I am often asked from nurse practitioner entrepreneurs if direct mail is worthwhile or not, and my answer is “it depends.”
Direct mail is basically mailing off small post cards/fliers/information sheets in bulk to thousands of people within a defined geographical area. Typically, these direct mail campaigns can be tailored to a specific demographic such as household income, certain neighborhoods, age, and various other broad target information (YOUR TARGET MARKET). But do they work?
It depends predominately on the service you are offering and the age of your target market.
If you are a consultant or coach and target specific businesses, then direct mail works great. Business to business direct mail is still alive and well. If a direct mail campaign is done correctly, then it can pay off BIG TIME for the consultant or coach.
If you operate a practice that targets individuals over the age of 45, then direct mail can work great. Younger generations, especially those under 40, do not put much stock into direct mail. We typically just throw away everything in the mail unless it is personally addressed or a bill. Individuals over 45 though will typically read through their mail, even if it is junk. So, age is very important.
Additionally, what service you are offering is very important. Primary care direct mail campaigns will do better than an IV infusion direct mail campaign simply based off the age of your target demographics. Services tailored to women will outperform those tailored to men become women open and read direct mail more than men do.
With all of that said, direct mail typically has a 29% return on investment according to various marketing statistics. Personally, I have done direct mail campaigns with my men’s health clinic, and it was an actual LOSS. Essentially, it was a total waste of money. But my demographic are men between the ages of 30-50 and really don’t fit the direct mail “specifications.”
Direct mail can be expensive, but it can pay off if done right. Use the tips above to determine if direct mail would work for your practice or not!