Why You Should Direct Mail Your Patients (But Not Like Your Dad)

All therapists need quality patients.

Every practice needs a way to attract new clients and retain happy ones.

Whether you’re in business for yourself or employed by someone else, you require a cost-effective marketing method that doesn’t take a lot of time.

If you’re interested in growing your practice by retaining lifelong patients then using direct mail might be an easy solution for you.

Direct Mail is Not Dead

Many practice owners have abandoned direct mail marketing (sending postcards, letters via the post office) because of the perception that digital marketing is better.  There’s an assumption that snail mail is too slow, not measurable, or too expensive.

Despite what you’ve might have heard the Internet hasn’t killed direct mail as a viable way to grow your practice.

In a recent Forbes article Why Direct Mail Marketing is Far From Dead, sending mail directly to clients could be considered superior to other marketing methods. In its analysis report, the Direct Marketing Association states that the response rate of direct mail is 10 to 30 times higher than email.

The recent uptick in the use of direct mail might be due to a reality factor. There is something more personal, emotional or real about handling a tangible object–like a letter or postcard. If you want to get results from your outreach efforts then make an emotional bridge with people you’re trying to reach.

Direct Mail Makes An Emotional Connection

Listen to this, 95% of 18-to-29-year-olds have a positive response to receiving personal cards and letters in the mail. Even this is the generation who grew up reading emails on their smartphones, looks forward to checking their mailboxes.

It feels more human and authentic to go the mailbox to receive a piece of mail. It seems to automatically add more value and credibility to the sender.  It is this emotional connection that makes direct mail so effective in influencing people respond to your offer.

To help you get started, I’ve collected the advice of 10 expert therapists on the email strategies they use to build strong connections with their patients and referral sources. I combine their gems in my Expert Email Marketing Guide.

 

This free guide will help you set up a simple system to send productive emails that engage your prospects and previous patients. It shows you how to set up a process that easily connects with a direct mail service like InKit.

 

Why You Need To Direct Mail Your Patients

 

Here’s why:

  1. 74% of household recipients of direct mail read or scan what’s in their mailbox.
  2. The read rates for advertising mail averaged about 50%– beating Facebook and Google ads by 8X.
  3. Automated direct mail makes the mailing process much easier and faster.
  4. Postcards that are relevant and perfectly timed reduce patient churn.
  5. Mail builds trust and loyalty when integrated with a remarkable patient experience.

You can reach new clients and re-engage previous patients at the mailbox but there is one key– it needs to be RELEVANT.

The old way of sending mail to potential clients was based up demographics, location, income, and yadda, yadda, yadda. Generic mail randomly sent to strangers isn’t an effective way to grow a practice.

More often, it’s a turn off to potential clients if you’re interrupting their lives with unnecessary communication. But before you write off sending mail directly to people I want you to realize three things:

  1. Direct mail is still the best-performing marketing method in getting a response. (10 to 30 times more effective than email!)
  2. Mail is powerful because it can create an emotional connection and lead to immediate action by customers.
  3. Adding a direct mail automation service can encourage reactivation of previous clients because it’s relevant and timely.

How To Automate Direct Mail In 3 Easy Steps

 

1. Use A Customer Relationship Management Platform

If you’re not using a customer relationship management platform (CRM) like HubSpot, Drip, or WebPT’s Reach, it’s a great place to start.  CRM’s are an automated way to manage the interactions that clients have with your practice.

If you’re just starting out or want to keep it simple, an email marketing platform like ConvertKit, Drip or Constant Contact will allow you to record basic client interactions.

At a minimum, you should be keeping track of your patients in a spreadsheet in either Excel or Google Sheets. You can simply export your client list as a CSV file to a direct mail service.

 

2. Group Clients Based Upon Behavior

Group your clients based on their interactions with your practice from the first point of contact to the last interaction. A patient journey includes every step from when they first hear about you to the time when they refer one of their friends.

For example, if a new patient schedules an appointment, they should be entered into your patient onboarding experience. Emails and eventually postcards will be sent to each patient at specific times during their patient journey.

If a satisfied patient gives you a high Net Promoter Score (NPS) they should be placed in a group to receive regular follow-up emails and postcards.  These groups of patients are more likely to refer friends and family to you. Personal touches via postcards help keep you top of mind when the time is right.

 

3. Integrate An Automated Direct Mail Service

An automated direct mail service can schedule postcards to be sent just like emails. You can create custom triggers to send postcards based on client behavior that makes the communication more personal and effective. Automating direct mail campaigns are effortless and traceable so you can see what works and what doesn’t.

Tracking response rates will help tailor your outreach strategies and retain happy clients. InKit, AmazingMail, and DirectMail are automated direct mail services that easily integrate with CRMs.

Many services like InKit have a plug-and-play postcard builder where you create custom postcards to send at pre-determined times. These online services will automatically print and deliver your direct mail in record time. Simply click on “send” and your product arrives in your client’s hands in 4-5 days.

Check out my Expert Email Marketing Guide to learn how relevant, timely communication can fill up your schedule with quality patients that tell their friends.

This free guide will help you set up a simple system to send productive emails that engage your prospects and previous patients. It shows you how to set up a system that easily connects with a direct mail service.

3 Key Takeaways

  1. Direct mail is still very powerful even in our digital age. Integrating an automated direct mail service saves time and money.
  2. Managing client interactions with your practice allow you to send relevant and timely mail that connects emotionally with people that gets results.
  3. Sending postcards to interested clients over several months can bring in new patients when the time is right.

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