Ensuring Business Success with Direct Mail Postcards

Patient or client loyalty is an important component of your franchised practice or business success.

For example, a patient who feels valued and welcomed by their chiropractor's office is more likely to refer the franchise to their friends, and will likely enjoy a better overall experience during their visit.

Direct Mail PostcardsGreeting cards, appointment cards and health calendars are effective brand marketing solutions that can greatly enhance patient or client loyalty and encourage referrals.

For patients who have recurring appointments such as a dental cleaning or an eye care exam, appointment cards are a great way to remind them of their next scheduled visit. Not only does this reduce the risk of forgotten or missed appointments, it also gives patients an opportunity to reschedule if necessary. Include information such as the date and time of the appointment, and contact information for rescheduling such as a phone number, email address or website link.

Direct Mail postcards can also be used to invite your customers to refer their friends, families and colleagues to your franchise. If you operate a small business or part of a larger franchise, special incentives, such as a promotional discount or a free consultation for an additional service, can be used to encourage referrals. Since referrals are a cornerstone for any real estate, financial, or home services business, these cards can have a significant impact for minimal cost.

Direct Mail PostcardsWhen choosing appointment cards, recall cards, marketing postcards or calendars, look for designs that are attractive and eye-catching and decide something that reflects your brand personality. High quality cards will stand out in the mail, reducing the risk that they'll be mistaken for junk mail or sales flyers, and increasing their potential impact. Take a look at our selection of postcards and calendars for some great ideas for managing your practice or business's brand.

Colorful Magnet designs attract attention to your brand

Stand out. Make a lasting impression.

Magnets are useful tools. Increase exposure of your practice or business, improve retention and boost referrals by distributing personalized can't-miss Magnets.

Colorful Magnet designsMagnets make practice marketing effortless. Send a couple Magnets home with every patient for easy sharing with friends and family. Patients or clients will put them where they'll see them most. Include them with invoices or mail them along with welcome cards. They also make great business cards. And, whether it's a stainless steel fridge, cubicle wall, mirror or window, Magnets can be removed and reused over and over again.

Calendar Magnets give your name year long staying power. Calendar Magnets advertise your practice countless times to loads of people through the year. They keep your information in view and handy for scheduling. Displayed prominently at home and work, the referral opportunities are endless.

Go big and bold with Oversized Magnets that can't be ignored. The commanding size of Oversized Magnets makes them a client and business favorite. Patients love how much paper these large magnets can secure. Businesses love the enormous personalization area.

Die-cut Magnet designsCool die-cut shapes and fun styles grab attention. No one can miss Die-cut Magnets. So no one can miss seeing your practice or business information. Increase visibility of your name with eye-catching Die-cut Magnets.

The 3 R's of Attracting New Patients

Patient acquisition is the process of attracting and then accepting new patients to your franchised practice for treatment.

While some dental professionals are happy to have every potential patient in town, the most successful practices target their acquisition activities to go after the right ones. The "right" patient understands your treatment plans, wants what you're offering (in whole or part), wants it now or soon, has the ability to pay and pays for it (whether they use insurance to help them or they pay out of pocket - doesn't matter). And, if their overall experience is satisfying, they are a great new patient referral engine, telling family and friends about your services.

Patient AquisitionNew patients are the lifeblood that keeps dental practices running smoothly. Patient acquisition is financially beneficial to a practice as it counters the natural progresses of existing patient attrition and when done at a more robust rate, increases the total yearly fees that are billed to your practice.

A referral is typically when someone you have a relationship with, recommends your practice and services to a potential new patient. Patient referrals provide your office with an instant personal connection to a new revenue prospect. Because of this personal connection, those referred tend to stay longer than a patient referred by unconnected media resources. Internal dental patient referrals are the largest source of new patients for practices. This is followed by networking (fraternal, philanthropic, social organizations, locals schools and PTO's) and professional referrals from colleagues, either general doctors or treatment specialists.

There are also a number of website directories (like dentalreferral.com) you can employ to supplement your patient acquisition efforts. These sites match patient needs with the right dentist by easy-to-use online search tools.

Referrals are one of the most affordable ways to acquire new patients. A patient referred by an existing patient is 60% more likely to refer another person, become a lifelong patient and have immediate loyalty to your practice - based on the recommendation of a family member or friend.

