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Dental Practice Marketing, Creating Direct Response Advertising

Jun 9, 2008
In direct respose advertising, there are 4 things (Acronym AIDA) you should consider both when putting a piece together, or planning your method for handling the response. I'll take you through these 4 steps, and cover both the design, and response considerations.

A = Attention

Design: This is the first thing you need to get when someone looks at your direct response piece. THis is why the Headline and USP are so important to your practice. IT will grab the correct prospects attention, and make them respond... or move onto the next step.

Response: Some prospects will respond just because your piece grabs their attention. What this means is your team will have to explain much of the piece to them. The offer, your office, and really work at selling the appointment. This makes it important to have everyone on your team know the marketing piece.

I = Interest

Design: After you have their attention, you need to build a connection with the prospect. Use benefits in your copy to build interest in your practice and why the prospect should respond. This is where you can include testimonials and credentials (years in service).

Response: If someone responds after their interest has been gained, your team may have to answer a few specific questions to sell the appointment. They want your services, but are not yet sure if your office is the right fit. This makes it important for your team to know all the specifics about your practice, and the proceedures.

D = Decision

Design: You really need to make an offer, and have a deadline. This will help to speed the prospects decision to take advantage of your services. The offer and deadline are the nail in the coffin of the decision making, and serve to lead into the final phase of response.

Response: If a person responds at the decision stage, they may be sold, but unsure. They will need to be keyed in on the deadline of the offer, and the exclusivity as well. This person wants your services, but is hesitant to make a commitment. This makes it important to have a team that is not afraid to ASK for the appointment, and close the deal.

A = Action

Design: TELL THE PROSPECT WHAT TO DO. If you want them to call, tell them. If you want them to email, tell them. Don't simply print a phone number, and hope they figure it out. Tell the prospect what they need to do.

Response: These are the respondents everyone loves. They respond and are already sold, and need no questions answered. At this point it is important for your team to create a bond with the prospect making sure they are tied into the practice. Always collect name, address, and phone number from EVERY prospect whether or not they appoint. It helps ensure the bond with your patients.

As you can see above, there are many differnt ways for someone to respond to your advertisement. Also note that only one way requires no sales skill from your staff. 3 out of 4 ways require your team to know more than just how to answer a phone.

Take these into consideration when mailing a postcard, advertising on the web, or producing a letter, and Also, when hiring staff.
About the Author
James Erickson is the President of EMC Dental Marketing which gives Dentists a resource for turn-key dental marketing programs and dental practice marketing education including new patient attraction, and internal marketing systems. Visit www.EMCdental.com and get a free practice
building kit sent directly to your home or office.
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