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Is Your Dental Practice Back-to-School Ready?

by | Aug 12, 2021 | Dental Practice Management, Office

With the school year fast approaching, time is running out to remind parents to book back-to-school dental appointments. Once kids return to school, it can be hard to get parents’ attention amid all the activities and pressures of balancing work and life. So why not take time now to remind patients to cross one more thing off their to-do lists?

Of course, it can be a challenge to break through the noise; patients are bombarded with sales and promotions at this time of year. However, three approaches can help you engage patients and get appointments in the books.


Create a Sense of Urgency.

Let patients know that the end of the year is approaching, and time is running out to use outstanding insurance benefits or to book incomplete pediatric treatments. We suggest reaching out in August, giving patients with children time to make an appointment before school starts. You can also send follow-ups in September to patients who haven’t booked yet, reminding them to book before the holidays. 

Emails are an effective and quick way to reach patients. And YAPI makes it easy to send emails by providing easy-to-use eBlast templates; all you need to do is select one and customize it. When you reach out, make your email subject lines grab the attention of potential patients, such as Use it or Lose it!” or “Get your smile ready for school pictures!” And of course, keep your CTA concise and direct asking people to book and appointment.  

Promotions are also a great way to get patients into your office. Research from Salesforce shows that 65% of customers reported that “receiving personalized offers and exclusive discounts has a major or moderate influence on their loyalty.” And a survey from Forrester found that nearly half of customers surveyed said that a discount sped up a purchasing decision. So, for instance, you might offer 20% off a first-time visit or 20% off a tooth cleaning for a limited time. You can share promotions via email, direct mail, or in an e-newsletter. For best results, target your campaigns toward demographics with school-aged children. 

Want more fun marketing ideas? Check out this post from our archives.


Educate Patients on the Important of Dental Health.

Let’s be honest, parents care about their kids’ dental hygiene, but sometimes booking a dental appointment is outweighed by other things. Share some statistics around the importance of dental health to put it in context, such as: “According to the American Dental Association, dental disease causes children to miss more than 51 million school hours each year.” Or, “cavities are the most chronic condition found in school-age children, and dental health can affect overall health.” Don’t be a Debbie Downer, but it is worth reminding patients of what’s at stake if they move their children’s dental health to the back burner.  

Patient eBlasts and newsletters provide a great platform to build relationships and connect with patients. Consider including a reminder in your next newsletter for parents to book their next appointment for their child. You can also include some fun, informational takeaways on how to take care of kids’ teeth. 


Make it Easy to Schedule an Appointment.

Whether you send an email, newsletter, or even a text appointment reminder, be sure to include a booking link to your online schedule so that patients can book an appointment immediately. If you don’t already offer online scheduling, now is a great time to start. With online scheduling, your patients can book appointments when convenient for them, which doesn’t always line up with dental practice office hours. 

Still not sure? Consider this: a Healthgrades survey found that 80% of consumers prefer to make their health care appointments online. And with products such as Smart Scheduling by YAPI, your practice can customize your online schedule so that your front office can control the kinds of appointments that patients can book online and how far ahead they can book.  

To ensure you reach the right people, you can mass text patients using YAPI’s Smart Fill feature. Because YAPI integrates with your PMS and syncs in real-time, you can access your past due recall list and filter patients based on age, such as five to 15. And of course, messages will always go to the head of household on the patient account. You can customize your message and include your link to online scheduling. 


Want to give your patients a little something extra? We put together a printable PDF guide with tips and tricks for good pediatric hygiene. You can download it here!

Download a Free Infographic for Your Patients!



Proper Brushing Techniques + Fun Dental Facts to Share with Patients! 

This sheet can be downloaded, sent to patients through an eBlast, or even printed out and handed to them after their next hygiene visit or exam. It’s great for all audiences – especially for your patients headed back to school!

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