Direct Mail

Geotargeting: The Trick to Reach New Dental Patients

The latest in geotargeting technology allows you to capture valuable GPS data from potential new patients via their mobile device and create a map connecting your practice and the recipient’s address. 

geotargeting direct mail

What is geotargeted direct mail?

Targeting an audience by geographic area has become a powerful tool for direct mail marketing. It’s common for dental practices to send mail targeted to a specific zip code or geographic area near their location or to put a map of their location on a postcard to prospective patients. The map can be incorporated into the design of a business card, creating a deeper personalization that drives qualified local leads to your practice. 

The popularity of mobile devices and the remarkable detail they ‎provide in terms of location has opened up opportunities for the dental industry when it comes to geotargeting, especially when polygons are utilized in your technology strategy. From 2015 to 2016 alone, direct mail customer response rates increased by 43% and prospect lists response rates more than doubled (attributed largely to direct mail paired with digital intelligence).

What is geotargeting?

When you’re online, ad servers know your location by your IP address. That’s because ad servers already maintain a large database of IP addresses mapped to various countries, states, and postal codes. So, when a ‎request comes in, an ad server will extract the IP address from the header of the ‎request, query the table, find the necessary location data, and then find an ad ‎that matches that criteria.  ‎

How does it use targeting?

Geotargeting uses privacy-compliant location data from cell phones and other devices to create audiences, and then serve advertising to a select audience. Dental marketers can utilize geofences and mobile advertising to target a particular audience with an ad, based on their location. The ad can be sent in real-time or at a predetermined time in the future.  

Geotargeting isn’t just about reaching potential new patients that are nearby. It’s also about showing them relevant content that reflects the reason why they decided to engage with your marketing. The information gathered through geo-targeting can help you build highly segmented direct mailing lists to resonate with your prospective patients’ needs.

Here are some of the segmentation methods available based on geotargeted data:

  • Geographic (city, ZIP code, carrier route, neighborhood, street, etc.)
  • Demographic (age, gender, income, education level, household income, number of children, etc.)
  • Hobbies and traits (interests, values, hobbies, likes, dislikes, etc.)
  • Patient stage (prospective patients, returning patients, patients who haven’t scheduled in six months, etc.)

How to integrate geotargeting into direct mail

One way to integrate data to target audiences is to tailor your direct mail offer based on the neighborhood your prospective patients come from high-value services for those from high-income neighborhoods, preventive services such as cleanings or checkups for those from lower-income ones. You can also target very specific patients such as recent movers into your neighborhood, mothers looking for pediatric care, or families with teenagers looking for orthodontic services. 

According to a USPS study, over 60% of recipients visited a promoted website from direct mail. And direct mail continues to be an opportunity to drive new patients to your practice when you deliver relevant messaging.

One way to ensure that you’re showing the right offer (or message) to your audience at the right is by building your direct mail marketing strategy around geotargeted audiences. With polygon technology, location-based marketing for the dental industry has advanced significantly, giving practices another way to maximize their return on investment.

What is a polygon?

Polygons work by connecting a series of lines to completely enclose any given area on a digital map, such as a physical structure. Polygons can be used to define large areas like ZIP codes, cities, and states, and smaller areas such as neighborhoods, residential zones, and school districts. You can also use polygons to enclose a campus, city block, street, or building. For example, Conversion Whale has used proprietary technology to polygon over 100,000 dental offices and other structures.

Polygoning vs. geofencing 

Geofencing requires a 100-foot virtual boundary, while polygons target specific people within the dimensions of a building’s size or shape. Polygons help marketers learn about each mobile user within the set location based on historical data, and the data they generate once they leave. 

Which areas to polygon?

Due to the target area being so defined, you can be certain that whoever entered your polygoned location intended to go there. This opens up numerous possibilities in terms of creative remarketing and data analysis. 

You can polygon any location you like. Useful locations to polygon are:

  • Your office’s location.
  • Your competitors’ locations – polygoning is an excellent competitive conquesting tool that enables you to capture information from and drive marketing to your competitors’ patients. 
  • Locations where your targeted patients frequent.
  • Services your target patients use.
  • Events that are relevant to your location, specialty, or target patient demographics.

How to use polygons in marketing?

Polygon technology gives you the power to dive deep into sophisticated patient data. Using these insights, you can build a direct mail campaign based on the wants and needs of both current patients and prospective patients. Personalized direct mail campaigns have proven to yield strong results and according to Compu-Mail:

  • Direct mail that addresses the recipient by name increases responses by 135%
  • Personalization that includes sophisticated database information results in up to 500% response rate.
  • Targeting customers on a 1:1 level increases response rates up to 50%

Why geotargeting is valuable for dentists

Using the latest in polygon technology, you can build hyper segmented mailing lists based on real patient data. This will improve your direct mail marketing strategies for increased new patient conversion and existing patient retention. Targeting the right audience at the right time means you won’t waste time or money searching for prospective patients.

What makes Conversion Whale different?

Like most dentists, you don’t have the time to spend compiling and analyzing patient data. That’s why the dental marketing experts at Conversion Whale are here to help. Our data-driven targeted direct mail campaigns and location-based marketing can help drive new patients to your practice.


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