Direct Mail Response Not What It Used To Be? Here’s Your Solution

“My territory is just really tough. I have tried everything: Newspapers, Direct Mail, TV and Internet Advertising.  The response to my hearing aid marketing has been average at best. Nothing seems to work anymore.”

Does this sound familiar? If so, read on.

Occasionally we get a call from a hearing care practitioner who is completely frustrated with their territory.

They will tell us: “Hearing aid marketing is just not working for me anymore.”

If you are struggling with your hearing aid advertising response, then ask yourself these questions:

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”
– Mark Twain

Am I in a highly competitive market?

Is it possible my offers have become a little stale over the years?

Could my messages and offers be the same as my competitors’?

If you said yes to any of these, there is a solution for you.

First, a little insight into your hearing impaired customers.Your customers are not a “one-size-fits-all” audience. What motivates Mrs. Prospect A to pick up the phone and schedule an appointment will not necessarily motivate Mr. Prospect B.

Mrs. Prospect A is thinking:

“Ok. I have had my hearing tested before. I know I need hearing aids. I have just been putting it off. If I find the right offer, then I will break down and purchase that hearing aid. “

Mr. Prospect B is thinking:

“I have a suspicion my hearing just isn’t what it used to be. My wife has been telling me I need to talk to someone about it. However, I am not comfortable in a one-on-one situation where someone is trying to “sell” me.”

Most advertising messages are targeted at Mrs. A.

This is effective in most areas. However, you cannot keep targeting Mrs. A with the same message over and over. You need to “change up” that message to motivate her to take action for better hearing.

Meanwhile Mr. Prospect B is not receiving any communication that appeals to him. In his mind, he’s not ready to buy. He needs more information and not feel pressured.

Most often we see this scenario in a largely populated market that has been over-advertised by competitors

So you are in a competitive area. What will spark the interest of Mrs. A and make Mr. B comfortable to respond?

When is the last time you had 50 to 100 prospects in front of you at once?

Our clients who have tried the Lunch & Learn are averaging 50 to 70 attendees on 5,000 pieces (even those in the most competitive markets in the country).

Recently, one client saw over 100 attendees on just over 5,000 pieces mailed.

Another recent client called and said:
“I had to rent out my venue for two more days to keep up with the calls!”

Why is the Lunch & Learn working so well?

In the past, Lunch & Learn seminars were used by everyone from timeshare sales to mortgage lenders and used often by hearing care practices.  It was over-used. So businesses stopped holding Lunch & Learns.

Fast forward to the present. Now very few people are using the Lunch and Learn. What used to be commonplace is now unique and refreshing to patients at all levels of the hearing aid buying cycle.

You are sparking the interest of Mrs. Prospect A.

She is thinking:

“This is different from what I normally see in my mailbox. This person is trying to build a relationship with me rather than just sell me.”

Mr. Prospect B is also feeling more comfortable responding. 

It lowers his guard and opens the door for him to explore better hearing.

He is thinking:

“I know I need to do something. Here is a chance to find out more about hearing loss in a comfortable situation that my wife can attend along with me.”

The Lunch & Learn is a chance to build a relationship with your potential patients in a relaxed atmosphere.

Reasons Why Audiology & Hearing Care Practices Love Lunch & Learn Events:

  • More Hearing Aid Sales – Higher response rates = more sales opportunities. Our Lunch and Learn promotions have averaged 10 participants per thousand pieces mailed.(Much higher than an average direct mail program.)
  • Easier Hearing Aid Sales – Higher third-party participation = a quicker “yes” and increase in sales.
  • Gives You Authority – Holding an event where you are the main speaker naturally establishes higher credibility for your business.
  • Provides Fresh New Faces – we normally recommend targeting a radius around your office. With the Lunch & Learn event you can target a radius around the restaurant giving you a more responsive audience.
  • Better Rebuttals – You are able to handle questions and objections yourself in-person rather than over the phone by your receptionist.
  • Expenses Are Less Than You Think – Get help with expenses by cross-promoting with your participating restaurant – either by sharing marketing costs or discounting the food cost. (After all, you are mailing to a shared customer base, and bringing guaranteed business to the restaurant).

“But how many attendees actually convert to appointments and sales?”

Well, that is up to you. There are definitely best practices and tactics for moving the potential patient from the sidelines of a presentation into an appointment.

When it is done correctly, you should end up with about the same (or better) conversion rate as with inbound phone leads.

We can assist you with tips on best practices for converting attendees into appointments or lean on your manufacturer representative for some additional assistance. They are normally more than happy to help.

Not comfortable with public speaking?

Your manufacturer rep can usually help with that. The reps are usually very effective, credible public speakers. Having a Guest Speaker from a well known manufacturer is a great tool for increasing your authority.  They may even throw in some co-op dollars too!

The Lunch & Learn is not all sunshine & rainbows.

There is more work to do up-front. There is the cost of food, effort of booking a venue, and additional time required to prepare your presentation. However, there are creative remedies to help with these issues and the payoff can be huge.

Wouldn’t you be willing to put forth a little extra effort to have a captive audience of 50 to 100 “warm leads” ready to hear about your practice?

Lunch & Learn Events  are a huge success for even for the most jaded practitioners.

Over the last couple years we have consistently seen high responses from our Lunch & Learn promotions, even when the customers are in highly competitive markets.  With the correct steps in place for preparation, a Lunch and Learn is the perfect tool to give your practice a boost in response and sales.

Have more questions on running a successful Lunch & Learn event?

Give us a call or send us an email. We have lots of key tips on making your Lunch & Learn event a success.


You may also like:

Hearing Aid Advertising Portfolio (with Lunch & Learn Sample)

How to Sell More Hearing Aids? Set More Appointments. Here’s how…

7 Steps to a Successful Promotion – Hearing Aid Marketing

How to Flip the Take Me Off Your List Call – for Audiology & Hearing Care Practices