Do you know what your open rate is for the emails you send? Often times, dentists send emails out to their patient lists, but don’t realize that people aren’t actually opening them so their message isn’t getting through.

If you want your patients to open and read your emails, you’re going to have to run a few tests to see what performs best. People receive dozens (often more) emails every day and if you want yours to stand out from the sea of generic messages, you’re going to have to experiment with your subject line, layout and messaging to find out what works.

Here are some tips to help you design a captivating email that will get your patients’ attention.

The Subject Line

This is the most important part of your email because it is pivotal to convincing people to open your message. Patients are more likely to read emails that provide value to them. That’s why it’s crucial that you take your time and make sure it’s the best it can be. The subject line should be catchy and enticing, offering the reader something they want or need. Get to know your audience so that you can create a subject line that gets your emails opened and your links clicked. The pre-header text is a short snippet that can be seen after the subject line and should work in conjunction with it.

Plan the Layout

Make your email readable. Plan and design the layout of each email so that the reader gets the most important information first. Make sure that the next place they go from there is your call-to-action. This is often a button or link driving them to visit your website, schedule an appointment, or leave a review. There are many different layout designs to choose from. Then, all you need to do is focus on what content you want to include in your email.

Email Body Content

Keep it brief. The content of your email is just as important as any visual aspects. That means focusing on not only what you’re saying, but how you’re saying it. Some things you might want to keep in mind when you’re crafting the content for your next email includes:

  • Crafting content that’s useful or solves a problem
  • Providing statistics (including sources)
  • Using power words that stimulate emotions and attract attention
  • Asking questions
  • Adding a personal touch
  • Using the word “you”
  • Mixing up your greetings
  • Adding a dash of brand personality

Be sure to keep things fresh and avoid following a strict formula. Generic emails don’t get opened nearly as much as personalized and targeted messages. Experiment with a few different tactics to find a strategy that works best for you.

Make it Visually Appealing

Human brains are wired to process visual information 60,000 times faster than text (Piktochart, 2019). That’s why it’s important to design your email so that it’s visually appealing and draws your readers’ attention. Also make sure you’re optimizing your emails for mobile devices.


Always use professional images that closely align with your overall brand. You want your images to complement your message, instead of just being there for effect. It’s better to have images that are specific to your brand, so if you have the budget, hire someone to take high-quality photographs that can be used for your emails, website, and other marketing materials. If you’re unable to do that, find quality premium photo sites rather than resorting to free stock photos that could diminish your brand and the impact of your message.

Make sure to add alternate text to your images (a short description of the image) so that if it doesn’t load, the patient can still get the gist. Images should be twice the width of the email dimensions so that they appear crisp and clean on high-resolution displays.


According to marketing guru, Neil Patel, “No other marketing medium can communicate as quickly and effectively as video.” If you haven’t already, consider adding a video to your email marketing campaigns, it’s an engaging, entertaining way to:

  • Inform your patients about new services
  • Provide a tour of your facility
  • Explain patient policies and procedures
  • Provide quick updates about your practice
  • Introduce your team members

Incorporating video into your email marketing campaign can help you increase brand awareness and help educate your patients. Adding the word “video” into your email subject line has also been found to give open rates a boost. Not everyone prefers to read, which is why video works so well for the general audience.


As an alternative to video, consider using GIFs. GIFs have become a popular form of expression in both professional and unprofessional settings, which makes them great for email marketing. A GIF, if you’re unfamiliar, is an image that’s been encoded using the graphics interchange format that turns a video clip into a loop that plays over and over again. GIFs have worked successfully for many businesses and, when used correctly, can be a great way to get the attention of your target audience. GIFs can help you:

  • Personalize your messages
  • Increase click-through rates
  • Spice up your email designs
  • Engage with younger audiences
  • Modernize your brand

Designing an email your patients want to open and read doesn’t have to be difficult. With the above in mind, you can begin crafting engaging content and planning the design and layout of your emails. Remember that many of your patients will be viewing your email on a mobile device, so make sure it’s optimized for mobile browsers and has plenty of visual appeal.

Writing emails, especially when frequent, requires a lot of time.  Something most dental offices are already running short on. Patient communication software can help make sure you get your emails done right with dozens of pre-written templates that are both desktop and mobile friendly and have the ability to schedule and automate the sends. To learn more about patient communication software solutions, visit Demandforce at or call 833.429.1132 to speak with a Practice Marketing expert today.