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The Orthodontic Marketing Blog

Blogging…It’s Vital For the Growth of Your Orthodontic Practice

Posted by Ben Ohanesian on Wed Jun 17, 2015 @ 02:00 PM

Blogger

Blogging was initially created to provide a unique platform for people to share their ideas, feelings, life experiences, and opinions. Blogging first started to catch on in the late 1990s.

Today, everyone from Fortune 500 companies to your neighborhood bakery shop are blogging (in addition to other digital reach methods) to increase their online presence and inevitably increase their bottom line.

If your orthodontic practice’s website does not have a blog that is updated regularly, you are missing a huge opportunity to increase your practice’s visibility and thereby increase your digital reach—your potential client base and your bottom line.

Blogging Really Does Matter—Just Ask Google
In today’s social media-based society, your orthodontic practice needs to have a powerful online presence in order to stand out among your local competitors. When someone goes to search for an orthodontist, you want your name to come up close to the top of the search results list. How do you accomplish that? With effective search engine optimization (SEO).

In the past companies like Google put an emphasis on keywords—which words you were using to market your practice and how often those words appeared on your website. As technology has evolved, Google (and other search engines) are using more advanced formulas that determine how frequently you post and update your website, in addition to the origination and quality of the content you post.

So, you ask, what does this have to do with blogging? The answer is, everything!
There is no better way to add relevant content to your website on a regular basis than to start and maintain a blog. Where you rank in search engines matter.  One of the most effective ways to increase your SEO rankings is to add unique, high-quality, relevant content on a regular basis to your blog.

No Time For Blogging? Hire a Professional
There are some really good advantages to hiring a professional to do your blogging for you; they can help take your practice's online presence to the next level.
First, and most importantly, professionals know how to use certain words or phrasing to capture your target audience; taking what you want to say and improving the influence that these words have on your potential clients who are reading your blog.

Secondly, the right professional will understand that blogging is an aspect of digital reach but, by itself, is not enough. These blogs also need to be posted on external websites for SEO (which will be even more important in the future) and should be combined with other digital reach or social media efforts including digital PR and marketing.

Last, but not least, it saves you time. Hiring a professional will allow you to spend your time focusing on your orthodontic practice’s goals and visions—allowing you to effectively grow your business now and in the future.

 

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Note: It's important to keep this fact in mind. Even if you hire a professional blogger, it’s important to understand that YOU must play an integral role in educating the blogger on your practice, why you and your office staff do what you do, the services and products that you offer, and be willing to be an active part of the blogging process. Digital reach—social media and beyond—is a vital component in the success of your orthodontic practice.

GetOrthoCases can help get you started on your practice's blog! Orthodontic practice marketing is what we do and ALL that we do.

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Tags: orthodontic marketing, blogging, orthodontic practice, orthodontist, marketing

4 Ways To Ensure A Successful Orthodontic Direct Marketing Campaign

Posted by Ben Ohanesian on Fri May 29, 2015 @ 03:11 PM

True or False? The success of an orthodontic direct mail campaign is based solely on its initiation. The answer is: FALSE.

Unfortunately, too many people that are "new to the world of marketing" believe that notion to be true.

metalmarious Mailbox

Just conducting a direct mail campaign is not enough to guarantee success. What many orthodontists don’t realize is that executing a successful direct marketing campaign is much more time consuming than they thought. This is not to say that they can’t work, but it takes much more than just mailing out your postcards and waiting for the phone to ring in your office. To get the most out of your mailing, there are many different steps that must be followed:

Use the right list. Not all lists are the same. Before you mail out your postcards, you need to make sure you are mailing to the right audience. Start by defining what you want from your mailing and go from there. The cost is always an important factor, but you should be wary of lists that are much less expensive than others. Most times, it makes sense to spend a little more on a better list that can generate results. Research the lead source and read the referrals and terms of agreement. Most companies offer a short-term trial period or some sort of opt-out agreement. Spending money on a list that doesn’t yield results is essentially throwing money out of the window.

