Let Your Postcards do the Work for Your Dental Clinic!
Studies have shown that postcards are not effective in conducting dental surveys. However, postcards can be wonderful and unique in other ways for a clinic, especially in increasing patient activations.
simple dental postcard
Postcards can be wonderful and unique but, at the same time, they can be wonderful and unique. In other words, they can seem somewhat peculiar or out-of-place. Prior to sending the postcard, it is better to send a traditional letter which formally introduces you and your clinic. This provides a professional touch which creates a favorable first impression, and which makes the subsequent postcards more credible, more likely to be read and more effective.
As with all your communications, you need to display your logo. This is a symbol or shortcut for your patients and potential patients to easily and readily recognize your clinic. Many people purchase Rolex watches for not only their quality and style but also for the logo (the lettering and the crown symbol). If people can associate a symbol with your clinic then it is much easier for them to associate with your clinic (i.e., to become a patient).
A few weeks after you have mailed your more professional letter (see the first suggestion), you can send out the first of your dental postcards. Postcards are notorious small and inefficient. Half of the card is devoted to completing the address, leaving the remainder for not much more than a Twitter message. If you can get one that is 14cm x 21.5cm then that ought to be sufficient for your needs.
The previous letter ought to be professional, but the subsequent postcards can be more like advertisements. As with all advertisements, you need to have a good headline that intrigues them to read more. The best headlines appeal to the best patients, who are identified as being your ideal demographic, the people who bring the most value to your clinic. If they are families then such a headline could be “Ask about our family appointment plan”.
The title can be good but if the content or message is not engaging then the postcard may be thrown away and/or forgotten. Remember, it is a postcard. It can be longer than a Tweet but shorter than a postcard. Most of all, it needs to focus on one point. Many dentists make the mistake of trying to include every product and service that they provide, including the proverbial kitchen sink. This can lead to confusion and difficulty in reading.
The specifics in crafting the above are to have:
A single, focused message with lots of white space.
A headline with seven words or fewer and which fits on one line. The headline should be written in a font size that is bigger than that of the message.
Some supporting points or examples.
A logo and contact information, both of which should be on all your communications, including your website.
A call to action, such as the above “Ask about our family appointment plan”.
It must not be written in all capitals. People are not used to reading text in this way, and it detracts from the effectiveness of the title.
The name of the clinic and/or dentist should be prominent but not too Let your message do the selling and the reader will find the name.
As in the previous section, use bullet points to emphasize benefits. Many people, even salespeople, do not fully comprehend the concept of benefits. Benefits are what confer advantages to the patient, not to the dental clinic. They refer to the patient, not to why you happen to call yourself the best teeth whitening dentist in Chennai. People simply do not believe such wild and extravagant claims, and your message will be ignored.
It is a good idea to refer the reader back to your website to have more information. Again, it is impossible to have the contents of a blog post on a postcard. However, you can introduce a topic, make it intriguing and then state that more information can be found at your blog post (incorporated into your website) or on one of your webpages.
A great statement revolves around making a great topic more attractive and relevant. For example if your postcard is about your teeth whitening programme then you can discuss one issue and then refer the reader to your article or post about “5 things that you need to know before beginning a whitening programme”.
The size of the logo is ambiguous, and open to controversy. One SEO source recommends that the logo should be 30 to 50% of the size of the dental postcard.
Most postcards are from the locality. For example, if you are a dentist in Kolkata then postcards often feature Howrah Bridge, Victoria Memorial, the Maidan, the National Museum or similar places. If the SEO source is suggesting that you have custom-made postcards, with your clinic and/or logo in lieu of Howrah Bridge then I wholeheartedly agree. You can, and should, have 100% of that side (or 50% overall) devoted to your logo or clinic.
However, if the source meant that it should be 30 to 50% of the handwritten side then that is excessive. The address portion already takes up at least 25% of that side. If your logo takes up to 50% of the size of the postcard then that leaves little more than a Tweet for a message. If the logo is to be included on the hand-written side then I would advocate that it be no more than 25% of that side, and similar to the “Titanic” message on this postcard.
As with all advertising, the key to success is in repetition. After all, you did not buy your first Maaza after seeing it advertised for the first time. It took several viewings and greater familiarity with the product before you made the purchase and drank it.
As with all advertising, you do not even have to change the message of the postcard. Again, the recommendation is to send one every several weeks. By that time, at least 95% of the people will have forgotten that they even received a postcard from your clinic, and 95% of the remainder will have forgotten its message.
As with the Maaza (and other) commercials, the power of advertising lies in repetition until there is a familiarity and then acceptance of the product or service. In your case, of your dental clinic.