This time of year, your patients with dental insurance likely have remaining benefits in their Health Savings Account. However, if patients don’t use their benefits before December 31, 2021, they won’t roll over for 2022. “Use It or Lose It” benefit reminders are an excellent opportunity to market your practice to patients, and help them access money for their own health use.
Here is an overview of the importance of “Use It or Lose It” marketing and how to run an effective campaign, based on successes we’ve seen with our own Whiteboard Marketing clients.
Why Do I Need “Use It or Lose It” Marketing?
Running a “Use It or Lose It” campaign is a simple, relevant, built-in way to drive patients to your practice. Since patients already have this money set aside for preventative appointments and treatment, they’ll be more willing to book an appointment and use funds that would otherwise go to waste. In turn, this drives more traffic and business to your practice in the latter half of the year.
“Use It or Lose It” marketing is also a reliable and easy form of patient recall, or activating patients in your patient database who’ve been inactive or haven’t visited your practice in a while. According to OutboundEngine, activating an existing patient can save you five times the money of acquiring a new patient, and when you retain 5% of patients, you increase profits anywhere from 25% to 95%.
Additionally, “Use It or Lose It” marketing helps cultivate an existing relationship of trust, care and appreciation with current patients. By reminding them of available benefits, you show them you care about both their financial and dental wellbeing and develop patient loyalty to your practice.
When Do I Promote “Use It or Lose It”?
Depending on how busy your practice is, you can start promoting “Use It or Lose It” from September to November. Make sure you don’t promote this too close to the end of the year, though, especially if you have a busy practice.
If you won’t be able to get patients into your schedule later in the year, start your “Use It or Lose It” campaign earlier, in September. If you’ll have space in your schedule for last-minute patients in November and December, then you can promote “Use It or Lose It” later on in November or early December.
How Do I Best Communicate “Use It or Lose It” Messaging to My Patients?
At Whiteboard Marketing, we recommend using social media marketing and email blast (e-blast) marketing for “Use It or Lose It” campaigns. This way, you combine casual push marketing to social media scrollers with direct communication to patients already in your database. On social media, you can target a wider range of patients, and maybe even acquire new patients who still have remaining benefits. With e-blasts, you provide a clear reminder to patients with whom you have a relationship.
Depending on the age and communication preferences of your patient base, you can also directly call a patient on the phone or text them with a reminder. Just be careful to avoid contacting patients who’ve opted out of phone communications.
If you use a patient communication system (PCS) like Weave, Lighthouse 360 or Solutionreach, you can send an e-blast to patients who have dental benefits remaining. Simply use your patient management software to sort and identify these patients who have remaining monies. This personal communication to your patients makes them feel valued and appreciated and serves as an accessible and easy way to stay in touch throughout the year and remind them of your available services. Ask your marketing partner to develop an e-blast message for you to send.
What Should I Include in a “Use It or Lose It” Marketing Campaign?
When writing copy for a “Use It or Lose It” campaign, build a sense of urgency among patients by stressing that time is running out to use what could be a considerable amount of benefit money. Keep your tone friendly and inviting, while also playing to this tension.
Include a call-to-action like “Call us today!” with your office phone number, or include a link to online scheduling if your practice website has that feature.
For a social media graphic, our team prefers using organic imagery directly from a practice’s office and showing patients enjoying a trip to the dentist. The graphics you see throughout this blog were made by our Digital Marketing Specialist team for different clients. They include:
- Organic imagery
- Short, to-the-point CTAs that build urgency
- Practice logos