Direct Response Mailings – 4 Ingredients to Bring Response

Even with the rise of internet commerce, a good sales letter can still do good work for you.

Even the most sophisticated, skeptical, even jaded prospect can be drawn into a well-formulated package – but what makes a package well-formulated? I go back to the fundamentals that seem to stick around from the days of marketing maestros, Ogilvy and Caples, to today’s enterprises-

Here they are:

1. Know your prospect.

The most important ingredient for any successful direct mail package (or any advertising) is to know who you’re talking to. When it comes down to it, we don’t like to get lost in the crowd. When a copywriter really takes the time to research prospective customers, understand what they’re concerned about, what interests them, what excites them, that copywriter can write a package that really speaks right to them.

And when the customer gets that package, they know that it was really meant for them – not misdelivered. Furthermore, it immediately makes a strong emotional connection with the customer because it addresses exactly what’s bothering them or what they are yearning for. And this brings me to the second ingredient…

2. Make an emotional, benefits-driven appeal.

If we just bought purely on logic, we would have pretty simple lives: a basic well-rounded meal and a warm bed protected from the elements.

Truth is we buy for much more complicated, and even somewhat messy and inconsistent reasons, rooted in our emotions:

We buy Vitamin D because it alleviates our worries about breaking our hip when we hit menopause and ending up in a nursing home;

We buy a low-energy light bulb because it makes sure that our children and grandchildren can look out on the same beautiful river scene we’re enjoying right now.

We buy things because they promise us a better life and as a marketer you need to be clear that you are offering that promise. But to make sure that you’re not exploiting your prospect and to strengthen your promise you need something more. Which brings us to the third ingredient…

3. Be credible.

This to me is the foundation of good business and copywriting.

While the emotional appeal brings someone into your copy, you still need to offer them a solid, good product. It’s part of doing business right and it’s also part of being profitable.

You see, consumers are increasingly skeptical and sophisticated – with access to a huge amount of information on the web. You have no room to mislead. And yet you have every opportunity to distinguish yourself by providing reliable information on a reliable product.

Bottomline, it costs more money to acquire new customers to keep current, long-standing ones. While you may make a few sales up front based on hype, over the long term those customers will go elsewhere when your product doesn’t meet their expectations.

The most important thing you can do for your business is to build it on solid evidence and an unwavering interest in serving your customers well. This not only brings success to you, it brings good returns to your customers as well. But with all this good convincing, customers have little time and patience with marketing. So make it easy on them – which brings us to the final ingredient…

4. Give your prospects a clear offer and a clear call to action.

Tell your customers in clear terms what they are getting and tell them how to get it. It may seem self-evident to you when you’re wrapped up in getting sales that someone should call, email, click or do whatever you wrote the package to get them to do.

But when someone is poring over your sales materials it helps to give them a clear direction of what to do next. It makes it easier for them to purchase from you and it even gives them a little nudge if they’re waffling a bit.

Put these 4 ingredients together and you’ve got a great sales package.

Dentist Marketing Solutions – 5 Tips For Getting More Patients

Dentists rightfully see themselves first and foremost as professionals performing an important public service: promoting positive dental health for the communities in which they serve. What they are not traditionally as good at is marketing themselves effectively. The reasons for this are many: some dentists resist marketing because it somehow seems out of step with the Hippocratic oath. Others support the idea of stepping up their marketing activities in principle but just aren’t sure how or where to start.

The bottom line is that marketing in and of itself is not antithetical to what it means to be a responsible doctor. In fact, if you believe in the value of your services, you could say that you owe it to yourself, your staff, your family and your community to more effectively get the word out about your services through effective dental marketing solutions.

Here are 5 tips for getting more patients via effective dental marketing solutions:

Tip #1: Target high-response prospects such as new movers with direct mail campaigns:

Direct mail can be an very cost-effective way to get the word out about your practice to the prospects within driving distance of your office. Many dentists are understandably wary about direct mail because of anticipated low response rates. However, there is a way to drastically improve response rates: specifically target new movers in your area. New movers are simply the people who have recently moved into your neighborhood – either into apartments or homes – and who are therefore much more likely than average to be on the lookout for a new dentist. In fact, research shows that new movers are 4 to 8 times more likely to respond to direct mail advertising than are longtime residents.