• Presentation. Whenever you do any marketing, especially direct mailing, you should put yourself in the recipients' shoes. Before mailing, you should ask yourself what would make them want to read and interact with your postcard. You need your marketing piece to stand out from the others in that crowded mailbox. To do so, you need to be creative with your design and the message of your postcard. You need to have a piece that can easily relay your practice's message, how you can help them and how they can reach you. Most recipients will give your postcard a short glance. Bullet points and well-placed bold sentences work best. Your goal is to get them curious and interested enough to call immediately after opening.

• The Conversion Rate. A good conversion rate is anywhere from 1-3% of the total marketing pieces mailed. There will be some postcards that will not hit the mark, but that is to be expected. The natural inclination is try to turn every phone call you get immediately into an appointment. Prospective clients may sense your desperation and opt to choose someone else for their family's orthodontics needs. With every call you receive, your staff should have a short script, or even a list of basic questions you want answered in the initial phone call. The key is to find the client’s motivation and see what they want from your practice. It is very rare to get an appointment or consultation after the first phone call. You need to have some patience with your direct mail leads and work them like any other new prospect. Some would-be clients need to work with a sense of urgency, while others need some time to digest everything. Every call that you get must be placed into a database and followed up with as quickly as possible. Getting your phone to ring is not the goal, converting those calls to appointments is.

• Repetition is VITAL. If you are only going to send one round of postcards and expect your schedule to fill up, you will be disappointed with the results. Direct marketing is a numbers game. Before you start, you need to commit to mailing to your same list multiple times. Most recipients won’t respond to your postcard until possibly the fourth time you reach out to them. This means having the budget and patience to see the process through, regardless of any previous results. It is always better to send the same list multiple times than to keep switching from list to list and hoping for better results. Take your time to find THE target market that you like and dive in head first. Certainly, you can change the look and design of your subsequent mailings, but you can’t give up if you are not getting the initial results you desire. To give yourself the best chance for success, you should plan on a scheduled mailing campaign of at least four postcards.

Many, many orthodontists have had great success with direct mailing. Conversely, there are those who consider it a waste of time and money. In most cases, those folks have done things incorrectly along the way. Direct mailing shouldn’t be your only marketing piece, but rather one in a series of ways you plan to grow your orthodontic practice. Before you send out that first postcard mailing, you should make sure you have the best list and are willing to commit – regardless of the early returns. If you do this, you will find more success than you realized.

At GetOrthoCases, orthodontic practice marketing is what we do and ALL that we do.

Tags: orthodontic marketing, orthodontic direct marketing campaign, direct marketing, orthodontic practice, orthodontist, marketing, orthodontic practices

Postcard Orthodontic Marketing: The Pros and Cons

Posted by Ben Ohanesian on Mon Apr 20, 2015 @ 10:30 AM

Are you an orthodontic practice owner who has spent countless dollars on online advertising, and feel that you have no good results to show for it? You’re not alone.

smiling professionals

Now here's some good news. Postcard marketing could be THE solution for your practice. Although it may not seem as high-tech or savvy as online marketing, postcard marketing might just be that tried-and-true alternative you’ve been looking for.

While the cost of postage has gone up and up (and up some more), the advances in technology and creativity have now given us a plethora of tools and resources for clever design.

The digital age has revolutionized "snail" mail. It has become a novelty, and therefore, a rare treat. Believe it or not, consumers have begun to appreciate direct mail again!

Direct mail IS earning new respect, and is garnering the attention of thousands of consumers every day. If you haven’t yet considered a postcard marketing campaign, you really should. It’s an effective, affordable and easy strategy to increase those phone calls and possible new starts to your orthodontic practice.

The Pros of Postcard Marketing for your Orthodontic Practice

• Postcards can be used as great reminders for offers and incentives, or new office openings.

• Postcards can help spread the word and increase community awareness about your office.

• You can target specific households without wasting money on ineffective mass mailings.

• Postcard marketing can promote your practice brand and enhance the marketing efforts your practice already has in place.

• They’re affordable and easy to create. GetOrthoCases can help you create your precisely-targeted mailing list, and we’ll even take care of the mailing for you!

• Postcards are durable and can be printed on high-quality, glossy card stock.

• Postcards are non-intrusive. They don’t interrupt people when they’re online.

