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Direct Mail Money Waste


Direct Mail Money Waste

They’re a staple of kitchen tables all across the country. Postcards with photos of happy families, smiling toothbrushes and approachable people wearing lab coats, all offering a free consultation or whitening or adjustment – the direct mail medical postcard. Healthcare professionals have been using them forever, despite the fact that direct mail advertising is expensive and ineffective.

Direct mail marketers may point out that direct mail generates a marginally better response rate than email – 25 percent compared to 23 percent – but they’ll probably neglect to add that direct mail is hundreds of times more expensive than email. Instead of stretching your budget on printed materials and mailing lists, you could be funneling those promotional dollars toward an effective email campaign AND a better website AND a compelling social presence.

To put things in perspective, the average CPM (cost per thousand impressions) for a direct mail campaign is $26-27. On Facebook, the average CPM for health and beauty is $1. You’re spending a fraction of the cost to reach the same sized audience. What’s better is that social ads allow you to specifically target users with self-reported data – which is an incredible boon if you’re a pediatrician wanting to reach parents with families, a physical therapist looking for athletes or even a dentist looking for people who love candy and soda.

There’s a term in advertising called “effective frequency,” which corresponds with how many times someone has to see an ad before it makes an actionable impact. There’s an old saw that you need to follow the “Rule of 7” and get your message before customers seven times before they buy. By converting your direct mail budget to digital, you could expose your brand to potential new patients 26 times!

The best thing about digital marketing is that it doesn’t even have to be paid! By analyzing your existing web presence, savvy marketers (like the ones at Practice Appeal) can give you digital facelift that cause you to shoot up the ranks of organic search. The higher you appear in organic search, the more impressions you’ll have on people who already want what you offer, which leads to higher patient flow.

You can follow the data, or you can send out another picture of a smiling toothbrush that just ends up in the recycling.

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