postcard marketing

Postcard Marketing: An Innovative Strategy for Your Optometry Practice

Many marketers consider postcard marketing to be a thing of yesterday. After all, social media, email, and other digital platforms are much more popular now — and they’re free. So why would you ever want to waste money on postage?

For one, it’s an innovative way to reach potential patients. Traditional forms of marketing, although effective, have saturated the market.

On the other hand, postcards can be the whiff of fresh air your target audience needs, especially if you use creative marketing postcard ideas. Below, we take a closer look at postcard marketing and how it can help attract potential patients for your optometry practice.

Postcard Marketing Is Still Viable Today

Postcard marketing refers to using physical postcards to promote your brand or service. It’s a direct mail marketing strategy that enables businesses to send personalized messages to their target audiences.

One main reason postcards are viable today is that they’re personal. Unlike emails and other digital platforms, postcards offer a more intimate way to connect with customers.

They show your target audience that you took the time and effort to send them a physical message. This gesture can go a long way, especially with potential patients looking for a new optometrist.

Plus, postcards don’t get lost in the shuffle. They’re less likely to be deleted or ignored because they’re physical. In fact, a USPS Customer & Market Insights report found that millennials spend at least six minutes sorting their direct mail, two minutes longer than the average of four minutes.

Moreover, a Valassis study found that 68% of millennials read inserts and print ads from retailers. Meanwhile, 64% prefer to get ads through direct mail.

Postcards are also versatile. You can use them for various marketing purposes, such as appointment reminders, thank-yous, holiday greetings, and more. In the context of an optometry practice, you can use postcards to:

  • Introduce new staff
  • Welcome a new optometrist to the practice
  • Advertise a special offer
  • Inform patients of a new service or product
  • Remind patients of an upcoming appointment
  • Invite patients to an open house or special event

Even better, you can engage patients digitally through direct mail. Any smart marketer would try to take a multichannel approach, and that’s where technology comes in.

For example, you can use augmented reality (AR) postcards. These physical postcards take the user to an AR experience when scanned with a smartphone.

You can also use QR codes. These digital codes direct the user to a specific website or digital landing page. For instance, the QR code can take the recipient to the appointment page. Or, you can direct them to the About Us page on your website. 

Another benefit of using postcard marketing is its ease of tracking. Here are some methods to track your postcard marketing strategies:

  • QR codes
  • Coupon codes
  • Custom phone numbers

Let’s say you’re running a postcard campaign to attract new patients. You can include a QR code on the postcards that takes the user to a sign-up page.

On that page, you can ask the patient to enter their contact information, like their name and email address. You can also include a custom phone number on the postcard.

When patients call that number, it’ll be forwarded to your office line. That way, you can track how many patients called as a result of the postcard campaign.

10 Strategies for Your Postcard Marketing Campaign

Direct mail doesn’t have to be boring. There are several ways to make your postcards stand out and get noticed. Here are 10 strategies for your optometry practice’s direct mail campaign.

Identify Your Target Audience

Like any other marketing campaign, you need to identify your target audience. So, who are you trying to reach with your postcards?

Are you targeting patients who haven’t been to the office yet? Are you looking to appeal to a specific demographic, such as seniors or parents with young children?

Once you identify your target audience, you can tailor your postcards to their needs. For example, if you’re targeting seniors, you can highlight your experience and expertise in senior eye care. Also, avoid using QR codes or other digital elements that may be difficult for them to use.

But, if your target audience is parents with young children, you can focus on your family-friendly environment and child-friendly staff. You can also include images of happy children or families on your postcards.

Use Quality Mailing Lists

Your mailing list is the foundation of your postcard marketing campaign. After all, you need to know where to send your postcards.

There are a few ways to get a mailing list. You can purchase a list, rent a list, or build your own.

Purchasing a mailing list is the quickest way to get started. You can buy a list from a list broker or a direct mail company. It will have the mailing addresses of people in your target region. 

However, keep in mind that you don’t have much control over the list’s accuracy. The broker or company may not have updated the list, which means you could be wasting your time and money sending postcards to people who have moved or are no longer interested in your optometry practice.

Meanwhile, building your own mailing list gives you more control. You can compile a list of patients who have visited your office before and leads from your website or other marketing campaigns.

If you go this route, keep your list updated. For instance, you may update your list once or twice a year to ensure you’re not sending postcards to people who are not your target audience anymore or have moved to a new address.

Tailor Your Postcards to Your Service Area

Your mailing list will also specify the zip codes where your target audience resides. It’s imperative to tailor your postcards to your service area.

