Direct Mail Marketing For Dentists
It's a process
By Joanne Bishop | July 1, 2017
Direct mail marketing for dentists is one of the most effective means of building practice brand awareness and generating a steady flow of new patients. Direct mail marketing has also been a challenge for many dental offices due to ineffective targeting, creative, and conversion techniques.
All dentists want “quality” new patients. Many factors must be incorporated into a direct mail marketing plan to achieve the desired result.
First, the business of marketing must be conducted from a sales perspective, and this can be difficult for a dental office to accept. Many dental teams aren’t comfortable “selling” dentistry. To be honest, that really is just a perception of the marketing process. Instead, particularly at Patient News, direct mail marketing should be viewed as an extension of the patient-education process. With our direct mail newsletters you are intentionally helping your patients and your community be as healthy as they can be. This educational style of marketing is not only a good thing, it’s more effective than other styles of direct mail that dentists engage in. Our neighborhood newsletters help your practice to be known as THE expert in your field – the one patients continue to return to and prospects turn to first.
Behind the scenes, we apply strict discipline to all aspects of every direct mail marketing campaign – from targeting to creative patient-facing relevance to the accurate tracking and actionable measurement of every deployment. Following a process from start to finish is imperative for maximum results.
What do we say if you say direct mail hasn’t worked in your area:
No marketing will work if you haven’t targeted your audience with precision.
No marketing will work if you aren’t available and with services desired by your target audience.
No marketing will work if new-patient inquiries aren’t effectively handled.
Sadly, we’ve worked with many dentists who didn’t follow the strict discipline that we know is required to drive the best results from a direct mail marketing campaign. Things that negatively impact direct mail marketing results for dentists are inconsistency in campaigns, lack of dedication to brand awareness building, incorrect targeting or reaching too far out of the defined practice market area, ineffective direct mail format, weak offer strategies or no true call to action, messaging that is irrelevant to the area demographic, lack of conveniences or services that do not meet area decision-makers’ needs, lack of telephone training, ineffectual or manual tracking of inbound calls, and not connecting the dots between all of these factors and revenue relevance.
With the technology and business intelligence available today, dentists no longer have to wonder what to do or continue to operate hit-and-miss campaigns based on “what happened last time.” Today we can improve consistently all direct mail marketing results. It just requires the dental practice to commit to the end-goal.
We’re mid-way through the year… Are you going to beat last year’s production? Have things slowed down or are you worried about Sucktember coming up? It could be time to revive your new-patient flow with a more dedicated and focused direct mail marketing campaign.
What are your practice goals for the next six months?
What will you do to accomplish them?
What investment is required to meet these goals? (Be realistic and include training.)
What results are required and how will they be measured?
Can your team beat your expectations if you don’t amp up your efforts?
What may happen if business growth targets are not met?
According to a Gartner 2016-2017 marketing spend survey, marketing budgets continue to increase and can be 10% of company revenue. Your dental office may already be experiencing this and feeling the pinch from competing dentist locations who are increasing their marketing spend. Now is the time to own your backyard and direct mail marketing for dentists really is the most effective way to reach 100% of your target audience. It builds brand awareness and helps your patients and prospects through their buying journey.
In a sea of 3-4,000 ad impressions daily, direct mail marketing keeps your dental practice visible to active referring patients, lapsing patients, avoiders, and other prospects. Direct mail marketing – when done right – will make your dental practice stand out and can drive significant profits.
As we continue to gather business intelligence from our clients' marketing results, we are uncovering a myriad of ways to help your dental office get better and better results. Direct mail marketing for dentists is a growth driver. It’s the proactive way to build brand awareness and reach 100% of the prospective patients around your practice. Talk to your account representative about your upcoming goals and we’ll review how we can help you get there.