptionally well for the birthday greeting messages to your patients, hygiene newsletters, etc.
Cheap, easy, reliable
Nowadays, even as technology is improving and providing new forms of communication all the time, we’re seeing businesses and organizations continuing to communicate via emails. They do this for a number of reasons, the first being that emails are cheap, easy, and reliable. Almost everyone knows how to navigate email software, and it’s free to send and receive emails.
Safe and authentic
Email is the most authentic and safe way to communicate. Past emails can be accessed in seconds, and spam emails are automatically filtered.
How to use emails in your dental practice
You can use emails to communicate various things to your patients in your dental practice. You can send appointment reminders, promotions, birthday/holiday greetings, hygiene newsletters, general announcements, etc.
Multiple methods of communication
It’s also a good idea to have multiple methods of communication. In the event that your patient cannot be contacted by phone, being able to reach out to them through email would be helpful.
As you can see, there are several benefits of having your dental practice collect your patients’ email addresses. Emails are popular, limitless, cheap, easy, reliable, safe, authentic, everything, and anything you’re looking for in terms of efficient communication. You can use emails for everything from birthday greetings to appointment reminders. It’s time to have your front office collect email addresses from all of your new patients.