Is there hope to this madness? Yes, there is. There are two basic strategies for getting a higher return on your Yellow Pages' investment.
- Negotiate for a lower price. Never pay full price. Yellow Pages' prices, like most anything else in the world, are negotiable. You should be able to get a 10%-15% discount.
- Overhaul your ad.
There are techniques to creating a profitable ad. You can produce the ad yourself, or you can hire a professional. The following tips will help you do it yourself, or help you select a good Yellow Pages' ad designer.
The most important part of any ad is the headline. This accounts for 75% of the success of your ad. Look under "Chiropractors" in your Yellow Pages. You'll find the names of the clinics or the names of the chiropractors as headlines. This is number one of the "seven deadly sins" of marketing. Think about it. If you have a toothache, which of these Yellow Pages' headlines would catch your attention: "John Doe, Dentist," or "Relieve the Pain in Your Teeth Fast?"
If there were dozens of dentist ads, all with the same basic headline, do you see how the one extolling the benefits to the patient can be so powerful? Here's one headline that's been effective for chiropractors: "In Pain? I Will See You Today!" Can you see how powerful this is to your prospective patient? Most prospective patients are looking through the Yellow Pages for you because they are in pain. They have heard that chiropractic can help. The smaller percentage are new in town or looking for a chiropractor for a wellness solution. Since most prospective patients are looking to chiropractic to relieve pain, that is the target for your energy. Solve their problems and your problems will be solved.
Once you decide on a headline that targets patient benefits, you're ready to create the body of the ad. The goal of the headline was to compel potential patients to read the remainder of your ad. It is the mission of the body portion of the ad to get the reader to call and set up an appointment.
Do not use technical words such as "subluxation" or "adjustment" in your ad. Furthermore, don't be tempted to include chiropractic philosophy in your ad. This simply is not the appropriate time or place to educate your prospective patient about your profession. Again your ad must have one goal: to get the reader to pick up the phone and make an appointment.
What should be included in the body? A photograph of yourself normally will work, and should be simple, down to earth. It should be a reflection of you, whether your prefer suits or casual wear. Make sure that you are well-groomed in the photo. You should have an expression of either concern, caring, or cheerfulness. When posing for the photo, keep in mind that the objective is to make the reader want to associate with you, and not think that you are apathetic.
The next step is to show potential patients why they should choose you over all the other chiropractors listed. You should not waste your time convincing readers that chiropractic is beneficial to them, or that you have this credential or that, or have been in business for so many years. Patients don't really care about that, or for that matter, about you. Explain how you can benefit them. Will you provide same day service? Will patients be treated by you directly instead of a CA? Do you have a policy that patients never have to wait more than 15 minutes before being seen by the doctor? Whatever it is that makes you stand out from the crowd, and is a benefit that the reader can immediately grasp, should be the focus of your ad.
There is no law regulating the layout of an ad. You can have a very powerful ad that is nothing more than a strong headline, a photo, and a personal message written to a reader on a one-to-one basis: "When you call for an appointment, not only will I see you the same day, but you will never have to wait more than 15 minutes before I personally examine you."
The next strategy: testimonials. I am very surprised at how few yellow page ads use testimonials. These are proven by thousands of tests to be extremely effective in all types of advertisements. One good testimonial to which your reader can relate can be more powerful than anything else you communicate. Use as many of these as space allows.
Finally, you will want to include a bulleted listing of some of the problems that chiropractic alleviates. Bear in mind that 90 percent of your prospective patients are looking at a chiropractor to get rid of pain, and 75 percent are suffering from back pain. The symptoms you list should be to a large degree pain-related, specifically for back pain. The time to educate patients about the full benefits of chiropractic is when you are treating them.
Feel free to contact me (
) for more tips on advertising in the Yellow Pages, or if you would like me to critique your current ad at no charge. In the meantime, I hope that this year is prosperous for you and your practice.