Why some practices achieve ROIs of 678%, 1,438%, and 2,079%, while others stagnate

How's your eye for marketing? Joy Gendusa of PostcardMania invites you to check out these successful direct mail campaigns—all from growing dental practices—to find the consistent element.

Content Dam De En Articles Print Volume 107 Issue 1 Practice Why Some Practices Achieve Rois Of 678 1 438 And 2 079 While Others Stagnate Leftcolumn Article Thumbnailimage File
How's your eye for dental marketing?
Joy Gendusa of PostcardMania invites you to check out these successful direct mail campaigns—all from growing dental practices—to find the consistent element.
Return On Investment Dental Joy Gendusa

One thing differentiates successful, growing practicesfrom those that are flatlining. I'm going to tell you what it is—but if I blurt it out up front, you'll probably say, "That doesn't apply to me," and move on. It happens all the time!

So instead of telling you right off the bat, I'm going to show you. I'll tell you at the end, I promise. But I want you to see the proof first.

Check out these four direct mail campaigns—all from growing dental practices—and see if you can spot the consistent element. Please note that these campaigns have all been run and approved for use by my own clients. The practice names and contact information on these designs have been changed, however.

Campaign 1: Family practice in Franklin, Massachusetts

1701degen Z01 Dental Sample 1

Mailing list: Single-family dwelling units in a five-mile radius

Mailing schedule: 22,825 postcards every other month for eight months (so far)

Campaign cost: $29,822

Campaign results: 30+ new patients per month, generating about $300,000

Return on investment (ROI): 906%

Campaign 2: General practice in Toledo, Ohio

1701degen Z02 Dental Sample 2

Mailing list: Residences with an average annual household income of $35,000 or more

Mailing schedule: 2,500 weekly for five months (so far)

Campaign cost: $19,508

Campaign results: 75 new patients, generating $300,000 in lifetime revenue (this dentist values his patients at $4,000 each)

ROI: 1,438%

Campaign 3: Family practice in Wichita, Kansas

1701degen Z03 Dental Sample 3

Mailing list: Households in a three-mile radius

Mailing schedule: 6,000 cards per month

Campaign cost: $18,445

Campaign results: 337 new patients, generating $402,095 in immediate revenue

ROI: 2,079%

Campaign 4: Family practice in Aurora, Illinois

1701degen Z04 Dental Sample 4

Mailing list: Households with a median household income of $50,000 or more

Mailing schedule: 5,000 cards per week

Campaign cost: $90,403

Campaign results: 106 new patients with $703,024 in treatment planned

ROI: 678%

Did you notice the common factor? They all market themselves consistently. Weekly, monthly, even every other month—without fail! This is something that all successful businesses do. I know this because I watch my clients (of whom nearly 5,000 are dentists) and because it's how I grew my business. Regular, consistent marketing is the best way to generate big, predictable results.

Let's explore campaign No. 4 a little further so you can see the bigger picture. This dentist has been sending out 5,000 postcards a week since January 2016. In 2015, his practice averaged 55 new patients per month through mostly referral (or "internal") marketing. Figure 1 shows his (mostly stagnant) new patient numbers in 2015, and how he finally grew those numbers in 2016 with consistent postcard marketing.

Figure 1: New patient numbers per month for campaign No.4

1701de 24

Within two months of mailing, his monthly new patient average jumped to 80. The doctor estimates his patients' average lifetime value to be $3,200 each. Those 25 extra new patients per month represent $80,000 more in monthly revenue!

Of course, not all of those new patients are being brought in directly by his postcards. When I saw the graph, I (like you, I imagine) said, "Whoa! What did you do in August?" The doctor still puts a lot of emphasis on internal marketing, and in August he offered prizes to his staff for referrals. But there's something else at work here. As his mailings create more name recognition, more prospective patients visit his website and click on his name in online search results. This helps improve his search engine rankings. In fact, I just Googled "Aurora, Illinois dentist," and his practice was within the top three organic results. Studies show the first three results get more than 60% of the traffic.1

Here's the bottom line: Sending out one mailing might get you some leads, but it's not going to help you grow your practice. Committing to real, substantial growth isn't a one-time thing. It's a consistent investment month after month. But trust me, the results are worth it!


1. Chaffey D. Clickthrough research data reveals the importance of 1st, 2nd or 3rd position in Google. Smart Insights website. http://www.smartinsights.com/search-engine-optimisation-seo/seo-analytics/comparison-of-google-clickthrough-rates-by-position/. Published September 29, 2016. Accessed November 8, 2016.

Author's note

Don't forget: as a Dental Economics reader, you are entitled to 5,000 free dental postcards, printed by PostcardMania, as well as free samples of postcards that are working right now for other dental practices. Redeem online or call (844) 269-1836 today—free marketing advice for your practice is also included!

Joy Gendusa ThumbnailJoy Gendusa is the founder and CEO of PostcardMania. Using just postcards, a phone, and a computer, Joy built PostcardMania from a one-person startup into an industry leader. PostcardMania serves 73,792 clients, including 5,003 dentists! Need help promoting your practice? Call one of PostcardMania's dental marketing consultants at (844) 269-1836, e-mail Joy at joy.gendusa@postcardmania.com, or visit postcardmania.com/dentaldesigns.

More mind-blowing marketing tips from Joy Gendusa:

How this startup went from zero to 112 monthly new patients in less than one year (December 2016)

5 ways you sabotage your marketing (November 2016)

How this dental-orthodontic practice increased revenue 75% in one year (October 2016)

4 easy steps to your most productive 4th quarter ever (September 2016)

4 marketing principles that led to 46% more patients in one year (August 2016)

How do you reverse a downward revenue trend? You may be surprised (June 2016)

4 marketing strategies already proven to bring in new dental patients (July 2016)

4 marketing tips (and 1 warning) for dental start-ups from 30-year veterans (May 2016)

How to design a results-generating dental marketing postcard (April 2016)

5 postcard marketing actions to grow your pediatric dental practice (March 2016)

How to make the most of every dime you put into your marketing (February 2016)

10 dental marketing resolutions for growth in 2016 (January 2016)

How one doctor grew his new patient count by 500% and his revenue by 355% in 5 years (December 2015)

Why you're missing 1,400% of prospective patients if you're only advertising online (November 2015)

Hitting $1 million in his first year—he's already halfway there (October 30, 2015)

3 dental marketing lessons (and mistakes!) from a 'super generalist' in practice 30+ years (September 2015)

10 signs your website is costing you patients (August 2015)

Let's play 'good postcard or bad postcard' (July 2015)

How to promote (and not promote) dental implants (June 2015)

The #1 marketing discipline that supercharges cosmetic dental practices (April 2015)

The new dentist's guide to a successful marketing budget (May 2015)

DirectMail2.0: Numbers you can't ignore (January 2015)

The new dental marketing (December 2014)

Traditional or digital marketing? What's working now for dentists (November 2014)

More in Marketing