Click here for more info on Targeted Direct Mail Campaigns

 The Cons of Postcard Marketing for your Orthodontic Practice

• You have limited space to write your message. Just remember to focus in on exactly what you want your postcard to say.

• Postcards require a mailing list, and that requires upkeep.

• Tracking the results can be a bit more involved than with digital advertising. But, we can help you with that. Contact us to find out more about call tracking.

• Remember, several postcard mailings are required before you will see an impact. Repetition IS vital to the success of your postcard marketing campaign!

Four important tips for using a postcard as a marketing device:

1. Do not include everything that comes to your mind on the postcard. It should not look too busy. The message should be easy to read at a glance.

2. Do not include more than one call-to-action on a postcard. The recipient should know what is expected of him. By adding more than one call to action you are confusing him.

3. Do not try to sell anything on a postcard. No one is going to buy anything after receiving a postcard from an unknown sender, so it is best to use it as an attention-getter. Once you have the reader's attention, you can send them to your website where you can promote your product and services.

4. Always include a valuable offer or financial incentive. This will make your message that much more memorable to the reader.

At GetOrthoCases, orthodontic practice marketing is what we do and ALL that we do.

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Tags: orthodontic marketing, orthodontic practice, orthodontic new starts, orthodontic patients, marketing

Orthodontic Marketing 101: The Top 5 Goals of Direct Mail Postcards

Posted by Ben Ohanesian on Fri Apr 17, 2015 @ 10:00 AM

Here’s why postcard marketing campaigns are great – they're short, clean, and to the point. Direct mail postcards are one of the fastest and most cost-effective ways to make the phone ring at your orthodontic practice.



postcards wheelPostcards are not usually a good marketing strategy for the simple act of closing a deal, but if they are designed correctly, direct mail postcards can be great for pre-selling products and services, building brand awareness, and creating client loyalty. Best of all; postcards are the most efficient and excellent direct mail advertising pieces for generating phone calls. 



A postcard direct mail campaign can make your phone ring off the hook with compelling headlines, succinct copywriting, engaging graphics, a compelling offer, and a solid call-to-action. To take that a bit further; a series of direct mail postcards can receive a torrent of responses, build client loyalty, and stimulate practice brand awareness. Yet, postcards are one the easiest to manage direct mail marketing campaigns.



Even though postcards aren’t the best for closing sales because of their short and open format (no one can enclose a check to pay for an order or write a credit card number), response can still be quite high. Here are those 5 important goals of using postcards in any direct mail marketing campaign.



1. Generate phone calls.

The number one objective of most postcard marketing campaigns is to generate a phone call. Ninety percent of the postcards we create for clients are written with this single objective in mind: Make that office phone ring. 

The way to make the phone ring at your orthodontic office is very straightforward in this simple postcard format: Offer something for FREE and ask for the phone call several times on the card. “Call for a FREE evaluation!” or “Call for FREE second opinion! Call for a FREE orthodontic consultation. Call for…” well, you get the idea. Ask readers to call you enough and they will. Every time a reader calls, you have the opportunity to provide better service and increase client loyalty and longevity. And, yes, increase new patient starts and revenue? Yes, you can do that, too. Your postcard doesn’t do that, YOU do that. The postcard generates the call, but YOU make the sale.



2. Build practice brand awareness.

The other 10 percent of the postcards we create build practice brand. By mailing postcards frequently, you can stay in the top of your clients' and prospects' minds. So, when your clients need anything that relates to your practice—they immediately think of you, and call you first. 



3. Create (almost) instant success. 


Postcards can generate immediate response if your offer touches a timely trigger point. Figure out what your prospect’s immediate need is and address that in your card. Then, ask for them to call, of course.



4. Build loyal relationships. 


You can—it’s easy! But, not with a single postcard mailing. You need to create your direct mail marketing campaign over time, with a series of postcards. Mailing postcards every quarter is ideal. The key to success? Repetition, your list, relevancy, and your offer. 



