How Mailing Lists Can Help Reach Prospective Patients

April 6, 2013

Whether using e-mail or direct mail, here's help on getting word out about your medical practice to the people in your community you want as patients.

Have you ever received a piece of mail that grabbed your attention and prompted a purchase? Of course you have! If you are like the rest of us you have done it on numerous occasions and didn’t even realize that direct mail influenced your purchase. Perhaps it’s a flyer, circular, or even a postcard that came to your home or office that introduced you to a product, service, or sale that you couldn’t pass up. The same idea holds true for physicians looking to grow their patient database.

As a physician, you can help to grow your business and gain new patients by purchasing a mailing list. Once you have the mailing list you can use it to send those people an introduction, advertise an open house, or a special offer. Whether or not your campaign will be successful depends on the steps you take leading up to the mail hitting the person’s mailbox.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when it comes to purchasing a mailing list in order to reach prospective patients:

• Locate a mailing list seller. There are plenty of places that sell mailing lists, so you will need to locate a reputable one to go with. Start by contacting printers in your area and see if they rent their lists out, or if they know someone in the area that does. Alternatively, you can use an online printer or mailing list service. Keep in mind that you get what you pay for, so if it seems too cheap to be true, it probably is.

• Target the audience. As a physician you already know the general area that people will be coming from to visit your office. Try to target the homes within that general area. Also, keep your practice area in mind when it comes to targeting. For example, if you specialize in pediatric care, you will want to try to find a demographic that has children. When buying lists you can generally narrow it down to things like zip code, gender, and income.

• Hone your message. If you don’t know what you want to write on the message or what is going to work to get the reader’s attention, hire a copywriter. Whether it is a postcard, letter, or brochure you are sending out, the copywriter will know the best way to get their attention and get them to pick up the phone.

• Monitor ROI (Return on Investment). Don’t just send the direct mailer out and then forget about it. You need to know if it was worth your investment in order to consider doing it again. When new patients call your office always ask how they heard about you. A good return on investment for direct mail campaigns is around a 1 percent to 2 percent response rate.

• Consider e-mail lists. Some people are dead set against purchasing e-mail lists because people don’t like to be spammed. Others think that it is a viable way to reach people. You may want to consider going this route, but if you do, make sure you can still target by demographics so you only e-mail people in your own area.

Buying a good direct mailing list can cost you hundreds, or even thousands, depending on how many addresses you want to buy and who you are buying from. But it can be worth it if you end up with new long-term patients. Keep the above tips in mind and you may just have a winning campaign!