I’ve been watching my mail very closely the last couple of weeks. What I’ve noticed is a LOT of postcards.
Right here on my desk, I have:
1) a postcard from Bottom Line/Personal to ask me to re-subscribe
2) a postcard from a menswear store
3) a postcard from a dental practice
4) a postcard from a “printing” company
5) a postcard from Pier 1 Imports
6) a postcard from someone that will buy my house
7) a postcard from OfficeMax
8) a postcard from Ed O’Keefe offering a FREE Special Report
9) a postcard from AmazingMail
10) a postcard from Overture (a search engine company)
11) a postcard from ebay
12) and finally, a postcard from a photographer
Why so many postcards?
Simple. They work. They generate a return on investment. They create new business. They help KEEP old business.
About 2 years ago, a very astute marketing dentist contacted me to have us design a series of 12 postcards for his practice. He wanted to mail a newsletter AND a postcard every month to every patient he’d ever seen – whether he and his staff liked them or not (his reasoning: didn’t know – they might like their referrals!). The result: his practice doubled in one year – it went from 500 patients to over one thousand pts.
It’s like AOL – they send me a CD once a month! Why? I used to subscribe and THAT IS EXACTLY what built their company! They gave away their software for FREE and look what they are today! One of the largest internet service provider in the world! Look at Yahoo!: they have a HUGE internet presence and a profitable company – they did it on the back of giving away FREE email addresses.
Anyway, this isn’t necessarily about giving away FREE services – it’s about looking, learning and stealing from industries all around you. DO NOT have your office staff screen your mail for the rest of the year and LOOK at all the postcards and other offers that flood you every day. Why? They work!
So…let’s get on our marketing hats here and examine the use of postcards regularly and consistently in the practice.
You can use postcards to send monthly to your patients – hang in there and I will get you some “excuses” to do that – and/or you can send them to people right around your office that meet certain “specs.” BUT, to me, a dental practice or ANY business NOT using postcards is like a business missing the boat on taking advantage of a HUGELY profitable media.
Below, is a condensed version of all the excuses you’ll ever need to send postcards to your patients…and remember, if you ONLY EVER GET ONE call/response/patient in the chair, you should absolutely see a return on investment due to: referrals from that pt AND if your average pt value is $1500 or more, it’ll be a SLAM dunk that you’ll be in the black if you are mailing a few hundred or even a few THOUSAND postcards every month…there’s no excuse NOW to not have new patients AT YOUR COMMAND.
Holiday/Special Occasion Planner
- JANUARY: New Year’s Day– HAPPY NEW YEAR Promotion. Can promote sealants for children and adults
- FEBRUAY: Leap Day (when applicable), Valentine’s Day – Give a Bright White Smile To Your Valentine. Can promote xtreme makeover consults. FEBRUARY: President’s Day
- MARCH: St. Pat’s Day. You don’t have to be lucky or Irish to save up to $100 on ANY dental service over $500 during month of March.
- APRIL: April Fool’s Day and/or Easter – We’re not foolin’! 2 Members of same family receive prophies for one low fee! (or, do a promotion for Easter w/ Rabbit’s foot!)
- MAY: May Day, Memorial Day, Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day. All moms receive 50% off Whitening!
- JUNE: Father’s Day – All dads receive 50% off whitening.
- JULY: 4th of July – Celebrating independence from dentures! FREE implant consultations.
- AUGUST: Back to School, End of Summer. FREE Invisalign Consultations.
- SEPTEMBER: Labor Day – $1 Exam Month for ALL pt referrals!
- OCTOBER: Halloween – FREE Candy Screening…PLUS, show up the week of Halloween in your costume, get your picture with doctor and get FREE Whitening!
- NOVEMBER: Thanksgiving – Thanks for being a great pt! ALL patients receive 5% off ANY undone tx!
DECEMBER: Christmas – Happy Holidays! All hygiene appts pre-paid in advance for 2006 receive FREE Sonic Oral B toothbrush!