Of course, getting just one new patient from a campaign is disheartening. No doubt. But, consider this…

Oftentimes, clients will ask me what % of response they should expect from a direct mail campaign. The answer is…


Now that’s probably not what you wanted to hear. But, in reality, percentages are just that…percentages, and you can’t deposit percentages of whatever into your bank account.

The only true measure of success in a direct mail campaign, or ANY kind of advertising campaign for that matter is…


You could spend $5000 on a 5,000 piece postcard campaign and see 20 patients, which maybe spend $25,000 – a 5:1 ROI on your marketing dollar. BUT, if those 20 patients don’t schedule and get the needed dentistry (i.e. you don’t “sell” them), your 0.4% response rate doesn’t mean squat. You can’t put it in the bank.

However, if you did the same mailing and had only 5 people respond, which would give you a “miserable” response rate of 0.1%, but those 5 patients scheduled and completed over $25,000 in tx, would you be anxious to mail again?

Would you rather have 20 patients spending $25,000 or 5 patients spending $25,000?

Give me 5 any day of the week. Less work. More profit per patient…AND, I would mail that darned postcard again and again and again until I went negative on my ROI.

Only CASH-IN-HAND counts!

Now, let’s briefly talk about what to do when you only get 1 patient from a $5,000 mailing of 5,000 pieces.

Here’s what we do:

My staff is highly trained so that we do our absolute BEST to get them to refer as many people as possible to us…We…


This is using Joe Girard’s Law of 250 (Joe Girard’s Law of 250 says that every person on average knows at least 250 other people.) to take advantage of each and every patient’s referral network. (NOTE: If you have NOT read Joe’s books, I can’t recommend them enough. He is after all, the World Record holder for selling! You could probably learn a thing or two from him!)

In other words, we do everything in our power to maximize the treatment plan from that one patient…then we implement our practice referral strategies which include a number of methods, signage, conversations, reinforcements, recognition, etc., to encourage referrals from every patient.

So, instead of getting just one patient from the mailing, we’d end up getting 2, 3, 4 or 5 very good patients. This is what I mean when I talk about turning lemons into LEMONADE!

YOU and your staff are in control of the patient experience. YOU determine who will refer or not. YOU determine who will come back to your office for re-care and recommended treatment.