One of the best ways to market your dental practice is through the mail.
Direct mail advertising is an old-school method, but a good one. Sure, there are shinier marketing methods available, such as Facebook advertising, but there's a reason why direct mail is still around: It's effective at growing awareness for your dental practice and generating a massive amount of leads.
Let's discuss why you should absolutely consider this marketing method, and how to use direct mail effectively.
Just to make sure we're on the same page, here's what we mean by direct mail marketing.
Direct mail marketing (sometimes referred to as direct mail advertising) is a form of marketing that's physically delivered to the recipient's mailbox. It can be postcards, brochures, sales letters, newsletters, coupons, or other printed, promotional pieces.
It is sometimes referred to as “junk mail” because it's unsolicited, but don't let that deter you.
Not all so-called “junk mail” is without value. Just like you get value from an unsolicited grocery store circular or a page of coupons for a local restaurant, you can likewise deliver value to your intended audience through your direct mail campaign. You can introduce your practice to prospective patients who've never heard of you and incentivize them to make an appointment.
Here are the top benefits of direct mail advertising.
It may be called junk mail, but it's still treated with respect. The majority of Americans surveyed said that they read or at least scan every piece of mail they receive. This gives you an opportunity to arrest their attention with a valuable offer that they can't refuse, such as a free consultation or exam.
With direct mail, you can target a specific group based on many different criteria, including location, age, interests, and behavior. There are so many ways to slice and dice your list. By getting specific, you can also personalize your direct mail marketing, which leads to increased engagement.
While the majority of people will throw away your direct mail (ouch), not everyone will (hooray!). Studies show that direct mail has a response rate of between 5-9%. That may not seem like a lot, but if you can earn 50 to 90 new dental patients for every 1,000 pieces of promotional content you send out, you'll have made a massive return on your investment.
Ideally, you should send multiple pieces of mail to your target audience. This way, you can establish familiarity with your audience. And the more they see you, the more they'll feel comfortable with you. Familiarity leads to trust.
When someone in your town thinks of “dentist,” you want them to think of you. You can do this in several ways, such as with television commercials, radio spots, and Facebook ads, but don't overlook direct mail. It provides another opportunity for you to stay in contact with your intended audience. This way, you'll stay in front of their eyeballs regularly and be the first dental practice they think of when it's time to book an appointment.
Direct mail is still one of the cheapest forms of marketing out there. You can expect to pay around $0.50 per postcard for standard direct mail marketing. If you're sending postcards to 1,000 people, you'll pay $500 for your campaign. However, if 50-90 of those people respond and book services, you'll quickly recoup that investment.
Now that you're convinced to try direct mail marketing, here's what you need to know to succeed.
Don't just send one message and think you've made an impression. The true magic happens after you repeatedly contact the same group with the same message. This builds familiarity which leads to trust.
Your direct mail campaign doesn't just need to be about raising awareness for your practice. You can also use direct mail to continue building a relationship with your current patients. This can be a more private campaign where you send postcards directly from your office to your patients, without going through a middle man.
In any form of marketing, and direct mail is no exception, you're facing a ticking clock. If you don't deliver your message quickly and simply, your prospect will lose interest or motivation and decide to move on to the next thing. To make your marketing message easy to consume, focus on one thing in your message, such as a single service you'd like to promote.
Give them an offer that they can't refuse. The best offers are promotional in nature, such as a free cleaning or consultation. You can use these offers as lead magnets to drive new patients to book with you. Then, once there, you can upsell you more premium services.
You can purchase lists when sending out direct mail postcards.
One of the best groups to target with your direct mail campaign is "new movers." These are people who are new to the area and may not have established relationships with local businesses. They'll definitely want to find a dentist nearby now that they've moved to the area. Instead of waiting for them to find you, you can reach out and find them through direct mail. You can use a service like DirectMail.com to create a list of new movers to your area.
When it comes to setting up your direct mail campaign, you have two options. Let’s go over both options.
Secure a list
Design and print out your direct mail postcards
You can use any graphic software to create direct mail postcards, but Canva is one of the easiest and most user-friendly. Then print your postcards in bulk at a print shop.
Mail your postcards
Affix a stamp (or meter it) and then send the postcards through the mail.
Option 2 is known as Every Door Direct Mail® (EDDM®).
EDDM is a popular option that's offered through the United States Postal Service. By using this service, you can target residents by ZIP code. Through EDDM, you can send up to thousands of postcards each day, and at very affordable prices.
You'll pay around .19 cents per piece, which makes EDDM a lot cheaper than option 1 (which requires you to buy a mailing list and pay more to send postcards). In fact, with EDDM, you don't need to secure a mailing list. EDDMs are blasted to an entire ZIP code. The drawback is that you can't personalize as much as you would by buying a targeted mailing list.
Direct mail is an effective way to market your dental practice, and it’s also affordable. Definitely consider this option if you’d like to introduce yourself to your community and become a familiar face. The more they see you, the more likely they will remember you when it’s time to book an appointment.