VDP Helps Surgeons Increase Response Rates by 50%

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August 23, 2012

It makes sense that personalized versus generic direct mail better meet the needs of your customers, or in the case of a group of plastic surgeons, its patients.

A group of plastic surgeons found itself sending out far too many generic information packets as a follow-up to when someone would call in with a procedure question. In an effort to send more relevant communication and save on printing and postage, the surgeons developed a personalized response package through variable data printing that provides its prospects precisely the information they requested.

The shift to variable data information packets was driven by the surgeons feeling like they should be responding more intimately and specifically to their patients since electing to have plastic surgery is a highly personal decision.

To begin collecting the necessary data, the group coached its office personnel to collect the gender, home address, and type of surgery any caller was considering. This information was entered into a database. Twice a week the information was sent to a fulfillment center in a spreadsheet so a highly personalized packet could be mailed within a few days.

Five versions of a four-page, 8 ½ x 11-inch brochure covering two categories of plastic surgery was produced. The first category consisted of one direct mail brochure on reconstructive and three brochures on cosmetic surgery with varying copy. The second category targeted one piece at males, one at older females and one a younger female audiences. The cover graphics reflected the age and gender of the caller and were personalized with the caller’s name.

The inside of the brochure included up to 80 variable-printing fields. The brochure was addressed to the caller, used their first name several times and contained information on up to three procedures requested by the caller.

By moving from generic to VDP, the physician group reduced its information packet cost by 40 percent by only sending relevant, personalized information to callers. In addition, conversion rates of callers inquiring about plastic surgeries increased by 50 percent.

The Variable Data Advantage

By giving its patients exactly the information and graphics they needed to address their questions, the surgeon group profited. Here is what else they did right:

  • Moved from 1-to-all marketing to 1-to-1
  • Evolved from using static communications to using dynamic communications
  • Increased interest in sales messages by becoming more personal and relevant
  • Tap into new digital technologies that have greatly advanced in the past 2 to 3 years
  • Controlled their cost because VDP can be cost effective up to 50,000 pieces.

How are you moving your communications out of the archives and into relevancy? Your buyers have changed, have made the necessary marketing and communications adjustments to keep your customers?

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