In the first of his new, regular marketing columns, Chris Baker offers some useful hints and tips on…email.


As a practice, one of your most valuable resources is your existing patient database. And, the most cost-effective way to communicate with this base is via email – this is why you need to be doing it.

Recent changes in the law with regard to GDPR have made changes to who you can and cannot contact, but with a compliant data policy you should still be making the most of this massive resource.

Top 10 tips

  1. Spend a little time working out what might appeal to your patients and what you would like to promote
  2. We have found that a mix of practice news, treatment education, promotions and dentistry in the news eg sugar tax, works best
  3. Don’t just sell, sell, sell. Consider these emails as an informative and educational newsletter and write accordingly. This is even more relevant following GDPR
  4. ‘Storyboard’ four-six emails in terms of treatments, practice news, promotions and so on – fail to plan, plan to fail!
  5. Consider your subject lines very carefully. Most campaigns will prosper or fail depending upon the quality of these. What would make you open it?
  6. Export all your data into an Excel spreadsheet – having first removed all under 18s
  7. Use third-party email marketing software such as Mailchimp or Dotmailer. These will provide large amounts of useful statistics such as open rates, what was clicked upon and so on
  8. Keep the stories short and sweet. If they are longer, host them on your website and include a link to them in the email
  9. Ensure that you have plenty of clickable content in the emails – this means you can measure what those who opened the email wanted to read
  10. Review your reports regularly so that you can tailor future emails to what your audience has expressed a preference for.


  • Don’t try and include everything in the first email!
  • Sending emails on Mondays – most people are busy and open rates are generally lower
  • If you have nothing to say, don’t send it! Hold fire and send it out next month when you do.