5. Don’t sell your product or services. 


The final goal is to realize that you don’t need to sell your product or services from the postcard. But, you do need to generate phone calls and inquiries. Then, when the person calls, your front office staff sells your product or service. Just remember this; it’s much easier to achieve your goal (generating those phone calls) with your direct mail postcard, than it is getting a new patient start. That's why a properly-trained staff is so important to the growth of your orthodontic practice. For more info on staff training, please click the link below.

For our FREE Staff Action Plan, click here.

And, since postcards are easy to handle, they require much less work than other direct mail marketing campaigns which consist of letters, brochures, or anything that needs to be placed in an envelope, folded or stapled. Less fuss and muss. You just address and mail. Postcards are easy. These should be the 5 goals and objectives of your successful orthodontic practice postcard marketing campaign.

At GetOrthoCases, orthodontic practice marketing is what we do and ALL that we do.

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Tags: orthodontic marketing, orthodontist new starts, orthodontic practice, marketing

Consumers Like Getting Direct Mail

Posted by Ben Ohanesian on Tue Apr 14, 2015 @ 10:00 AM

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Time and time again, over the past few years, we've heard direct mail being labeled as "old school" and past it's prime. The reality couldn't be farther from that. Direct mail response is on the rise! Consumers enjoy getting direct mail that pertains to them. When direct mail is targeted correctly, it is not considered "junk mail." Why, even tech-savvy millennials like to get mail!

Here are just a few reasons people (still) like to receive mail:

• It's delivered to their home through no effort on their part

• It can be fun (so get creative and think outside of the box when designing your next marketing piece)

• A way to save money (who doesn't like a good deal?)

• It's informative (people are, by nature, a curious lot)

• It's easily saved for future reference or use (consider using a magnet; people can put it on their fridge for future reference)

Direct mail statistics you should know (as reported in "From Letterbox to Inbox 2013"):

• 79% of consumers said that they act on direct mail right away

• 56% of consumers said that they consider print marketing to be the "most trustworthy" of all marketing media outlets

So...what do people do after they receive a direct mail piece? ("Consumer study reveals 'direct mail matters' in connected world," July 11, 2013)

• 44% visit the website listed on the mailer

• 34% search online for more information about the product

• 26% save the mailer for future reference

Keeping all of the above in mind, how can you revamp the way you send your direct mail? Are you focused on the consumer and what is in it for them? Do you have a clear call- to-action, and the benefits they get by responding?  When you think you do, ask someone outside your office to critique it for you. You might be surprised by what you can learn.

Considering the fact that nearly 50% of your mailer's recipients will go online to check out your orthodontic practice after getting your direct mail piece, do you have landing pages designed with them in mind? Are you utilizing responsive design so that they can view your website and landing pages on mobile devices? These days, using responsive design is the best way to have your online content view correctly no matter what device is displaying it. Direct mail will drive people to online engagement; so make sure you are ready for them.

The only way that direct mail will continue to work is if we as orthodontic practice marketers send direct mail to consumers that is well-designed, has a clear call-to-action, and is targeted to the right households. This keeps recipients happy and increases your response rates. And, that keeps YOU happy!

At GetOrthoCases, orthodontic practice marketing is what we do and ALL that we do.

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Tags: orthodontic marketing, orthodontist new starts, orthodontic practice, marketing

Make Your Orthodontic Practice Direct Mail Stand Out

Posted by Ben Ohanesian on Fri Apr 10, 2015 @ 10:22 AM

Don't believe all those articles you see that direct mail is dead. Direct mail is still very much alive! Even savvy Internet users continue to regard direct mail favorably. It has a physical presence and a tangible quality that electronic communications don't. However, your direct mail should be relevant and targeted, with the focus on mailing only to those who are likely to come to your orthodontic practice, such as homes with children between the ages of 7-15.

letterbox 211428 1280Here are some simple points to follow to make sure your direct mail piece stands out in the mailbox:

• Declutter. Use a bold headline that is eye-catching, followed up by a short amount of text and bullet points that reinforce the headline. Less is more!

• Images and graphics. They should be relevant to the message and, again, reinforce the headline.

• NEVER USE ALL CAPITALS FOR BODY TEXT and eliminate acronyms and terminology your target audience might not be familiar with.

