With the right strategy, direct mail is a very effective tool for reaching prospective dental implant patients. Direct mail can also be an effective tool for specialty practices to target referring colleagues. It’s a terrible rumor…that direct mail has taken a dive with the Internet Age. The truth is, direct mail is alive and well. In fact, direct mail and the Internet make great partners. Consumers are more web active when they receive direct mail first: 16% more site visits; 22% more page views; and 15% more time on site. Therefore, if your website is designed to speak to the needs of dental implant patients, direct mail will only bring you more traffic.
1. START WITH A PLAN A strong direct mail program must take the overall marketing strategy in mind. It is tempting to launch a direct mail campaign without first documenting a marketing plan, but if you do so, your chances of hitting even the average response rates of 1-3% are very slim. A marketing plan establishes:
- Your Goals
- Your Market
- Your Company Identity
- Your Products/Services
- Your Target Market
- Your Competition
- Your Company Sales Model
- Your Marketing Mix
- Your Marketing Organization
- Your Marketing Budget
We feel so strongly that the marketing plan must first be in place before embarking on direct mail efforts, we won’t do a campaign for clients without one.
2. IDENTIFY A TARGET LIST The list is possibly the single most important element to an effective direct mail effort. In fact, 40% of your direct mail success hinges on the mailing list. This is a big reason why any direct mail campaign needs to be outlined as a part of your marketing plan. We’ll help you to define a target list large enough to meet your business goals, yet small enough you can afford to touch the list at least 4 times. There are generally three types of lists—customers (colleagues and patients), prospects (prospective referring doctors and prospective patients) or leads and suspects. Our comprehensive direct mail strategy is designed to reach them all in our efforts to promote the services of dental implants in your practice.
3. DEFINE THE OFFER The offer is also a critical element to a successful direct mail effort, specially when promoting implant dentistry. Are you a specialist mailing to prospective referring colleagues or are you doing a direct-to-consumer mailer targeting baby-boomers for dental implants? If so do you offer patients the ability to receive a free consultation or do you invite them to attend a free patient education seminar? Either way, your response rates depend on having the right list and the right offer for the right direct mail campagin. A successful dental implant offer:
- Has a direct and RELEVANT connection to the target list you’ve chosen.
- Needs to be more SPECIFIC than just “Call us or visit our website for more information.”
- Must be SINGULAR. Do not try to promote more than one thing in a direct mail piece.
- Should be TIME-SENSITIVE to create a sense of urgency.
- Is EASY to understand and respond to.
- Feels EXCLUSIVE.
- Offers a GUARANTEE.
- Is OBVIOUS.
4. TRACK YOUR RESULTS
Results tracking, in general, is virtually non-existent in most direct mail efforts. At best, companies try to determine how many “orders” came from the effort, but that is ad hoc at best. You must track your results based on the goals you set for the campaign. For example, if your goal was to build traffic, put mechanisms in place to determine if traffic increased, and by how much. If your goal was direct orders, how many orders and what revenue was generated. If you wanted new customers, how many customers were signed? And, so on.
The important thing here is to make sure you can operationally track the results. This starts with one very simple question: HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT US (or this offer)? This question must be asked at every interaction (sales clerks, inbound call takers, web forms, etc.). Another element of tracking results is to provide a unique response mechanism (i.e. a web landing page for that direct mail piece directly, a coupon code, a unique toll-free number, etc.). If after a frequency of 4x, you are not seeing a 1-3% response rate, you should go back to step one and start re-evaluating what you missed. It’s likely in the list, offer, creative…or some combination of all three!
For a complementary assessment of your dental implant practice call 1-888-968-7747.