An effective marketing plan for your optometry practice will include both online and offline messages. When creating your marketing strategy for 2015, you need to coordinate your online and offline efforts to ensure consistency and maximize both marketing methods. While online marketing has tremendous results, there are several often overlooked offline marketing methods that still work when executed properly.
1. Timely Print Mailings
Well-timed mailings to your contact list can be an effective way to put your business in front of your existing patients or potential patients. Consider sending out a holiday special mailing or a back-to-school promotional postcard. Personalized cards for birthdays and anniversaries are another great way to connect with patients and remind them it is time for an eye exam.
Link the mailing to your online marketing efforts by including the URL for your website and social media pages. Include a sentence asking them to follow you on social media for specials and online-only discounts.
2. Referral Programs
A strategic referral program is a terrific way to encourage your existing patients to refer their friends. In many cases, the referral bonus doesn’t need to be large to be effective. Local eye care providers have offered $10 coffee cards or 10% off your next frame or contact lens purchase to patients who send in referrals.
Promote your referral program on your website with a simple message, such as “Ask Us about Our Refer a Friend or Family Member Special.
3. Participate in Local Events
Local events in your community like street fairs, small business events, and networking occasions are an excellent opportunity to build up your reputation as a trusted eye care professional and share eye health information. Have business cards, educational brochures, or promotion flyers on hand, depending on the type of event.
Publicize your participation in these events and invite your patients and followers to attend by posting to your social media.
4. Local Team Sponsorships
Sponsoring local youth and adult teams in your area are a tried and true method of building up your reputation in the community. Often, the sponsorships only require an investment of a couple of hundred dollars and you typically get to have your practice’s name on the team’s banner. Additionally, you can showcase your sponsorship in your optometry office and create stronger bonds with your patients.
Highlight your sponsorship on your website and post occasionally about team events or successes.
5. Customer Service
Face-to-face customer service is one of the most important, often ignored offline marketing methods. Marketing your business online with a professional website, engaging social media, custom video, well-executed pay-per-click, and advanced SEO is all wasted if a patient or potential patient has a poor experience with your office. Always coach your team on great customer service and lead them by example.
An easy way to create a great patient experience is by ensuring strong team communication. Make sure your team is aware of any online specials or promotions you are running and empower them to take whatever steps are necessary to keep patients happy.
Consistency, coordination, and communication are essential to running a successful online and offline marketing strategy in the New Year. Maximize the results of your online and offline marketing efforts by creating a clear, cohesive plan that uses advanced online marketing and traditional marketing methods.
Rachel Cunningham is Content and Social Media Manager at iMatrix, a provider of affordable web marketing solutions for small, practice based businesses. She earned a Master of Arts degree in English from CSU Long Beach and a Bachelor of Science from Boston College in General Management. Rachel is experienced in writing content optimized for search engines and users, creating engaging content for social media, and crafting articles about SEO and social media marketing for small businesses.