Seven Reasons Why Direct Mail Is Still King

With all the buzz surrounding social media and web site optimization, With all the buzz surrounding social media and web site optimization, direct mail is still alive and well. In fact, for dentists looking to grow their practice and enhance their bottom line, direct mail is one of your most powerful marketing options. Here’s seven reasons why.

    Direct mail gives you the ability to narrowly define your audience. With today’s market research tools, you have the option of moving beyond a mass marketing approach that entails using TV, radio, print and direct mail to “blast” your messaging to a broad audience.

    Although this strategy can be affective in some cases, in many instances it may be geographically aimless and unfocused, which can drain your marketing dollars and limit your return on investment (ROI).

    Instead, you can maximize the focus of your campaign by directing it to specific households based on income, age, family size and geographic location. When you know exactly who you are targeting, you can develop emotional marketing messages that will engage and appeal to your specific audience.
    You can expect to receive the majority of your responses within weeks of sending out your direct mail piece. When you add a limited-time special offer, you may see results even sooner. The responses you receive will include patients coming in for immediate visits, or calling your office to learn more about your practice.

    One key here is to train your staff to always ask new and prospective patients how they heard about your practice. Doing so will help you capture more accurate results from each mailing.
    Targeted mailings allow you to make your best sales presentation to thousands of people all at once. Maintaining a regular mailing schedule enables you to repeat your sales pitch multiple times. To make it easy for prospective patients, each of your mailings should focus on just one or two key benefits about your practice.

    The central point being that for patients to focus on your sales message, your sales message must be focused. Include too much information in any one mailing, and your prospects will tune out and not retain any of it.
    Develop benefit-driven marketing messages that highlight the most unique aspects of your practice, and you can quickly set yourself apart from competitors. Hit your target with these messages on a consistent basis, and you can build a trustworthy community image before patients even visit your office.

    By zeroing in on a specific target audience, you can develop messaging that appeals directly to them on an emotional level. Instead of using the same generic message points that are common to many dental practices, you can use words and images that create a message best suited for your exact target audience.

    For example, words and images that appeal to a blue collar neighborhood in the deep South, probably wouldn’t be ideal for an upscale community in the Pacific Northwest.
    You can send out a direct mailer that includes your primary marketing message for as little as $.44. This means you can reach 500 prospects for only $220. If you gain just one appointment for a cleaning and a full set of x-rays,mailing to 500 prospects can immediately pay for itself.

    If that one appointment results in a long-term patient who provides you with referrals, your $220 investment can bring you thousands of dollars in a short period of time. Comparatively speaking, this is why direct mail is such a great bargain.
    Coding your marketing pieces to determine the exact number of responses you receive through each mailing is easy. This enables you to measure your ROI down to the penny. Most important, direct mail gives you the ability to test different marketing messages to see which ones yield the best results.

    When you determine the direct mail package that pulls the best response, you simply keep repeating it. The ability to accurately test your marketing messages is still a major advantage direct mail has over other forms of marketing.
    Direct mail gives you the power to leverage one of marketing’s golden rules: repetition builds reputation. A consistent mailing schedule gives you the power to make multiple impressions on your prospects throughout the year.

    Over time your mailings can build a strong brand identity for you. The result being that your dental practice becomes a trusted, respected name in your community. Again, this leads to new patients having a favorable opinion of you before they ever visit your office.

    With the ability to shape,manage and test your sales message, direct mail is a tremendous value that will always be a successful marketing tool for dental practices looking to fuel their bottom line and enhance their community reputation.


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