Do you remember getting postcards in the mail from your Dentist? I do! We would get one for every holiday of the year. Each one would wish us a great holiday and remind us of our appointment date. It would have a cute holiday theme and my mom would hang it on the fridge until we got a new one.
We received these postcards for years until we finally moved out of the area. This tactic was simple and worked well, but it was also in the age of letters, phone books, and dial-up Internet.
Do Postcards Still Work in the Age of Technology?
Now, with the Internet, we have access to all the information we could want and more. We are bombarded, on a daily basis, with deals, ads, and spam. This all happens in our new primary forms of communication: i.e. emails, texts, and notifications.
This does pose the question: Do postcards still work? Is paper mail (snail mail) even relevant anymore?
The answer is a surprising "yes." Postcards are still a proven marketing strategy for dentists. People are still more likely to read and respond to a postcard.
Postcards have a 54% success rate of being read and a 3.99% response rate. Where as emails from businesses have a 25% open rate.
Postcard Marketing Costs
Here's the kicker with postcard marketing for dentists: the cost! Brian Morris wrote an article about postcard marketing in 2013 and he specifically highlighted the cost of postage:
"It’s not the cost of postcard printing that makes postcard marketing a significant initial investment; it’s the postage. Postage prices for postcards have increased dramatically during the past 20 years – from 19 cents in 1993 to 33 cents in 2013. Thus, while you can get a deal on printing, say, 10,000 postcards for around $250, you’ll incur $3,300 in postage to have those postcards delivered."
This is a significant investment to make compared to sending an email that is free. However, Brian also included a simple ROI for your post card marketing:
(3.99% of postcard volume)(value of each sale) – (printing + postage) = estimated net profit
Now that we know that postcards are still relevant, how much they approximately cost, and how to find our ROI, the questions are: 1) When should we be sending them? 2) How often? and 3) What is the purpose?
Attracting Patients Using Postcards
To attract new patients, try having postcards sent to people who might be in transition or looking for a dentist. Some examples of new opportunities are: new tenants (change of address) in your area, families with newborns, and high school graduates. The content of each one should be tailored to that demographic.
Having a well-designed card can also set you apart. The card needs to be professional and shows the personality of your practice, a quote, a reminder, etc...and be something you would want them to put on their fridge.
This also applies to appointment reminder postcards. Every 6 months you should be sending an appointment reminder card. Make sure that it has a fun, eye-catching design that will make your audience want to keep instead of just throw it away.
Other Forms of Advertising
Even though postcards are proven to be a great advertising strategy, don't forget there's other ways to advertise your practice.
Keep in mind the 54% success rate with postcard marketing. Try to reach to your other potential 46% with social media, email campaigns, SEO and your website. Have on your website a "go paperless" option for people who do not want to receive post cards!
Try to evaluate where your customers might see your advertisements best. Local newspaper ads, sponsoring a kids sports team, cards at a local store, or an info booth at a community event, are all great options.
Don't forget about the Internet! Social media, is an amazing advertising tool. You can also do paid ads. Your website is another way to advertise. Yelp and Google reviews, even Craigslist ads, are a great opportunity to win over new patients.
Just remember when advertising to think about: what you're saying, why you're saying it, and to whom you're saying it to. Use your previously defined branding to dictate your voice, design, and messaging when sending out postcards or doing any other marketing.
What are the most successful ways you've seen postcards work for your practice? Let us know in the comments below!
Dental Postcard Marketing Examples
We've created some dental postcard marketing examples that can inspire you to reach out to new markets. Keep your designs simple and eye-catching with messaging that relates to your target market. See our designs ideas in this free download!