• Benefits. What's in it for the reader? Don't merely focus on the features of your services or products; focus on how all of that benefits your prospective client.

• Offer. Make sure your offer is enticing and compelling.

• Call-to-Action. Tell them what you want them to do. "Call today!" "Act now to receive your discount!" "Offer available only to the first 15 callers!"

• Response. Give them multiple ways to respond, such as email, telephone, coupon code and website.

• Website. If your call-to-action directs them to your website, make sure it is easy for them to find what they want when they get there. Don't just send them to your practice's home page; consider a landing page that mirrors your direct mail piece.

Click here to learn more about targeted direct mail marketing for your orthodontic practice.

Effective orthodontic practice marketing is about generating new patient starts. People are overwhelmed with marketing messages every day. You need to make your orthodontic practice's message stand out from the rest. While a great design and offer are helpful, ensuring that you are mailing to appropriate target homes is even better. Track your response rates to your current campaign and see what your practice marketing dollars are getting. If you're not happy with those numbers, take a different approach to your orthodontic marketing and see what happens! Remember, direct mail is still very much alive!

At GetOrthoCases, orthodontic practice marketing is what we do and ALL that we do.

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Tags: orthodontic marketing, orthodontic practice, orthodontic new starts, marketing

10 Tips for Successful Orthodontic Marketing Using Postcards

Posted by Ben Ohanesian on Mon Apr 06, 2015 @ 10:00 AM

goc mailbox

With all the emphasis on digital marketing these days, a few tried-and-true methods get forgotten. Postcards are one of those methods, but they are experiencing a resurgeance as savvy business owners re-discover their potential power to deliver great results.

Postcards are a simple, low-cost direct marketing tool that pack a powerful punch for millions of small and local businesses. Even big companies and major universities are using colorful and often over-sized postcards to push their products, services, offers and brands.

The lowly postcard has taken on new prominence as a kind of “anti-digital” agent. People are paying more attention than ever to postcards they receive in the mail, and are responding to offers at high rates. Postcards have a higher “read rate” than other direct mail because there’s no envelope to open, and they are easier to read at a glance.

You can quickly create a postcard campaign for your orthodontic practice without a big investment in time or money. And getting your postcards printed and mailed to either your own mailing list or one you buy is a snap with one of the web-based services. Many companies compete for your business, so rates are highly competitive and you can get your cards printed and mailed in a few days.

10 ways to get the most from your orthodontic practice's postcard marketing campaign:

1. Create a specific plan and purpose for your postcard campaign – as big an idea as possible to grab people’s attention. Build value into your message and don’t be boring.

2. Postcards should be eye-catching, so be sure to include high-quality photos or other striking images, graphics and colors.

3. Postcards can say a lot – especially the over-sized variety — but remember to keep your message simple. It’s still a postcard, after all, not a newsletter or brochure. Pretend that every word you write is costing you an extra $100.

4. Short, bold headlines work best. Avoid jumbled information. Postcards work best for short messages and for generating new patient starts. Don’t try to include too much, and be sure to include multiple ways to contact you.

5. Postcards are great for carrying timely messages, so think in timely terms. For example, postcards can convey messages or offers with a short deadline, creating a sense of urgency to call your practice now.

Click here to learn more about our Postcard Marketing Strategies for YOUR orthodontic practice!

6. There are two sides to every postcard, so make the most of both. The non-address side should have the biggest, boldest photos and colors. Think of it as a poster. The other side should carry your offer, contact information and other details.

7. Think multi-faceted. Postcards can be used for many purposes, including appointment reminders, coupons, new technology announcements, new office openings, treatment discounts, etc.

8. Choose high-quality, full-color, glossy printing. These have the most impact. All postcard marketing services offer this, and improved technology has helped lower the costs formerly associated with this type of printing.

9. Oversized cards – 6×11 or larger – stand out in the mail and are a great choice. They also give you more ways to include photos, coupons and even a map to your location.

10. Encourage quick action. Give customers a good reason to act now, perhaps a fast action bonus with a deadline.

At GetOrthoCases, orthodontic practice marketing is what we do and ALL that we do.

