Six Key Elements to an Effective Direct Mail Campaign

There are those individuals who believe that direct mail doesn’t work anymore, but our Associates’ numbers tell another story!

Based on our practices’ data, the average cost-per-call is $247 and the cost-per-appointment is $442. Over the past year, direct mail generated an average of 40 percent ROI for our Associates.

In fact, when it is executed properly, direct mail is still one of the top opportunity drivers for our practices! When the Consult YHN marketing team develops direct mail strategies for our Associates, we incorporate the following components:

  • 1. Vendor

Surprisingly enough, there are numerous direct mail vendors that specialize in the hearing industry. We recommend only working with these companies because they understand the market and how to speak to the target audience. All their pieces have been tested and proven to drive results and they will supply the distribution list at no additional cost. Contact us for Consult YHN’s preferred vendor list and pricing.

  • 2. Budget

Our general rule of thumb is to allocate about 45 percent of your total marketing spend towards direct mail. Every practice has their own objectives and goals that may require increasing or decreasing that percentage amount. It is up to the practice owner to decide what he/she is comfortable spending and how much they are already investing in other marketing efforts. All of this information helps us determine what funds are available to put towards direct mail.

  • 3. Distribution

This is a key attribute of the direct mail strategy. If you aren’t reaching the right people in the appropriate zip codes, then it defeats the purpose.

Here are the factors that you should consider:

  • Age — Typically between the ages of 62-65, depending on how many residents it pulls.
  • Income — We suggest adding a household income filter of $30K. If you need more residents to target, you can eliminate that filter, but we don’t recommend increasing it. Keep in mind that most of these individuals are retired and don’t have as much disposable income.
  • Zip Codes — We recommend looking at your database and identifying in which zip codes your current patients live. If individuals in certain zip codes are already visiting and purchasing from the practice, others are likely to do so. Once the targeted zip codes have been identified, send them to the direct mail vendor of choice to confirm how many residents they can mail to in those areas.

Note: Consult YHN offers free territory analysis reports that identify all your surrounding zip codes in a certain mile radius (varies by practice) and where your competitors are in relation.

  • 4. Approach

Now that you have an idea on the budget and who the target audience is, the next step is figuring out how to reach them. When it comes to a successful direct mail campaign, frequency and consistency are crucial. It is best to divide your total audience into groups and rotate them every mailer. Once you’ve reached everyone on your list, continue that rotation until you have sent a direct mailer to your total audience 3–4 times over a 12-month period. You don’t want to inundate them with direct mail, but you need to reach them more than once to make it impactful.

Another key factor is how many pieces you send out with each direct mailer. While direct mail can be successful, the response rates are relatively low (.25 – .5 percent). We recommend sending out 5,000 – 7,500 pieces for each direct mailer (per location) to drive the necessary amount of opportunities to make it worth the investment. If you think you need to send more than that, you may want to divide it up further so there is a steady flow of traffic to the practice on a consistent basis.

If you are curious as to what results you should expect, check out Consult YHN’s direct mail response rate calculator. It will tell you how many calls and appointments you should receive and the gross revenue that you should generate.

  • 5. Messaging

We rely on our preferred direct mail vendors to determine what messages are the most successful and what resonates the best with our audience. Those vendors will customize each message for the specific practice (i.e., logo, contact information, offer, etc.) and we do not recommend interfering with the overall message. When you change the content, it could skew the results. We also recommend incorporating an offer that will entice individuals to come in. Many practices offer a free hearing screening, but that may not be enough of an incentive to get patients to your office.

  • 6. Call Tracking

If you want to know if your direct mail campaign is successful, you must have a call tracking number on it! Even if you have the best front office staff, it doesn’t hurt to have a documented report that captures all the calls that came in. You can purchase your own call tracking number through one of Consult YHN’s preferred call tracking vendors or your direct mail company may provide one to you.

There is a lot of strategic thinking that goes into a direct mail campaign, which is why the Consult YHN Marketing team is here to help! We will work with you to determine the best strategy and if it is driving the necessary traffic and ROI.

