by Randi Drinkwater
What a treat: Someone has sent you a brochure on the newest line of Belgium chocolates. You love chocolate. Coincidence? I think not.
Savvy marketers know that targeting their marketing campaigns to people who want or need their services is 60 percent of the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. After all, a company only has three to four seconds to either capture a prospect’s attention—or not.
If you start talking about fur-lined pajamas to football fanatics, chances are you won’t get past the three-second barometer. The odds are pretty much the same for you as an alternative-and-integrative health-care practitioner.
Direct marketing is one of the most targeted mediums available to marketers, so let’s figure out exactly how to ensure your mail gets opened not tossed.
Rule of thumb for a demand-generation: list, offer, creative—in that order of magnitude. Yes, marketing is a science, designed to ensure that every time you touch a prospect or a client with marketing communications (ads, brochures, direct mail), you are doing it with purpose and structure. This communication should say to your prospect or client, “I know who you are, I know what keeps you awake at night and, by the way, we have a solution to help you resolve that point-of-pain.”
How are you supposed to know who your potential clients are? Think about what makes your best client today. Are they college educated? Do they have disposable income (chances are they will need to be able to cover out-of-pocket expenses)?
Once you know who your best potential client is, if you are to be the lead modality in your area, you must be able to show potential clients why you are a better choice than any of your competition.
Let’s take this one step further. Extending an offer to the recipient of your direct mail gives them a direct request that you want them to take action now. “Free assessment” or “Complimentary 30-minute visit” are just a few of the many soft offers you will want to experiment with.
Your creative is meant to complement and enhance your marketing efforts, not be the marketing effort. If you have a good strategy, focused on knowing who your market is, what they need from you and how you can give that to them, you could send your message to them on a cocktail napkin (not that we would advocate this) and still get a good response.
For more than 25 years, Randi Drinkwater has successfully spearheaded high-impact marketing solutions for such global companies as IBM, Cisco Systems and WorldCom/MCI/UUNet. Today, Drinkwater resides as CEO for Alternative Growth Streams, a marketing-membership website designed exclusively to empower alternative and integrative health-care practitioners to grow their practices and get more patients/clients. She is well known and respected throughout the industry and is the recipient of the “BPAA Atlanta Peach” and “Southeast Addy” award for marketing excellence.