Anytime you can apply emotional levers to increase response rates to your marketing, do it.
In Dentistry, we're fortunate to be able to apply a little pressure and use two massive emotional levers in our marketing towards year-end.
Right now, for my own office, we have a killer direct mail piece deployed that is generating about 12 new patients for every 3600 pieces mailed.
I might add, too, that these 12 new patients' revenue will be more than adequate to recover my front-end marketing expense of the direct mail piece on their very first visit. Which means, profits from these patients can be rolled into additional mailings with no out-of-pocket costs to me...like playing with "house" money at the casino -- my favorite way to gamble! (And, I'm not one who'll blow time or money at a place where the house is guaranteed to win, either! Fundamentally, I like to be on the winning side, not the guaranteed losing side.)
And, in this great direct mail piece, we're taking advantage of two of the most powerful levers there are this time of year, aside from a patient experiencing an urgent need to get out of pain. They are:
- Scarcity (Appointments are hard to get)
- Urgency (Deadlines -- insurance benefits "reset" soon - use it or lose it)
On many of the ads we're running for our ClearPath Society Members, be they postcards, FSIs, newspaper ads, or other types of direct mail at this time of year, we're reminding folks to use their insurance benefits before they're gone -- we let them know in the ad, that most insurance benefits reset on 1/1/16, so they need to call now to book an appointment and use the benefits they've paid for.
Next, we use the busy-ness of the holidays as an additional emotional lever...
"And, because many of our patients' insurance benefits expire at year-end, we're extra busy this time of year helping them maximize their insurance benefits, so securing an appointment can be nearly impossible if you wait too long. We suggest calling our office no later than _____ [I suggest mid-month in December] to make sure you're able to use your benefits to the full extent. Don't let the insurance companies keep your money!"
You can also add a note about your limited office hours during the holidays, too; that'll add even more urgency.
Use of these incredible motivational strategies can help patients prioritize their dental health -- good for them and good for you.
Sorry insurance companies...
***One more thing: DO take advantage of "theming" your ads, too! Here's what I shared with my Design team:
Feel free to modify the design on FSIs, direct mail pieces like postcards and EDDMs for new patients, to take advantage of a season or holiday theme. Or events.
Themed pieces seem to lift response rates and often represent what many are thinking about. They also provide a "reason why" for a discount offer.