All of us have tried print marketing at one time or another. One form of direct response print advertising is a door hangar. I want to take just a moment to point out the importance and tricks of effective Door Hangars. This is a seldom-used medium that you need to consider adding to your armamentarium.
• Like most forms of print marketing, we need to understand that we have 3 seconds to capture their attention, deliver a message, and tie urgency to it. Eliminate everything that is not essential. If there is anything included that you would elicit a response of: “Of course they do”, leave it out. Like pictures of credit cards, saying you do crowns, fillings, extractions, etc. Of course you do, you’re a dentist. Lose them. Use a logo that appeals to a female’s eye, make a strong offer, give them the website, name and phone number and you are done.
• This particular form of advertising is especially good for apartments and events or targeting a specific area. It is time intensive to distribute, but you are not competing with any other form of marketing. They will see the piece and you need to give them a reason to call you.
• In a sense, door hangars are a post card without the stamp. They need to be large and noticeable. Get aggressive about the design and colors along with the offers.
• I would use this intermittently about 4 times a year to target those areas or events that would be difficult to drip on with other media.
• Keep in mind that this would be in addition to the regular marketing that you would do and would be an adjunct to them. We call this “stacked” marketing. This means that we have great signs, doing the new resident mailer, targeting postcards, and an effective website and now we add the door hangars. As our budget of 3-5% increases in dollars, we add additional marketing.
• The design and offer need to be consistent with what we are already using and slightly different in order to attract a wider range of patients. Use your demographics to determine the offers and style of hangar in order to insure your audience likes what they see. Always, always try to appeal to a female’s eye in the design. Make the offer easy to understand and desirable to the potential client.
• Offers that work are: Convenience, hours, days, take their insurance, work on their children, and a wide range of services. A low cost way to meet you and find out what is wrong is number two. An example would be an emergency visit, necessary x-rays, and consultation for $1. Thirdly, I would offer a FREE Whitening if they pay full fare for the new patient x-rays, cleaning, and consultation. Lastly, a free second opinion or dollar amount off a desired service would work. In fact, I would consider doing two or three offers to attract a wider range of patients.
As a reminder, always consider that if you cannot get a new patient in within 4-10 days (not working days) during peak demand time (7-9 and 3-6 and all day Friday and Saturday) you should not even consider spending money on marketing. Capacity is everything, and without it you are throwing your money away. Last thing: You need to have at least 50% of your patients from internal direct referrals. Failure to have at least half of the new patient count coming from referrals means that you have more people leaving than coming through the front door. Bottom line: People who visit you are not getting their needs met and you are being voted off the island. Don’t look for an external solution to an internal problem.
Michael Abernathy DDS