There are 3 key steps in the referral process:

  • Request - educating on your referral program and then requesting participation.
    • Teaching your patients and your office staff how to refer is the first step. You can always start simple with a basic referral card. Then use your practice management software to track referrals. Follow up on each lead as quickly as possible to demonstrate your professionalism and care.
  • Reminder - reminding patients that you value their referrals.
    • Utilize all contacts you have with a patient to continually remind them how important their referrals are to your practice. Start from when they walk in the door, with your signage and front office staff, right through to when they leave carrying a supply bag or at home when they get your statement in the mail. The more frequent the referral message, the more memorable it will be with patients.
  • Reward - providing an incentive or gift for the referral.
    • Before you start, research laws in your state or province in regards to gifting patients. You can start easy by sending a personalized thank you card or have tangible rewards geared to the demographics of your patient base. Movie tickets are great for teens or a gift card to a coffee shop for senior patients. Some practices also like to reward with a credit on a patient's account. But for your best patients, with healthy mouths and great dental benefits, a grab bag of gift cards to local restaurants or the movies creates a bigger "wow" factor.

So here is how you can get things going at your practice:

  • Establish a referral program.
    • Establish a referral program for your practice and coin a catch phase like "Share a Smile" to brand all of the collateral advertising pieces. Print flyers or brochures and display them in your waiting area, operating and hygiene rooms in a prominent location, and encourage your team to mention the program to each patient that comes in for treatment. Don't forget to highlight specific incentives that patients could receive if they send referrals your way. These incentives could take the form of anything from a discount on dental services to an unrelated "fun" item, like a gift certificate to a local restaurant or movie theater.
  • Ask for referrals.
    • Ask for referrals. Many of your patients may not "take the hint" and start referring people to your practice. Be proactive and train your staff to ask every patient if they have anyone they would like to refer to your practice. Make sure they leave with a flyer or brochure, and give them the option of filling out a referral card in the office. Emphasize that their referrals won't be required to buy anything or make an appointment - you'll simply be reaching out.

Not everyone on your staff will be comfortable asking for referrals so make sure to provide script options to those not comfortable. A great way to frame the request is "Did you know we are now accepting new patients like you? Do you have any friends, family or coworkers who are looking for a good dentist? Please ask them to mention your name when they call so we can thank you with an "X" gift."

Include referral cards with all mailings.

Always include referral cards with invoices, statements and any direct mail marketing materials you send out. For example, if you mail a brochure or a newsletter to patients or area residents, include several tear-off referral cards inside.

  • Give away freebies.
    • Give away freebies, such as personalized pens, toothbrushes or magnets, with your contact information and website address printed on them. These items can usually be printed in bulk at an affordable rate, and they can be a surprisingly effective way to generate new interest in your services.
  • Include a referral link on your website.
    • Include a referral link on your website, where visitors can simply type in the names and contact information of individuals that may be interested in your services. Remember, the easier you make the referral process, the more likely your patients are to participate. Don't forget to mention any incentives you may offer via your referral program.
  • Respond to inquiries quickly.
    • Respond to any inquiries you receive from interested parties as quickly as possible. People will appreciate the personal care and attention, and it may make them inclined to start referring their family and friends immediately - perhaps even before their first appointment is scheduled.
  • Send handwritten postcards, greeting cards or thank you notes.
    • Show patients you care by sending handwritten postcards, greeting cards or thank you notes. Coming from their dental professional, this level of personal commitment may take many people by surprise - and that's a good thing! Try sending these personalized notes to new patients after their first visit, as well as patients who have just started or finished a significant treatment or procedure. You may also want to get into the habit of reaching out to all your patients during the holidays, to thank them for their loyalty - or on their birthday to acknowledge this special day. Keep your notes short, and always send them as quickly as possible after an appointment or meeting.
  • Most experts agree that a mature dental practice should allocate 3-5% of fees revenue to marketing. Recall, reactivation, other internal marketing, and marketing to existing patients for referrals and additional services in the office and at home should account for a third, or 1-2%, and two thirds, or 2-3%, to external marketing and brand marketing to potential "prospective patients". Newer or less mature practices can likely use a lot more external marketing than 2-3% of fees.

    A dental practice or franchise should always craft a business plan to guide their marketing efforts. This plan should detail projections on patient counts for both existing and new patients, along with revenue targets. A well-structured and supported referral program should be generating 60% of the plan's new patient target on an annual basis.

    Practices can easily keep track of referrals using their practice management software. Run a report, at least twice a year, on the number of referrals by source, so you can thank/reward your best referral sources.

    Successful practices tailor their patient acquisition activities to go after the right patient - and the same holds true when looking for a partner to help with your referral program. First, decide what you want and how much work you want to handle internally. Do you need a consultant to give you advice? A business partner who can provide a turnkey solution? A supplier to print your marketing materials? Someone you can source patient rewards from? Fit is key - so select a company you can trust, one that will be there in the future and not disappear in the middle of your project. Make sure they have knowledge and experience to consult, share their experiences of what other dental practices are doing, and stand behind their promises.

    Use your local professional network or your state dental association and ask for recommendations. Then arrange a face to face or phone meeting to make sure there is a good fit. If it is a turnkey provider have them provide samples of programs they have done for other offices and request that they share results (without breaking any confidentiality). Ask for client references and contact them with a set of prepared questions. Once you have settled on the right consultant or business partner, develop a work plan with quarterly follow up once the program has been implemented. If you are not happy with results, talk honestly. The foundation of any relationship is good communication.

