By Orthotown staff and OrthodonticMarketing.net
All orthodontists want to increase awareness of their practice in the community. Research shows that postcards are the most predictably successful external marketing strategy, so chances are you've considered developing one yourself—or maybe you're already mailing out thousands.
How do you know if your postcard design is getting all the new patients it could? Ask Shawn Rowbotham, who's worked in marketing for 30 years and is part of the team at OrthodonticMarketing.net, a Utah-based consulting firm that helps practices maximize returns and replies to postcards. By leveraging more than 50 key data points and constantly interviewing thousands of doctors and industry experts, OrthodonticMarketing.net bases its suggestions and decisions on research and results accumulated through mailing millions of postcards every month.
You've likely seen something like the postcard on the right in your mailbox—but can you identify the places where it could be significantly improved? Rowbotham was kind enough to share his insights about how what looks good could be made even better.
1. Craft a compelling headline
This isn't bad, but consider using numbers, making the headline more specific, using negative words and having two parts (for example: "30 Years of Experience Never Hurt / Your 23-point free consultation ensures you don't miss out on the right treatment for your best smile"). Avoid platitudes! Engage readers by answering their questions.
2. Reinforce what's special
If this is a good type of promotion for the practice, consider making it look more clearly like an offer. For example, explain the value proposition and include an expiration date.
3. Discuss the details
Consider an offer headline like "FREE 23-Point Orthodontic Consultation (includes FREE X-Rays)" and a smaller "Learn what treatment is best for your needs." Also, try to add value (such as "$149 value") and an expiration date, and consider making this look more like an offer.
4. Bolster the award
Try using some of the space at the base of the family photo to make the logo more prominent. Then, add text from a strong review to the designation and the corresponding endorsement of the practice that connects with the award.
5. Add more faces
Instead of having only
this family picture, consider adding some testimonials that include each person's photo, name and city (as well as a star rating, if applicable).
6. Reconsider the map
Only use a map if it's needed! Is your practice really that hard to find? If you do include a map, include major landmarks and keep the design simple and effective.
7. Go double-or-nothing
You could include this offer here … but you could also just duplicate an offer from the front of the card. Or, use this space for other items such as testimonials or information about accepted payment and insurance plans.
8. Add specifics
Change the headline from "Come Meet Our…" to "Meet Our Award-Winning Team"—then cite which award you're referring to and, if possible, include its badge or logo.
9. Address concerns correctly
Putting the practice address in the mailing block frees up space elsewhere and makes the information easier to find.
10. Get picture-perfect
11. Stay short and succinct
- Make sure everyone in the staff photo is photogenic and the pose isn't too stuffy—aim for something that's playful and relaxed, yet professional and inviting. Make sure the photo is high-resolution!
- If a photo or map doesn't make sense, try adding another testimonial, or a short invitation from the doctors that also reinforces their credibility: Do they have years of additional training and specialization? Are they board-certified (and is there a logo that could be added)?
Shorten the "bullet list" to six items at most; keep only those that are unique to the practice and convey the most benefit. This might work better in the top right corner of the card, with the logo and tagline moved to the return address area in the mailing block.
12. Organize elements efficiently
- Make sure nothing takes up more space than needed, and be sure to use a compelling, succinct tagline. (Example: "Your solution for a beautiful smile.")
- Consider moving the practice name and tagline to the mailing block area or the bottom left of the card, which would free up real estate here for more of the items listed in #7—testimonials, payment info, etc.
- Add a phrase like "Convenient early and late appointment times available" near the phone number and make sure to include it on both sides of the card.
Going Straight to the Source
More about OrthodonticMarketing.net, the company behind the smart advice
Shawn Rowbotham and the team at OrthodonticMarketing.net have perfected the art of postcard mailings, and well-executed postcards are an incredibly effective tool for orthodontists to get in front of potential new patients and their families.
Over the years, the OrthodonticMarketing.net team has developed a long list of services that are essential to achieving the best postcard marketing results. The company provides 24/7 access to dashboards that show every bit of results data you could imagine, from return on investment to the number of new consults added to your schedule. It's so effective that results with the postcard program are guaranteed!
Do you see the writing on the wall?
"Studies have shown that more than 76 percent of dentists are providing orthodontic services to their patients," Rowbotham says. "Things are changing and orthodontists need patients in their market to think of them when it comes to improving their smiles.
"Complete transparency is the company's philosophy in marketing for orthodontists. We believe that when we track everything and provide all the data to orthodontists, it puts us and our doctors on the same page. That means we're just as concerned as our doctors about getting practices great results and quality new patients."
Once you've got a postcard design dialed in, Rowbotham says there are still about a dozen more things needed to optimize your marketing campaign. If you're a DIYer, head to orthodonticmarketing.net to read up on those elements—or save yourself time, money and headache by taking advantage of a free offer for Townies. The company guarantees results for less than the cost of a stamp.
Free offer for Townies! Target your hottest neighborhoods for new patients
Once you get the perfect card put together, you need to get it into the right households. OrthodonticMarketing.net will show you how to optimize your investment by analyzing your own client data to show you exactly who to mail to. It's fully HIPAA-compliant, incredibly enlightening and valuable for any marketing initiative. The company will pin-drop your active patient addresses, overlay demographics and provide a recommendation of the neighborhoods that will deliver the best results and quality of patient you're looking for.
Call now to get your free report
You don't want to waste marketing dollars. OrthodonticMarketing.net will run heat mapping and demographics using your data to show you the hottest neighborhoods where your marketing dollars will bring you the best results—and they'll get it to you in less than 24 hours!
To get started, call 855-982-1411
or go to orthodonticmarketing.net/heatmap.