For more information about how to optimize your direct mail campaign, click here. You can also calculate your marketing ROI with our new Marketing Calculator.

About the Author

Lindsey Pierangeli joined Consult YHN in 2012 and serves as the Marketing Manager. Previously, she held marketing positions with advertising agencies and worked on accounts such as Amazon and Coca-Cola. Lindsey graduated Magna Cum Laude from Johnson and Wales University.

Seven Things to Consider When You Run Your Next Ad

your-ad-goes-hereWhile it is true that advertisements don’t drive as much traffic as they once did, they are still effective!

In Consult YHN’s most recent ROI report (compiled from Associates’ marketing data), ads brought in a slightly negative ROI (-4 percent) and brought in few opportunities, BUT 72 percent of those completed appointments were converted to sales!

We also noticed that few Associates are running inserts, but those that do generate a positive ROI. In fact, of all the marketing initiatives, inserts delivered the highest conversion from appointments to sales (75 percent)!

The next time you weigh the options of advertising in your local publication, ask yourself these seven questions:

  • 1. Is the ad at least a quarter-page?

WHY: If you want traction, your ad needs to be at least a quarter-page in size. Frequency in the newspaper is a tale of the past — if you want your ad strategy to be successful, run one larger ad once a month instead of smaller, weekly ads. In the hyper-competitive world of advertising we live in, frequency can become white noise. Allocate your budget to a larger ad or an insert that doesn’t run as often in order to make it stand out.

  • 2. Is your logo and contact information prominent?

WHY: You would be surprised how many ads we review that neglect to list a practice’s name or their phone number! Beyond your contact information:

  • Utilize your logo prominently to establish some brand recognition in your community.
  • Calling out a landmark close to your office under your address can help provide easy reference.
  • List your website URL under your address — it helps build your credibility as an expert in your field and your website is typically the place that individuals will go to after they see your ad and before they pick up the phone.
  • 3. Do you have a call-to-action that encourages people to call the practice?

WHY: You need to tell people what to do with the information you give them. As simplistic as “Call today” or “Schedule an appointment” are, you would be surprised how effective these messages can be.

  • 4. Do you highlight what makes your practice unique?

WHY: From a branding perspective, it is important to utilize your messaging to highlight what sets you apart from your competition. With the big box stores and OTC coming into play, you need to tell your audience why they should come to you instead of going to your competitors. Ask yourself if there are any services that you provide that no one else in the area offers. Have you been around longer or have more experience? Are you doing things in the community that no one else is doing? Your audience wants to know!

  • 5. Is there an incentive that will entice them to call?

WHY: Incentives provide an added value to the services you provide. While everyone loves a deal (e.g., money or percentage off a hearing aid device or a free hearing screening), this doesn’t always have to be the offer. For instance, Consult YHN’s wellness initiative encourages practices to have “Lunch & Learn” events or educational seminars within the community, which could be your promotion. Ads receive a greater response rate when tied to an event where there is no commitment to buy vs. advertising an offer for a hearing device.

  • 6. Is there an image that relates to the message?

WHY: It is important to feature an image in your ad that grabs your audience’s attention and visually communicates your message. We prefer imagery with multi-generational families or active seniors that the audience can relate to. If your message is focused on technology, include imagery of up-to-date hearing devices that showcase their sleek design and advanced features.

  • 7. Are you optimizing your ad results?

WHY: Based on industry benchmarks, the average response rate for an ad is 1-2 calls per run. If you run an insert, then it is 10 calls per run (est. 30,000 distribution). The calls may convert to appointments and sales, but that is not always the outcome. While ads are typically seen as a branding awareness initiative, you can promote them through digital marketing or utilize your community network to gain more traction.

You should be allocating about 15 percent of your marketing budget towards print ads. While there has been a decline in response rates, it is still an important touch point that should be integrated into your multi-media marketing plan. If you have questions or need marketing help, the Consult YHN marketing team can review your existing ads and provide feedback, develop and release ads, and assist you with your overall marketing strategy.