Tip #2: Offer prospects promotions and coupons:

When advertising via direct mail, it is always wise to offer special promotions, coupons or other incentives to prospects. Sound too costly to try? Think again: imagine taking a slightly lower margin (i.e., higher cost) on a new patient’s first visit and in exchange for effectively hooking them for multiple future visits. From a cost-benefit standpoint, your dental practice will be much better off by gaining these prospects’ recurring business – even if you have to take a small cost hit in the short term. Every new client is potentially worth hundreds or thousands of dollars per year to your practice, so leveraging promotions and coupons is a smart way to capture those dollars.

Tip #3: Identify something that sets you apart and promote it:

One of the golden rules of any good marketing plan is setting oneself apart from the competition. There are likely many other dental practices in your area that are competing for the same prospective patients you are. You need to find a way to set yourself apart. You can accomplish this without resorting to gimmicks like standing on your head or posing with Siberian tigers in your ads! The key is to home in on some key brand identifiers that will set apart your practice from the others in your area. For example, try becoming proficient at a particular cosmetic dentistry technique. Or, simply become known as the bright smile dentist or the kid-friendly dentist in your area. Your prospects will identify with your new image and be more likely to give you a try.

Tip #4: Train reception staff on how to present your services verbally in an effective way:

Ask yourself: who are the first persons to interface with your prospects? That’s right: it is your phone attendants and your in-office reception staff. To attract, acquire and retain more patients, it is important that your staff knows how to talk to prospects and keep clients happy. This goes beyond making sure that your staff is merely courteous and polite. Rather, you should train them to memorize a script that they can recite concerning your services whenever meeting a new prospect. Of course, there is no need for your staff to memorize the script verbatim – in fact, that could sound creepy or unnatural! Rather, they should learn the script and then create their own variations on that theme that works well for them. The script should be written in such a way that it positions your practice in a unique way (see Tip #3 above) and describes a few of your most important (and lucrative) dental services in a way that does not sound sales-y.

Tip #5: Send your hygienists to get trained on better conversation skills:

While it is your reception staff who first meets and greets your patients, it is your hygienists who spend the most time with them. Even though your patients may be necessarily rendered silent during their routine teeth cleanings, your hygienists should be trained to become excellent conversationalists. Sure, that’s not why you hired them, but consider this: it is a people world, as they say, and employing a staff of interesting, friendly hygienists will keep your patients coming back for years to come.

Consider these 5 tips for getting more patients into your dental chairs. From effective, targeted direct mail campaigns to smart branding and training a courteous, engaging staff, you have at your disposal a range of tools for improving your revenues. These tips will work even if you are on a shoestring budget and even in the face of stiff competition.

Mobile Marketing – The Next Big Trend

Businesses are often on the look-out for alternative forms of advertising that will be fruitful and friendly — meaning, these new mediums have to be effective and budget friendly.For sometime now, a form of mobile marketing known as text messaging has been one of those guerrilla advertising techniques being used by many. But with the development and launch of smartphones and its capability of accessing the internet anytime and anywhere, suddenly text based marketing or SMS has become a hot item again.Studies have shown that over 95% of text messages sent are opened and read within minutes of being received. On this basis alone, it can be safe to presume that mobile messaging is a very efficient method of communication with a high deliverability and read rate. If used for marketing purposes, the messages sent to mobile phones have a higher chance of reaching the intended audience compared to sending the same message using other marketing methods — e-mail marketing, direct mail marketing and even cold calls.Unlike e-mail marketing, text messages are sent directly to one’s mobile phone. And whether we would like to admit it or not, leaving the house without our mobile phones nowadays is unthinkable. Consequently, no matter where the recipient is the marketing message gets to its target immediately.So how do businesses get involved and take advantage of this “renewed” mobile marketing tool?Mobile marketing is personal in nature. Similar to e-mail marketing and social media marketing it involves relationship building. First and foremost prospective clients have to give your business permission to include them in your marketing campaign by choosing to sign up or “opt-in” to receive your messages. Businesses can encourage more and more opt-ins by providing value added services, special discounts and promotions.As simple as this may sound many businesses have overlooked the possibilities offered by such a powerful tool. Once your business starts generating interested leads through “opt-ins” you can begin using these lists to interact with your potential market and hopefully convert them to becoming regular clients. Once they begin to receive your updates, coupons and mobile offers many followers will actually look forward to receiving marketing updates from your business especially if they have received excellent service.Still unsure if mobile marketing will be the next big thing? Well, don’t hesitate because even social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter have special mobile versions of their sites and special applications to enable their mobile users to interact as if they were at their computer. If they see the importance of ensuring mobile users have access to their sites via their smartphones isn’t it time that you ensure that your company’s website is mobile friendly as well? Give mobile marketing a try.