Make New Marketing Plans but Keep the Old

Yes, for a brief time, I was a Brownie. One of the Girl Scout songs that still plays in my mind has the lyrics: Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, and the other’s gold. Corny, huh? I know. But when I was thinking about an email conversation I had with a new client today, this song started rolling around in the old noggin. The new client asked how to approach a quarterly direct mail campaign. Should she mail the same exact postcard every three months, or should she change it up with a new design — maybe something seasonal?

Because my main bag is online marketing, my first thought was to integrate the mailer with the website, blog, and/or Facebook page. Website consultants often discourage dentists from investing in direct mail. Studies show, return on investment is down when it comes to direct mail. However, newspapers are going under because readership is down — yet I still have clients who get new patients every month because of consistent newspaper advertising. So, if the budget allows, make new marketing plans, but keep the old — one might be silver, and the other just might be gold. But let’s take this line of thought a step further. You could pull the whole enchilada together by integrating direct mail with online marketing.

We know that branding is important. We also know that the more times your brand is in front of a potential patient, the greater the liklihood of that potential patient becoming an actual patient. So, if your brand is put into the potential patient’s hand via direct mail, then that direct mail takes the potential patient to your website to claim something special, your brand has the opportunity for multiple impressions into the potential patient’s brain. Many companies do this by putting the Facebook logo on television commercials, print ads, and billboards. Businesses are expected to be on Facebook these days, and having the FB logo on your advertising hinges on cliche.

If you’re going to send out direct mail or invest in a print ad, be sure to include your website and blog domain, as well as the Facebook logo. Beyond that, instead of offering Whitening for Life or Care to Share offers, consider a special online offer. Here’s what I propose:

First of all, have a well defined logo and brand, and keep it consistent in all of your marketing. For seasonal mailers, slightly amend the design for the season. In March, add a baby chick. In June, add sunglasses. In September, include a back-to-school apple, and in December, add holly to your logo. Keep the special offer consistent, regardless of the season. It might go something like this…

Visit www.MyDentalOffice.com/mailoffer and use the code bestdentist to access your special offer.

On the webpage, feature three offers: new patient exam and x-rays; free home whitening with exam and x-rays; $50 credit toward services of $250 or greater.

Redefine the offers however you like, but keep in mind, people who have dental insurance don’t care about free exams and returning patients deserve special offers, too.

Never neglect loyal patients! Remember when Southwestern Bell gave you $75 for switching to their service, then AT&T gave you $75 for switching back? It worked. People flip flopped like fish on the sand. You want your patients to be loyal, but they want you to be loyal, as well. If you offer specials only to new patients, your existing patients can feel left out and neglected — even if you provide great service. I’m not suggesting you give away the farm. I am suggesting small tokens of appreciation.

So, synopsis:

  • maintain consistent branding
  • integrate print advertising and direct mail with Internet marketing
  • provide incentives to new and existing patients

If you need help with your dental website, dental blog, social networking, or overall marketing strategy, call Modern Dental Marketing at 972-781-8861 and talk with Jilll.