Overcome The 3 Most Common Letter Writing Mistakes And Get Outstanding Results
By David Steinberg & Trent Wehrhahn, PT Referral Machine Senior Consultants
Most practice managers have tried sending marketing letters to physicians at some point. Whether it’s a simple announcement about a change in your practice or a more direct appeal to promote your services, well-planned strategic letter campaigns can be one of the most cost effective ways to influence referral patterns. To make this work for you, a good place to start is to learn how to avoid common mistakes that lead to disappointing (and sometimes counterproductive) results.
Mistake #1: Lack of good, strategic content, bad copy, and unprofessional layout. In addition to creating and testing our own letters, we also see samples of letters from physical therapists to physicians all the time (we’ll share some examples with you on our live webinar). A typical letter goes something like this: ‘We are ABC PT, we have been in business for 15 years, patients and physicians say we are great, here’s a list of the services we provide, and, finally, we look forward to hearing from you.’ Sound familiar? It’s a pretty typical executive letter. From a strategic standpoint, it lacks power to evoke interest. We call that strategy the “hey-you-please-send-me-referrals-because-I-think-I-deserve-them” strategy. If you’ve used this strategy, and it hasn’t produced any results, you may have drawn the conclusion that sending letters to physicians won’t work. But we can tell you that just by changing what you say and how you say it, you can expect predictable and quantifiable results. We know well managed strategic letter campaigns work because we use them with a variety of clients with consistent results. You can see a series of these letters on our live demonstration webinar.
Mistake #2: Unrealistic expectations. Another common mistake is expecting a single letter to do the job. You need to think of your letters as a steady stream of consistent communications that build confidence with the readers. You are a professional, and you can’t expect other professionals to respond with referrals until they bring you onto the stage with the other providers they trust. Achieving this status with letters may sound impossible, but once you drill deeper into the “buying process” you can appreciate how powerful strategic campaigns can work to influence referral patterns. We invite you to dig into this in more detail on our live webinar.
Mistake #3: Not understanding the numbers. Before you decide to mail, get a handle on the numbers. The beauty of marketing with executive letters to physicians is that your list of targets can be very manageable. Running a monthly campaign to 250 well qualified physicians in your market can be done for about $250 a month. So would you be willing to budget $250 for six months if you knew it would set you up to close at least 5 new referral sources that averaged $30,000 in annual billings EACH? Not only is that possible, it’s absolutely likely with the right strategy.