About the Author

Lindsey Pierangeli joined Consult YHN in 2012 and serves as the Marketing Manager. Previously, she held marketing positions with advertising agencies and worked on accounts such as Amazon and Coca-Cola. Lindsey graduated Magna Cum Laude from Johnson and Wales University.

What You Didn’t Know About Marketing

Every quarter, we conduct ROI reports for Associates who share their marketing results with us. We then compile those results and look at the data from a broader perspective to determine marketing trends in our industry.

Here are three interesting insights from our most recent ROI analysis that we all can benefit from.

did you know

At 87% digital marketing brings in the highest ROI?

With an average cost per call of $13 and cost per appointment of $99, Digital Marketing has the lowest cost of acquisition and highest ROI.

If you aren’t sure how your digital marketing is performing, contact Consult YHN’s marketing team for a FREE digital marketing analysis and website assessment.

It is important to realize that a strong marketing strategy requires a multi-media approach and a robust digital marketing presence. To drive traffic to your website — and ultimately to your practice — you need to consider other digital marketing strategies above and beyond a static online presence. Consult YHN partners with several digital marketing vendors that offer a variety programs that can boost your digital marketing strategy.

did you know

With $1.4M last year, direct mail brings in the most profit?

Our Associates invested over $1.9 million in marketing and 87% of their profit came from direct mail – $1.4 million over the past year!

If you aren’t making a profit from your direct mail, let Consult YHN’s marketing team help you. We can determine what kind of response you should be getting and do a deep dive on your direct mail strategy to maximize your results.

While direct mail can be costly and response rates have declined, it is still the number one opportunity driver for our Associates. That is why it is important that you have a direct mail strategy in your marketing plan, but one that doesn’t consume your entire budget. We recommend allocating about half of your marketing spend toward direct mail and strongly encourage you to review your results on a consistent basis to ensure you are getting the most out of your marketing dollars.

did you know

Your $1 grows to $1.87 when you have a marketing strategy?

For every $1 our Associates invested in marketing, they made $1.87! Do you know how much money you are making from your marketing?

You don’t need an Consult YHN marketing plan for us to develop an ROI analysis. Send your results to Consult YHN’s marketing team and we will provide you with insight and recommendations.

If you didn’t know, Consult YHN’s marketing team offers consultation and design services for FREE to all our Associates. We work as an extension of your practice to determine the most effective ways to reach new leads and keep you in touch with your existing customers.

Call the Consult YHN marketing line at 800-984-3272, option 8, and one of our account executives will answer all your marketing questions!

Three Trends & Tips to Successful Marketing

The Consult YHN marketing department is here to assist Associates with their marketing efforts and provide recommendations on how to maximize their investment. In addition to the ROI reports that we develop for individual Associates, we compile of a range of hearing industry data to identify marketing trends.

Here are three interesting trends that we recognized in our most recent ROI analysis along with suggestions on what you can do to address the challenges they present.

TREND 1: Your website drives a volume of calls, but very few convert to sales.

WHY: When someone is looking to learn more about a business, the majority of people go online to do their research. If the practice has a call tracking number on their website (we highly recommend this), it will capture all calls that come from that source. The challenge is not everyone is considered a new lead.

WHAT TO DO: If you want to change the ratio of calls and help your website generate more leads, there are two digital marketing tactics that you can implement.

One route is to increase the social relevancy of your practice through online reviews — by asking your patients to submit an online review. In this manner you will help potential customers evaluate your practice and make the decision to contact your office to be treated in the same way that your satisfied customers have been. Not only is it cost effective, but it is the best form of word-of-mouth marketing. If you are interested in learning more, read this article.

Another option is investing in a Pay-Per-Click (also known as search engine marketing) program. When done correctly, it is a quick way to drive more qualified leads directly to your website.  This initiative can be complex, so we recommend working with an experienced contractor. If you already have a provider in mind Consult YHN can review their proposal and provide unbiased feedback. Or, if you are not sure where to begin, one of our preferred digital marketing vendors can get you started. Are you currently enrolled in a PPC program? We can review the results and provide additional insights and recommendations. Looking for more detail? This article explains the concept more fully.

