How To Track Your Dental Practice’s Direct Mail Results

Being able to quickly and accurately track and evaluate the results of your dental practice’s direct mail marketing campaigns is critical to ensuring your marketing dollars are being spent as effectively as possible.

In this article, we will review and evaluate the two methods available to track your dental practice’s direct mail results: call tracking and match back reporting.

Call Tracking

Call tracking is the most common method used to track dental practices’ direct mail results. Call tracking works by renting or purchasing a unique phone number that is only used on your direct mail.

This unique call-tracking number gives you the ability to track and record all phone calls placed directly to the phone number found only on your direct mail.

Call tracking provides a layer of visibility concerning the number of prospective patients who called directly from your mailer. However, this is also one of the biggest drawbacks of call tracking. It only captures those prospective patients who directly call the number on your mailer.

The inherent problem is that more often than not, prospective patients who receive your mailer don’t just pick up the phone and make a call right away. Most prospects will go directly to the Internet to read reviews on sites like Google, Yelp, Zocdoc, Healthgrades, etcetera, and they will almost always visit your website to learn more about your practice before determining that you’re the right choice for them.

Unfortunately, when prospects land on any of these platforms and call using the number found on your website, for example, you immediately lose the ability to track this call because they didn’t use the call-tracking number found on your direct mail.Furthermore, based on dental patient consumer market research, we know that consumers want a practice that makes it convenient to schedule appointments. Therefore, for practices that provide the ability to schedule online, we always suggest promoting your convenient online appointment scheduling on your direct mail and other marketing. Unfortunately, if prospects decide to schedule their appointment on your website, you again lose the ability to track this with your direct mail call tracking number.

Due to these variables, call tracking is not the primary method you should be using to track the results of your dental practice’s direct mail. However, call tracking is recommended and does provide valuable insight as well as the ability to listen to these new prospective patients’ phone calls. Listening to these calls can be critical from a training perspective and give you the ability to better understand why new prospective patients are not being converted into a scheduled appointment.

Match Back Reporting

A Match Back Report takes your database of new patients, starting from the date your direct mail marketing was sent out, and compares them to the addresses on the mailing file that you targeted with your direct mail marketing.

It can then be inferred that your direct mail marketing was either the primary catalyst of or played a role in converting these prospective patients into new active patients.

Match Back Reporting is the most accurate way of evaluating and gauging the effectiveness of your direct mail efforts and should be your primary method of evaluating your direct mail results.

Another benefit of processing a Match Back Report is that you can take your new patient data and append it back to the postal carrier route level to identify exactly what areas are delivering the best results. This information is invaluable because it allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of the areas you are targeting and make adjustments to improve future performance.

Now that you have clear direction on how to track your results, learn about direct mail response rates and ROI specific to dental practices. Click here for access to our Dental Practice “Definitive Guide to Direct Mail Response Rates & New Patient ROI.”