You may think that using direct mail postcards to grow your patient roster is a tried and true tactic, but there are do’s and don’ts to ensuring you get a healthy ROI
There are many useful tactics you can deploy to grow your dental practice’s patient roster. Contrary to popular belief, an effective way to make a positive first impression (and a cost-effective one) with your target demographic in your community doesn’t necessarily involve dental postcard marketing.
In a world inundated with email, oftentimes traditional direct mail methods are incredibly effective, but be advised: to get a worthwhile return-on-investment (ROI) for dental direct mail marketing, there are three vital things you must do before investing in any direct mail campaign:
- Identify your marketing strategy. Begin with an in-depth analysis of your practice draw area. When you understand the various demographics and competitive landscape, you can develop a forward-looking, flexible, and effective marketing strategy that has been effectively targeted.
- Differentiate your practice. What’s unique about your practice or the dental health services you provide versus other dental offices in your community? Why should anyone choose you over another dentist? Identifying what sets you apart from your competition is a critical step to developing and refining your marketing messages and that includes your marketing medium. Do you want your practice stuffed in mailboxes along with pizza postcards? Or do you want to set yourself apart with a high-quality communication that elevates your expertise in your community?
- Allocate a sufficient marketing budget. No dental marketing effort you opt for should be done in a standalone or siloed fashion. One-hit wonders never drive business growth, and you need to run your dental clinic like it is a business. To realize a healthy ROI on your marketing initiatives, you must understand how your marketing investments will drive (or dive) practice growth over the long term. Always earmark an adequate budget for a marketing program that is going to get you where you want to be.
Dental Postcard Marketing Errors to Avoid
As your dental practice is a business, and the purpose of your business is to get more customers (or patients), it’s useful to consider the words of revered American businessman and author Peter F. Drucker who once wrote, “Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.”
For dentists weighing how the use of postcards must be sure to consider these potential mistakes:
- Targeting men with your messages. Research shows that when it comes to selecting a dentist, it’s not men who make this important household decision. In fact, women make more than 90% of health care-related decisions.
- Attempting to woo new patients without a compelling offer. Most people try to find a reason not to visit a dentist; in fact, while nearly all adults value oral health, only 37% actually visit the dentist annually. When you place your practice name in targeted patient households on a consistent basis, and share value-added educational content, you will help people prioritize their oral health while raising awareness about your practice. This process helps patients and prospects get to know you and your team, and begin to build trust. This is the trick to increasing the number of your patients-of-record.
- A one-off postcard (or any type of direct mailing) is not enough. As with any content marketing plan, it’s important to bear in mind you’re playing the long game. That is to say, mailing a few thousand postcards once or twice or sporadically will not reap the result you desire. Of equal importance, choose a reputable and experienced design firm that knows how to represent dental practices to design your postcards to ensure they look professional.
Need professional assistance marketing your dental practice? We can help. Call us now at 1-888-377-2404 or request a callback. Let’s get to work growing your practice and delighting your patients.