The top three things people fear most are public speaking, death, and the dentist's office.

OK, I admit that I made up the last one. I know that people definitely fear speaking in front of an audience and that the thought of death keeps some awake at night; however, I'm not as certain about the dentist's office.

Though it's true that not everyone hates the dentist, I'd bet that if you polled 100 people, going to the dentist would not be on anyone's top 1,000 list of favorite activities.

So if most people don't like going to the dentist, how can dentists at least make the visits less intimidating? First, they could make the mundane remarkable, as Amber Naslund shows us. Or maybe they could ensure people that they'll meet their future spouse there (Watch 30 Rock's "Future Husband" clip.)

Although both options—the serious (Naslund's post) and the silly (the 30 Rock clip)—would certainly make your dentist visit more entertaining, I'd like to focus on email marketing.

According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing returned $43.62 for every dollar spent on it in 2009 and is expected to return $42.08 for every dollar spent on it in 2010. (Also, I work at Blue Sky Factory, an email-service provider, and that's where my expertise lies.)

Foothill Dental Understands Email Marketing

My dentist is Dr. Matt Stohl of Foothill Dental. As an email-marketing nut, instead of critiquing how he administers Novocain or how the hygienist flosses my teeth... I think about how the staff communicates with customers.

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image of DJ Waldow

DJ Waldow is an email marketing consultant, writer, blogger, speaker, founder and CEO of Waldow Social, and co-author of The Rebel's Guide to Email Marketing.

Twitter: @djwaldow

LinkedIn: DJ Waldow