Jay Geier says last year, despite the digital marketing explosion, direct mail was found to have higher response rates than online advertising, and believes direct mail is an important component in any marketing campaign. He offers some simple tips to develop quality, effective marketing pieces that can be applied to other forms of advertising and marketing as well.
What’s the first thing you do when you get home from work? If you’re like me, you grab that pile of mail sitting on the counter and start shuffling ... every single piece of it. E-mails? They can wait. Mail? Must go through it. I don’t know if it’s habit, but apparently I’m not alone. Last year, despite the digital marketing explosion, direct mail was found to have higher response rates than online advertising. (1) Go figure.
So rather than jumping ship on direct mail so you can catch the digital wave, consider having a direct-mail component to your marketing campaign. You’re probably thinking: Ugh. I need a campaign? I get it. It’s not your forte. But it is essential to grow your practice, and direct mail is a great place to begin. So, let’s start with the basics.
Simple tips to create quality, effective marketing pieces
Don’t start from scratch! Hang on to your junk mail. Tear out magazine ads. Investigate the competition. Create what we call a “swipe” file or board. This is where you store your inspiration. Like what AT&T is doing? Copy it! Take advantage of the brains and budgets of large company campaigns. Creating a piece from something that already exists is so much easier than starting from scratch.
State the knownvalue. If you’re giving away a car or an iPad, it has a known value, but if you are talking about a dental service, product, or other item, be sure to make the value known.
Include an understandablediscount. This is key; it’s what could push your audience to take action. Whether it’s “first exam at no charge” or “50% off for the first seven who respond,” either option is fine to use in marketing offers. Test both to see which works best for you. And don’t overcomplicate it. Be extremely clear about the benefit your patients will receive.
Include the reason for the offer. Readers want to know why you’re offering what you’re offering. It provides peace of mind and acceptance.
Put an end to it. Some people put things off because they have to think about it, research more about it, etc. So, place a concrete deadline on the offer to take action. For example, “This week only!” or “Offer expires on December 31st!” This motivates people to respond quickly.
Have a strongcall to action. I’ve seen some great offers ... that have no call to action! You have to tell your audience how to respond. For example, “Call this number” or “Go to www.yourdentalpracticehere.com.”
Create a strongguarantee. This reassures people about why they are responding to your offer. Restate the benefit(s) they are receiving. “100% patient satisfaction” and “money-back guarantee” are both powerful reassurances for anyone who might be skeptical.
The best part is that these tips can be applied to other forms of advertising and marketing as well.
Now that you have the basics down, you need to consider the next steps:
- With any kind of marketing, be sure to track each piece with a specific phone number, ad code, or website landing page, so you know which marketing piece people are responding to.
- Make sure the people who answer the phones know how to transition a potential new-patient call into an appointment so that your marketing efforts aren’t wasted. If your team isn’t properly trained, it’s like fumbling on the five-yard line. The end result is the same—a lost opportunity.
Author’s note: Are your marketing efforts falling flat? Come see us at the Ultimate New Patient Attraction Event: the Best Marketing Seminar Ever in October in Atlanta, Georgia, where you will learn some of the most effective marketing strategies in all media avenues to use in your practice.
1. Ultimate guide to 2016 online & direct marketing statistics. The Ballantine Corporation website. https://www.ballantine.com/ultimate-guide-2016-marketing-statistics/. Published September 30, 2016. Accessed June 12, 2017.
Jay Geier is the founder of the Scheduling Institute and creator of the world-renowned five-star telephone training program that has revolutionized the way dentists attract new patients to their practices. He is finally revealing his secret for record-setting results, 600+ new patients in one week. Visit schedulinginstitute.com/DE to learn how he did it.