(OPENPRESS) May 31, 2008 — What’s the difference between a “successful” chiropractic practice and one that might be struggling? The answer is often advertising and promotion. Of course, advertising and promotion can be expensive, so what is a practitioner of Chiropractic to do when he doesn’t have the funds for a high powered marketing campaign? The answer may be postcards and direct mail.
Yes, that’s right, postcards. Research has shown that one of most cost-effective ways of reaching an audience and attracting customers is through direct mail campaigns that use postcards. Why? Because in the hands of an expert marketing company or direct mailing house, postcards can reach a highly targeted customer base with less expense and more results than just about any other advertising medium.
“It has been proven time and time again that chiropractic practices can greatly benefit from a well crafted postcard and direct mail campaign,” says Mike Behrends, President of MarketShareServices.com (www.marketshareservices.com), a full service marketing and direct mail house. “MarketShareServices.com, for example, has a complete program for chiropractors that virtually guarantees more patients and an expansion of the practice.”
The chiropractic marketing program begins with an interview with the chiropractor and finding out who his preferred publics are and what geographical area they tend to come from.
“One of the big keys to success is identifying and isolating where the business is coming from when we deal with our chiropractors,” says Behrends. “We have a variety of ways of doing this, but after our market research is completed, we have a very good idea of who the doctor’s patients mostly consist of and where they are coming from. Then we are able to create highly targeted mailing list that will reach potential patients.”
Behrends points out hat every business has a client base that is unique to that particular business—even when businesses are a part of the same industry—like chiropractic for example. Factors like age, ethnicity, profession, areas where the patients work or live and many other factors can be isolated with a mailing list that targets those qualities.
“It’s a basic marketing fact that you want to advertise and promote to the same demographically similar groups of people that are attracted to your chiropractic practice,” says Behrends. “Those patients are seeing their particular chiropractor for a reason, and odds are, if you promote to similar patients, you will continue to drive in the business. Finding out what is successful about your practice, and then heavily promoting that is the key to success.”
Which leads us to the next part of the chiropractic marketing package: graphics and messaging. What is it that your patients really like about your chiropractic practice? Is it your customer relations? Is there a particular chiropractic technique or technology that really appears to your particular customer base? Are you an expert in some particular aspect of the health field? There are many possibilities.
“Every patient has his or her reasons for choosing to see their particular chiropractor,” explains Behrends. “Once those reasons are found, they are incorporated into the messaging and graphics that will become a part of the postcard or direct mail campaign. It works like a charm when correctly done. What you don’t want to do is “assume” or “guess”—the results of doing that can be very disappointing.”
The real strength of postcards are their tendency to be kept and even collected by the customers that receive them. Research has shown time and time again that people actually prefer postcards over other types of advertising and promotion—television, radio, and magazines included. Stories of patients keeping a postcard for months and months until final responding and coming in to see the doctor are not uncommon. That kind of “staying power” cannot be duplicated by television or radio, and magazines and newspapers have other ads competing for the viewers attention.
“MarketShareServices.com specializes in creating postcards and direct mails that really “sticks”,” says Behrends. “We have a reputation of creating highly effective imagery and messaging that potential chiropractic patients are more likely to remember. When combined with a really good “special offer”, our postcards produce can really increase the number of new chiropractic patients for the practice.”
Behrends points out, however, that the chiropractor who uses postcards has to continue to promote with the marketing program and not give up too soon.
“Branding is branding,” Behrends says with emphasis. “You’re trying to create an impression in the mind of the public that stays there and can be remembered. Although the initial direct mailing can be very successful, we generally recommend at the very least three mailings to really produce the results that a chiropractic office is looking for.”
Chiropractic is more and more recognized as a highly effective way to treat a wide variety of back problems and health ailments. While this is good for the industry as a whole, its very popularity has made it tough going for more than a few practices who must contend with the increased competition. The fact of the matter is that advertising works. Postcards and direct mail are still among the most reliable and consist ways of increasing business at a relatively low cost.
For more information about promotion and advertising for chiropractic practices, contact the MarketShareServices.com Information Director at 800-771-0460 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org