In marketing, there are always general goals, such as increasing awareness within a community or demographic, generating leads, making sales, and retaining customers, just for example. You probably have some or all of these goals when you start a postcard marketing campaign.

Within a given campaign you may have more specific goals. For example, you’re looking to target local consumers, and probably a narrow group within your local community. As a dentist, your potential pool of patients could be everyone, but you probably cater to children or adults, you may prefer clients with certain types of income or insurance, and so on.

Plus, you might have very different ideas about marketing if you’re attempting to reach out to new customers versus encouraging past patients to return. Naturally, you have to take all of these considerations into account when crafting your dental marketing postcard campaign.

The good news is that there are skilled, experienced, and reliable vendors available to help you create the perfect postcard campaign. Still, there are a few things you should know going in. Here are some tips to help you launch a postcard campaign that generates results.

Consider Adopting Minimalism

When you have limited time and space to grab attention, economy of words and images is preferable – in other words, less is more. You can start by writing the copy you want to include, then pare it down to concise bullet points of information. If possible, try to focus on a single idea or theme.

For example, why are you sending out postcards? Are you simply making the local population aware of your dental practice? In this case, you could list a few of your most popular services or make a point of the advanced services or technology you offer that competitive practices might not.

Are you hoping to bring back old customers with special deals, or get them to refer others by extending discounts to family and friends? The impetus for sending out postcards can help you to narrow down your ideas into manageable chunks of text so you don’t end up with an overwhelming amount of copy that doesn’t appeal to viewers.

The same is true of images. Including a couple of tasteful and attractive images of your office, your staff, patients (or models acting as patients), or smile transformations is much more effective than squeezing in a dozen thumbnails that recipients can’t even see.

Let’s Get Visual

The visual elements of your postcard are important because you’re dealing with a visual medium. Also, the right picture is worth a thousand words (and probably dozens of responses). If you want to catch attention and generate a response you need to spend some time picking the perfect image that will resonate with viewers, provide them with needed information, and compel action.

Remember, you’re solving a problem among your patient population. Is that problem stained or crooked teeth? Show them what you can do to help them with a before-and-after smile that has gone from ugly duckling to perfect, beautiful, and confident.

Keep in mind that all visual elements can contribute to the success of your campaign, so consider not only colors, fonts, layout and design, but also extras like the size of your card, whether it’s matte or shiny, and the incorporation of die cut edges that could help your card to stand out.

Nail Your CTA

Chances are you have a specific response in mind when you launch your postcard campaign, and your call to action (CTA) needs to reflect that. It’s no easy feat coming up with a concise and compelling CTA, but you need to be very specific when directing postcard recipients so they know what you expect.

If you want them to call for an appointment today, put that information in your CTA. Do you want them to follow you on social media? Do you want them to share an offer with family and friends? Are you hosting a local charity event that you want them to attend? You need to include this pertinent information if you want to generate a specific response.

Keep it Classy

It’s never a good idea to resort to gimmicks, especially if you’re running a respectable business establishment. This isn’t to say you can’t create a postcard that is lively and engaging, but you want to be very careful not to veer into camp or cross the line of decency. If, for example, you were tempted to inspire response by touching on the current political climate, you’re probably better off staying your hand since you could inadvertently alienate potential patients.

Make it Easy

This is going to sound pretty obvious, but don’t forget to tell people how to find you. It’s alarming how many businesses create postcard mailers and neglect to include contact information. Always include your business name, address, phone number, and website, at the very least. You might also add social media information and a simple map to your location.