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Tags: orthodontic marketing, orthodontic practice, marketing

4 Reasons to Use Direct Mail Marketing Instead of Email Marketing

Posted by Ben Ohanesian on Fri Apr 03, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

When you work in direct mail marketing, it means spending some time defending your business. I can’t tell you how often people tell me things such as, “I don’t ever buy things through mail,” “Big businesses don’t do that anymore,” and “But isn’t email more popular?”

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It’s undeniable that technology has changed the direct marketing industry. However, it has not irreparably damaged direct mail marketing. To the contrary, direct mail has been enhanced by web technologies in many ways. Direct mail is great at getting leads to visit a webpage, encouraging consumers to buy online or collecting information (including email addresses!) from prospects.

Rest assured, direct mail isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. To prove it, here are four good reasons why you should use direct mail in place of email to get the best results for your orthodontic practice's marketing dollars.

1. Inbox overload

How many emails do you get a day? How many do you read a day? I would bet that the first answer is higher than the second. The fact is that most of us get way more emails than we want to read -- or are even capable of reading.

Our inboxes are overloaded with personal communication, updates, news and offers. While these may all be great, we don’t have the time or desire to click into each and every email. Many people don’t even sort through their emails daily. And that means your marketing message, and therefore the basis of your livelihood, might be sitting at the bottom of the “stack.”

So what happens to it? Well, when your orthodontic prospects finally get around to their inbox they’re likely to just “Select All” and “Delete.” Say goodbye to any good your sales message might have done. Sending it was a waste.

Sure, you could argue that people throw away physical mail too, but the numbers are in favor of direct mail here. A study by Epsilon showed that 77 percent of consumers sort through their physical mail as soon as they get it. Even better, data from the U.S. Postal Service showed that 98 percent of people check their mail daily. That means a lot less “back up” in the physical mail box and a much better chance for your orthodontic marketing piece to get read.

Email might have changed the marketing environment for good, but you can use that change to your advantage. Let other orthodontic practices focus on email marketing. Let them sludge through the massive inbox overload that everyone is experiencing. In the meantime, there is not nearly as much competition in your standard mailbox -- and that’s where you should be aiming your sales messages.

2. The personal touch

Getting your message past the garbage shoot is just the first step. You need your direct marketing piece to connect with your potential clients on a personal level. Unless you plan to try door-to-door sales, you’re not going to get any closer to your prospects than direct mail. With a strong marketing piece, you will walk right into their home, sit down at their kitchen table and pitch your product with expertise that only you can deliver.

You just can’t achieve those same results with an email. When your prospects are reading their email, they may have a dozen other things vying for their attention. They have notifications going off in the background letting them know 20 new emails just arrived in their inbox, or they have a new Facebook or Twitter post to look at. All the while, your email is like a tiny little voice, trying to peep in for some attention.

Does that sound like personal contact to you?

In the age of multitasking, computer users are by far the most distracted. And that’s one reason why unsolicited emails get so little attention. Direct mail is all about talking directly to your potential clients. Direct mail allows you to step right into prospects' lives as soon as they open the piece. A strong marketing piece meets your prospect’s train of thought and runs with it.

So take the chance to join your prospects at the table. Forget fighting for email space during a busy day and step in when they’re already taking a moment to themselves. Once they have your marketing piece in their hand, it’s time to let the sales copy do its job.

3. Increased trust

With increased technology comes an increased concern for privacy. With hackers constantly breaking into “secure” sites and identity theft a real threat, people trust electronic communication less and less. Phishing scams are common and people do not trust attachments and links in an email. Sometimes, even images can get devoured by the dreaded spam filter.

So how do you get your email to stand out? How do you impress your prospects? How do you “wow” them to the point where they simply must know more?

In two words; you can’t.

You don’t get options with email. When your message arrives in their inbox, you get a subject line or headline. That’s it. You can use all the latest technology you have at your fingertips. But the fact is simple: Sometimes a headline just isn’t enough.

In addition, splashy emails with multiple attachments aren’t seen as trustworthy. People are suspicious and careful in the online world. This caution is entirely to the detriment of your marketing message. In fact, even the simple words you write might be doubted. After all, you can’t believe everything you read on the Internet, right?

