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Marketing Offers Can’t Feel Selfish

When creating a marketing offer, you’ve got to make sure they are as meaningful to your customer as they are for your business. Today, my old* dentist sent the following automated email.

As we near the end of 2011, I wanted to remind you about your unused dental benefits. Every year you receive an amount from your dental insurance company – make sure to use your available benefits to complete any outstanding treatment. Most dental plans do not let you rollover unused dollars to the next benefit year. …Now is the time to schedule treatment so your copayment amounts can be claimed this year.

For starters, they forgot to change the template from 2011 to 2012. They lose a few points for “attention to detail” but, that’s not the problem.

From a business owner perspective…
It sounds like a win-win. We alert patients they may have access to treatment funds. We increase sales by collecting otherwise wasted insurance money. This idea probably came from a “Folks, we’re leaving money on the table” discussion.

From a customer perspective…
It sounds overly opportunistic and self-serving. If it were Disneyland letting me know my tickets were expiring or my gym informing me I had free classes left on my membership – that would feel okay. But, an extra trip to the dentist? Not the kind of marketing offer that appeals to me. And, I *love* getting my teeth cleaned!

I would classify this tactic under “can ≠ should.” Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. A great idea, just maybe not for a dental practice.

*They are my old dentist because of practices like this.

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