An Introduction to Using Direct Mail to Market Your Dental Practice
If you’re interested in attracting and retaining more patients, sometimes the best practice marketing methods are the most traditional… and when it comes to marketing tradition, Direct Mail has some of the deepest roots in a forest of other marketing media.
Yet lots of people wonder why Direct Mail won’t “go away.” Some people even claim that it’s dead. As a Direct Mail marketer, I’m forced to address the elephant in the room, and assert that Direct Mail is far from dead. It’s alive and kicking. In fact, the most successful Dental offices use it for their practices’ marketing, simply because: it WORKS. And it works really well, actually.
According to a neurological study on the effects of Direct Mail (conducted by Ipso’s Neuro & Behavioral Science Center of Excellence), a whopping 90% of patients (and prospects) open their Direct Mail, as long as it looks appealing.
…and the way your Direct Mail piece looks is just the beginning. There are several elements that come together to make a successful mailer, because in order for it to work as effectively as possible, it needs to capture – and then keep – the attention of your target.
Ipso’s study revealed that attention spans of consumers are at an all-time low. In fact, they’re shrinking! In 2000, the consumer attention span was 12 seconds… and as of 2015, it was just eight seconds. To put this into context for you, the average attention span of a goldfish is nine seconds. Yikes.
However Direct Mail is unique in its ability to draw consumers in for a long time. Ipso’s study shows that participants spent 37 seconds with direct mail – 118% more time than they spent on digital advertising!
If you think about it, the fact that people spend more time on physical mail makes perfect sense. First of all, in a digital age, receiving something in the mailbox has become a treat! People are actually excited to get their mail nowadays; and Direct Mail is wrapped in the timeless ritual of arriving home, making it inherently noticeable – and giving it high impact.
In fact, Ipso’s study discovered that Direct Mail invites the highest degree of visual exploration, and has a 29% higher brand recall than other advertising mediums. It was also proven that 66% of consumers exposed to Direct Mail remembered the brand they saw.
So if you want people to remember your Dental office’s advertising, Direct Mail gets pretty good grades – it actually gets the best grades.
In fact, the misconception that Direct Mail is dead means that there are less tangible items to sort through in the mailbox; and so smart Direct Mail pieces for Dental practices are standing out like crazy.
This is why Direct Mail is the most effective marketing medium for new patient attraction. Sending out a stunning Direct Mail piece snags the attention of prospective patients in your local area, and frequent mailings are proven to keep your practice top of mind in your community.
Ipso’s study also found that the tactile quality of Direct Mail packs a deep neurological impact, which is linked with desirability and purchase intent. In other words, an eye-catching mailer (especially when it contains a promotional item like a fridge magnet to bulk it up) will make recipients want to call your Dental Office, or pay you a visit!
The bottom line is, if you put your name in front of people on a regular basis, you put your practice on their “radar” – so when they have a need for Dental services, you’ll be the first Dentist that pops into their minds. A Direct Mail campaign that’s done right can knock your competition out of the running in your local area, and make it seem like you’re the only Dental Office in town.
Direct Mail is also fantastic for patient retention. You worked really hard to attract new patients to your Dental Office – and to protect that investment, you need to make an effort to keep those new patients from going anywhere else! In fact, it’s far less expensive to keep the patients you have, than to focus exclusively on investing in new patient attraction.
The way to stop your patients from going anywhere is to simply remind them that they matter to you. Making someone feel like they are valued is THE most powerful marketing strategy. Here are some ways to connect with patients, and make them feel like they’re an important part of your practice’s family:
- patient newsletter (filled with fun, valuable content)
- personalized birthday card
- personalized seasonal greeting card
The written letter or card is a ritual that has connected people for hundreds of years – and it’s still working today!
Backed by the power of deeply familiar tradition, consistently mailed, effectively crafted Direct Mail can create patient connections for life.
If your marketing isn’t reeling in new patients, and retaining the ones that you have, then you should consider making a change. You may not have the time, resources or know-how to plan and execute a streamlined Direct Mail campaign for your practice – which is understandable! That’s why Dental Marketing professionals are here to help.
Call us today to discover the hidden, tested and proven opportunities for your Practice’s marketing that will boost your profits and keep your schedule filled with patients.