A South Florida dental practice vastly improved its capture of new patients and return on investment thanks to a postcard marketing campaign started last year.
Without this changeover, the practice would most probably have "had a significant decline in new patients," says Alvin Middleton, operations manager.
Bonham Dental Arts in Largo, FL began sending out postcards to more demographically targeted prospects rather than just to the Zip code-based lists it had used previously, says Middleton.
During the first two quarters of last year, Bonham's postcards brought in a total of 95 new patients.
Those heightened demographics included such things as radius to the office, gender and household income, "which pinpointed exactly the patient we wanted to reach for our practice," he says.
The costs for the initial 50,000 postcard campaign including postage, printing and lettershop services was approximately $22,000.
"Fortunately, we got one direct mail patient that returned that total investment in one treatment plan, giving the practice a five-to-one return rate on investment rate," he says.
Overall, Bonham sends out about 2,500 prospecting postcards per week, says Middleton.
The postcards promote such services as half-price offers on different procedures, monetary credit for referrals, and others as well as "creative financing with 0% interest."
Response mechanisms include the phone number and web address www.bonhamdental.com. The latter has drawn the most traffic.
"In today's world, I feel that if a prospective patient receives a direct mail piece they will typically first visit our website before they respond," says Middleton.
The practice also has an opt-in email list of about 1,700 patients to whom it sends appointment confirmations and a twice-monthly newsletter.
Bonham also began sending text messages to its patients two hours before each appointment.
Last summer, Bonham began using Facebook and YouTube to help find even more new patients.
"I don't have good stats to say exactly how many patients are from Facebook but if you can get them to like you on Facebook it goes to everyone in their network," says Middleton. "This an in-progress marketing technique for Bonham but definitely a way to reach new audiences."