Social Media and Direct Mail Marketing to Attract New Patients
Most dentists I work with don’t want to talk about marketing. They think it’s a waste of time and money, and tell me they would rather grow their practice via word-of-mouth referrals. While referrals are important to practice growth, they’re usually not enough – which is why it’s so critical to invest in marketing to attract new patients to your practice.
The key is developing an effective, consistent marketing campaign and sticking to it, but it can be difficult for dentists to know what works best. Should you focus on social media or use traditional marketing methods like direct mail? Should you use both? What will help you maximize the return on your investment (ROI)
While many business owners in dentistry and beyond focus their efforts on digital and social media marketing, old fashioned direct mail shouldn’t be overlooked – and just might be the better option. I recently read a blog from marketing company Enthusem that compares the different methods. Here are the main takeaways and what you need to know to decide what might work best for your practice.
Social Media and Digital Marketing
That all sounds great, but here’s the problem. With social media marketing, there’s usually no clear campaign goal. You share something on Facebook, but what action do you want people who see your message to take? Is it sharing the post with their network, or maybe going to a landing page? When there’s no clear objective, it’s difficult to determine how successful your marketing efforts actually are.
Because there’s so much marketing going on in the digital world, there’s a good chance your message will get lost in the shuffle. Many people scroll through their Facebook newsfeed and other social media accounts just to pass time. They’re not really processing what they’re reading. It’s a cluttered space, making it less effective.
You also need to know how to track your Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs, which can be a bit confusing with social media. Social networks tend to have their own analytics dashboards, but don’t include the necessary data to measure ROI. To do this, you must invest in other tools, adding another expense to your marketing budget.
Let’s look at some numbers. According to the CMO Council, a network for senior marketing decision makers, targeted direct mail has a 4.4% response rate. How does email compare? That response rate is at 0.12%. And it makes sense. How much unsolicited email do you receive every day, and how much actually prompts you to respond?
There are other stats from CMO that show just how effective direct mail can be. For example, 79% of consumers have taken immediate action after receiving a piece of direct mail, while 40% have tried a new business they learned about through a mailer.
Unlike social media posts, direct mail has staying power. If you send a targeted flyer with information about your practice, potential new patients will actually hold that flyer and interact with it. They might even file it away with the intention of getting it out when they’re ready to make an appointment. Of course, they might also put it in the circular file, but at least with direct mail patients are more likely to receive and remember your message.
I know what you’re thinking. But Sally, direct mail is more expensive than digital marketing. That’s true, but the costs are also more straightforward. You know exactly how much you’re going to spend. With social media, costs are often based on clicks or impressions. That can add up, and you may spend more money than you wanted.
So which is better?
Marketing is important to your success. When you implement a targeted campaign, you’ll soon see the number of new patients you treat each month start to rise, leading to a bigger patient base, more practice productivity and a healthier bottom line.
Next week: 5 unexpected benefits of direct mail marketing
For additional information on this topic and more, visit my blog: The Lighter Side
Interested in speaking to me about your practice concerns? Email email@example.com
Great Ideas Come and Go, It’s How You Get Things Done that Matters
“It is how we have always done it.”
Excuses for failure run the gamut of many dental practices. Even if things aren’t working, the thought of changing can seem too risky for many to attempt. It has been regularly observed that some existing systems in dental practices were put in place by employees who have long since left the practice, and no one has questioned whether there is a better way to do things or not.
Many dentists and their teams attend seminars and educational conferences loaded with new and better ideas from industry experts, only to return and continue “same as” because they aren’t motivated enough to change or introduce new and innovative ideas.
“Dr. Maxie Timespent” recently attended one of the largest dental conferences in the country. She returned excited and enthusiastic, with new ideas to expand her product line and provide more robust dental services at her declining practice. But after she was told all the negative possible outcomes to making changes, she lost her enthusiasm and accepted the fact that one person could not effect change.
She decided to learn more about team motivation and organization change to find out how she could get her dental team onboard to change how some things were done in the practice. She took it a step further and got some professional leadership coaching to fortify her tendency to back down, even when she knew she was right. (McKenzie Management provides Leadership Coaching. To learn more go here: http://www.mckenziemgmt.com/atc-dentistleadership.php)
Dr. Timespent knew she was responsible for the success or failure of her practice – blaming anyone else would not help matters or change the outcome. Leadership coaching taught her she needed to be in charge as the CEO. After all, that’s what the executive title means. She needed to turn her ideas into strategy, and then into execution. It’s a hard job but it can be done if you plan, prioritize, empower your team to embrace change, and share the vision of how it will happen and what they all will gain. With time you come to realize how much of your success is tied up in getting things done, instead of having great ideas.
Y2K and making the case for change – from an article by Chartered Management Institute
No CEO worth his or her salt could say they wouldn’t address this change. It was a classic Doomsday scenario, driven by the book “Computers in Crisis” by Jerome and Marilyn Murray. Following publication in 1984, it was picked up in USENET discussion groups in the early days of the Internet and built momentum from there.
In the history of business, no change management program has galvanized businesses like Y2K. The consequences of inertia were all too clear. In this instance the success of organizational change – supporting the delivery of crucial business strategies – was driven by a common and effective organizational change requirement.
Setting aside the frequent misappropriation and misunderstanding of the term, effective change management enables leadership teams and their organizations to ensure successful growth and swiftly take advantage of opportunities that present themselves. In this instance, the change program was about avoiding a global disaster.
The emphasis had to be on rapid implementation, and leaders had to avoid the temptation to try and deliver value from change. This was all about ensuring that solutions were found and implemented in time. Organizations had to be agile enough to act at short notice.
While planes never did fall from the sky at 01/01/00, we’ll never know what might have happened had the clocks stopped. Although an estimated $300bn was spent ensuring that nothing occurred, Y2K was the global mobilization that showed the promise and value of change management.
Going at it alone to bring change in your practice doesn’t have to be a lonely road. McKenzie Management’s team of professional consultants and instructors bring positive change to every practice they touch and can do the same for yours. Reach out today for coaching, consulting and training to raise your practice to it’s potential for success.
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