Posted by Brian Berg Google+
The most common oral manifestation of diabetes is periodontal disease. A disease treatable by the well prepared dental practitioner. As the business of dentistry evolves, its focus more on niches within the practice proves to be more profitable.
This trend is evidenced by the growth in the areas of cosmetic and implant dentistry. With progress made in the medical and pharmaceutical areas, the ability to better serve diabetics continues to grow. Add to this growing industry the ability to target diabetics using direct mail and you’ve got prescription for dental business success.
Direct mail is a powerful tool when the audience or recipient group is clearly identified. In the past, creating such a mailing list of diabetics would be cumbersome and costly but could be done by perhaps contacting the local chapter of a diabetes society and requesting this information, or building a mailing list over time by compiling a database of previous patients who disclosed they’re a diabetic.
And doing so would not always yield only a portion of the diabetic population. However, with today’s technology and data capture techniques, identifying consumers with diabetes is easily accomplished. A diabetic mailing list would fall under the category of ailment mailing list data. The ailment mailing list category includes various types of self-reported ailments compiled and sold specifically for the purpose of bringing new products and services to this special needs cluster of the population. One of the more effective mediums to reaching these ailment sufferers is by using direct mail.
The primary reason it’s so effective is because the ailment marketer is able to both deliver a concise message to the target audience with precision targeting. Direct mail is a powerful tool when the audience or recipient group is clearly identified. Using direct mail enables the marketer the ability to send a clear message to its target audience regarding a special promotional offer or specific call to action. Within dentistry, a bundle of services can be offered that cater specifically to the diabetic. It is recommended that you develop a series of mailings to build brand with your direct mail audience. The initial direct mail piece should include a compassionate and persuasive letter or brochure that clearly explains the importance of oral care for patients with diabetes.
This first mail piece should also include why they should choose this dental office, i.e, location proximity, available hours, and a staff that understands the unique needs of the diabetic patient. The main purpose of this initial direct mail piece is to communicate the message that the services of this office are specifically designed for them, the diabetic. The message should also include a call to action of some sort, i.e., free consultation in the month of xxx, discounts available for diabetics, or free informative packet of information about proper oral hygiene.
Effective direct mail campaigns involve multiple exposures to the message which is why a series direct mail campaign is so effective. Consider your direct mail as more than marketing, but also a type of public relations tool. It is one that positions one dentist office over others within the area. It’s also one that caters to the diabetic. Bear in mind that direct mail works over time and requires multiple exposures to reinforce the message that the dentist office is here and here to stay. Another potential target direct mail audience is physician groups, diabetic centers, diabetic support groups and related organizations, and hospital departments focused on patients with diabetes.
These business organizations are best reached with ongoing direct mail and phone call follow up or representative visitations. By contacting these groups regularly and including information about the dental practices and its services, the dentist increases recognition thus increases referrals. Developing a dental practice niche for patients with diabetes can be viewed as a tremendous benefit to the diabetic community.
Dentists who develop proper systems to accommodate these patients and create awareness in the medical and local community that these services exist will significantly increase the potential of their practice to expand services to patients with diabetes.