Six Steps to A Better Brochure

You only get one chance to make a first impression.

That old saying rings true for most businesses, but especially for a professional service like dentistry. The moment patients walk through the door, they begin to form lasting opinions about you and your practice. Once formed, those opinions can be very difficult to change. That’s why having a warm, friendly but professional looking reception area is essential for building the right image in your patients’ minds.

For many dental practices, however, that critical first impression begins to take shape long before the patient ever sets foot in your office. In fact, it starts the moment someone picks up your brochure and begins to read about you. If they don’t like what they see, or if they get turned off by your message, you may never have another chance at catching their attention — and their business — again.

Obviously, patients don’t choose dentists solely on the quality of their brochures. But, a well-written brochure can play an important role in helping to build your dental practice. To create an effective brochure that conveys the message you want prospective patients to read, keep the following principles in mind:

  1. Understand the brochure’s purpose. The primary goal with a brochure is to get potential patients to take the next step in the buying process. So, in addition to including your name, location, phone number and the services you provide, it also needs to motivate people to take action. In the case of a dental practice, that action typically involves a phone call to learn more about your practice or to schedule an appointment.
  2. Sell benefits, not features. To motivate people to take action, sell benefits, not features. People already know that you clean teeth, fill cavities, treat gum disease and so on. Those activities represent the features of your business. The benefits include things like the prevention of cavities, the self-confidence that comes from a glowing smile or the ability to eat hot and cold foods without pain.
  3. Be concise. In today’s world, people are bombarded with unsolicited information. As a result, they won’t take the time to read long-winded, poorly written marketing messages. To get and keep their attention with your brochure, get to the point fast. Use simple, easy-to-read language that provides educational, benefit-oriented information.
  4. Give people a reason to read beyond the headline. Two brochures sit side by side. The first one says, “Arthur B. Smith Dentistry.” The second one says, “Five Good Reasons to Make Johnson & Jones Your Dentist of Choice.” Nine out of ten people will read the second brochure first. Why? Because it offers a promise of new and useful information. If you want people to read your brochure, give them a reason for doing so.
  5. Build trust. At best, most people dislike going to the dentist. At worst, they fear it. To overcome that fear, your brochure needs to build trust. Include pictures of happy, smiling patients. List your credentials and years of experience. Highlight any awards you have received. Above all, let your patients know that you will treat them with kid-glove care.
  6. Include a call to action. A good brochure always includes a call to action. It doesn’t have to be an aggressive sales pitch, just a friendly reminder to take the next step in the buying process. For example: “For the whitest, brightest smile, call 1-8….” Or, “Let Dr. Jones make your next dental checkup yourmost pleasant ever. Call us today to schedule an appointment.”

You don’t need to hold a marketing degree to write a great dental brochure. Keep it simple, make it interesting to read, and do your best to answer the question that every patient asks: Why should I choose you over every other dentist?


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