January 28th, 2014

4 Ways Effective Dental Marketing Copy is Like Trying to Get a Date

write compelling copyOne of the fundamental elements of your dental marketing is the copy. Copy, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is “the text of an advertisement.”

Dental marketing copy is about the words, in other words.

But is that all there is to it? Is it just text filling up white space? Just information and offers? Sometimes. But that doesn’t make dental marketing and advertising effective. To be effective, marketing copy needs to move your audience…motivate them to choose you over all the other doctors out there.

Writing motivational copy is a lot like trying to get a date. Like wooing, it is a  combination of art and science that has no absolute, foolproof formula, though there are several good guidelines to help you reach your goals.

One of the best known, most successful, and oldest formulas for creating copy is AIDA. AIDA stands for:

  1. Attention – good sales copy always attracts the attention of the reader

  2. Interest – once attention is gained, it interests the reader in your product or service

  3. Desire – the copy then stimulates a desire to purchase.

  4. Action – if the desire to purchase is there, it should not only inspire the reader to take action but clearly direct them to how they can do it.

The result? A date…er… patients in your chair!

A closer look at your dental marketing

Let’s take a look at the elements of this formula and break each one down a little.

1. Attention

Of course attention-grabbing images are one of the best ways to seize your reader’s attention, but when it comes to copy, nothing beats a killer headline. Headlines are the first, and sometimes only, bit of copy your audience will read. On average, 8 out of 10 people will read the headline, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest of your copy. If you can, get your audience to take the desired action with the headline alone. If not, compel them to keep reading. More about headlines:

  • Use numbers. Numbers in a headline are one of the most effective ways to get people to keep reading.  1 out of 5 people already know this!
  • Ask a question. Did you know that asking a question in the headline can draw the reader in?
  • Speak directly to the audience. Directly address the reader as YOU. It’s like calling their name!

2. Interest

Interest is gained through memorable, readable copy. We do not speak in monosyllabic, monotonous sentences…unless we are the most boring people in the world!

If you never varied your tone or inflection when you spoke, people would stop listening. It really is the same with writing. The rhythm of your writing appeals to people at a subverbal level and makes it easier to read and remember.  Variety in sentence length and structure, and poetic devices like rhyme, alliteration, rhythm, metaphor, and simile can create interesting and even unforgettable copy.

It does more than say who you are, it shows it. This is the art of fascination, and it is at the very heart of good copywriting.

3. Desire

The best way to provoke desire in a person is to cause them to create a personal connection. Write as if you were speaking one-on-one to the person reading your copy – as if you are having a friendly, face-to-face conversation.  Remember, advertising is like trying to get a date. If you are wooing her, woo her and her alone – not a roomful of people.

Here’s how:

  • Tell her a story or create an image in her mind.
  • Spark an emotion. Play on her hopes and fears and explain how the product or service will address them.
  • Show her how she will benefit. Keep the always burning question ‘What’s in it for me?’ in mind.
  • Give her the relevant facts she needs to make an informed decision
  • Shun the use of buzzwords, cliches, and technical language. They just aren’t personal and will confuse and obfuscate your meaning. See how that works?

4. Action

This is really what all the copy is working toward. While we talk about “calls to action,” all of the copy is directed at generating that call. Of course the last step is to help them  actually take the last step and call your office.

  • Use action words like “discover” or “call.”
  • Incentivise them. Give them an immediately gratifying reason to call you.
  • Play up time sensitivity. If you have offered them an incentive, don’t leave it open ended. Choose an expiration date.
  • Be sure your call to action stands out and is noticeable. Never hide it in the design.
  • Make taking action easy. If you want them to call or visit your website, don’t make them look for your contact information!

Go back and re-read your dental marketing pieces. Read your dental website, your patient brochure, even your dental social media posts. Do they engage? Do they inspire AIDA? Most importantly, do your prospective patients resonate with your message? If not, grab a red pen get busy!

Want to know if your website is doing everything possible to convert visitors? Take the quiz!