For example, if you’re targeting seniors, you may want to focus on zip codes with a high concentration of seniors. The same goes for targeting parents with young children.

You can use the U.S. Census Bureau’s website to find detailed demographic information for each zip code. Enter the zip code and select the ” profile” tab to see a population breakdown by age, gender, race, and other factors. The website will also show you the median income for each zip code.

Purchase Smooth, Non-Reflective Paper

The quality of postcards can make a big difference in how successful your marketing campaign is. One way to ensure your postcards are high quality is to use smooth, non-reflective paper.

The paper should be thick enough so the postcards won’t get bent in the mail. Plus, the lack of a reflection will make it easier for people to read the postcards, regardless of the lighting conditions.

Send Out Recurring Postcards at Regular Intervals

When sending marketing postcards, you shouldn’t bombard your target audience with too many postcards at once. Instead, send out recurring postcards at regular intervals.

For example, you may want to send postcards every other week or once a month. The key is to be consistent with your postcards so people don’t forget about your optometry practice.

Suppose you’re planning to offer discounts for vision tests during the holiday season. Start sending direct mail postcards around October. You can promote the discounts on the postcards and urge people to schedule an appointment before the holidays.

Send the postcards at two-week or three-week intervals so that people have time to receive the postcards and act on the offer. By December, they would have heard about your offer at least three to four times.

Mail Postcards for Abandoned Carts

As mentioned earlier, postcard marketing doesn’t have to be a solo effort. You can combine postcards with other marketing channels, such as email marketing.

For example, you can send a postcard to people who abandon their carts on your website. But that only works if you offer glasses and other products in your practice.

Even if you don’t offer a product, you can still use direct mail postcard marketing to bring potential patients back. For instance, send postcards to patients who booked appointments but didn’t show up.

You can also send postcards to people who had a consultation but didn’t schedule an appointment. These postcards can include a discount or other offers to entice them to come in for an appointment.

Integrate Data From Your Digital Marketing Results

Thanks to multiple types of electronic communication in health care, you always have an abundance of patient data. You can use this data to improve your postcard marketing results.

Suppose your digital marketing results show that only 20% of your email recipients book an appointment after clicking on a call-to-action (CTA) button. You can use this data to improve your postcards’ CTAs.

For example, you can use a different CTA on your postcards or change the offer. You can also target a different segment of your audience with your postcards.

Know What You Want Your Postcard To Achieve

To ensure a handsome return on investment, you must be certain about the purpose of your direct mail postcards. Do you want them to promote a new product, increase foot traffic during slow periods, or boost patient loyalty?

Your postcards’ design, offers, and CTA will depend on your goals. Therefore, you must know what you want your postcards to achieve before designing them. For instance, the CTA on a postcard promoting a new product will differ from the CTA on a postcard that offers discounts for appointments booked during slow periods.

Implement a “Control” Direct Mail Piece at the Beginning

The “control” is the direct mail piece that you send out to your entire list at the beginning of your postcard marketing campaign. The control is usually a postcard with your practice’s basic information, such as your name, address, and website.

You can use the control to gauge the effectiveness of your postcard marketing campaign. For example, you can track the number of appointments booked and compare it to your appointment booking rate before the campaign.

Base your subsequent postcard mailings on the results of the control. You can also use it to generate new postcard marketing ideas. For example, if the control gets immense attention from a particular segment of your audience, you can target that segment with your subsequent postcards.

Pay for Beautiful Postcard Design and Copywriting

Getting the design and wording right on your postcards is essential to their success. Unless you’re a professional graphic designer or copywriter, it’s best to hire someone to do it for you.

You can find designers and copywriters on freelancing websites, such as Upwork and Fiverr. You can also hire a local marketing agency to design and write your postcards.

Where You Can Find Excellent Postcard Printing Services

Once you perfect the design and copy, it’s crucial to find a quality postcard printing service. If you plan to do it locally, run a Google search to find postcard printers near you. When choosing postcards, opt for a slightly larger size to fit in your copy easily. 

The UPS Store also offers postcard printing services. To save money, you can print your postcards using an in-office printer. However, the quality won’t be as good as that of a professional printing service.

How To Maximize Effectiveness With Marketing Software

While the DIY approach might seem more cost-effective, it can often land you in trouble. The best way to design, print, and mail your postcards is by using marketing software. Demandforce is just the marketing software you need to take your postcard marketing to the next level. With industry-specific templates, you can find a professionally made canvas to work on. Or, you can upload your postcard design, add a logo, and type a personalized message to appeal to your target audience.

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