Direct marketing is a proven winner for dentists all across the country. If you’ve tried it but weren’t thrilled with the results, don’t give up! You could be making one – or several – of the errors dentists sometimes make when using this medium. Let’s fix that. Here are six common mistakes, with tips on how to avoid them, to turn your dental direct marketing into something truly thrilling.
- Using a design template.
The cookie-cutter approach to dental direct marketing is touted as fast, easy and cheap – all you have to do is plug your logo and contact information into a ready-made template and you’re ready to mail. The problem is, there is nothing about your mailer that distinguishes you from all the other dentists in town.
Advertising doesn’t work if it doesn’t focus people’s attention on you and what your practice has to offer that others do not. You wouldn’t use a “template” dental chart or x-rays to treat a patient, why use a generic marketing product?
It’s just as easy to create a custom design, by teaming up with a full-service direct mail company. It’s still highly affordable, and you’ll certainly get better results, which means more new patients and revenue. That’s money in your pocket.
- DIY mail preparation.
Addressing, sorting and hauling your mailers to the post office isn’t the best use of your time, and it’s all too easy to do it wrong. Most businesses find it more cost-effective to allow their direct marketing company pros to do this work. They can do it quickly and accurately, plus you can let them store your future supply of postcards, freeing up your storage space for things you actually need close at hand.
- Choosing the wrong images.
The photos or graphic images on your marketing postcards are critical to capture your prospect’s attention and draw them in. With that kind of power at stake, selecting the right images is crucial. Your direct marketing experts can make right-on-the-money recommendations, because they know what works for dentists with practices similar to yours.
- Making a weak offer. Or, worse, no offer at all.
Designing a dental direct marketing piece that grabs and keeps your recipient’s attention is important. It gets your message out of the mailbox and in the door. Purely informative mailers may be marginally interesting to some of your recipients, and that can help build general awareness about you and your practice. But your goal is to expand your clientele, to grow your practice and increase revenue and profitability.
Studies show that you’ll generate far greater response if you entice prospects with a special offer. It’s the “tipping point” that causes your reader to take action. They just moved to town, they need a new dentist and here comes your postcard offering a free check-up. Dentists in general practice or who offer a variety of cosmetic or other specialty services often include two or three offers in their dental direct marketing.
- No clear call to action.
Do your postcards clearly tell people how to follow up on your excellent offer? You can’t assume they know, or that they’ll take time to figure it out. You have to tell them plainly and boldly what to do next – call for an appointment. To spur them to action right away, limit your offer to a certain number of people or give it an expiration date. And include all your contact information.
- Poor targeting.
Even if your practice sees a broad range of patients, you should give some thought to who your best targets are, and mail accordingly. Every address may be appropriate, but you might get even better response targeting new homeowners, parents with children, etc.
Avoiding these common mistakes will help improve your design, offers and targeting. That’s how you get dental direct marketing results that will brighten your smile.