October 19th, 2015

7 Steps to Turn Dental Postcards Into Phone Calls

7 ways to get your phones ringing with dental postcards

Postcards can feel like a hit or miss proposition for many dentists, and they struggle to understand what the secret sauce is. We are naturally drawn to something that is attractive to the eye, and that can easily overpower some of the most important factors for success.

Dental postcards use direct response language to get your attention

Direct response marketing attempts to get someone to respond by: Asking a question, making an appointment, taking you up on an offer and best of all, calling you. Do your dental postcards accomplish the following when you read them?

  • Appeals to people’s emotions
  • Removes the feeling of risk
  • Contains a strong call to action
  • Appeals to people’s natural desire for a deal or lower cost
  • Offers the hint of, or an actual, guarantee
  • Has an irresistible promotion or offer that is the focal point

And while there are no guarantees, there ARE certain principles for success that will allow your message to come through. And they work amazingly well.

The 7 success principles

1. Have a clear and simple objective

What do you want to focus on? Do you want to attract implant patients? Families? Or do you want to show off your advanced technology? Whatever your objectives, pare the focus down to one topic.

2. Put your energy into your mailing list and your offer first

Your first thoughts should be on whom you are targeting, whom you are mailing to, and whom, exactly you want in the door. Think of your very favorite patients and make a profile. If you want more of these patients, share those traits with us and target the list to them. Now, consider if your offer would make YOU pick up a phone? If not, no one else will either. Woo those important new patients. Make them feel important to you by giving them something valuable.

3. Sell benefits, not features

Your new iCat might thrill you, but instead of explaining what it does, let your patients know WHY it will help them. How will it save them money/time? How will it improve their health or enhance their comfort?

4. Make it easy

Patients don’t want too many things to read, too many choices, or inconsistency in message and appearance. Also, be sure your promotion is referenced across all channels. For example: If you send a postcard with an offer for Invisalign, make sure that same offer is mentioned on your dental website and on Facebook.

5. Think campaign, not 1-shot

The patients you desire will never respond all at the same time or to the same channel of communication. Even if you are only planning to send out dental postcards, just one card won’t be enough to get the response you expect. Commit to a series and a minimum of 6 months of drops.

6. Make sure the promotion fits both your unique selling position AND your audience

How are you different? You need to REALLY discover what makes you stand out and show it to the world. Ask yourself a lot of questions and dig deep to get at your very best and most unique qualities. 

7. Just get started

Dental postcards takes time to see success. The sooner you start, the sooner you can measure your results. Direct response marketing is most effective when you test the response factors, such as promotions, calls to action and even photography choices, and continue to adjust the campaign for maximum effectiveness.

Effective dental marketing doesn’t rely on just one channel. Download our idea guide for new inspiration!