Yes, it absolutely does. If a mailer does not reflect the quality of services, it may not attract the quality of patient you desire. On the other hand, if ad content is perceived as “expensive” it can limit callers. Let’s look at four aspects:
1. There’s a more affluent community 10 miles away. That’s the risk-reward game. If you only need one case to pay for your campaign, then it may be worth the gamble. Calculate the cost of acquiring that new patient, and if it will be more than covered by the value of one patient’s full potential, it may be worth the test. I say TEST as you’ll want to allocate only a portion of your budget to test out the theory. More affluent folks are more likely to have an established relationship with a practitioner, and unless you’re someone like Bill Dorfman, patients may not travel a distance, especially if they have to drive by 4 other dental practices to get to yours. Convenience to home is a major factor in choosing a dental practice.
2. You don’t want to highlight insurance. OMG. It’s the first thing patients consider. When you immediately alleviate the price question, people move onto the value you’re providing. Add value in every communication through educational information, and you’ll definitely set yourself apart from the competition. DO help patients with their insurance – remember when a patient asks “do you take my insurance,” they aren’t looking for a yes or no answer. Even if your practice never accepts assignments, a simple no answer without explanation will lose patients unnecessarily. Try “I’ll be happy to call your insurance company to determine your plan benefits. Then I’ll give you a call and let you know how you can use your insurance in our office.” Always explain whatever you do in a positive way in terms of benefit to the patient.
3. Know your competition. Are you familiar with their value proposition, the offers they currently have in market, and is your team trained, scripted, and prepared to overcome any objections these competitors may force your team to face? Ask everyone on your team who lives in your practice area to collect everything they receive and bring it into the practice – create a bin for these pieces – and review at a monthly staff huddle. Share this knowledge with your marketing partners. Know the services and price points of your competitor so you can focus your marketing messages on your differentiating attributes.
4. Benefits, benefits, benefits. Don’t just list services. DO think about WHY the service will help the patient. You have a Cerec machine, it was a big investment, and you’re excited, but what is Cerec to the average reader? Think convenience, speed, anxiety reduction, reliability. Product and technology is super important but not the specs. Always talk patient benefit. Make sure your team is armed with the proper training and scripts to answer questions about WHY these service enhancements are good for the patient. Everyone on your team should be able to convey your key attributes, reinforce your expertise, and talk up the benefits of booking at your practice.
And finally, what advertising allows you to only target these people? Direct mail.
Direct mail is the most reliable and proven advertising method, but how you do it matters. Targeting, proximity, content strategy, tracking, and training are all critical. How do your current patients differ from others in your market area? What are their lifestyles? If you haven’t received a detailed market area analysis report from your Account Manager, call today and request this report which is tremendously valuable when creating a plan to attract more new patients. We’re offering this report to our clients as a complimentary service to assist in targeting and attracting more deal patients.
For more information on how to better target and convey your key competitive advantages to patients and prospective patients, please contact us at 1.888.377.2404. We’ve available live between 9:00am & 5:30pm EST from Monday to Friday.