I raided the 3D Mail vault for this month’s S&D example of the month. I originally wrote this letter seven years ago which is part of the 3D Mail Direct Marketing System for Dentist. It’s since been modified for chiropractors, MD’s, optometrists, foot and ankle doctors… The list goes on. As you’ll see by reading the letter its purpose is to target patients with insurance whose benefits are expiring at the end of the year. It is designed to be mailed in the fall to get those patients in before the end of the year.
I can hear the moaning and groaning already… “Travis, I’m not in the medical field, my clients don’t have expiring benefits, pre-paid healthcare, or a flexible spending account! There’s no way I can use this month’s mailer!” I promise we’ll get to a big, broad strategy that ANY business can use, just stay with me.
Let’s first talk about timing. I mentioned above that the letter is designed to be mailed in November as an end of year promotion for dentists. In every business there are better times than others to contact your prospects or clients with a promotion.
As you know, many people take time off during the holidays and this can often be a great time to get the patient into the doctor’s office for a visit. We also point out the “use it or use it nature” of insurance premiums. This is a real, hard, and fast deadline. Not a manufactured deadline, but a REAL deadline.
In one of our former businesses, American Retail Supply, we serve retail stores with everything they need to run their store. October and November are great months for obvious reasons. However, the later we get into December the quieter it gets. We’d be foolish to try and run any kind of important promotion or campaign between December 10th and 25th. However we do have non-retail clients that are much more receptive to sales calls during this time, so our marketing and sales efforts target them.
So when is the best timing for your business? Is there a time when you shouldn’t push it and a time to ramp it up? I’m sure there is, the challenge is for you recognize it and exploit it.
The big topic I want to address is the act of segmenting your in-house customer or patient list. Segmenting is dividing your big, broad, customer base into subsets of customer based on their commonalities.
This letter is designed to go to a narrowly defined segment of the doctor’s list; patients who have insurance but have NOT used up their yearly benefits. We could further segment the list by mailing slightly different version for patients with families and children, empty nesters, by gender, etc. I’ve included a list of ways to segment your in-house customer list if you target consumers or work in the business-to-business arena. There are, not surprisingly, a lot of ways to segment that work in both consumer and B2B marketing.
There are four big, broad areas in which you can segment; geographic, demographic, behavioral, and psychographic. Within those there are dozens, even hundreds of ways to further segment your list. Here are just a few of the ways you can segment your in-house customer list.
If you sell to consumers:
If you sell B2B:
Segment that works for both consumer and B2B:
Segmenting your customers into groups according to their needs has a number of advantages. It can help you to identify your most and least profitable customers so you can focus your marketing on the customers who will be most likely to buy your products or services and avoid the markets which will not be profitable for you.
Because your individual customers have differing needs, it will be easier to give them what they want if you divide them into groups sharing similar needs, and treat each group differently. You can then:
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You can download the pre-written letters here. Use them however you like. If you have patients in your practice that haven’t used their insurance benefits yet this year, this is a slam dunk campaign guaranteed to bring you business in the 4th quarter.
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To Your Direct Mail Success,