What Is Database Segmentation?

Small business owners use databases to track information about their customers. As an orthodontist, the information you keep about your patients in a database can help you make better decisions about marketing and also be strategic about how you target potential patients based on their demographics, such as age or gender. When you are planning new email marketing campaigns, introducing a new type of treatment, or experimenting with new payment or pricing strategies, database segmentation can be incredibly helpful.

Segmenting your database simply means dividing your marketing database into relevant target groups. Most people get hundreds of emails every week. If you continue to send promotional emails to your patients with messages that aren’t relevant to them personally, you run the risk of people deleting your emails or worse, unsubscribing from all emails sent from your practice. No matter what customer database software you use, the data you are gathering and storing from your patients should be used purposefully.

Here are some reasons why you might decide to implement database segmentation, and how you can get the most out of it.

Analyze Your Data

The first step is to analyze the information you already have. What do you already know about the patients in your database? The next step is to decide the target group you want to approach based on your marketing goal. You can create different emails for every single segment of your data.

Advanced Segmentation

Your database likely includes basic information about your patients, such as their name, address or birthday. But other relevant information might be the date of their last visit, their geographic location, what content they have read on your website, or the services they have received in the past.

Synthesizing Your Data

Initial information in your patient files alongside the database information will likely tell you a lot about what kind of demographics are represented. A few possible examples of these demographics would be age, most recent visit, upcoming appointments (possibly included in a 3 month bunch) and what type of treatment they are undergoing. If you successfully categorize your patients appropriately, you’ll be able to create marketing messages for each demographic, making the personal touch seem much more relatable. 

Once you have your initial demographics sorted out, it’s important to create specific email lists and to include each applicable email in the list. While you’re doing this, it may be helpful to remember which demographics are largely represented. Upon analyzing this data, you may realize your patients are within a certain age are undergoing a specific treatment and have the same response record. By having a comprehensive list, you’ll have more inspiration for target-driven content and emails. 

If you find yourself struggling partway through this arduous process, Ortho Sales Engine is more than capable of using the data you provide to create target-driven content. The email marketing service we provide does segmentation based on database information, lead nurturing, and monthly reporting of traffic driven, among many other tools. 

Make Sure the Right People See Your Content

If you are going to go to the effort of creating a thoughtful, visually-appealing email marketing campaign, segmenting your data will help ensure the messages in your emails are relevant to the people who are receiving them. For example if a potential patient has inquired in the past about Invisalign treatment, you don’t want to send them an email about a new promotion for traditional silver braces. With segmentation, you can make sure your patients who are interested in Invisalign receive every email about this treatment and never receive emails about traditional silver braces. 

Adapt Your Communication to Your Target Group

Sending personalized and relevant messages to everyone in your database is the goal of database segmentation. Once you know what data you have and you’ve clearly identified a marketing goal, it’s time to create an email list based on this information. If one of your goals this year is to add more adult braces patients to your practice, you’ll want to email every lead in your database over a certain age. Your data will show where to direct your marketing campaigns as well. You may want more adults to get braces, and it’s valuable to know who to target, but maybe your data will show other questions or needs that your patients have. By prioritizing the most popular questions or concerns, more potential patients are more likely to connect to your practice.  

Understanding Lucrative Leads

Data, as are leads, are not all created equal. Though no information is useless, there are some that stand above the rest. If a patient signs up for an email newsletter for more information regarding a potential treatment, they are likely more open than your traditional email recipient. By creating emails that suit that need, you not only have a more direct approach towards the potential patient, but a reliable source of inspiration for future emails or blogging content. This content keeps your lead thinking about their original inquiry, rather than receiving an email that has nothing to do with their needs.

On the other side, your database may provide the location of your recipients, but you may only have one practice in one city and either aren’t able to or aren’t willing to open a new branch in another part of town. This data may be more useless than others, but still should be held aside for potential use.


Your patients are all very different from each other and each has a unique set of needs. By dividing your patients by age, most recent visit, upcoming appointments, or method of treatment, you will be able to understand the patient on a deeper level. Using both database segmentation and patient files are crucial for creating effective marketing campaigns. These campaigns can be inspired by your largest demographic or the most potentially lucrative one. 

The most challenging thing about segmenting your database is most likely going to be deciding how to divide the hundreds (if not thousands) of patients you have stored in your database in a way that makes sense for your marketing goals. But from there, the possibilities are endless! 

Ortho Sales Engine specializes in marketing solutions for orthodontists, combines more than 20 in-house services to create customized, repeatable marketing systems, and serves as a trusted partner to doctors and their teams. To learn more or schedule a free consultation, visit