Make the most of direct mail marketing.
Since the Internet is a primary way people interact with businesses and individuals, you may wonder if direct mail marketing is still a viable way to connect with potential patients.
Survey says yes, direct mail marketing still works
Many news sources have cited the 2015 Direct Marketing Association report, including Eleventy Group, which reprinted several statistics from that report on its website. According to this report, businesses in the U.S. spent just under $46 billion on direct mail marketing campaigns in 2014, which is up from 2013.1
Additionally, they reported over 42 percent of recipients viewed direct mail pieces and over half of respondents favored postcards. Direct mail is still a great way to market your business.
Before you run to the post office and send thousands of postcards to your community, it’s important to realize that, like any other marketing method, there are effective ways to do it.
Mailing process overview
The process for sending out a mailing generally involves 3 steps:
- Creating the content (text and graphics)
- Printing materials
It is possible to these in-house, have three different businesses to guide each step of this process, or there are many companies that will take care of all three steps for you.
In addition to reduced cost and time, businesses that oversee all three steps provide analysis so you can quantify the success of the campaign and build stronger mailings in the future.
(Join Chiropractic Economics’s September 15, 2015 webinar on “Best practices for marketing a chiropractic business”, which includes direct mail topics.)
Be compelling, focus on outcomes
Bob Bly is direct response copywriter and Internet marketing consultant for well-known companies such as IBM, Intuit, and Forbes. In a telephone interview, he reported the number one mistake he sees businesses make in creating direct mail marketing materials is focusing on the outcomes.
The direct mail you send should paint a picture where the prospective patient can envision how you will make their life better or easier. For instance, if you are sending direct mail to potential clients, the content should talk about how you can take away their chronic low back pain, resolve their frequent and severe headaches, or relieve their aching legs.
If your materials focus only on how you do your work, your materials are less powerful and likely won’t perform as well.
Components for a successful campaign
Bly offers additional ideas to make your direct mail marketing campaign a success:
- Have the right mailing list. If your addresses are out of date or misspelled, you will not only waste money on postage, you will skew the results of your campaign.
- Test your direct mail materials regularly. The only way to know your direct mail marketing is working, is to measure the results. Never send the same or similar mailing without looking at the results first.
- Providing an engaging offer. Whether for new or existing patients, make sure the offer inspires them to contact you and do business with you.2
Key words matter
There are “magic words”, as Bly calls them, which can greatly improve your level of response to your direct mail marketing content. Some to consider using are:
- “Free” (whether it is a free consultation or gift for replying to the mailing)
- “No obligation”
- “Details inside”
- “Limited time only”
Using words and phrases like these will help get people’s attention, enticing them to read your mailing to learn more.
Effective direct mail
If you’re going to market, you want to market effectively. These tips can help, increasing your customer base and growing your business to higher levels. Begin your direct mail marketing journey the right way: clean your mailing list, make a good offer, and analyze the results.
1 Eleventy Marketing Group. “6 Significant Statistics From The DMA ON The Current State Of Direct Mail.” http://eleventygroup.com/site/2015/06/10/significant-statistics-dma-direct-mail/ Published June 2015. Accessed September 2015.
2 Bly, B. “The 12 Most Common Direct Mail Mistakes…And How To Avoid Them.” http://www.bly.com/Pages/documents/T12MCD.html. Published February 2001. Accessed August 2015.