Direct Mail for Works for Dentists

You’ve heard it all before: “don’t overpay for xyz. Are you overpaying for xyz? Save more and stop paying extra for xyz”. It’s a bit worn out at this point – though it is rooted in truth. After all, everyone wants to save money, and no one wants to feel like they are paying more than they should for a product they need.
We believe too many dental and orthodontic practices are overspending on advertising media. Ten dollars per click on a PPC keyword that doesn’t generate appointments. Thousands on magazine ads that are not read by your target audience and you have no evidence of them generating leads. And finally, direct mail postcards for marketing…dentists are spending too much, and the costs really do add up.

Postcard Marketing Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive

And it shouldn’t be. Many dentists who mail postcard ads to prospects are using some kind of service where they are mailing individual postcards to certain mailing lists. They could be using a direct mail company that specifically works with dentists. Or they could be using a company that sells a bunch of other things and offers postcard marketing as part of a package deal. In both scenarios, the setup is the same – dentists are paying full price postage for each and every mail piece going in the mailbox. They get their bill, wonder how they can get their messaging out to as many people at a lower price, sign up for digital ads where they pay $5+ for ad clicks, and the overpaying process continues.
What they could instead be doing is using shared mail postcards. With shared mail postcards, their postcard is mailed on top of a package of other ads and coupons – but the postage is all shared. So, a dentist who mails this way is not having to foot the full bill of advertising and they still get a great looking postcard in the mailbox – with design and printing that’s included. That dentist could then take whatever money they save on mailings and hire a digital ad professional to manage their PPC ads, so they are getting higher-quality clicks at a lower cost per click. They’d have a great print/digital campaign that would generate traffic without overpaying for each lead.

The Value of New Patients

Perhaps you have an idea of what the lifetime value of a new patient for your office is. We thought the Dental Marketing Guy’s take on it was interesting – that, conservatively, $500 per year sounds about right for many dentists. So that’s $5,000 over ten years, not including the value they bring from patient referrals. When we hear these kinds of numbers from marketing professionals in the dental industry, it helps us see our client success in a totally new light. One dental practice client of ours in Macon, Georgia was able to acquire about 100 new patients for their new office within 2 weeks of their mailing. Those are the kind of results that make a difference and why we love to be a part of helping our dental practices get new patients and grow their practice.

Make Ad Dollars Count

Many dental and orthodontic practices are unsure of how much they should be spending on marketing. The Small Business Administration suggests 7-8% of your revenue, if revenue is less than 5 million. Dental practices, on average, dedicate about 5%. Starting at about 7% is not a bad idea but we stress being deliberate about making each dollar count. Go for media that has the capability to precision-target, for example shared mail and digital advertising. Use them together.

If you are running postcard campaigns now or are using any other type of print media for your marketing, we’re here to help you. We can show you how to make sure you’re not paying full price and how you can better optimize your campaigns moving forward through insightful consumer data analysis. Curious to learn how? Give us a call! In the meantime, check out our recent dental client success stories below.

U.S. Small Business Administration, “How to Set a Marketing Budget that Fits your Business Goals and Provides a High Return on Investment
Dental Marketing Guy, What’s the Lifetime Value of a New Dental Patient?
AdMall, 2018