What exactly does each newsletter consist of?
Each newsletter can consist of several parts:
1. A friendly, personalized letter from “you,” introducing that month’s topic of interest to a GENERAL dentist. In each letter, you are clear to identify your source material and it is recognized that you may not be an “expert” in the information that you are passing along, but are merely sharing helpful, topical information from experts in the general dental field. and from a wide variety of sources. This will be helpful should someone call you with a request for more information. You can engage in conversation, get to know the dentist, but don’t have to hold yourself out as an “expert” in the wide diversity of topics you will be sharing.
2. The information part of the newsletter. It might include clinical information about a new tool for the general dentist’s tool belt (silver diamine fluoride, a new cutting edge anesthetic technique coming out, etc.), YouTube references where the dentist can see the practical application of this month’s tip, and so forth. Other months it might be some helpful information from knowledgeable consultants about the administrative or business side of a general dental practice.
3. Usually each newsletter will include a specific “TOOL” for the dentist to use in their OWN practice with their OWN patients. For example, if the newsletter that month is about silver diamine fluoride, the TOOL could be an informed consent form for silver diamine fluoride addressing the black appearance of caries after treatment, the need for annual re-application and so forth, personalized with the name and address information for the general dentist’s office, ready to be photocopied for use in his or her office, with his or her patients.
WHY WOULD THIS LETTER NOT JUST get QUICKLY TOSSED IN THE TRASH LIKE OTHER THINGS I HAVE SENT OUT?
We all get junk mail that quickly finds its way to the trash. But we also all OCCASIONALLY get unsolicited mail that has something of value that we actually start looking FORWARD to when it arrives.
So what’s the difference?
The big difference is that the unsolicited mail you read and look forward to is NOT about them or their product, but it is about YOU or YOUR practice or YOUR life. The Referral Bridge newsletters are TOTALLY about the general dentist’s practice. We mention very little about you except in the warm, friendly introductory letter each month. If you want to toot your OWN horn, this may not the program for you. But if you want to grow YOUR practice by talking about THEM, this is just the instrument you want.
How long before you think these dentists will start to show their appreciation to you by reaching out and referring patients back to you?
We agree…in no time at all.
How many dentists does this newsletter go out to every month?
That is entirely up to you! The minimum number of dentists that you send your newsletter to is 50, which you can do for under $300 per month. If you would like to extend your reach further, you can increase your mailing to include anywhere from 100 to 500 GP dentists. The cost is so reasonable that ANY practice can easily afford this BRILLIANT marketing tool. The cost per dentist becomes even LESS as the number of dentists you are reaching out to increases. You can see and compare these costs at the bottom of this or go to the page on program costs here.
HOW DO WE GET THE NAMES OF THE DENTISTS THE letters ARE SENT TO EVERY MONTH? DO I HAVE TO SUPPLY THAT LIST?
Not at all! We want to make this as easy as possible for you and your office staff. We use a database mailing company and we obtain the names and addresses of all the dentists in your area. We then compile these names and addresses and sort them by zip code and you can select the dentists you want to contact each month. These now become YOUR dentists and you will become very well acquainted with them. There is a one-time charge of $485 (NOW ON SALE FOR $385!) that includes a charge from the mailing company that we pass along to you to get these names and addresses we use. This one-time charge also includes the cost of our organization and coordination of the data into a usable format so that we can make it work as we need to throughout all our mailings.
As mentioned earlier, you will get a “proof” of the newsletter each month. Minor changes can be made if requested and a new proof will be sent. A day or two after your final proof approval, you will get a link that downloads your approved newsletter, now personalized for ALL your dentists. All you have to do is press “Print”! We even send you mailing labels for each dentist, ready to print out and apply to each envelope as well as content for a “teaser” label to apply to the outside of the envelope if you desire! After printing, all your staff has to do is put each newsletter in the envelope (along with a few of your referral slips of course!) and drop them in the mailbox. Done.
They arrive at your dentists’ offices with a local postmark and a personalized signature from you. This doesn’t look like some slick marketing piece, but rather a personalized and helpful letter from a local colleague.
Not only is this an excellent program to enable you to reach out to dentists, but we have tried to make it as easy as possible for you and your staff as well.
Do you mail these newsletters, or do we mail these newsletters?
Each month the newsletter will have a different topic or “theme.” One month you will have new clinical information or an update about the latest trend in general dentistry. The following month the newsletter may be about some administration or business topic that is useful. Unfortunately, when it comes to running a dental practice, there is more to know than just dentistry. Some of your dentists will prefer the clinical updates. Some of your dentists will prefer the administration suggestions that we share.
As you know, all of your dentists are different and we want to reach out and pique the interest of as many of them as possible.
So how are these newsletters different from month to month?
