Ads Don't Have to be Bland
Whenever you look at the ads in the local papers, or magazines, are you reminded of that song 'Little boxes ... little boxes all the same...'? Countless millions of pounds are wasted on useless little boxes that could be exciting, and generate a massive influx of leads. The interesting thing is, it's not that hard to do...
Ads don't have to be bland! Even for the most conservative business, you can write a headline, tell a 'magic story', and create offers for your ads that excite the senses, and get the phones ringing.
To demonstrate, below is an ad we created for a health professional to launch his new expanded chiropractic centre. Now, it featured a headline with excitement and news value, and body copy that produced the single biggest influx of patients in the history of his practice. You may not be able to read all the body copy, but you'll clearly see the strategy.
But as well, you'll notice something very different about this ad. It's a full page ad. Not what you'd expect for a small suburban chiropractor.
Just why we were able to justify an 'expensive' full page ad to this health professional (and to create an offer to give away the first assessment) revolved around his acquisition allowable.
Just as a refresher, your 'acquisition allowable' is that amount you're prepared to invest to get a new client or customer, which is based on the lifetime value of that client.
In the case of our chiropractor, we uncovered that, over their 'lifetime' as a client, a new patient would invest around £800 with him.
On that basis, he was delighted to agree to give away the first visit. It would 'cost' him just his time. (Say £15 for his 20 minutes or so with the prospect ... but even then it's a 'soft dollar'.)
We put it to him this way. If 10 people come off the ad, (which would cost him around £800 to place in the local paper), and he retained 4 of them ... those four new patients would ultimately invest 4 x £800 with him. So for a cost of £800 plus (nominally) £150 of his time, he'd generate £3,200 back.
He was very excited about that.
However, we didn't want this to be just an average response. We wanted the ad to pull a lot more than 10 prospects. We did the following:
- Gave the ad excitement, information and news value. It is 'advertorial' in style, and broken up into mini-articles within the full page, to facilitate scanning, and quick reading of specific topics.
- We created the concept of a 'Centre of Knowledge', producing a series of informative audio tapes on chiropractics that would be lent out free from their 'library'. This was easy. It was just a matter of sitting with our health professional and interviewing him. Then editing it down into segments. 'Packaged information' is a very powerful, and totally under-utilised tool in marketing. And so easy to do.
- Personalised the ad by featuring his team with their qualifications, to reinforce the credibility of the practice, while projecting its warm friendly atmosphere.
- Explained the step-by-step process of what happens when you visit the chiropractor. Fact: The fear of the unknown holds many a potential client back from making the first tentative enquiry. If you can overcome that and provide reassurance as to your process, you multiply your results.
- Created a voucher, valued at £24, for a free first visit. Now, this chiropractor isn't the first practitioner to offer a free first visit. But most mis-execute the strategy by failing to say why they are giving this away. Or indeed, putting a value on it and dimensionalising it. The 'reason why' is critical if you want your offers to work.
What was the response to this ad?
Again, this full page, copy intensive ad was somewhat revolutionary for a conservative chiropractic practice. A radical departure from the 'little boxes all the same' that appear in local publications with monotonous regularity.
So did the ad pay off? In the words of Dr. Stott, "It was amazing! The phone ran hot for days."
In all, he saw over 70 new people for a first assessment. Of those, 47 of them became long term clients of the practice, that's 67%! At an average £800 'lifetime value', that translates to over £35,000 in new fees. So needless to say, Dr. Stott was thrilled with the result.
But that one placement of the ad is not where the potential ends. The news value and solid information offered in an ad of this nature, means it can be run over and over again. It has the potential to generate massive future revenue. All that holds it back is the capacity of the practice to handle the influx of new patients.
Nice problem to have...
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