How many leads can you solicit? Even though a medium may be more cost effective, you have to take the Advertising S-Curve into consideration. Do not spend your complete budget on the most effective advertising medium!
The Advertising S-Curve specifies that you cannot spend unlimited amounts of money and expect unlimited amounts of leads from one medium. There is a certain level of funding in a certain media that makes it most effective.
For example: You need a yellow page ad. But, how big does it need to be. Above a certain size, a larger ad increases your cost per lead.
Do you think patients come to you because you have the larger ad? Some may be. But, if you spend $100/month on a yellow page ad that delivers 4-5 leads, or spend $3000/month on a yellow page ad that delivers 7-8 leads, which ad is more effective? The yellow page sales person is going to make you believe, that the 2-3 additional patients more than pay for the larger ad. On the other hand, how many patients could you gain by using the $2900 you saved on a referral program?
If you send a letter to a former patient every day, that prospect is going to be annoyed at the amount of mail she gets, and may not refer you for that reason. Even though, you could spend $365 (one mailing a day) a year on that patient, it is not going to be more effective than if you spend $52/year (one mailing per week) or $26/year (one mailing every 2 weeks). We both know that sending 26 mailings a year is still too much. If you send one per month, and maybe something for birthday, anniversary and Christmas, -maybe a $50 gift certificate for Christmas - that is $65 per contact. If you had 20 surgeries per month, you could send every one of those a gift certificate for the next two Christmas, and still pocket some money. Do you think that even one of those 20 patients has a friend that is interested in having surgery over the next two years? How about four?
Take it to the next level: Instead of giving a $50 Gift Certificate elsewhere, give a $100 Gift certificate for non-surgical services you offer, but that cost you little money in hard costs Äì such as peels, dermabrations or permanent make up.
Therefore, you may spend money on media that is more expensive but has a higher capacity for creating leads.