When is it a good time to send a postcard to your patient? Almost any time. People love to receive postcards, because they’re colorful and intriguing – even more so when they carry a timely offer. That makes them a great choice for dentists to reach out to prospective patients and reinforce your relationship with current patients.
As with any successful marketing, however, it’s all about timing.
New patients are an ongoing necessity for every dental practice.
In this case, “well-timed” means all the time. Your practice is literally surrounded by people who may not be your patients yet, but they could be. There are people looking to change dentists, families with children who may soon need braces, individuals looking to investigate implants. And there are always new people moving to town. A residential mailing list is ideal for prospecting, because you can reach everyone.
Reaching out to the neighborhoods nearest your office location on a regular basis provides a timely introduction to your practice and the services you offer, and it gives you an ongoing presence to build name familiarity, trust and confidence. Monthly postcards keep you top of mind, so your name and contact information are handy when your recipient is ready to respond.
A well-timed postcard can get a brand new practice off to a healthy start, help you replace patients who have moved away and continue to grow your practice over time.
Referrals grow your practice, too.
Any time is a good time to do a postcard campaign soliciting referrals, using your existing patient list. You can combine postcards with emails or make it a fun contest. Be sure to reward those who come through for you by sending new patients your way.
Are kids your specialty?
When children are involved, it seems like everything revolves around the school year. A well-timed postcard that coincides with summer vacation, Christmas or spring break — when it’s easier for parents to schedule their kids’ dental visits — can be a good idea, as can a back-to-school special. You can mail to your existing patient list as a reminder about their children’s dental health needs.
You can also create a postcard campaign aimed at parents with school-age children, to attract new patients.
Special postcard campaigns can be timed to boost traditionally slower periods.
The opportunities are almost endless. You can use any or all of these ideas, strictly with postcards or as part of a multi-channel marketing effort:
- Create a seasonal campaign tied in with Valentine’s Day, with a “we love our patients” discount on whitening.
- Promote elective procedures.
- Create a win-back campaign aimed at lapsed patients.
- Introduce a new general dentist or specialist who just joined your practice, especially if their presence expands your suite of services.
- Announce the arrival of new state-of-the-art equipment or a new treatment technique that makes patients more comfortable.
- Introduce yourself and your practice to a new neighborhood, if you’ve added a location in another part of town or a neighboring community.
Remind patients the year-end is approaching.
Everyone is so busy as the year draws to a close. It seems the holidays fall back-to-back, from Halloween through New Year’s. Who has time to think about dental insurance – until January rolls around and your patients realize belatedly they left coverage “on the table”? A well-timed year-end reminder campaign helps your patients take full advantage of their insurance and helps you end the year with a nice lift to your bottom line.
Sometimes it’s good to send an individual postcard, too.
Custom-designed postcards are a fun way to acknowledge your patient’s birthday or a milestone anniversary as your patient – 5 years, 10 years, etc. – or a special event in their personal life such as the birth of a baby or your patient headed off to college with a bright new smile.
The time is always right to send a postcard to your patient.