Post Cards Smooth Out Problems For Physical Therapists

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Published: 01st November 2012
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The six partners of Randolph Road Physical Therapy were having their weekly meeting, and they discussed a number of issues that bothered them. One was no shows; another was last minute cancellations; another was people simply getting confused about when their appointment was. Another was people forgetting to pay their bill. There were a number of problems which they dealt with every day and they were looking for a way to deal with all of them in order to improve efficiency and profitability.

They decided to call on someone they knew who might be in a position to advise them: a salesman at a full service printing company and who had helped them in the past. They ran into him by chance, and they invited him over to visit them in their location. After listening to their concerns and understanding their situation, he came back to them and recommended a printing of post cards.

Post cards are cheap and they could be used to solve all of the problems listed by the partners: no shows, cancellations, confusions, payment issues. The great thing about post cards was that a terrific reminder program gave people no excuse: they couldnít say they didnít know. And for those who had chronic problems along these lines, there was a simple solution: they could be expelled from the practice. Any clinic had the right to do that for people who didnít follow the rules, but a post card program would ensure that most people straightened up and followed the straight and narrow.

If you are thinking of running a post card campaign to market your business or organization, good for you. You are in on the secret, which is that post cards are a terrific way to get attention and get results. Why donít more marketers know this? Probably because they tried it once and it didnít work an instant miracle for them. People give up too early, it seems. If post cards have been around for several hundred years, there must be some reason why they are effective. Think of all the products and services which have come and gone over just the past century. Some, like the telegraph or the transoceanic cable, were hailed as permanent victories over manís difficulties in communicating. Those are either gone or no longer as important as they once were. The post card, on the other hand, is thriving, thank you very much.

Use a highly professional design and layout for your message. Even though itís just a postcard, and even though itís cheap to make and produce, your image is reflected in how you present your message. A message that is simple, clear, direct, with a readable font and good coloration will be noticed and taken seriously.

Display your logo prominently on your postcard, just as you would display it on your business card. A well-designed logo always gets attention, and often gets recognized, and it tells the recipient at a glance who you are associated with. Fly-by-night companies generally do not spend money on well-crafted logos.

So what then? How do you turn those post card messages into customers? Simple. You put on the post card any number of means for the customer to contact you. You could put a 1-800 number for them to call. You could put your website address for them to go and look at. You could use a QR code to send them to a special page offering them a special deal for being a first time customer. If any of those approaches donít work, then that person is not a potential customer of yours. But if one of those approaches does work, then your acquisition costs are pretty low.

Using post cards in a limited area is the best starting point for your test. We recommend that you talk to the post office about their new service called Every Door Direct Mail. Itís about as simple as it gets: you pick the area and they deliver to every legitimate address in that area. We recommend that you pick an area based first of all on whether your product or service would be well received in that area and secondly on whether this target area would likely be used to using social media. If you are looking at middle class and above, they would be.

Lawrence Reaves, who is associated with Conquest Graphics, is a nationally recognized expert on all aspects of printing, print marketing, the internet and social media. Contact Conquest Graphics for a discussion about using post cards in your next marketing campaign. 

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