Direct Mail

Why Direct Mail Frequency Matters to Your Practice

Direct mail frequency is an important aspect of any successful direct mail campaign. In fact, direct mail campaigns have many components. Conquering each component makes a difference especially if you want to attract the right patients to your practice.  

woman holding direct mail

Oftentimes, many inexperienced dental marketers focus on physical and visual elements of a direct mail campaign. For instance, components like graphics and design, copy, call-to-action, as well as type and size of mail piece, get most of the attention. However, very critical elements such as timing and frequency also matter.

What is a targeted direct mail campaign?

Targeted direct mail campaigns are a terminology used to describe the use of a targeted list of people who receive your marketing campaign. Developed using geographic and demographic data, hyper-targeted mailing lists attract patients based on their likelihood of conversion. 

With targeted direct mail, you control which households receive your mail piece. Instead of targeting households within a set of zip codes, you can target patients based on their preferences, spending habits, as well as other attributes. Plus, with Conversion Whale’s polygon mapping system, you can target patients who enter your competitors’ office. Then you can further target them based on age, household income, etc.

Therefore, by researching the habits and patterns of prospective patients, you can appeal to audiences you know are more likely to convert.

What is direct mail frequency? 

Frequency refers to the repeat distribution of a direct mail campaign. There are two types of direct mail frequencies:

  • The frequency your practice sends direct mail campaigns
  • The frequency your practice sends the same direct mail campaign

When it comes to marketing your dental practice, understanding frequent and repeated mailing makes all the difference, especially with regards to production. In fact, direct marketing research reveals direct mail campaigns are most successful after at least three subsequent mailings to the same target list. 

So the saying, “consistency is key,” is a tip you’ll want to remember when executing your direct mail campaigns. 

A notable benefit of direct mail frequency is you build strong brand recognition for your practice. People are more likely to consider visiting your practice the more they view your mailers and see your online ads. 

Though, it is worth noting that the direct mail response rate has up to 50% degradation every time you send it out. So, if your first mail campaign generated a 4% response rate, your second may yield a 2% response rate. And your third batch will probably have a 1% response rate, and so on.

Putting aside the decreasing response rate, sending out mailers frequently only works to your favor. As a matter of fact, people were 70% more likely to recall a brand when they were exposed to direct mail advertisements, as opposed to digital ads.

How often should I send out targeted direct mail?

You must be methodical when it comes to planning the frequency of your direct mail campaign. Since there is no specific frequency for mailing, your timeline should be balanced. In order to figure out a good balance for your practice, you’ll have to use trial and error to pave the way.

There are three tips you should follow when figuring out direct mail frequency.

  • To start, send your campaign once a quarter. Four times a year is reasonable and not overwhelming. Also worth considering is a monthly distribution focused on direct mail themes. Try sending mailers on dental-oriented holidays, relevant health concepts, or patient milestones.
  • Track your response rates and measure the results of each campaign. This way you can adjust the frequency of the campaign.
  • You’ll have to send more than one direct mail campaign to gauge its effectiveness. You can also try another approach if the one you’re testing doesn’t yield favorable results.

Successful mailers have a notable message, eye-catching design, and an irresistible call to action. 

Additionally, sending mailers on a monthly basis brings better results. A study conducted by USPS revealed 17% of people who received a monthly catalog were more likely to make a purchase. Those who received a catalog spanning over a month from the last delivery were only 11% inclined to making a purchase.

At the end of the day, you will have to try multiple approaches in order to find a frequency that works best for your practice. 

4 Key Components to A Direct Mail Campaign 

Scheduling your direct mail campaign takes time, and varies from project to project. You should factor about five to 12 weeks to plan, implement and send your marketing campaign. Plus, keep in mind, you may experience bumps along the way that might impact your timeline.

  1. Planning (1 to 2 weeks) – To begin, you must set a budget. Then, you should have a targeted mailing list. Additional aspects include offer planning and details related to format selection.
  2. Creative (2 to 4 weeks) – A designated creative team of your choice will execute the overall design of your mailer. This includes message planning, concept development, copywriting and graphic design. Oftentimes, designers will create up to three options that you can choose from. Then, factor in revisions and approvals.
  3. Production (2 to 4 weeks) – This step includes printing your mailers, data processing including factoring postage costs, personalization of labels, envelopes, letters and reply cards. Then adding labels and/or inserting your mailers into envelopes.
  4. Delivery (1 to 2 weeks) – Once your mailers are ready to be sent, the post office handles it from there. Your delivery date is determined on the postage rate you pay (standard or first class), as well as the distance the mail travels. Expect delivery for mailers with first class postage to arrive within a few days. Standard postage could take up to three weeks. 

Future mailings of the same campaign will take less time to execute. Though, if you create a new campaign, you’ll probably need to factor up to 12 weeks for creating your campaign.

Find out more and how it relates to your practice 

There are many aspects involved in launching a successful targeted direct mail campaign. Besides sending a well-designed, hyper-targeted mailer, you must also establish a frequency. 

Sending out perfectly timed, multiple mailings leads to higher conversion rates. Scheduling the frequency of your direct mail campaign has a direct correlation to how many new patients you acquire each month.

At Conversion Whale, our targeted mail experts can work with you to create a frequency timeline that suits your practice. Reach out to our team to learn what works best for your practice.

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