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Medical Practice Print Ads: One Powerful Line to Include


How can you make your print medical practice advertising better? Here’s how adding one line to my recent newspaper ad made it a raging success.

In a recent ad campaign our medical practice ran, I designed the most successful ad in a series of three that ran in the newspaper.

The secret to the success of the ad was in adding one line to the text at the bottom. This one line was responsible for bringing in bottom line revenue for the practice. None of the other ads did that.

Want to know what the line was?

Here it is:

" the office today at one of the numbers below so we can mail you a copy of your free guide..."

This ad was successful because it gave patients a second way to respond to what we were offering.

We wanted to bring new patients into the office with a specific clinical problem.

We created a downloadable guide and posted it on our website.

The ad directs patients to a specific webpage where they can read or download the guide.

There were dozens of downloads during the weeks when the ad ran in the local paper. But the vast majority of the patients who came in to see us in the office didn’t download it - they called and asked that we mail them a copy!

Giving your patients options

The worst number in all of marketing, advertising, and business is: One.

One source of referrals, one way to structure a contract, one way to respond to an ad, etc. If you don’t give your potential patients another way to respond to your marketing message, you may be missing out on revenue, referrals, and continued relationships with great patients.

Four steps to making your next ad more effective1. Know your target audience

Think scoped rifle here, not shotgun. Don’t put out a general ad that is for "everyone." It won’t reach anyone in a meaningful way.

Pick your target market based on your current favorite patients, best demographic, or based on the types of procedures or clinical challenges you want more of.

2. Offer free, useful relevant information

This can be a free recorded message, a downloadable guide - like I put together - or even just a special page on your website you create just for this marketing campaign.

It should be something relevant to the problem your target patient has.

3. Ask for action

As I’ve mentioned in previous articles about videos and marketing campaigns in general, don’t just put an expensive, colorized version of your business card in the paper; think about what you want the reader to do.

If they’re supposed to go to a website, say, "Go to this website now..."

If you want them to call a number, say "Call this number today..."

Don’t leave it up to the reader to "figure out" or decipher what it is you want them to do. Come out and say it in the clearest way possible.

4. Provide multiple ways to take that action

As in the example I shared earlier in this article, I gave the reader of the ad another way to get the information I was providing: by calling and requesting a hard copy of the guide.

In the case of our ad, this made a lot of sense - most of the target potential patients were over the age of 55. I knew that even though groups like AARP and Amazon would like to think baby boomers are constantly online downloading and blogging all day, it’s not necessarily a reality.

So think about how your target patient will usually conduct business. Then craft an alternative response method for that patient.

Maybe you’re targeting soccer moms in their mid-30s - they’re on Facebook 24/7. You should think about directing them to your Facebook Fan Page.

It all begins with knowing who your target audience is. And you should know - they’re in your office every day, right?

Guess what? You can even ask your existing patients how they would respond to an ad if they saw it in the paper or in a local magazine.

Show them the ad before you spend thousands getting it in front of like-minded potential patients.

Everyone likes to give their opinion - it’s even better if you’re asking for it first.

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