By Gregory Usdan, OD
August 21, 2019
Marketing a practice can be an uphill battle. Traditional advertising can be expensive, and often ineffective, and social media marketing can work well–if you know what you’re doing.
When I sold my practice to MyEyeDr. in November 2018, I discovered the difference having the right buyer can make to how well you market and draw in new patients. As I continue working in the practice I built, I am impressed by how many more people I am able to help, thanks to the powerful new ways we have been reaching out to our community.
We have three doctors in our practice, with a fourth joining this month, plus 18 support staff, and a great set of resources provided by the MyEyeDr home office.
Here’s how those resources are helping to promote our services.
Before & After: More Frequent Contact With Our Patients
Before partnering with MyEyeDr., we were heavily involved with social media, as well as sponsorships of organizations throughout our home city of Memphis, Tenn. We did very little, if any, print advertising. We relied on e-mail, Instagram, Facebook, our web site, and most importantly, word-of-mouth from happy patients. Nothing beats a recommendation from a friend or co-worker.
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Supported now by MyEyeDr., we send targeted e-mail and text communications to our patients. We also benefit from social media and a strong digital advertising campaign. And we continue to participate in sponsorships of organizations throughout Memphis.
Our patients receive more timely and in-depth communications about happenings in our office, such as optical sales and the addition of new diagnostic services, that could peak their interest in eye health and product availability.
Many of my patients have commented about the e-mails they have received from us, noting that it was that communication to them that moved them to make an appointment for an exam. They were reminded of the importance of an annual comprehensive exam to their eye health, the need to replenish their contact-lens supply, or the improvement to their lives that new eyewear can make.
Make the Most of Your Staff’s Time
Prior to partnering with MyEyeDr., our in-house business manager was in charge of all marketing efforts, including Facebook, Instagram and local sponsorships. She did all the work herself with input from fellow employees. The cost of her time was built into her salary. She spent about 5-6 hours per week marketing our practice.
Marketing is now almost entirely off of our hands, managed capably by MyEyeDr., which has a firm grasp on marketing for practices, whether it is by direct e-mail to our patients or online campaigns about eye health, frame lines or new products.
MyEyeDr. has great relationships with vendors, enabling us to spotlight the products our patients are most interested in. Our staff does in-office marketing during patient visits, including education on annual supplies of contact lenses, second-pair eyewear options and sunglasses.
Since joining MyEyeDr., we are able to have a more integrated product messaging on the optical floor. It isn’t just the brands that are featured, but signs that talk about why a patient needs high-quality lenses with AR or polarized sunwear.
In addition to that in-office work, our staff continues to participate in local events, such as health fairs, in which they continue to build bonds with new patients.
One of the benefits of joining MyEyeDr. is using their marketing experts to effectively target and market to our patients. The time that has been freed up from MyEyeDr. taking over our marketing, and related administrative tasks, has allowed our staff to be more patient-focused during the office experience.
A Powerful Boost: More Room For Improvement Than You Realize
Before partnering with MyEyeDr., we thought we had a good handle on marketing, but what we have now is twice as powerful.
We were lucky that our business manager was an excellent marketer, especially in the social media world. Most practices do not have someone on staff that could handle all of those duties.
However, as well as we were doing with marketing, the patient communication powered by MyEyeDr. is much more efficient, offering us a team of experienced marketers focused only on how best to let new patients know about our practice, and the best ways of bringing existing patients back in.
The marketing professionals that are part of the MyEyeDr. team use demographic and behavioral data to determine the type of marketing that will be most effective. That results in marketing designed especially to appeal to the people most likely to visit our office.
And once patients find out about us, it’s easier than ever for them to book an appointment. One of the e-mails that provide the strongest response from our patients is a reminder for an eye exam that directs the patient to use an online appointment scheduler.
We continue to benefit from increased digital marketing, which blends strong search-engine optimization, display advertising and social media messaging. This significantly increases our capture of new patients.
We are looking forward to a new campaign rollout this fall that will integrate more patient stories into our advertising. New and prospective patients will know more than ever what we have to offer, and how we can improve their lives.