Dental Best Practice: Know Your Audience!
When building your dental practice with postcards, the mailing list you use can mean the difference between success and failure.
Postcards are affordable, effective, and measurable. That’s why they’re the best way to talk to potential patients about your practice and the benefits of the services you provide. So, how do you find those audiences?
Since the 1960s, marketers have followed the “40/40/20” rule, which says that 40 percent of your marketing efforts should be spent in speaking to the right audience for your offers.
Who is (and isn’t) your audience
Mass mailings – putting an entire neighborhood or zip code on blast – is one way to go. You mail the same postcard to everyone, with the same offers, the same text, and the same pictures on it.
Now, there’s nothing too wrong with this approach. Most practices use basic segmentation because you get a bulk mail discount and save yourself the trouble of having to come up with different approaches.
But it also means that you’re not really targeting an audience. Ideally, all of your postcards should be going only to specific groups of people that would potentially be interested in your dental care services.
Or, to put it another way – “everyone” is not your audience.
After all, many people aren’t interested in trying a new dentist right now. And, some people might not be a good fit for your practice, depending on the services you emphasize or focus on.
Finding the right audience
When you’re talking to a specific audience, you can also get the right patients. If you’re a prosthetic office specializing in dentures for mainly older patients, you don’t want your mailers being directed to families with young children.
Also, consider your current goals as well as your plans. If you want to expand your services with treatments using new technologies or you’ve completed continuing education so you can offer patients a new procedure, tell current and potential patients about these services. This will help you maximize your return on your investment and continue to grow your practice.
These steps will help you reach the best dental prospects with specific messages:
- Develop a profile of your existing customers and look for demographic categories (age, median income, gender) that fit that model.
- Target prospects by their life stages, such as new homeowners, movers, empty nesters, or parents with children from infancy to college age.
- Use our simple search to find the right lists (and templates) for your mailings.
Not every segment should get the same messaging, offer, or creative elements on your postcard. Be careful about what is appropriate for that group.
Be aware that mailing lists go out of date at the rate of 15% a year. Also, neighborhoods – the most basic select – don’t stay the same forever.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 35 million Americans move every year. This is why new movers can be such a lucrative segment. As these newcomers become established in their new homes and routines, they’re also going to need dental care that your office can likely provide.
Get more personal
With Variable Data Printing (VDP), you can take your direct mail to a higher level by leveraging some basic information, like physical address. Instead of a generic postcard, your prospects or patients get a mail piece with images, offers, and calls-to-action that likely are more relevant to them. The cost might be higher, but the higher response more than makes up for it.
For example, Patient First, a national chain of urgent-care centers, often mails postcards with a map showing the exact route from the recipient’s house to its nearest location.
Wrapping it up
True targeted marketing is about more than picking and choosing what markets you want to reach.
Make sure your dental care postcard makes an impact! Track your results and focus like a laser on the segments that work best at driving new customers as well as keeping your current patients healthy and happy.