One of the biggest challenges eyecare practices face is replenishing new clients. Getting new patients through the door can be a relentless struggle. Ironically, the focus on marketing often drops off when business is fairly busy. But in such a competitive market, marketing requires constant attention to bring new clients in. So how do you effectively market and grow your eyecare practice without breaking the bank?
Here are 6 easy optical marketing tips that won’t bankrupt your business!
Word of mouth
Never underestimate the power of word of mouth when it comes to attracting new clients. This is the best and most reliable bit of your marketing strategy. This begins with how you and your staff treat your patients and how you anticipate their eyecare needs. Get your service right, and your patients will happily spread the word. Word of mouth marketing (WOMM) is incredibly valuable and it’s free!
All you need to do is offer exemplary service. Simple things like welcoming patients with a smile and a handshake can make a lasting impression. Taking your patient’s coat and hanging it up
Refer a friend
Your current clients may love you and be actively spreading the word about how great you are, but how sure are you that their friends and family will make the call and book an appointment? Offering a $10 discount to newly referred patients and $10 credit on account for your client who referred them can be more effective and will give your clients an even bigger reason to tell their friends about you. It’s a good idea to look at some refer a friend program examples (even in other sectors) for ideas.
Click here to read more on Referral Software
Create an outreach program with a local senior citizen group. Pay visits to senior centers, retirement homes and assisted living facilities to educate and provide information on common age-related eye problems, such as cataracts and glaucoma.
This won’t cost you a lot of money (just your time) and is an effective way of reaching an audience that probably isn’t active online. Importantly, community involvement will help to increase brand awareness and grow your reputation.
Never approach this work as a selling activity. Simply sharing your knowledge is inviting potential new patients to get the care they need.
If you’re not already using social media, make time to do it! Ask staff to help you set up Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You don’t have to post every day, but once or twice a week will help to grow followers and increase your visibility. Social media is a great way to share promotions, keep in touch with your patients and promote your brand.
Use business analytics to see what campaigns have worked best and what content appeals to your different target audiences. This will help you to make more effective use of the social media platforms. See here for the many benefits of social media to business.
Getting involved in a charity event or sponsoring a local community team is a great way to increase brand awareness and promote feel-good factor around your practice. Perhaps offer free eye checks to your local baseball, basketball or soccer team.
If you are taking part in a charity event be sure to wear branded T-shirts and speak with others at the event to network and raise awareness of your optometry business.
Implement an online appointment booking system
Giving people the option to book an appointment with you online is an investment worth making. People often make appointments while they are travelling and many prefer to do this without picking up the phone and making a call. New patients are three times more likely to use online booking than existing patients, so online scheduling software is an investment worth making. The biggest advantage is that it keeps your optometry business open 24/7!