Direct Mail is Not Dead: Why This Is True and How to Reach New Patients
Zaf Hyder
 | 
26/05/2021 
Blog 

With everyone focused on digital marketing and social media, it may seem like direct mail may no longer be relevant. However, this time-tested marketing option may not be as outdated as you think.

How Does Marketing With Direct Mail Work?

Direct mail involves sending your prospective or current patients marketing materials to their physical mailbox rather than their online inbox. This could include attention-grabbers like a postcard, flyer, brochure or a letter.

Your marketing material allows you to introduce your dental practice to new patients in a creative manner. It should also include your practice name, contact information, address and an invitation for your prospective patient to call you.

6 Reasons Why Direct Mail Is Still Working

Direct Mail Postcards

Here are a few reasons why direct mail may still be an excellent marketing choice for your dental practice.

#1: Direct Mail Provides Something Tangible, But Also Interactive

When that colourful postcard arrives in your prospective patient’s letterbox, you can bet they will notice it. In fact, they’re more likely to notice a tangible brochure in their letterbox than they are to click into an email in their inbox. Because of that, direct mail often gets more attention.

Now that you’ve got their attention, it’s a great time to combine your direct mailer with some digital marketing. For example, you can include a scannable code on your postcard that links to a video or information about specials you may offer for new patients at your practice.

#2: Direct Mail Is Memorable

When your prospective patient receives an attention-grabbing postcard in the post from your dental clinic, perhaps including a new patient special, they may be more likely to remember you when the need for a dentist arises.

Maybe they don’t contact you right away as a new patient, but if your prospect wakes up with a toothache one morning, they may recall that postcard you sent and contact you for emergency dentistry.

Direct mail can promote your name and your ‘brand,’ and you can do many things to make it stand out in your prospective patient’s mind.

#3: Direct Mail Has No Particular Demographic

This is actually a good thing. Digital marketing and social media are excellent tools for reaching your younger prospective patients; however, direct mail reaches everyone.

Both younger and older patients are more apt to see something in their physical mailbox, while your older demographic may not be as savvy when it comes to marketing on social media. When you include a special or coupon on your mailer, you may have an even better chance of piquing their interest.

#4: Direct Mail Allows You to Be Creative

There are so many ways to have fun with direct mail. You might include a calendar or a magnet of the local football team’s schedule on the back of your postcard, which could lead to getting your postcard placed on a refrigerator.

And don’t forget the many ways you can incorporate digital marketing into your direct mail with links or codes to scan that bring your prospective patient to informative videos, social media posts, Facebook ads, your website or a combination of these things.

 

#5: Direct Mail Is Not as Common In Today’s Digital World

While that may sound like a negative aspect of direct mail, the fact that fewer people are using this type of marketing in their campaigns is actually a benefit because it’ll help you stand out even more.

#6: You’ll Get a Great Return on Investment (ROI) With Direct Mail

Although you’ll spend the bulk of your money on designing and printing your direct mailer, this type of marketing doesn’t ultimately cost that much in the end. And when you bring new patients into your practice through direct mail, it pays for itself and then some. 

Keep in mind, that direct mail works best if you send out multiple communications. Your prospective patients may not respond with just one mailer. But if they continue to see your name consistently arriving in their mailbox, they’re more likely to remember you when it’s time to make a dental appointment. 

Get Started With Your Direct Mail Campaign

Demographic

Now that you’re considering the benefits of using direct mail to market your dental clinic, here are a few tips for getting started. 

  • Spend some time planning your marketing campaign. Think about who you want to target like people who are new to the area, neighbouring communities, and even your current patients. Consider timing. Remember, you’ll get the best results by sending out more than one mailer. Perhaps you commit to trying direct mail for a year so you can plan that in your marketing budget.
  • Decide on your target market. You might want to buy or rent a mailing list from a local list broker if you’re targeting particular communities. Or, if you’re looking to reach people who are new to the area, you might use websites like RealEstate.com to locate homes in your area that were recently sold. People who are new to your community may also need a new dentist.  
  • Design and create your message. This is the fun part! Be creative with your direct mailers. Use different mediums each time you send a message so you can grab attention and make it memorable. Consider specials or coupons you could offer to bring prospective patients into your dental clinic. You can design your own mailers using sites like Canva to help, and then print your mailer at a print shop. Or, you can hire a mail house to do the designing and mailing for you if you’re short on time. 
  • Measure your direct mail performance. Keep track of the response you receive from your direct mail campaign. Coupons or scannable codes can help track your progress with direct mail. This way you can ensure that you’re getting the best ROI from your direct marketing campaign.  

Final Thoughts on Direct Marketing

We are not by any means suggesting that you abandon your digital marketing efforts for direct marketing, but rather add it to your toolbox of marketing options and allow it to work hand-in-hand with digital marketing for your benefit.

Get creative and have some fun with your direct marketing campaign, and if you don’t have any specific ideas for your mailer, consider working with a professional to help you.

Zaf Hyder
Zaf was born and brought up in Sydney Australia. He graduated from Macquarie University with a Human Resources and Marketing degree. Zaf's first exposure to the dental industry was performing client work as a part-time freelancer. He is excited to be apart of the GDW team and contribute to their long term growth. In his free time Zaf enjoys exercising, beatboxing, reading books, and hanging out with friends and family.

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