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New Patient Letters: A Tip to Make Them More Effective

Do you send a “New Patient” letter to your new patients?

Most people will tell you that it’s a terrific way to outline your practice policies (payment, cancellation, etc.) and to extend some warm words of welcome.

Yeah, that’s true, but I think most of them are boring and generic.  Let’s face it… you don’t sit down at your computer and write poetry for each patient.  Your office manager prints up a bunch of letters from a template, you sign them, and they get mailed.

I’m willing to bet that most patients quickly read it to make sure it’s not a bill, then throw it out and forget your gesture.  I don’t blame them; your gesture wasn’t that memorable.  All you did was sign a piece of paper.

Here’s what I do:

I still have my office manager print a bunch of letters from a template, but I take the time to write a personalized message at the bottom.

What do I write?  Usually one of the following:

(1) Mention someone we know in common, such as the person who referred them to the practice

(2) Reference a conversation we had during their first visit

(3) Note that I would like to have some of their business cards so that I may refer a client to them when the opportunity arises (more on that topic in this post)

(4) Inquire about a treatment plan we discussed

(5) Express gratitude

Don’t just write the same comment for everyone.  It takes me about three minutes per letter to think of a personalized message; well worth it!

I’ve had several patients tell me they appreciated the note.  It’s a wonderful second impression and makes you stand out from the crowd.


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