4 steps to supercharge your marketing (And finish 2013 with best-ever profits!)

Nov. 6, 2013
Catch dental patients at end of year with leftover insurance benefits

Many dental practices miss out on a big opportunity at the end of the year. Don’t let your practice be one of them! Your prospective patients have health insurance benefits they may not have used by the end of the year. With a targeted postcard marketing campaign, you can remind them to use the benefits they have available before the year turns over. It’s a great opportunity to bring in new patients and reactivate current patients to generate a big revenue boost and end your year strong.

Here’s how to set up a great year-end marketing campaign in four simple steps:

Step 1: Direct mail
Direct mail is a solid foundation for dental practices because it uses repetition and proven marketing strategies to build brand awareness and promote specific marketing messages, such as an end-of-the-year promotion. Direct mail operates on three time-tested marketing principles — stressing the benefits your practice offers patients, creating repeated exposure to your practice’s brand, and targeting the right potential patients.

That last part is key. We’re talking about a fairly specific promotion, so you need to make sure your postcards are going to the right people. Otherwise, they’ll be wasted on people who can’t or don’t want to take advantage of your offer.

Here are three things to consider when it comes to your campaign’s mailing list:
a) Make sure you’re targeting people with good insurance —This postcard is reminding people to take advantage of their unused benefits. If you send it to people who don’t have insurance, or have very little coverage, they won’t have unused benefits. They’ll discard your postcard as irrelevant, and you’ll just be wasting your money. Instead, work with a mailing list professional to target specific households. For example, you could target individuals with dental insurance and high income,or occupations that generally come with great benefits, such as government workers.
b) Include a bonus or special offer — Special offers are universal. Everyone wants one. When you choose a mailing list, come up with a bonus or special offer that gets people’s attention. Maybe it’s a free at-home whitening kit or discount professional office whitening. Maybe it’s free X-rays or a full check-up. These are things that people want in order to make sure their mouth is healthy and their smile looks great.
c) Look at past or current customers — You know for sure that some people have great insurance because you’ve treated them before. Just look in your patient files and find the names of people that have great coverage. Then choose a mailing list that targets the demographics of those patients (their income level, occupation, number of children, etc.)

Step 2: Mail tracking
There is a time when growth can be bad for your practice — when you’re unprepared for it. Mail tracking makes that a non-issue. You’ll always be ready for the increase in appointments and phone calls because you’ll know when your postcards are arriving in mailboxes. The postal service uses barcodes to track the progress of mail through their system. When you add mail tracking to your postcard campaigns, you can follow them right to the mailbox, which allows you to make the necessary preparations for your practice’s operation. Maybe you’ll need an extra temporary employee to answer phones. But when you’re prepared, you can make the most of the response your direct mail brings.

Step 3: Remarketing
Remarketing is an amazing tool that provides automated, targeted follow-up with prospects who visit your website. If you haven’t heard about it yet, you’re in for a treat.

The only thing you have to do is incorporate some web code into your website. Once in place this tracks all the activity on your site. It can tell what every visitor does. You can say you want visitors to fill out your contact form or schedule an appointment. Then, if a visitor doesn’t do one of these things, the person will automatically see targeted ads for that particular action anywhere they go within the Google Display Network (which contains literally millions of websites). The person continues to see the ads until he or she comes back to your site to do what you wanted them to do.

This takes minimal effort from you but gives you incredible brand exposure to potential patients. These days 90% of consumers go to a business’s website before they decide to call the business. The same goes for dental practices. If they visit your site but don’t fill out a contact form, you may never be able to reach them again, unless they make an appointment right away. Remarketing keeps the connection with website visitors active until they’re ready to choose you for their dentistry needs.


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Step 4: Call tracking and analytics
This is the step that puts you in the driver’s seat of your marketing (no more mailing and crossing your fingers). By using call tracking and adding analytics to your direct mail campaigns, you can see how each campaign performs by collecting response data from each and comparing it to previous campaigns. You use a unique phone number on each new campaign you mail, which routes your calls while also tallying your responses. It also records your phone responses so you can listen to them at any time. This is a great feature that allows you to evaluate your sales and reception strategies. When you can see the results of each new campaign, you can experiment with new designs or new special offers, and see how the response stacks up to previous design and offers.

An end-of-the-year postcard marketing campaign is a great way to boost your revenue and end the year strong. Your potential patients have health benefits just waiting to be used. Give them a reason to choose your practice when they take advantage of those leftover benefits.

These four steps build a comprehensive marketing system that not only works for the end of the year, but all year round.

Still looking for more data on this? You can get free postcard samples and more information on how to get all of these steps in one convenient package right here.

Joy Gendusa is the owner and CEO of the direct mail marketing firm PostcardMania.