Every once in a while I run across ads from doctors in my local area and I will use them to point out marketing mistakes to teach you how to market effectively so that you don’t repeat the same costly mistakes. Today I’m going to critique an ad for a weight loss program from a chiropractor that I recently came across.
As always I want to point out that there is nothing personal against the doctor who ran this ad I’m simply pointing out the mistakes that will effect the response rates from the ad.
Here’s the ad:
Mistake #1: No compelling headline…..The most important element of any print ad is the HEADLINE. And the reason I’ll spend the most time here talking about the headline.
Real People. Real Stories. Real Results….is not a compelling headline that grabs the reader’s attention.
You must remember that when running any kind of newspaper ad that people are reading the paper to entertain themselves, they aren’t looking for your ad…so the only way to stop someone in their tracks and get them to read your ad is the headline. This headline doesn’t speak to anyone directly. In fact it doesn’t tell the reader anything and therefore this ad I guarantee will have a poor response rate.
The headline must speak to a highly targeted audience and should not try and cast a wide net over a larger group of folks. This is probably one of the biggest mistakes doctors make in their marketing. The art behind good response rates in print advertising is having a laser beam focused and targeted headline that speaks directly to the type of prospective patients you are looking to attract. Keeping in mind that not all narrowly targeted patients are highly responsive. Just remember…the more chronic the problem, the more life altering impact the problem causes and the more difficult the problem is to solve…you will typically find a much more hyper responsive target market.
WARNING!!!! – Smaller ads don’t give enough room for longer headlines to stick out and jump off the page at the reader and speak at the targeted prospective patient. The larger the “FONT” size the easier it is to grab the reader’s attention. Smaller ads force you to use smaller font size unless you use very short headlines. Here’s some examples:
“Why Diets Don’t Work For Women”
“Diet Mistakes That Sabotage Women’s Weight Loss”
“Diet Companies Dirty Secrets”
“Local Doctor Breaks Silence On Female Weight Loss”
“Diets Can Ruin Your Health”
“The Weight Loss Guide Diet Companies Pray Women Never See”
This ad specifically is large enough to use a good size headline along with a kick ass “SUBHEADLINE”. The subheadline is just as important as the main headline in that it draws the reader in and moves them to read the entire ad. Here’s some examples of great subheadlines for weight loss ads:
Why Diets Don’t Work For Women
Diet companies have made millions of dollars by misleading overweight American women and “They” continue to get rich while we get fatter and fatter!
Diet Mistakes That Sabotage Female Weight Loss
Free Weight Loss Consumers Guide For Women Struggling To Lose Weight And Seem To Gain Pounds Just By Looking At Food…Reveals The “BIG” Diet Companies Dirty Little Secrets That Hold You Prisoner To Your Weight And Cause You To Yo Yo Diet…Leaving You Feeling Frustrated, Defeated and Unable To Sustain Your Weight Loss Goals!
Mistake #2: Valuable real estate taken up by a picture that is trying to brand the doctor and his program. This picture or branding used in this ad doesn’t tell the reader anything “UNIQUE” or compelling. 21 Day Detox Cleanse and Purification does not answer the readers question of…”Why should I choose you and your solution over and above anyone or anything else including doing nothing?”
This picture or logo of the name of the doctors program is like putting a picture of yourself in the ad that no one cares about…they only care about themselves and anything you put in an ad must be focused on the reader.
Mistake #3: Assuming that the reader knows the celebrity used in the testimonial. Here’s the thing…most weight loss products and advertising is directed at females for a reason. Because they make up about 80-90% of the population who respond to such advertising. Trust me when I say that the BIG weight loss companies know who their target market is.
So understanding who your target market is you can’t assume that they know who this celebrity is. A better use of this testimonial would have been to point out who this celebrity is…like this:
Professional NFL & NCAA College Football Coach Rick Neuheisel and Wife Susan
By stating that he is a professional and college football coach you point that out clearly to the reader who may not have any clue who he is and you also create celebrity attachment bringing with it more credibility and believability. Now the female reader can also relate with the wife of this famous celebrity.
Mistake #4: No call tracking number. Most likely the number used in this ad is not attached to a “CALL TRACKER”. A call tracker is a phone number that is specific to this ad. A call tracker number would forward to a main office line. This allows you to hold your marketing accountable. A call tracker number lets you see exactly how many calls you had come in from this specific ad.
The call tracker service my clients use also lets us record every inbound call that comes in which provides us superior information on the nature of each call. It allows us to hear directly what the callers are asking and we then build systems around the most common questions so that the staff is prepared how to handle the bombardment of skepticism that may arise from any of our advertising.
Most importantly a call tracker gives us a precise Return On Investment because we know exactly how many new patients and revenue was generated directly from this particular ad. There’s no guessing and we can instantly see if the ad is working or not.
WARNING!!!: Never invest money on advertising that you can’t hold accountable through precise measurement and recording of response rates.
Mistake #5: No Call To Action! Next to the headline the “Call To Action” or the “Offer” is the second most important part of any great ad. In this ad the doctor just lists a website and doesn’t give the reader any specific instructions on what to do and even more importantly doesn’t point out any kind of compelling offer. In other words it doesn’t give the reader a reason to respond and take action now.
If you do use a website in your ad…make sure it doesn’t take them to a generic website that talks all about YOU and your list of services. If you are a chiropractor and the website you list in an ad talks about you and chiropractic and all the other things you do…you’re dead in the water because you have not built in any credibility that you are the GO TO expert and you will lose trust with the reader.
Your website should have a powerful “LEAD GENERATION MAGNET”. This is something that the website visitor will found valuable and want to see or read. A good Lead Gen Magnet gives the visitor a reason to leave their contact information in exchange for a free guide or free report or even a free DVD. This allows you to build a list that you can future market to through automated follow up systems.
WARNING!!!: The real money is made through powerful , strategic and automated “follow up”. Your follow up should not just be a series of automated email messages that Pitch…Pitch…Pitch. You must learn how to nurture and build trust through follow up marketing systems.
Lastly….this ad ran in a local weekly free paper. Typically local, weekly, free papers don’t get too many eyeballs reading them. This effects the response rate. Many doctors will make the mistake of thinking that because it’s cheaper to run in these types of papers it’s better. As I’ve mentioned many times in previous articles…the only thing that matters in marketing are results and ROI. Cheap and low to no cost doesn’t necessarily equate to better when it comes to effective marketing that generates great response rates and good ROI. Consider the same reason why your “Do It Yourself” Social Media and internet marketing isn’t working.
To learn more about how Dr. Brian Beckner…“The Profitable Practice Creator” teaches a select group of doctors how to build “TRUST” based relationships with prospective new patients while attracting 30 to 50 new consults a month…you can email him at info@TheProfitablePracticeCreator.com or call 949-305-2072.