Direct mail is not faced with these same problems. You can “attach” as much as you want without setting off alarms. Consumers are bound to trust your direct mail marketing piece much more than they would a suspiciously fancy email.

4. Enhanced delivery

A direct mail piece has the opportunity to be much more impressive than a simple, boring email. While this is not always necessary (sometimes a straightforward postcard can suffice), it’s definitely nice to have so many options.

Here’s an example: Around the holidays, I receive Christmas cards from friends and family across the country. As soon as I grab my stack of mail, I recognize them. They’re the ones with bright red or green envelopes. I would never dump that in the trash without looking at it! (I look for pastel-colored envelopes around Easter, too.)

Many people have these built-in receptors for something special that tells them that a mail piece is worth opening. You can duplicate these cues to give your mail piece a better chance of making it to the table. Colored envelopes are only one example. You can also use a “handwriting font” for the address to make your sales piece look like personal mail.

If you want to stand out to your prospects, you must do something different than what your competitors are doing. Everyone can send an email, but direct mail is something special these days. Not only that, research shows that direct mail connects with consumers on a deeper emotional level and provides a much higher response rate.

Don’t let anyone tell you again that email has ruined the direct mail industry -- it’s simply not true!

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Tags: orthodontic marketing, orthodontic practice, marketing

Personalize Your Orthodontic Direct Mail with Variable Data Printing

Posted by Ben Ohanesian on Thu Mar 26, 2015 @ 10:00 AM

Variable Data Printing (VDP) is a form of digital printing in which text, graphics and images may be changed from one piece to the next using information from a database or external file. By adding personalized data for each individual client, VDP is a valuable business tool you can use to increase the return on investment from your printed campaigns.

Use of Variable Data on a direct mail piece is an effective way to reach out to your prospective clients, putting your orthodontic practice brand directly in their hands and engaging them with content that speaks directly to them. VDP allows you to increase the effectiveness of your direct mail marketing by making your printed pieces even more personal, targeting specific segments of your client base.

MancusoOrVarCard415 1

VDP gives your direct mail marketing new life, allowing you to carefully craft your printed pieces to speak directly to your would-be clients. Ther choice of fonts, colors, images, layout and text all affect how well your direct mail is received. A tailored piece that includes some personalization will make those clients feel valued and is more likely to grab their attention.

Planning a Variable Data Campaign
It is important to invest time and effort in planning your campaign before going to press. To help plan out your VDP, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What Do I Want to Achieve?
    Is the point to sell a specific service or promotion, build client loyalty, or announce your new office opening? Have a clear idea of what you want.

  • Who Am I Targeting?
    Think carefully about how you are going to segment your client base. Are you going to group them by age, household income, number of children in the household?

  • How Will I Measure Success?
    To know how well your variable data is working, you'll need to track the response to your orthodontic marketing campaign. Think about whether your clients will scan a QR code, redeem a coupon, visit a link, like you on Facebook—you can use all of these to measure how well your campaign is doing.

  • Where Will I Get the Data?
    VDP is only as good as the data you put into it. Before going to print, check your data very carefully—a small mistake can make a bad first impression.

  • What Do They Want?
    A good variable data campaign is one that speaks directly to the wants, needs and concerns of each client.

How to Use Variable Data Printing:

  • Use personalized QR codes or URLs for offers—for example, a grocery store chain might have their QR codes link to different offers for young single shoppers than for large families.

  • Reflect demographic details such as age, profession and marital status—for example, a holiday cottage business might include information on family activities for some customers, and information on night life for others.

  • Reflect demographic details such as age, profession and marital status—for example, a holiday cottage business might include information on family activities for some customers, and information on night life for others.

  • Include details such as special offers or contact details that are specific to a geographic location—for example a car dealership might include each customer's local branch or the name of the salesman they usually deal with.

Click here to find out more about increasing your response rate with Variable Data Printing.

VDP means you can offer each of your prospective clients a personalized, meaningful piece of direct mail that will appeal to them and make your practice stand out. Instead of just another postcard from just another vendor, your orthodontic office will become a valued correspondent, someone that your readers want to respond to, which means stronger client relationships and better profits for you.

