Some things sell themselves. Like donuts, for instance. Or milkshakes. Really anything with sugar, come to think of it.
But although they’re a basic medical necessity, optometrical services don’t really fall into that category. (And pouring sugar onto your phoropter probably won’t help.)
That doesn’t mean optometry marketing is a lost cause, however. Having a plan to get your business in front of — and caring for — more eyeballs is an important part of ensuring the success of your practice.
And these days, marketing means way more than taking out an ad in the paper or buying space on a billboard.
Seven Attention-Getting Optometry Marketing Ideas
Here are some optometrist marketing tactics you might not have considered yet.
1. Make your business card unique.
Having a business card is a good first step. But if it’s a humdrum white rectangle like everyone else’s, it’s all but guaranteed to be forgotten until your potential client’s next wallet sweep.
These days, tons of producers create totally out-of-the-box designs, like these cute, miniature frames cranked out for a client by Plastic Printers. You can also find optometry-specific designs on traditionally-sized cards through firms like Zazzle, which offers customizable marketing materials at affordable costs.
2. Host a fashion show. (Yes, really!)
You know how some local hair salons and clothing boutiques drum up business by showcasing their services and wares on real, live people?
If your practice sells optical frames or sunglasses, you can totally host a fashion show, too! And you’ll doubtless be the coolest optometrist in town if you do so.
Costs could be quite minimal, depending on how big of a hullabaloo you want — you’d just need to get word out about the event ahead of time. But even a killer party with hors d’oeuvres and a live DJ could be doable, especially if you team up with other local businesses, like those salons and shops we mentioned.
3. Hand out swag… but make it snazzy!
Office pens and beer koozies are classic. But what about trading those disposable dilation glasses for a brightly-colored pair of branded shades your patients will actually wear again?
While this kind of marketing might cost a little more upfront, it can be a great way to make your patients remember and return to you — and chat about you to their friends. Because, let’s face it: those disposables make everyone want to run for cover as soon as they walk out of the office. Your patients will be thrilled to parade their new swag instead.
Another idea to consider: custom T-shirts, which you could give away for free or package with a purchase, like frames over a certain price. Whether they wear it to the gym or out grocery shopping, your clients will become walking billboards for your practice.
4. Give back to the community.
Helping out the local community doesn’t just spread the word about your practice. It makes you feel good, too! Check to see which charities in your area are in need of volunteers and head out as a team to donate your time — ideally while wearing those custom T-shirts we were just talking about.
You could also donate glasses to, or perform free checkups for, local schools and homeless shelters. Sponsoring local community events is another great approach, especially if you’re short on time.
5. Bust out the sidewalk chalk.
Just because optometry is a grown-up business doesn’t mean you can’t let your inner kid come out to play once in a while.
Drawing fun designs on the sidewalk in front of your business might just draw the eyes of passers-by, especially since so many of us now walk with our necks permanently craned, glued to our phones. And talk about an inexpensive marketing strategy!
6. Keep tabs on your web presence as a whole, including user reviews.
We’re a web-design firm, so you already know we believe in the power of having a digital footprint.
But if you’re still skeptical, you don’t have to take our word for it. Did you know that 90% of customers say their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews, and that 81% of shoppers report conducting online research before buying?
Those numbers mean making the effort to keep track of your online persona isn’t just a good idea — it’s absolutely critical. You need to know where your practice stands on review sites like Yelp, and you should probably also create accounts for your business on social media, where users can also interact with and recommend you.
Keeping those reviews positive is imperative — and besides, you want your practice to be the best it can be anyway, right? Making it a point to ask each and every customer to leave a review will go a long way toward motivating the team and keeping you well-ranked on those user review websites.
7. You guessed it — make sure you have a professional website!
Surprise, surprise: we think that creating a professional website is the very best mode of optometrist marketing. But we’re not just saying that because it’s our bread and butter!
When you have a website of your own, your existing clients take you more seriously — and new ones will be better able to find you. Remember that 81% who do online research before making purchasing decisions? When you have a professionally-designed, SEO-implemented website, you’re a whole lot more likely to cross their radar.
Here at 2020 designs, we offer custom-crafted, modern websites for affordable one-time fees. (And no, you don’t have to go through a lengthy process to request a quote — you can see our pricing scheme upfront, right here.) No matter which level of service you choose, your website will be finished in just two weeks, and we’ll be there every step of the way to answer your questions.
We also offer ongoing management and upkeep for just $99 per month, including regular site backups and monthly analytics reports, so you can see just how well your new marketing campaign is working.
Ready to get started on a shiny new website for your practice — or just want to start a conversation? Go ahead and reach out to us directly. We can’t wait to learn more about your business!