Leverage Newsletters for More Loyal Patients and SAVE

Patient loyalty + patient attraction = success

In this hyper-connected world, keeping in touch with patients in a way that's both consistent and meaningful is vital for your success. Newsletters let you leverage exactly the information patients need to stay engaged and loyal to your practice.

What if you could engage your existing patients in a way that truly added value to their lives?

What if you could grab the attention of prospective patients, too?

Turn your "what if's" into reality with Newsletters and SAVE 25%* on your first mailing.

Ways Newsletters engage your patients every quarter.

Repetition is key when it comes to sending the right messages to patients, and what you communicate in the office isn't enough to keep patients loyal long term. Sending quarterly Newsletters lets you inspire and inform them in ways that will keep your practice top-of-mind:

  1. Keep them up-to-date on all your latest procedures and events
  2. Inspire them to prioritize their dental health by sharing leading-edge news and tips
  3. Include special offers like free services and discounts to attract and retain patients

Sending quarterly Newsletters is easy - we've created fresh, new designs for every season. Plus, you get a message and image library crafted by dental industry experts for you to adapt to each mailing. You can even leverage your own, unique messages and images.

With Mailing Services, you don't touch a thing!

Don't forget, with SmartPractice Mailing Services, you don't have to lift a finger when it comes to mailing your Newsletters. We can do it for you every quarter for less time and money than you'd spend on your own. Call 1.800.522.0800 Ext. 7595 for a Mailing Services Consultation at no charge.

Want to learn more about how to make Newsletters work for your practice? Our friendly Customer Care team is here to help you. If you're currently using Newsletters, let us know how your patients are responding by emailing info@orderingsmart.com. Your feedback helps us serve you better!

*Quote Offer Code NEWS25 to receive discount. Special offer cannot be combined with any other promotions. Valid only on newsletter product. Postage not included. Minimum of 4 quarterly mailings a year. Subject to Mailing Services terms and conditions.

5 Essentials Steps to Building Strong Patient or Client Relationships

As the upcoming summer season draws nearer, many practices or businesses are starting to energize their marketing efforts in an attempt to gain more business. Marketing your practice or business and ensuring your brand receives the best exposure it can get is very important during this time of year. However, one key thing to remember is making sure not to forget about the one factor that is crucial to your continued success your patients or clients!

A practice or business cannot function without patients or clients and the success of your marketing efforts cannot be measured without this one important factor. Advertising, online marketing and social media are all important channels to help expose and build your brand; however, learning how to nurture your patients or clients and build strong relationships is essential to the success of a practice or business.

Here are a few things you can do to help strengthen patient or client relationships in your business or practice:

  1. Send a welcome or thank you card FC04116 Thank You card

    Sending welcome and thank you cards are great to build trust, especially if the patient or client is new to your practice or business. Showing your appreciation can go a long way and your new patient or client will appreciate you taking the time express your gratitude. Sending these cards will help keep your practice or business name top-of-mind after a patient of client has left your office.

  2. Send a holiday greeting card Golden Greetings Holiday Postcard

    It is never too early to plan for the holidays. Holiday greeting cards are great for expressing your gratitude for patient or client loyalty. Your patients or clients will feel good that you took the time to send them something that doesn't involve selling your products or services.

  3. Asking for feedback or opinions

    The best way to find out how your practice or business is performing is by directly asking for it. Many people enjoy giving opinions and feedback because it makes them feel valued. Asking for advice from patients or clients gives them the sense that they are involved in your practice or business and that what they have to say can make a difference.

    Retro Swirls From office signage

    Obtaining patient or client feedback can be done in several ways. You can directly ask for testimonials or reviews, implement a survey, or use a suggestion box.

    SmartPractice offers a 5 Star Starter Kit for Reputation Management that includes front office signage, review request postcards, email banner ads and help claiming your own review sites on Google, Bing, Yahoo, Angie's list, Yelp and Healthgrades.

  4. Have a strong patient or client support strategy and communicate effectively

    There is nothing worse than running a practice or business without a proper patient or client support strategy in place. Patient or client support can help to effectively build strong relationships. Whether it's dealing with a complaint or ensuring that important news are well communicated to your patients or clients, a strong support strategy will help patients or clients feel assured, and establish the fact that you value their business.

    Effective communications with your patient or client can happen in a variety of ways. Using blog postings, social media channels like Facebook or Twitter, newsletters, press releases and sending a postcard, you can provide information and important news about your practice or business to your patients or clients.

