By April L. Jasper, OD, FAAO
Use promotions like discounts to keep patients interested in your practice and to spur additional purchases.
HOW IS THIS A FRAMES ARTICLE?
THIS NEEDS VISUALS. LOOKING AT HER WEBSITE BUT NOT FINDING THE “KIDS SEE FREE’ MESSAGE THAT SHE DESCRIBES.
SHOW PROMOS SHE HAS DONE–OR OTHERS
Promotions like discounts on second pairs, discounts on sunwear with annual purchases of contact lenses, or special offers for children’s eyewear, keep patients engaged in your practice. It shows them that you are interested in making a deal to ensure they are given the eyewear they need. It also keeps them stopping in your office or checking on your practice web site or Facebook page, or may simply induce them to continue opening the e-mails you send.
But before launching promotional offers, it is important to do it right: Keepthe offer consistent to all patients and vary your promotional offers regularly so patients don’t lose interest. Here are key points to make your promotions pay off for you. remember before deciding to launch promotional offers.
Decide Which Offers Are Evergreens OR IS IT “MAKE SOME OFFERS EVERGREEN”
There are some offers which I have decided to make permanent because they tie into my practice philosophy or to a larger eyecare concern. One such promotion is our “Kids See Free” promo in which anyone under 18 is supplied free-of-charge with polycarbonate lenses when a second frames purchase. This offer ties into my practice philosophy that the eyes and vision of children is a priority. The promotion has been so successful that 33 percent of parents who purchase eyewear for children in our office take advantage of this offer. This promotion also results in additional revenues for the practice as treatments for lenses such as AR are not included, so those making a purchase would pay extra for that.
Many parents will indulge in additional eyewear for themselves, but are hesitant to provide a child with a second pair. Offering complimentary polycarbonate lenses with the second frames purchase, all of which are protected by our 12-month warranty, gives parents security in making that second-pair purchase for children. It also helps when we explain that polycarbonate lenses are more durable than other lenses, so new eyeglasses are built to last.
Switch Out Some Promotions
Some promotions are changed out seasonally such as our offer of a free pair of sunglasses with a purchase of an annual supply of contact lenses, which we offer during the summer. Other offers such as a discount of 50 percent off second pairs of eyeglasses or a free frame for a second pair are changed regularly to spark interest. If patients keep hearing or seeing the same offer, they begin to tune it out. Making the offer time-limited also creates a sense of urgency, letting patients know the offer won’t last forever, so they should act while they still can.
Doctor Should Mention Promo in Exam Room
Just as you prescribe and discuss eyewear in the exam room that you would like patients to purchase, you also should mention the promos available to them. For instance, if you have just completed examining a contact lens patient and you have an offer for a free or discounted pair of sunglasses with a purchase of an annual supply, you should point it out. Make it part of your prescription for caring for their eyes properly. For example: “Susan, as I mentioned, it is very important that you protect your eyes from the sun’s dangerous ultra-violet radiation. Luckily, we have a special summertime offer of complimentary sunwear when you purchase an annual supply of contact lenses, like you plan to do today. It’s a great opportunity to finally get a good pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes.”
Keep Messaging Consistent
Your promotion won’t be effective if the offer isn’t made across marketing platforms–that means not only in your office, but on your practice web site, Facebook page and other social media, in addition to face-to-face when the patient is in your practice. Also essential is making sure all staff present the same offer to all eligible patients. Staff should not be adding to the offer for certain patients or telling some eligible patients about it but not others. Include briefings about the current and upcoming promotions during staff meetings and maybe also offer written or electronic reminders of exactly what the offer is so staff explain it accurately and consistently to patients.
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