 

TREND 2: Direct mail is profitable, but there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

WHY: When analyzing marketing results, Consult YHN looks at direct mail as a group and also by individual vendors. While some may have better response rates or bring in a higher ROI, there isn’t any single vendor that is tailored to all of our Associate’s needs. A good match really depends on the practice’s marketing objectives and their budget. All of the vendors that we recommend specialize in the hearing industry and offer pieces that have been proven to drive opportunities.

WHAT TO DO: Let’s discuss your needs! If your objective is to fill the schedule, then we may recommend one supplier. If your practice is brand new and has a limited budget, then we would likely suggest another vendor.

If you have an existing direct mail strategy, but you aren’t sure if it is the best approach, call the Consult YHN marketing department. Don’t have a direct mail strategy in place? We can develop a distribution strategy for you that is tailored to your budget. We’ll even serve as a liaison between you and the vendor.

Lastly, the Consult YHN marketing team can provide insight on the results you should be receiving — and if you provide your results data, we will prepare an ROI analysis as well.

 

TREND 3: Print ads still bring in qualified leads, but they are much more effective when they are event-driven.

WHY: While print ads consistently carry the highest cost per call and cost per appointment in Consult YHN’s ROI analyses, they deliver the highest conversion from appointments to units sold and still yield a positive ROI.

In the past, many people thought the more frequently they ran their ads, the more opportunities they would generate. While that methodology worked at one time, ads are now more expensive and compete in a more complex advertising environment.

WHAT TO DO: To get the most value out of your print ads, Consult YHN recommends they be tied to an event such as a lunch & learn or an educational seminar.  The event should be a no-strings-attached occasion targeting people who recognize the importance of hearing health. Ideally the ad should be a full-page but if the budget limits that, go with a half-page size. Anything smaller than that isn’t enough real estate to get a strong message across to your community.

Check out the variety of FREE ad templates that Consult YHN has available to our Associates. The marketing staff can also work with your local publications on negotiating rates, reserving placement and releasing the creative on your behalf.

The only thing that remains constant is change, and marketing is no exception. These trends are relevant and actionable right now and the Consult YHN marketing team is prepared to help you successfully plan and implement timely marketing activities.

If you have any other questions or would like a free marketing consultation, call (800) 984-3272, option 8 or email marketing@ConsultYHN.com.

Marketing Trends You Need to Know.

We all know that marketing can be challenging! At Consult YHN we want to make sure our Associates are getting the most value from their marketing investment. To do that we routinely analyze our customers’ marketing program results.  Then, we assess the performance of the individual practice’s efforts against their marketing plan and provide recommendations for investment adjustments to make it a stronger plan.

In creating these comprehensive marketing ROI reports we’ve noticed some trends. We’ve collected those results and summarized the data to reveal what is working, and what is not!

011718-infographicSo… are you getting the most value from your marketing budget?

Contact the Consult YHN Marketing Department today for an objective review of your marketing ROI. Call 800-984-3272, select Option 8 for Marketing or email us at marketing@ConsultYHN.com today!

Would you like to improve your Social Media presence? Click here to download a copy of our latest white paper. 

 

Marketing Trends You Need to Know.

We all know that marketing can be expensive! At Consult YHN we want to make sure that our Associates are getting the most value from their marketing investment. To do that we routinely analyze our customers’ marketing program results.  Then, we assess the performance of the individual practice’s efforts against their marketing plan and provide recommendations for investment adjustments to make it a stronger plan.

In creating these comprehensive marketing ROI reports we’ve noticed some trends. We’ve collected those results and summarized the data to reveal what is working, and what is not!

AHAA-011369 Marketing ROI

So… are you getting the most value
from your marketing budget?

Contact the Consult YHN Marketing Department today for an objective review of your marketing ROI. Call 800-984-3272, select Option 8 for Marketing or email us at marketing@ConsultYHN.com today!

Would you like to improve your Digital Marketing awareness?
Click here to download a copy of our latest white paper.