Knowing what to say and how to say it are two of the biggest marketing challenges faced by practice owners. It is easy to become overwhelmed with choices and not as easy to eliminate concepts. When it comes to your print campaigns and promotions, follow these design guidelines that will support your marketing goals and generate more business for your clinic.
Choose the right piece and size
Cost should not be the driving factor in determining what type of print campaign to run. Too often, practice owners try to go with the cheapest option (usually a postcard) and attempt to fit all their content into a small space. We recommend:
- Newsletters for monthly campaigns, educational articles, multiple photos, and most promotions requiring more than 500 words
- Letters for more formal communications (such as changes to policies or procedures), personalized messages, and doctor/referral campaigns
- Trifold mailers for announcing new services (especially those that might require additional explanation or supporting messaging), auxiliary services (personal training, massage, yoga etc.), and monthly doctor mailings
- Postcards for special promotions (seasonal, new clinic locations, new services etc.), targeted patient reactivation campaigns, and accompaniments to larger monthly mailers.
Define your messaging and imagery
Choose a goal for each campaign and promotion. Do you want to reactivate past patients? Get referrals from new doctors’ offices? Introduce a new PT treatment option? Think about the goal and make sure all design elements are aligned towards achieving that goal.
(Font) Size matters
Now, you have defined your messaging. Next, use the design to give different priorities or font categories to streamline that message. Some examples are:
- Headlines: key phrase or call to action. These should be the biggest font size and can utilize bolding or Note: try to avoiding bolding (and italicizing) with some fonts as it can be hard to read.
- Subheadlines: supporting phrases or taglines. These should be smaller sizes than the headlines and could be
- Body copy: text for articles, paragraphs, or bullets. Use a font size that is readable (especially if your practice has a large senior patient base). If you have to drop the font size below 10pts, consider shortening the copy.
- CTAs or Calls-To-Action: these can be either standalone phrases (Call Today for an Appointment) or at the end of articles/paragraphs. Use a font size in between the headlines and subheadlines. If the CTA is at the end of a body of copy, use bolding or italicizing to make it stand out.
Keep the design simple
Years of experience as the private practice marketing experts has taught us that the most common mistake is trying to cram too much information into a single campaign. Many practice owners look at the cost of a piece and want to feature as many promotions or incentives as possible in order to “maximize” the pieces’ value. But does that logic of “the more messaging, the better” really work?
No, more messaging equals more confusing and less initiative. Think about this—you send out a postcard for “Swing into Summer” featuring a couple golfing and talking about your shoulder pain rehabilitation services and the CTA of schedule your appointment to get back on the course today! What is the #1 takeaway for patients? Go to PT (asap!) so that they can play golf without pain.
Clear design. Relevant messaging. Directive CTA.
Now think about the same postcard, Swing into Summer, but let’s add a list of all the services you provide, plus a coupon for a free water bottle, and a biography about the new PTA you recently hired. What is the #1 takeaway? It could still be: Go to PT so that you can golf without pain, or Wow look at all the services they provide, or Cool a free water bottle, or Great a new PTA joined the practice. Say 100% of people who receive the postcard read it. Probably 40% will take away the “Go to PT” messaging, 30% might be intrigued by the services (but not necessarily feel the need to go to PT), 20% might want a free water bottle, and 10% might like the new PTA’s bio. So roughly 40% of your recipients will see you for PT.
Think back to the clear, concise, and directive postcard version. There is only one takeaway- 100% of recipients will know to see you for PT. That’s 60% more potential patients to your clinic!
Let’s recap, the best PT print marketing designs have:
- The right size and piece for the content
- A clearly defined messaging and imagery strategy
- Appropriate font sizes to support the messaging
- Clean, simple, and directive promotions
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