Don’t call it a comeback!

Direct Mail took it’s licks years ago when email came along and it was much more cost effective for a practice to buy a local list and send information electronically. Not so today. With so much “junk” e-mail coming across people’s inbox and spam filters finding more sophisticated ways to block emails, direct mail may just be the cool kid again.

Whether your dental practice is well established, or you’re opening a brand new office, you are going to need a consistent flow of new patients. As you look for ways to attract these patients you might want to consider direct mail. In a study by target marketing, 34% of their subscribers cited direct mail as delivering the strongest ROI compared to 25% of email marketing. With less businesses doing direct mail, there’s a better chance your message will be seen. The client’s we have that use it feel it’s a profitable means of reaching out to people in their direct community.

There are numerous ways to take advantage of direct mail: tools such as flyers, brochures, practice postcards, personalized letters, magnets and welcome to the neighborhood mailing kits. From talking to dentists that have been successful with direct mail, the 6X9 postcard with a promotion or incentive works the best. They also cite being consistent is key. Doing one or two probably won’t get you the results you are looking for. Do a minumum of 3 and try not to wait longer then 4-6 weeks in between mailings.

So how do you choose a direct mail company to market your dental practice? Obviously you would look for an experienced company with a good reputation for reliability, knowledge of the direct mail industry, and experience in marketing for dentists. Here are some other tips to consider:

Establish your marketing objectives: Before you begin to make contact with a direct mail marketing company, be prepared to clearly express your marketing objectives and what it is you feel your practice can delver that’s unique. Be sure to identify your strengths and the ways in which your practice serves the community.
Gather information about your target market: Create a profile for your preferred dental patient based on your own dental practice and areas of expertise and combine this with the actual demographics of people living in the communities surrounding your dental office.
Contact a dental marketing consulting: Once you’ve gathered information about your marketing plan and your target market, contact a dental marketing consultant. This may seem like a shameless plug but a dental marketing consultant has probably worked with some of the major companies or has some feedback from other dentists about their experiences.
Contact the companies: Be sure to obtain information about a variety of direct mail products and services and ask to see direct mail samples the company has used in the past for dental marketing. Be sure to request statistical results garnered from prior direct mail marketing campaigns that demonstrate success.
Even though years of dental education and experience may have led to your reputation as a well-respected dental practitioner, most dentists are in a position of having to compete with other local dental offices to bring in new patients. Direct mail marketing has great potential to expand your patient base.

Ben Shaver
Lead Strategist & Consultant

Ben Shaver is a dental marketing consultant for Dental Inbound. He works with practices of all sizes.

His main focus is to develop strategies that provide congruency between traditional media sources and new media platforms.

You can email him at bshaver@dentalinbound.com

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