6 Facts About Postcards That you Can Use to Grow your Dental Practice
In my plethora of experience I have managed to cull out for you what I consider the “best of the best” – in other words, I took the most proven details about postcards that are significant to you starting a dental postcard campaign and really winning with it.
In marketing to your potential patients I want you to understand some key direct mail marketing essentials that will help you to acquire new patients effectively:
1)A postcard is better than something in an envelope.
For many reasons, the main one being, with an envelope you can’t make your potential patient see your message.
People are fast. We see and read very quickly – actually much more quickly than we even realize. Think about yourself – how fast do you go through your mail and process out what you want to keep and what you don’t want to keep? Pretty fast. It takes fractions of seconds to go through and process in your mind “bill, bill, advertisement, bill, advertisement, letter…” And it also takes fractions of seconds to decide whether you are even going to bother giving more attention to the pieces that you designated as advertisements.
With a postcard, even if they throw it away, they already saw your message regardless of whether they think they did or not. They saw it enough to either throw it away or keep it or respond to it.
And if they tossed it, the next time they get that same postcard in the mail, they’ll see it again – as they throw it in the trash, again.
Let’s face it – junk mail gets thrown away. And postcards are junk mail just like other advertisements you get in the mail.
Although they may be junk mail, postcards get read no matter what – even if thrown away without reading them, they get seen. It’s like the phoenix rising up from the ashes. And the truth is, one day a wife or mother is going to sift through her mail as quickly as always and see your postcard (again) and remember it is time to start little Johnny going to the dentist – and you know what? She’d rather send him to someone that specializes in kids rather then her dentist. And besides that, your office is closer to Johnny’s preschool while her’s is all the way across town near the house she grew up in. So she calls. Or, perhaps she will put it up on the refrigerator to remind her to call you when she is ready.
2) If you are not doing repeat mail with your postcards you are flushing your money down the toilet.
Repeat mailings cannot be repeated enough. DO REPEAT MAILINGS! DO REPEAT MAILINGS! DO REPEAT MAILINGS! A one-shot-in-the-dark postcard mailing is not going to change your practice, your bottom line, your life or your anything.
The long and the short of it is, if you are not up to confronting that you need to do a campaign then don’t bother being in practice. Sorry if I sound a bit harsh!
And the plus point is that people start to really believe you exist when they see your postcard over and over in the mail. It communicates credibility and gives people the idea that you are established and not going to go away. Some people may respond right away – a lot of people do not. They want to “see” if you are a one-shot in the dark kind of dentist or not. Think about all the mail you receive at home and think about the companies that hit you again and again. In your own mind, I’ll bet those companies are more real and more credible then some company you received just one piece of mail from.
3) The best price is not best necessarily the best postcard.
The cheapest is not necessarily the best. The old adage “you get what you pay for” applies here. I know that goes for dentistry as well. You are not going to get the top cosmetic dental surgeon for rock-bottom prices. I am not saying that one cannot get good dental work done for a reasonable cost; all I am saying is that cheaper is not always better. When you are looking for a good postcard company, get whatever potential Postcard Company you interview to send you samples. Make sure the postcard is a very good-quality, stiff card that catches your attention. Get them to give you customer references. Call those references and find out what they think of that company’s service, product, etc.
There is a lot of behind-the-scenes work that goes into getting your postcard done right. If they mess up the printing, if they don’t get your mailing out on deadline, etc. – doing it dirt cheap might not mean getting the quality service you need or want.
4) Although most people, if surveyed, say they like full color on both sides, the truth is black on white on the back of the postcard gets a better response.
Why? Because full-color on both sides can be confusing. When people have the option of color on the back they tend to go a little nuts with the design to the point where the recipient doesn’t know where to look first and the message gets completely lost. On the other hand, if you have an aesthetic front – with a great headline – the recipient will just want to turn that postcard over. And that’s where your main message is, your call to action, your offer, and your contact information.
Did YOU Notice this Postcard?
Your Customers Will Notice Yours Too!
5000 Full Color
Look at it from the customer viewpoint – really look at it from their viewpoint and you can see what I mean by eye trail.
5) You should promote only one thing at a time on your postcard.
Even if you sell lots of different dental products and services, you only promote one of them. It is okay to mention more of the more popular services you offer on the back of the postcard bullet pointed. But your main focus on the front of your postcard needs to be one product, service, item, what-have-you – just one thing.
Let’s say in your dental practice your biggest money maker that most people need and want is this new teeth-whitening product. But you also do implants, dentures, and root canals in addition to your regular cleanings, crowns and fillings. Your postcard should only talk about one thing. Ok, so promote your newest teeth-whitening product to attract interest. It is not that people who are looking for teeth whitening products are not also looking for someone to do their regular dental cleanings – it’s just too much information on the front of postcard.
The purpose of a postcard is to generate enough interest so that the recipient calls. You can put on the back as just a mention: “We are a full-service dentistry practice.”
But on the front – one item! ONE ITEM!
You can get my drift if you look at it from another industry altogether. If a company sells hot tubs, above-ground pools and jungle gyms, they need to pick the one that gives them the most income and make their postcard about that. Don’t forget, your recipient is going through their mail rapidly. A postcard with several messages and/or images will get discarded without the person even noticing what is being advertised. Keep it simple. Do you really go over every dental product and service you have with every patient that walks in the door? Or do you tailor your educative “spiel” to what they actually need that will get them the results they need or want? So the same goes for marketing.
Now I saved the best for last…
6) A person could grow a business with no other marketing media.
With postcards alone, one could take a company from zero to millions in revenue. How do I know? Because I did it.
We mailed postcards every single week, and the more postcards we mailed out, the more we grew. (We still mail out postcards every week to the tune of 86,000 postcards per week now.) Yes, it is good to diversify and as we grew and became more successful and had more money to try other media, we did. Some we kept and some we nixed. Postcards are a staple that works no matter what.
These six points of postcard marketing data are proven techniques will get you results with new patients while at the same time staying faithful to the time-honored methods that have helped thousands of businesses get more bang for their marketing buck.
Joy Gendusa founded PostcardMania in 1998, her only assets a computer and a phone. By 2005 the company did over million in sales, employed over 100 people and made Inc. Magazine’s prestigious Inc 500 List as the one of the 500 fastest growing companies in the nation. PostcardMania is a full service postcard direct mail marketing company which includes graphic design, printing, mailing list acquisition and mailing services with free marketing advice. They help small businesses all over the country to expand through the use of direct mail marketing techniques. Dentistry is one of their top three industries out of the 350+ industries they create marketing campaigns for. For a free dental industry report visit www.PostcardMania.com/DentalPostcards