Whether your practice is large or small, you probably don’t have a huge advertising budget. However, in most cases you have to advertise in order to succeed and grow, you probably rely heavily on two old stand-bys: word-of-mouth and Yellow Pages advertising.
While you can certainly encourage your patients to pass along a good word about your practice, ensuring that they do so and quantifying the results of word-of-mouth advertising is difficult at best. On the other hand, proving the value of your Yellow Pages investment can be quite easy. It’s also invaluable, especially when nearly 18 billion references are made to Yellow Pages directories every year–that’s 1.7 times every week for the average American.
Return on investment (ROI) can be more simply described as a measurement of how well your advertising is working. But, how do you determine your ROI and turn your advertising dollars into customers and profits? The best way to determine your ROI is to follow this simple seven-step process, a process that will show you exactly how to measure the effectiveness of your advertising:
Begin by determining the number of calls you receive from your Yellow Pages ad each month. This is relatively easy if you ask each caller where they found your number (note that if you live in an area that has two directories, be sure to ask which one and on which page).
What’s your conversion rate? What percentage of your calls turn into sales or patient visits? You should already have a good idea of what your conversion rate actually is, but if not, take a look at your yearly gross volume, total number of active patients and patient visit average.
Determine the number of sales (or visits) made by those patients who found your practice in the Yellow Pages by dividing the number of calls by your conversion rate.
Plug in your average gross profit per item sold (or per patient visit).
To determine your total gross profit produced by Yellow Pages ads, multiply the number of converted calls from Yellow Pages ads by your average gross margin.
Plug in your monthly Yellow Pages investment.
Your overall net profit gain from Yellow Pages advertising is calculated by subtracting your Yellow Pages monthly investment from the total gross profit produced each month (sales minus costs).
Let’s use an example with some figures. Say your office receives 100 calls in a month’s time and your call conversion rate is two. Take 100 and divide by your conversion rate (two) to get 50-the number of sales (or patient visits) attributed to Yellow Pages customers. If your average gross profit per item sold (or per patient) is $50 and you multiply that figure by the number of sales made to Yellow Pages patients (50), you arrive at a total gross profit of $2,500.
If you determine that you spend $600 per month on your Yellow Pages ad and subtract that number from your total gross profit, you will arrive at your net profit gain. If these were your numbers, you would have received $1,900 per month in gross profit over and above the $600 investment you made in your Yellow Pages ad. Following this formula aids in the marketing planning process and enables you to see how your advertising dollars are working and if they’re being spent wisely.
Also keep in mind that your advertising investment is impacted by other crucial factors. One factor is your service team. The bottom line goal-the actual return–of a successful Yellow Pages ad is to get your phone to ring. If the person answering the phone at your office isn’t knowledgeable, prompt and courteous, your practice will suffer no matter how good your Yellow Pages ad is.
The other important component is indeed the ad itself. Naturally, potential patients look at numerous ads in Yellow Pages directorieshelping them choose you over the competition is the name of the game. Some specifics to the chiropractic industry illustrate this point:
- 38.6 million consumers reference the “Chiropractors, DC” listing each year in the Yellow Pages, making it the 79th most-referenced heading out of 4,200.
- 162 million is the estimated number of ads referenced in the “Chiropractors, DC” heading during the course of a year.
- 57% of users indicate looking at one or more Yellow Pages ads.
- 7.1 is the average number of ads referenced among those looking at ads in the “Chiropractors, DC” listing.
- 77% of users contacted a Doctor of Chiropractic with an ad in the Yellow Pages.
- 42% of users made a purchase after referring to a Yellow Pages ad.
To help stand out from other Yellow Pages ads and drive patients through your door, remember these four key elements to an effective Yellow Pages ad:
- Your ad should break through the clutter.
- Your ad should be relevant to your services, your practice and your audience.
- Your ad should be believable and factual.
- Your ad must involve the reader.
Advertising-no matter what the medium can literally make or break a business. What does this mean to the chiropractic industry? It means that Yellow Pages is one of the most powerful mediums available to reach potential patients. According to a recent study, the Yellow Pages are considered the most informative and credible of the advertising mediums accessible to small business people. They are complete, comprehensive and easy to use. Through the Yellow Pages, chiropractors can reach a broad range of consumers quickly and effectively without spending too much of their hard-earned money. Put simply, it means that as advertisers, chiropractors can actually quantify the return on Yellow Pages ad dollars.
How do DC’s compare with other health care headings?
With 4,200 different Yellow Pages headings, how does the “Chiropractors, DC” heading stack up against other health care-related industries?
A quick survey reveals:
|Listing||Annual References||Ranking (out of 4,200)|
|Physicians & Surgeons||1,171.2 billion||2|
|Chiropractors, DC||38.6 million||79|
|Physical Therapists||7.3 million||283|
What is the breakout of Physicians/Surgeons by specialty?
With 1,171.2 billion annual references to the Physicians/Surgeons listing, the following breaks out the percentage of references by specialty:
- Listing / Percentage
- Orthopedists / 6.7%
- Podiatrists / 3.7%
- Osteoporosis Specialists /.05%