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How to Increase Your Yellow Page Revenue by
200% - 500%
| So your local yellow page sales rep hounded you to advertise in the yellow pages? You decide to give it a try and realize that you're getting no where as much patients as he was promising. Worse yet, after doing the math you realize that the yellow page ad isn't even paying for itself!
Since around 1992 or so, the effectiveness of yellow page ads for Chiropractors has been going down the drain. And to add insult to injury, the yellow page companies are no longer satisfied with selling you full page ads. Now if a Chiropractor has been advertising with a full page ad for the last 10 years, and has been the first ad in the category, she has to shell out even more bucks and get a two page ad just to remain in her position of first.
Some Chiropractors will have to spend in excess of $100,000 a year just to have their full page ads appear in the yellow pages that serve their area!
So is there hope to this madness?
Yes, there is. There are two basic strategies for getting a higher return on your investment with regards to advertising in the yellow pages.
1) Negotiate for a lower price. I'm sure you've heard the saying before, but you should never pay full price. Yellow page ad prices, like anything else in the world, are negotiable.
Don't feel bad about squeezing the sales rep for as big a discount as possible. The yellow page companies are thinking of their best interests, and if you want to stay in business, you better do the same!
On average you should be able to get a 10%-15% discount on what they are trying to charge you.
2) The second way to get a better return on your investment is to overhaul your current yellow page ad. The difference between an effective yellow page ad and an ineffective yellow page ad can be as much as 2, 3, even 10 times the number of new patients.
If you are currently getting 10 new patients a year from your yellow page ad, imagine instead getting 20, 30, or even a hundred new patients a year! There are techniques to creating a profitable yellow page ad, and we'll go over them together in just a bit.
The first thing that you need to do is fire your yellow page creative department. Think about it, the staff of your yellow page company knows about one thing - and that's selling ads. They know nothing about creating patient-focused profitable advertising.
Have you looked at the advertisements they create for most Chiropractors? It's a miracle these Chiropactors get any patients from these ads at all.
Now you have two choices. You can create the ad yourself or you can hire a professional to create it for you. The following tips will help you create the yellow page ad yourself, or it will help you in selecting a yellow page ad designer who knows his stuff.
The most important part of any ad, not just a yellow page ad, is the headline. This part alone will account for 75% of the success of your ad.
Right now go get your yellow pages and open it to the section on Chiropractors. Look at the headlines. What do you see?
Most likely you'll find the names of the clinics, or the names of the Chiropractors as the headline. As far as I'm concerned, this is #1 among the "seven deadly sins" of marketing.
Think about it, when your teeth hurt and you look through the yellow pages for a dentist, what catches your attention "John Doe Dentist" or "Relieve the Pain in Your Teeth in 45 Minutes"?
If there were dozens of dentist ads, all with the same basic headline, do you see how a patient-centered, benefits-loaded headline can be so powerful?
One headline that's been shown to work for Chiropractors is "In Pain? I Will See You Today!" Can you see how powerful this is to your prospective patient? 95% of the time, your prospective patient will look through the yellow pages because he is in pain, and he heard that Chiropractic can help him. The other 5% of the time, he is new in town and is looking for a Chiropractor for a wellness solution. However, since 95% of your prospective patients are looking into Chiropractic to relieve pain, that is what you should focus the majority of your energy into. Solve their problem, and your problems will be solved.
Once you decide on a benefits-loaded headline, your next task is to create the body of the ad. Remember, the goal of the headline was to capture the reader's attention and compel him to read the remainder of your ad. So now it is the mission of the body portion of the ad to get the reader to call and set up an appointment.
In all your ad, not just the body, make sure that under no circumstance are you to use technical words such as subluxation or adjustment. Furthermore, don't be tempted to include Chiropractic philosophy in your ad. It simply is not the appropriate time or place to educate your prospective patient on Chiropractic. Your ad must have one goal, and one goal only, and that is to get the reader to pick-up the phone and make an appointment.
So what should be included in the body? A photograph of yourself normally works very well. The photograph should be simple, and down to earth. It should be a reflection of you. If you are always dressed in suits, the picture should be of you in a suit. If you dress casual, then the photo should be of you dressed casual.
However your dress, make sure that you are clean and well-groomed in the photo, and you should have an expression of either concern, caring, or cheerfulness. When posing for the photo, keep in mind that the objective is to have the reader be able to associate with you, and not think that you are apathetic.
The next step is to communicate with the reader on why he should choose you over all the other Chiropractors in the phone book. At this point, the reader will most likely choose a Chiropractor, so your competition is not the MD or another health profession, but instead the other Chiropractors in your yellow pages.
So you should not focus your energy into convincing the reader that Chiropractic is beneficial to him, but instead why he should choose you out of all the other Chiropractors in the same listing.
Do not tell the reader that you have this credential or that you use this technique, or have been in business for so many years. He doesn't really care about that, or for that matter about you.
I'm sorry if I've offended any D.C.'s our there, but my goal is to help you get as many patients as possible, not patronize you.
Do tell the reader how he can benefit by choosing you as his Chiropractor and by picking up the phone right now and making his first appointment. Will he receive same day service? Will he get to work with you directly instead of a C.A.? Maybe you have a policy where he will 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, focus on and talk about in your ad.
Also, don't feel that there is some imaginary law on 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 to make 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 is something that is being used by probably less than 100 businesses in your whole phone book, but it is second only to your headline in its ability to get the reader to pick up the phone and make an appointment. And that strategy is testimonials.
I am personally very surprised at how few yellow page ads use testimonials. Testimonials have been proven by thousands of tests to be extremely effective in virtually all types of advertisements.
One good testimonial that your reader can relate to can be more powerful than anything you tell that reader.
You should include as many testimonials as space allows. This is one of the most powerful marketing weapons available, so use it.
Finally you will want to include a bulleted listing of some of the problems that Chiropractic alleviates. Just keep in mind that 90% of your prospective patients are looking at a Chiropractor to get rid of pain, and 75% are suffering from back pain. So the symptoms you list should be to a large degree pain related, specifically back-pain. Wait until the reader shows up for his first appointment before you educate him about the full benefits of Chiropractic.
If you would like more tips on yellow page ad marketing, or if you like me to critique your ad (no charge, of course), feel free to call or email me.
In the meantime, I hope that this year is prosperous for you and your practice, and rewarding for all Chiropractors.
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