How Much Does it Really Cost To Send a Laser Postcard?

Here at RevenueWell, we've helped thousands of dental offices eliminate the need to manually send letters and postcards for a host of common communications. From recalls and patient reactivation to birthday and holiday cards, an automated patient communication solution can really take over every step of the process and do it all outside the four walls of your office. The interesting part, though, is that this new approach is also much more cost effective, and it’s easy to see that when you do just a bit of rudimentary math.

Here’s a situation you’re probably intimately familiar with: it’s the end of the month, and you need to send out 100 recall postcards. This is what it looks like today:

  • First, you dive into your practice software, fire up the recall wizard, dutifully selecting the dates, recall types and whatever other criteria you need in order to segment the list appropriately. For an experienced person, creating and reviewing this report likely takes about 15 minutes. If that same person were to earn $30 an hour, you’d be looking at a cost of $7.50 for that increment of time. Or, another way – 7.5¢ per postcard.
  • Once the list has been segmented and generated, it’s time to get things printed. Laser postcards, which run about 20¢ each, are fed into the laser printer, utilizing about 1¢ of toner for each card run through the machine.
  • Then it’s time to sort. You’ll spend about 30 minutes there – tearing apart the perforated postcards and preparing them with postage. This process, when broken down, works out to about 15¢ per card.
  • Postage for a 4×6 postcard runs 34¢ – that bit will be the same whether you do postcards automatically or manually.

So, what’s your overall cost?

Just north of 77¢ per postcard. It goes without saying, that sort of expense is worth it when you want to keep patients healthy, on track with their hygiene and engaged with your practice. But is there a better way?

Well, as RevenueWell customers are finding out, there is. At this point in time, the cost to mail a beautiful, triple-laminated, personalized postcard via our automated system is only 62¢ a card – a near 20% savings. That’s significant when you consider such costs over the course of a year. Where else might we be able to do better?

Send a portion of them through email

In the above example, we’re assuming a need to send a postcard to every patient who is being recalled, reactivated or who is celebrating a birthday – they’re our “100” patients, if you will. But what would happen to our overall cost if we had a way to email notices to some patients and send physical mail to only the remainder?

When a typical dental office starts with RevenueWell, it has email addresses for about 30% of its patients. Over time, we help them edge data collection upwards of 70%. Future statistics aside, from the get-go, an office with addresses for that many patients will end up saving 45% on cost instead of a mere 20% when not using email. Best of all, patients respond more rapidly and consistently to email because they’re presented with the ability to request appointments on the spot.

Be more targeted!

Would you agree it doesn't make sense to send a birthday card to a patient you haven’t seen for five years? And that it’s somewhat redundant and wasteful to individually send the same holiday wish to four people living under the same roof? Using an automated solution like RevenueWell helps you forward communications in a much more refined manner without hours spent filtering your patient list.

More timely delivery

Real-time delivery is amazing. Instead of the old way of sending out postcards once a month, RevenueWell prints and mails postcards on the fly – which means birthday cards arrive on the day of your patient’s birthday, not three weeks ahead or a week late. It also ensures you’re not waiting an excessive amount of time to notify patients they’re overdue for recare – helping your patients stay on the schedule you recommended.

Better presentation

One of the major limitations of laser postcards as a medium is that they have to be thin and flimsy so you can feed them through the printer. As a result, they show up in your patients’ mailboxes looking pretty beat up. An automated solution, by contrast, can use a thicker stock and a commercial-grade printer – and include your branding and imagery right on the postcard. This leads to a higher conversion rate, since patients are less likely to discard a nice-looking mailing.

It’s greener!

Lastly, sending fewer postcards means less paper cluttering the planet. RevenueWell customers send over 100,000 pieces of direct mail each and every month. Assuming this figure would be at least 30% higher if customers couldn’t send such messages via email, we help save 400 pounds of paper from entering the environment every 30 days. Now, that’s something to feel good about!

So, if your office is sick of the direct mail drill, consider an automatic patient communication solution like RevenueWell. If you’re like many of your colleagues, you’ll never look back.