End-of-Year Campaign Will Benefit You and Your Patients
Every practice has some month or months that are better financially than others. No matter what your mode of practice, it is easier on the pocket book, the patient experience, and on the doctor if your business has a consistent flow of patients and purchases. If you find the final months of the calendar year a challenge in any of the above areas, I would encourage you to begin an end-of-year marketing campaign and include cosmetic contact lenses in this campaign.
I first implemented this strategy 15 years ago when I bought my practice. After analyzing the trends saw that the business was always unpredictable and typically slower at the end of the year. It didn’t make sense to me that when patients have met their deductibles, have money in their flex savings accounts, or even unused vision benefits that they wouldn’t be scheduling to see us. I asked my patients why they didn’t come in and the answer was always the same “I forgot.”
To try to eliminate this problem I developed a one-page document to mail (before the days of patient engagement software and emails) to our patients (all of them) to remind them of these facts. We had such success when we mailed it in December that we began sending it out in November and twice in December. The following year we began the mailings in October. We moved our practice from being busy only between Christmas and New Year’s Day (when patients remembered to schedule and were less busy) to being consistently busy October through December.
Now we use Solutionreach, patient engagement software, to email the letter out with an embedded appointment request button so when my patients receive the letter they can click the button and schedule an appointment immediately.
You can use the letters Solutionreach has premade and consider following the email with a newsletter highlighting cosmetic contact lenses and any end-of-year promotions you are running in your office.
I find having a photo of the doctor, the staff or the practice in the email is helpful and a call to action for any marketing campaign is a must. Don’t forget to enable the “refer a friend” function as well so your patients can invite their friends. Include promotional images of color contact lenses and a link to the virtual try on so patients know that if they are up to date with multiple pairs of glasses and already have their annual supply of contacts then colors are a great option.
One last tip, ask your patient engagement software company to schedule the email blasts ahead of time (time and day) so you don’t forget. Your patients will love you for helping them maximize their benefits, and for their new contacts and glasses.
April Jasper, OD, FAAO has a private practice in West Palm Beach, Florida. She serves on several Advisory boards including Vision Source, Allergan and Alcon. Dr. Jasper is President of the Florida Optometric Association. Her passion is sharing with her colleagues in areas of practice management and technology in an effort to help them become more successful in patient care and personal growth. She has created the company Distinctive Strategies and Leadership to accomplish that mission. Learn more at www.DistinctiveStrategies.com.