HOW do I MAKE SURE THAT ANOTHER SPECIALIST IN THE AREA IS NOT ALSO SUBSCRIBING AND SENDING THESE SAME NEWSLETTERS TO MY DENTISTS?
We do actually make provisions for TWO specialists (from different specialties of course!) to send out letters in the same geographical area. HOWEVER this requires coordination on our part and we make sure that NEITHER specialist is sending out the same letter. So one dentist may get a letter from both an endodontist and an oral surgeon but the general dentist would typically have no idea that both specialists are working with The Referral Bridge and never sees the same letter from the two specialists. This obviously requires a second series of letters from the second specialist. Some specialists have expressed a strong desire to be the ONLY specialist in their area that is using this program, and we have a program to accommodate that request ONLY IF YOU ARE THE FIRST DENTIST IN YOUR ZIP CODES. Let us know if this is something you would like to do as well.
There is one caveat in selecting your dentists. You are not allowed to “cherry pick” a zip code…in other words you can’t sign up for one zip code but select only 5 or 10 dentists from it to subscribe to and then move on to another zip code, thus ignoring the vast majority of other dentists in the first zip code. Once you select a zip code, you have to continue to select dentists from this zip code until you have 80% of the GP’s in this zip code selected. Then you can move on to another zip code if you desire.
Because of the nature of dental practice today, we cannot GUARANTEE that no other specialist could possibly contact the same dentist that you do. It MAY happen that a dentist practices in two different zip codes separated by many miles. In this case, it is conceivable that this individual might get a similar letter from both you and another specialist because of the two far-flung practice locations. This situation has never happened to date.
As long as the person who signs up for the original newsletter advises us of this fact, specialist partners and associates CAN be included as signers of the newsletter, making it look like the newsletter is a “group effort,” so to speak.
All specialists need to be from the same single office location. If multiple office locations are to be used, each office would need to have its own separate subscription.
We have a specialty group practice. We want all the dentists to be on the newsletter. Can that be done?
What do I say if one of my dentists asks if i write the newsletters myself?
As in every other situation, honesty is the best policy here too. However, strong verbal skills can translate a seeming negative into a positive situation. If asked if you compile and write the newsletters yourself, you might try to answer something like this:
"Thanks for asking. Actually I work on the newsletters together with a general dentist colleague of mine in California to make sure the letters are topical and of interest to you and the other general dentists in town” [which is all true…they are written by a general dentist, we are colleagues, and we do work on them together since you proof them and can make small changes if desired]. You can then add with a wink and a smile: “While I think I am a slightly better dentist than he is, he is usually a MUCH better writer than I am, so I leave most of the mundane writing to him and correct him where I need to” [which is also all true!]. If delivered well, that will usually end the question and you can move on to another topic. Or you may even want to ask him or her for ideas for future newsletter topics to demonstrate your true involvement in the process! We are always open for ideas for future newsletters!
THIS SOUNDS TOO EASY! IS IT A STAND-ALONE PROGRAM OR IS THERE SOMETHING ELSE I CAN DO?
A bag or two of chocolate chip cookies hand delivered with the first newsletter is always a great door opener!
There is always something that you can do to take a great program like this, tweak it a bit, and make it your own. One thing that quickly comes to mind is taking the envelope with the newsletter and your referral slips and dropping it off IN PERSON along with a couple of gift bags of chocolate chunk cookies or something similar. You or your staff member could warmly greet the receptionist and ask her to please place the envelope and a bag of cookies on the dentist’s desk. Then, offering the second bag of cookies, add “Thank you so very much…and this bag is for you!” The dentist will obviously open and peruse your letter while enjoying their snack, and your office has now just made ANOTHER friend…at the front desk where all the referral calls are made from.
Certainly there are many other things you can do to pin a rose on top of this program and make yours.
In a word, yes. Once you sign up for with The Referral Bridge, there is a 6-month commitment with the program. After that time there is no more commitment and you would continue to subscribe with the program on a month-to-month basis. The monthly fee you pay will continue each month for first 12 months and is subject to change thereafter.
We would hope that your relationship to these dentists would be a long and enjoyable one. Should you decide to cancel your subscription at some point, you must understand that other specialists in the area may be contacted to reach out and continue the program with the dentists who were previously assigned only to you. A “transition” or “hand-off” letter will be sent out to your dentists before the new specialist would be able to start sending mailings to them, explaining the transition. Should this happen, you would no longer be able to sign up with the program any more until the new specialist stopped his or her subscription with
The Referral Bridge.
Is there a minimum commitment to the program?
That’s the best part! We wanted to make this program so affordable that EVERY specialist will be able to immediately see the value of a program like this. By reaching out regularly to your general dentists and providing information and tools to help them grow THEIR practices, they will thank you by referring patients and helping YOU grow YOUR your practice as well. Isn’t that the perfect definition of a win-win?