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How 3 dentists added $44.8K, $115.0K, and $3.5M in revenue despite a turbulent economy

Nov. 1, 2020
While this year has brought unexpected circumstances in dentistry, these three practices have one commonality in their marketing plans—they are consistent in their campaigns, month after month.
Joy Gendusa, Founder and CEO, PostcardMania

It’s no surprise that money is tight at the moment for many dental practices around the country. Just last month, I wrote about a dentist whose revenue bottomed out earlier this year. He was down as much as 35% due to mandatory pandemic closures that rocked the world of dentistry earlier this year.

But this dentist was able to turn it around and has now generated 41% more new patients from March to September this year compared to the same time last year. That’s more than enough to recoup his pandemic losses and put him back on track for growth in 2020. In fact, he was already up over 2019 by September.

He credits his practice’s quick turnaround to consistently marketing throughout the pandemic with direct mail. That’s right—postcards!

Today, I’m going to share several recent campaigns that successfully generated bottom-line results so you can see their strategies laid bare. You are welcome to use these strategies in any way you like to help improve your cash flow. I share them with no strings attached.

Campaign no. 1: $44,768 generated for a general dentist in the Florida suburbs 

Mailing list: All residents living within 1.4 miles of their location

Mailing schedule: 10,000 cards mailed total, in increments of 3,000 (three times) and 1,000 once

Results: The practice spent $4,781 with postage included, and so far they have made $44,786

ROI: 836%

Providence Dental (left) is located in Deltona, Florida, a commuter town of 85,000 nestled in Central Florida, about 29 miles outside of Orlando. When their team came to us for marketing assistance, we took a step back and surveyed the location. 

Given this practice’s proximity to the much larger Orlando, Deltona is ripe with middle-class suburbanites. Because of this, a targeted mailing list wasn’t necessary; they could saturate the area around the practice, which would provide some savings on postage. Their campaign targeted 3,000 residents within a 0.7-mile radius of the practice’s location and another 3,000 to a 1.4-mile radius. 

If you’re located in a more densely populated region (such as a city or its adjacent suburbs), you’ll likely get more bang for your buck by targeting residents within a tight radius around your practice who earn a certain income per year.

Campaign no. 2: Over $115,000 brought in for a small-town dentist in rural Washington 

Mailing list: All residents on a mail route with a median annual income of $50,000 within 7.5 miles of the practice, and a second new-mover mailing list that targets residents who moved to the area within the last 30 days 

Mailing schedule: 6,000 monthly for five months

Digital integration: Coordinated Google, Facebook, and Instagram ads 

Google ads—245 clicks to their website and 718,810 impressions

Facebook and Instagram ads—197 clicks to their website and 29,306 impressions

Results: 92 new patients and $115,000 in income so far

The thing with direct mail marketing is that every situation calls for a different approach to be successful. What works for a commuter city in Florida will probably fail for a rural town in the Pacific Northwest. Case in point: a campaign for Yelm Prairie Dental (below) in Yelm, Washington, a city with a population just under 7,000.

In a town with such a small market, it can be difficult to bring in new patients. Their campaign targeted two audiences—new movers and residents living on a mailing route with a median income of $50,000. In a small town, your mailing radius will probably extend farther than it would in the suburbs or city. In this case, the new-mover list extended outward 10 miles, and their regular mailing list extended 7.4 miles from their location. 

To increase this practice’s visibility among a small population, we integrated a direct mail campaign with coordinated digital ads on Google, Facebook, and Instagram using our Everywhere Small Business program. This level of saturation helped Yelm Prairie Dental stand out in a smaller market.

Before committing to a campaign, it’s vital that you closely research your local area and your competition. A mailing list broker or data company can help you gain an accurate picture of your immediate area that Google can’t capture, and some (like my company) even offer complimentary list counts.

Campaign no. 3: A long-term commitment to marketing consistency brings in $4 million a year for this dentist

Mailing list: A resident occupant list that targets a continually rotating list of nearby zip codes and counties, and a second new-mover mailing list

Mailing schedule: Monthly postcard mailings since 2009; monthly mailings of 12,000 postcards since 2012

Results: This practice has gone from $500,000 in annual collections to more than $4 million. They’re currently in their second brand new, custom-built practice and have doubled all operations and staff since 2009.

ROI: Roughly 9,000% on the latest campaign and ongoing marketing

The most effective campaigns don’t show themselves during the first, second, or even sixth month of mailing. While direct mail is extraordinarily efficient and hyper-targeted, it takes consistency and longevity to make the most substantial impact. 

Exhibit A: Meet a long-time client of mine, Dr. Amit Khanna of Patuxent Dental (left). He’s so successful that I’ve already featured his marketing plan in 2015 when he increased new patients 500% and again in 2018 when he expanded even further by opening a brand new, custom-built facility. He still hasn’t stopped growing and recently reported that annual revenue has topped $4 million—$3.5 million more than when he started mailing postcards back in 2009, when his practice collected just over $500,000 annually.

Patuxent Dental is located in what the doctor refers to as the DC suburbs. The median income surrounding his practice is well suited to Patuxent’s patient profile, so there’s no need to target a specific income. Instead, Dr. Khanna’s campaign blankets a resident/occupant list in all of the zip codes around his office as well as mailings to every new mover coming into that area. Every residence is continually hit multiple times over the year—a strategy that works well for this practice. The practice’s sustained growth speaks volumes.

While every practice is different, there is one commonality that I see over and over again when it comes to growing successful practices. They market consistently, month after month, no matter what curveballs the universe throws their way. So, while 2020 has brought us challenges we never expected, marketing consistency continues to prove itself. If you’d like to check out designs that are working right now for other dentists around the country (and claim a few free samples), visit postcardmania.com/dentaldesigns today.  

Joy Gendusa is the founder and CEO of PostcardMania. Using just postcards, a phone, and a computer, Gendusa built PostcardMania from a one-person start-up into an industry leader. PostcardMania serves 94,562 clients, including 6,585 dentists. Need help promoting your practice? Call one of PostcardMania’s dental marketing consultants at (844) 269-1836, or email Gendusa at [email protected].

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