At GetOrthoCases, orthodontic practice marketing is what we do and ALL that we do.

 

 

 

 

Tags: orthodontic marketing, orthodontic practice, orthodontic patients

Tips To Yield A Higher Conversion With Direct Mail

Posted by Ben Ohanesian on Tue Mar 24, 2015 @ 09:15 AM

Today you can choose to have just about any form of paper communication delivered electronically. Is direct mail marketing still worth considering? Well, Google certainly seems to think it is! Despite being a mega-leader in technology, Google still embraces strategic mailing for some of its ad campaigns. If it works for a technology leader like Google, imagine what optimizing your direct mail marketing strategy can do for your orthodontic practice!mailbox 28939 1280

Tips to Boost Online and Offline Conversion

Direct mail has the unique advantage of being able to drive traffic to both your office and your Web page. Many businesses are utilizing a digital-only marketing strategy, which gives your orthodontic practice more room to stand out in the mailbox. The top-of-mind awareness created by a physical mail piece means that more recipients than you would expect will be likely to check out your website. With that in mind, make sure you take the following steps to make your direct mail campaign as effective as possible:

• Design your mailers to match your existing "brand" image, social media accounts, your website and your office.

• Use address databases to create a highly-targeted mailing list of the demographic you want to target.

• Get more people to look at your mailer instead of throwing it away immediately, by choosing a simple format, i.e., a postcard.

• Include a QR code so smartphone users can access your landing page quickly, rather than having to remember and type in your URL.

• Keep the URL too, but make it simple and easy to remember. After all, not everyone uses QR codes.

• Let the postcard mailer work like a coupon for an in-office discount. This also enables you to track the success of your postcard mailings.

Don't limit yourself to thinking that e-advertising just drives Web traffic, and direct mail only brings in live customers. Expect and prepare for increased traffic at either venue. All parts of a strong marketing strategy should complement each other.

Optimizing Your Practice's Direct Marketing Strategy


There will always be those who scoff at the relatively low response rate of direct mail. However, regarding cost-per-lead generated, direct mail marketing is hard to beat, and the response quality is often very good. Many consumers are also more open to receiving mailed advertisements than marketers think they are.

There are several ways you can optimize your direct mail campaign:

• Clarify your call to action—from "check out our site" to "Offer applies to the first 15 patients only!"

• Time your mailings to coincide with real events. For example; October is National Orthodontic Health Month. A postcard featuring an October-only discount that hits your target homes in early to mid-September is informative, and also creates a sense of urgency to call your office now.

• Commit to consistent, consecutive mailings. One or two mailings may not be enough to initiate an identifiable increase in your practice's new patient starts. Continue building your area's brand awareness of your orthodontic practice, and don't get discouraged if you don't see results right away. Repetition in your marketing efforts is vital to long-term success in building your practice.

• Look for ways to make a personal connection. Consider customizing your mail pieces, putting in the addressee's name (instead of "Current Resident"). Direct mail with the recipients’ name featured prominently in the headlines definitely grabs the readers’ attention, and increases the likelihood that the mail piece is read. Learn more about personalized direct mail marketing for your practice.

Though it can be tempting to try to reach every household in your area, it would be wise to target specifically those who already want or need your services. That way, you can focus on sending a message that appeals directly to them, instead of being too vague (for example, a pediatric dentist should target families with children, not childless adults). With specific targeting, your word-of-mouth will reach far beyond your initial mailings.

Every postcard mailing you send should build your brand. Use words and images that people already associate with you, building consumer trust. Make sure the photos do most of the talking, so you can keep your copy short and sweet, and dedicated to essential information.   

Your Ortho Practice Can Benefit From Direct Mail


What are the benefits of employing this strategy? Two words: it works. Consumers will have your physical postcard in-hand, prompting them to look at your promotion more carefully than when viewing a website where they can jump from page to page (getting easily distracted).

Knowing the power of direct mail can definitely give you an edge over the competition in your area. Go ahead and give direct mail marketing a try!

At GetOrthoCases, orthodontic practice marketing is what we do and ALL that we do.

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Tags: orthodontic marketing, orthodontic practice, orthodontic new starts