Even the most established and profitable optometrist practices should have a marketing plan. If you don’t have one, it’s never too late to create one! Many practices have one year as well as five year marketing plans to ensure they always understand the direction of the practice.
Have you put off creating a marketing plan because you’ve been too busy? Even if your business is booming and keeping you occupied, you really should have a plan! Businesses with a marketing plan and goals are more successful in the long run.
If you’ve put off the marketing plan because you just can’t come up with any fresh ideas for your optometry practice, maybe we can help! Check out the optometry marketing tips below to get some new ideas for promoting your practice.
As an optometrist, are you always telling your patients to wear sunglasses? Wouldn’t you love it if they listened? Sell more sunglasses by having a pre-summer sale. Offer a percentage off prescription sunglasses in March and April. Your patients likely aren’t thinking about sunglasses in March and April, but if you offer an enticing discount, you can get them interested.
Another way to take advantage of seasonally appropriate discounts would be to encourage summer appointments for students to keep the office from being double booked when school starts in the fall.
Encourage parents to bring their children in during the slower summer months by offering a back to school bargain. Give a percentage off children’s frames during the month of July, or even an entry into a drawing for something fun for the kids, like toys or school supplies.
Networking with nearby businesses can be beneficial for so many reasons. Depending on your location, it’s possible that local businesses don’t even know you exist. Even if they do, they are unlikely to recommend you to their customers or friends and family based on your location alone. Stop in and introduce yourself—give them a reason to say something nice about you and your practice!
You should also network with other doctors in the area. This includes other OD’s as well as Primary Care Doctors and pediatricians. It’s the same idea as networking with your neighbors: if they haven’t met you, they are very unlikely to send anyone your way.
Physicians are always telling their patients to go get their eyes checked, especially their diabetic patients. Make sure they know who you are, where you practice, and why they should trust their patients with you.
If your equipment and frames are old, patients will assume that you're falling behind, and they could potentially try to find a practice with the most modern, cutting-edge equipment. You should update your equipment when necessary to make sure that you're able to give patients the most accurate and detailed results.
The same goes for your frames - fashion is always evolving, and customers want the newest and trendiest eyeglass frames. So you should be sure to have an expansive selection of the newest and trendiest styles. Make sure your frames are displayed attractively in clean cases, carry a range of different sizes and lines that accommodate the all the demographics you serve. That also means offering frames that vary in price and quality.
It’s good to be known as the practice that carries high end frames, but it’s better to be known as the office that always has exactly what your customers are looking for.
Not all patients will be receptive to your reminders, but it's worth it for those that are!
Require your patients to share their email address when they register with your practice, and send them reminders when it's almost time for their yearly exam. Try sending one email two months in advance so that they have time to schedule, and a follow-up email if they don't make an appointment.
You can also send emails to remind patients of their upcoming appointments.
There is no debating the value of a good referral from a current patient. Patient referrals are not only the best compliment you can get but also a very trusted source that can easily convert strangers into patients.
Test out incentivizing your patients with a referral program. Give them a voucher for services or products, a discount off their order, a gas card, or enter them into a drawing for a big prize. Whatever it is, show your appreciation and make sure to promote the program so they know how much you appreciate their referrals!
Vision is your wheelhouse and Internet marketing is ours, so trust us when we say a good portion of your marketing budget and focus should be spent on marketing your practice online. It truly is the easiest marketing channel to track and the best ROI you’ll get.
Here are some suggestions for ways to market yourself in our digital world. You can use these ideas independently of the ones offered above, or in tandem.
You may have already heard of search engine optimization (or SEO), but you’re a local optometrist and you’re not trying to take over the world. You just want to serve the members of your community, so you may have though you don't need it.
The truth is, if your site isn’t optimized for search engines, odds are good you’re missing out on the benefits of traffic from search engines. That means people in your community who are shopping for a new optometrist likely aren’t finding you.
Optimizing your website for search engines allows users who don’t know who you are but are looking for someone that offers optometry services to find you. The days of looking up a doctor in the phonebook are in the past. Today your potential patients are looking for you online, so you need to make sure you are well represented online.
To learn about getting started with SEO on your website, try reading our beginner’s guide to SEO, which will give you some starter tips for optimizing your optometry website to rank better in searches.
Pay-per-click, or PPC campaigns are a great way to advertise to potential patients. PPC advertising allows you to more specifically target your audience and more easily gauge the success of your advertising campaign than pretty much any other means of advertising. These ads appear along with natural results at the top and sides of search engines, and you only pay for them when interested users click on them.
You can set up your campaigns so your ads are only shown to people in certain geographical areas who searched for something “optometrist in Boston” or “who sells Kate Spade Frames in Orlando?” This keeps you from paying for ads and clicks that aren’t relevant to your business.
A blog is a great way to share interesting and engaging information with your patients and the world. Regularly posting to your blog sends good signals to Google—search engines like websites with fresh content—and to your patients.
If you’re blogging about optometry or optometry related items not only are you up to date with technology but you also start earning their trust. Blogging about optometry-related topics shows that you’re good at what you do and you care about your profession.
Blogs are also easy to share on social media, so creating one is a win-win.
Engage with your patients on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Share pictures of new collections, promote specials, or talk about any seasonal discounts. Share fun facts with patients about eyes and vision they might not know, and educate them on the importance of contact lens care, annual eye exams, wearing sunglasses, a healthy diet, and so on.
If you’re using social media as a marketing tactic, make sure you’re actually being social! It won't do your optometry practice any good if your pages aren’t being managed and updated regularly. Also, remember to respond to any questions or comments that are posted on your pages in a timely manner.
Word of mouth has taken to the Internet through review websites like Google+, Yelp, Yahoo! Local, and more. Encouraging happy customers to leave positive reviews, as well as managing any negative reviews, can do much to set your practice apart from the competition.
Online reviews tie in closely with SEO, as well. A search for “optometrists near
This is why it’s of such vital importance that your practice is properly listed and managed on all relevant review websites. Encouraging positive reviews and having the ability dispute negative reviews are very powerful tools when it comes to establishing trust in your practice.
These are just a few suggestions you can use to improve your optometry practice. We hope they’ve given you a few ideas you can use to grow your business and bring more patients to your location!
If you’re too busy to put any of these suggestions into play, reach out to one of our web strategists to discuss how WebpageFX can help you grow your optometry practice. We have many years of experience helping more than 500 businesses grow their presences both online and off, and we specialize in high ROI marketing methods that attract more leads and improve SEO.
WebpageFX will never pitch you a cookie-cutter marketing plan. If you work with us, we’ll deliver a marketing plan completely customized to your needs, goals, and long-term plans. Give us a call or contact us online today for a no-obligation quote—we can’t wait to hear from you!
Get a custom marketing plan designed to draw more patients to your optometry practice than ever. Call 888.449.3239 or contact us online today to find out how WebpageFX can help you meet your marketing goals year after year.