How to design a results-generating dental marketing postcard
Dental postcards are a little different. The service that dentists provide is so personal that dentists need to establish a level of trust that is far beyond what other industries require.
I received a question from a dental client of mine recently, and it jumped out at me. I want to share my answer with all of you. Sassan Dadseresht, DDS, of Choice Dental in Temecula, California, asked: "How do I design a postcard to get that first impression and make a potential client become a client?"
After 18 years in the postcard marketing business, and after tracking the results of more than 69,000 small business clients—4,600 in the dental industry—my company has devised a formula for creating a postcard for almost any industry that gets results.
However, dental postcards are a little different. The service you provide is so personal that your postcard needs to establish a level of trust that is far beyond what other industries require. As dentists, you need to add what we call "trust elements," which build your credibility with prospective patients. Here are the 11 things that you, as a dentist, should include on your postcard (figure 1).
1. A clear, bold headline. Remember, don't sacrifice clarity for cleverness. Tell your prospects exactly what you're offering—beautiful smiles and healthy gums! If you confuse prospects or make them guess what your postcard is about, you've lost them, and you've thrown away marketing dollars.
2. An image that immediately conveys "dental." It's a fact: 80% of our successful dental clients use a photo of someone smiling as their main image. A photo of people with beautiful smiles is the quickest way to let recipients know your postcard is coming from a dentist. This helps get your message across immediately and delivers an impression every time.
3. Colors that convey cleanliness. Stick to a color scheme that your prospects associate with cleanliness and freshness. Good options we've seen are white, blue, and green.
4. Practice name, address, website, and phone number. Legitimate businesses are easy to contact. If you get a marketing piece that doesn't include a physical address, don't you raise an eyebrow? I know I do! Clearly and boldly include every possible way prospects can contact you—on the front and back.
Figure 1: 11 "trust elements" for dental marketing postcards
5. A map pinpointing your location. This is a selling point for 85% of your prospects. That's because about 85% of patients say convenience is a factor when choosing a new dentist.1 A small map makes you easier to find, and it helps your prospects envision your office, which builds familiarity ("Oh, I know where that is . . .").
6. Subheadline that leads into text. The easier your postcard is to read, the more likely your prospects are to keep reading it and take in your entire message. A subheadline tells them where to start!
7. Bullet points with benefits, not features. Bullet points are super easy to read and help the recipient absorb the information at a glance. Make them benefits, not features. Don't just tell your prospects you use state-of-the-art equipment. Tell them how that will make their experience with you that much better. Here is an example:
• Feature: Digital x-rays
• Benefit: Quick results with less radiation
See the difference?
8. Small doctor photo and bio. Here's a fact: According to a University of Washington study, at least 75% of patients have some dental anxiety.2 Help prospects feel more comfortable with you! Include your photo and tell them something personal. Where are you from? What are your hobbies? Do you have children? Just be sure to keep it short—only a sentence or two.
9. Patient testimonials and reviews. These will help sell 90% of prospective patients—wow! Of course you're going to tell prospects you're great, but why should they believe you? Let your current patients do the talking: 90% of consumers say that they are influenced by customer service reviews, according to Jupiter Research.3
10. Two or three enticing offers. This has helped 60% of our successful dental clients. A valuable offer will help you get new patients in the door. When you wow them and they become lifetime patients, you'll more than recoup any initial loss. Here's an example:
• Good offer: Free whitening treatment
• Bad offer: Free toothbrush
Include an expiration date to create a sense of urgency. A 30- to 60-day window is ideal.
11. Call to action. Many small business owners, dentists included, assume prospects know what to do once they get your postcard. They don't! If you want them to take a specific action, tell them what it is. (Call today!)
There you have it. If you want to continue brainstorming, visit postcardmania.com/dentaldesigns to see postcard design ideas and request free samples. And 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!
1. What Dental Patients Want. Futuredontics website. http://www.dds1800.com/whitepapers/What_Dental_Patients_Want/. Published 2013. Accessed March 17, 2016.
2. Weinstein E. Drilling Into Our Fear of the Dentist-And What To Do About It. WBUR's Common Health. http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2013/12/afraid-of-the-dentist-tips-therapy. Published December 20, 2013. Accessed January 2016.
3. Gesenhues A. Survey: 90% of Customers Say Buying Decisions are Influenced by Online Reviews. Marketing Land website. http://marketingland.com/survey-customers-more-frustrated-by-how-long-it-takes-to-resolve-a-customer-service-issue-than-the-resolution-38756. Published April 9, 2013. Accessed January 15, 2016.
Joy 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 serving more than 68,000 clients, including more than 4,500 dentists. Need help promoting your practice? Call one of PostcardMania's dental marketing consultants at (844) 269-1836, e-mail Joy directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit postcardmania.com/dentaldesigns.
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