Post Cards and Your Dental Practice

June 21, 2012 by  Filed under: Advertising 

Doctor Mulligan and his associates were sitting around discussing a problem: the number of patients who forgot to show up for their appointments. It wasn’t as though they were negligent people, or bad customers. They sometimes just got distracted by day to day living and with six months between appointments, it wasn’t that difficult to forget. Nevertheless, there were a lot of appointments being missed and the empty chairs were costing the practice a lot of money.

They decided to call on someone they knew who might be in a position to advise them: a salesman at a full service printing company which happened to be located a block from their new location. They called him and they invited him over to see their new location.

He advised a very simple solution: post cards. A post card would be sent out two weeks before every appointment confirming the date and time. Since people check their mail on a regular basis, nearly everyone who was sent a card would receive and notice it, and almost everyone would stick it in a pocket and then put it somewhere where it would be noticed. The value of a post card lies in the fact that it takes away any excuse for missing an appointment. Anyone who would ignore it would certainly be considered irresponsible and negligent and, since most people do not wish to be perceived that way, the program would work.

Just post cards? How could that work? The rep explained that post cards – both the card itself and the mailing costs – were dirt cheap: pennies each, in fact. So costs were under control. He suggested a few more ideas:

Use a highly professional design and layout for your message. Even though it’s just a post card, and even though it’s cheap to make and produce, your image is reflected in how you present your message. A message that is simple, clear, direct, with a readable font and good coloration will be noticed and taken seriously.

He also suggested that, since many people have anxieties surrounding their trips to the dental office, the theme on the front of the card should be colorful and friendly. This is particularly true if mailing out to children’s appointments. Anything to keep people relaxed is the approach that should be taken.

Advertise your charitable or green connections. If you are committed to public service, environmental action, or charitable work, find ways to advertise that fact on your post card. People will notice, and these activities create good will. It is well established that some people are "affinity buyers" – they do business with those who they think they have something in common with.

The author, who is associated with Conquest Graphics, is a nationally recognized expert on all aspects of printing, print marketing, the internet and social media. Visit for a discussion about using post cards to keep your business running smoothly.

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