  5. Don't forget about your loyal patients or clients

    Many practices or businesses tend to forget about their most valued and loyal patients or clients because they are so focused on reaching out to obtain new patients or clients. Loyal patients or clients are the ones that have the highest return on investment and they are probably the ones that will keep your practice or business running smoothly. Develop a loyalty program that rewards your most valued patients or clients because they are the ones that will bring you more referrals and will advocate for your brand.

Having a good understanding the patient or client loyalty process can help you to plan and execute your relationship building strategies:

People who can use your product or services:

  1. Potential/Prospect patients or clients
  2. First time patients or clients
  3. Returning patients or clients
  4. Regular patients or clients
  5. Loyal brand advocates

Fostering patient or client relationships requires a lot of planning, and proper execution is essential for success. A well thought-out strategy requires a focus on the patient's or client's experience and understanding things from their perspective. Develop a strong patient or client relationship plan today and start measuring your success!

For more Marketing Tips or to view our brand management solutions at SmartPractice and Ordering Smart please visit SmartPractice.com or call 1.800.522.0800

5 Reasons Why You Should use Calendars to Market Your Business or Manage Your Brand

For many Small Businesses, marketing your company can present some challenges and create questions including "what products to use in order to effectively market your business while staying within your budget?". Calendars are an excellent brand management solution as they advertise your services year round, and with a variety of calendar formats to choose from, you can easily select the calendar type that suits your style and budget.

CA03129 Promotional Calendar

5 Reasons Why You Should use Calendars to Market Your Business:

  1. Clients find them Useful

    Giving your clients a promotional item they can use is more effective because they are likely to put your calendar in a very visible and well trafficked location - helping to re-enforce your brand.

  2. Increase Brand Recognition

    Using our brand management services, a custom branded calendar becomes very useful. It is often put in a very visible location, reminding your clients everyday of your services and therefore putting your brand and business top of mind. This not only increases client loyalty, but can also help you get more referrals.

  3. Cost Effective

    With a variety of formats to choose from, any business can advertise their services with calendars as there is a type of calendar to suit every budget. Promotional calendars are perhaps the most economical choice costing only $0.35 each while still providing increased visibility and brand recognition year round.

  4. Variety of Designs to Choose From Variety of Branded Promotional Calendars

    Marketing can be very ineffective if the calendar design isn't pleasing to your clients, but not everyone has room in their budget to design something custom. With a variety of professionally designed and eye catching calendar templates to choose from, you can select a design that suits your business brand and personal taste.

  5. Easy to Distribute to Clients

    Calendars are lightweight and small enough that they are easy to distribute to clients. Promotional Calendars fit easily into #10 envelopes and can be sent out with invoices, magnet calendars can be ordered in a lightweight option which allows them to be mailed at a reasonable cost, and wall calendars make great gifts for first time home buyers or clients.

If you're looking for a cost effective marketing and branding solution that will help increase brand recognition and referrals, consider using Calendars and join the number of businesses that have had great results using it to promote their business.

For more Marketing Tips or to view our brand management solutions at SmartPractice please visit SmartPractice.com or call 1.800.522.0800

5 Steps to an Effective Direct Mail Campaign

Direct Mail is an effective way to communicate the features and benefits of your business within targeted audience groups. However, if your campaign is not well thought out then it can result in being ineffective.

Here are 5 of the most important steps to remember when developing a Direct Mail Campaign:

  1. Determine Audience

    Customer SegmentationFirst and foremost, you must determine your target audience, which could be current customers that you wish to invite back into the office, previous customers that you wish to re-connect with, new customers you are prospecting, or a combination. Once you determine your audience you can then begin building your mailing list.

  2. Develop Your Message

    Based on your chosen audience and what you want to achieve as a call to action, will help you in developing your message. Focus on the important features and benefits of your business and try to also highlight a promotion or discounted offer to increase customer response.

  3. Choose a Compelling Direct Mail Piece

    Develop Your MessageIt is important that the direct mail piece itself, reflects the quality of your business. Therefore, using high quality stock and printing that looks professional is essential. In order for the piece to be eye-catching, choose a great design or photo that will peak customer interest.

  4. Decide on Timing

    When you choose to run your campaign will also depend on what the call to action is or the timeline for the offer or promotion. For example, if your offer or promotion is effective during January 1st -March 31st, you may want to send your mailer before and during this time frame.

  5. Follow Up

    Getting Organized A follow up can greatly improve the effectiveness of your campaign, as well as gauge customer feedback. Ways of following up a direct mail campaign are up to you and what fits your business, but typically a phone call or mailing a detailed brochure can serve as a good follow up to a direct mail campaign.

For more Marketing Tips or to begin a direct mail campaign with SmartPractice please visit SmartPractice.com or 1.800.522.0800

Talk to an OrderingSmart Consultant:

1.800.522.0800 ext. 7353

Send us your inquiries

3400 E. McDowell Road
Phoenix, AZ 85008-7899

Get instant help