This weekend's Super Bowl commercials cost $4 million per 30-second spot plus production. Did the ads drive you to change your purchasing habits … did you want a Dorito or a Budweiser after watching?
AND yikes! The return is unclear. The benefits are unclear. If we were spending $4 million, even $40,000 or $4,000 … we would want to know that our investment was more than a nice to have. Since not all of us have that $4 million dollar+ budget … we need to ensure our marketing investment is proven to work.
As the "mini ad agency" for dentists, Patient News has produced a variety of dental advertising campaigns over the past twenty years. The number-one most-reliable method is direct mail.
> Direct mail reaches 100% of the people you want to reach.
> Direct mail allows you to select who sees your ad so you attract the people you want.
> Direct mail generates awareness – for your business existence, your services, and your offers.
> Direct mail generates response in multiple ways – your phone, your website, your location.
> Direct mail provides a reliable return on investment – when done right.
AND direct mail sticks. Roughly 25% of our new sales each year come from marketing efforts of previous years. We just had an inquiry last month from a direct mailer that was sent in 2010. The client had held onto it FOR THREE YEARS until they were "ready." PNP's Call Tracker logs every call for our "neighborhood newsletter/postcard" clients, and we see that offices are receiving 20, 30, 50 calls in months with no mail. Just like one of your potential patients sitting at home right now, having unwarranted anxiety or perhaps a not-so-pleasant customer service experience at a competitor … when they receiving your tangible value-added newsletter they react. It will educate, alleviate concerns … while it may not trigger an immediate call, they may look you up online, watch for your additional pieces, and continue to become "aware" … People talk about what they're interested in with family and friends. They hold onto your piece/s until the moment they are "ready" to take the step towards better dental health.
Dr. John Stanescu shares a relatable experience on our website. One single case paid for his newsletter … but it took time for the patient to respond. He asked why they hadn't come in sooner, after all he mailed multiple newsletters to them. It was a mother/daughter relationship – the mother received the newsletter and told the daughter to see Dr. S. The daughter was fearful of dentists and she wasn't sure about dentistry, so they held onto the newsletter and when they continued to receive more, they started talking about the procedure. They said that because his newsletter was in their homes, because they continued to receive multiple issues with educational content and the doctor's picture, it reassured them to the point where they were ready to make the call for the appointment. This case proved to him that infrequent mailings would not have worked.
So let's take our less than $4 million dollar annual marketing budgets and invest in methods that have been proven effective and are actually PREFERRED by consumers. (Yes, in study after study, direct mail is the preferred method of communication for consumers to find out about brands, services, and offers). Get started, stay consistent, and watch your marketing plan score a touchdown! (And you can do your own little dance :)
For more information about most-effectively targeting a direct mail campaign to key areas surrounding your practice, please call 888.377.2404. Our team is standing by from 9:00am – 5:30pm EST Monday-Friday. Your call will be answered live or returned promptly.