Thanksgiving Marketing Your Patients and Optical Customers Will Gobble Up
By Eleni Karayeva November 20, 2021
Autumn leaves and pumpkins please...and eyeglasses! This might sound like an eye doctor’s typical Instagram caption around this time of year, and while most eye care practices will incorporate at least some seasonal content, like with any marketing plan, first you need a strategy. Let's talk about why the season of giving is an awesome time for your practice to engage your patients and the ways you can express your appreciation.
Creating the content and getting it out to your patients
This time of the year can be a tremendous marketing opportunity and a great boost to your brand. With seasonal marketing, you should give yourself - and your patients! - time to take advantage of your marketing campaign. Once you have brainstormed and settled on a couple of ideas, (and it should be a couple of ideas to target different audiences), start transitioning your content into a fall theme. Now, let's examine a couple of ideas for this season of giving.
Kick-off your holiday season early
Much of retail is doing it: starting the holiday promotions even earlier this year, so why not us in the optical business? If you think about it, we have even more reasons to do so. Starting promotions early means spreading out the end-of-year rush. Whether it's changing insurance policies or expiring flex spending accounts, many patients wait until the last minute to come in to take advantage of those benefits. Visiting the eye doctor isn't traditionally part of the Black Friday craze; people tend to remember these things when they are off, like during the winter holidays. Don't wait to remind them now, and you will have an easier time accommodating the inevitably high demand for appointments.
Optical clearance, Black Friday-style
The promotions you run around this time of the year should help boost your practice’s end-of-year revenue goals. One idea is to offer a 20-30 percent discount on select frames. That way you’d get the inventory moving, at the same time making space for new products for next year. Running this promotion doesn’t cost you anything extra since the product was already purchased and paid for. The goal here is to encourage multiple pair purchases. Another way to make this happen is to offer discounts on the second pair. Though not every practice owner is a fan of lens discounts because of the costs involved, many labs do offer up to 50 percent off on a second pair of lenses, and it makes sense to extend the same offer to your patients. Let your patients know about these offers through email blasts, social media, and signage throughout the store, making them impossible to miss.
Giving back to your community
Another great way to engage patients this Thanksgiving is to take part in community activities, such as a food drive. Those who support small businesses often do so for their communities. Partaking in a charity-related promotion can be your way of giving back. Not only is it wonderful to be a part of, but your more conscientious patients are also sure to appreciate the gesture! One idea is to ask your patients to donate to the food bank and in exchange for the donation, they would receive a discount on their eyeglass purchase. Of course, you can get as creative as you like! Again, be sure to tell your patients about it through all the social media channels you normally use. If you want to get even more proactive about getting them to participate, mention it each time someone schedules an appointment.
A simple thank-you note works too
Thanksgiving is a time of giving and expressing appreciation, a perfect time to say thank you to your patients, literally. This type of marketing campaign does not need to be tied to any specific promotion (though it can be). Keep it simple, but don’t forget to include your website, as well as your Facebook and Instagram handles. Besides being a token of appreciation, this is yet another means to get your brand out there. The real value of this campaign lies in its potential to not only remind your patients about your practice but also generate referrals. Word of mouth, after all, remains one of the best ways to attract new patients. The thank you can either be sent through an email blast or as a postcard. The former method might be the easier one, but keep in mind that an email campaign might leave out some demographic groups; some of your older patients might not have an email address, so sending a postcard would be the best bet in this scenario.
Also, don't forget to thank your staff as well. Between the busy schedule, extended hours, and all the holiday preparations, your staff are working harder than ever to make it all happen. Be sure to let them know how much you appreciate them!
These are just a couple of ideas to get your Thanksgiving marketing plan going. The key takeaway points are:
1. Start the marketing planning in advance for any seasonal marketing campaign.
2. Create promotions that'd help you reach your end-of-year revenue numbers.
3. Find ways to give back to your community and express gratitude!
With these goals in mind, it'll be easier to engage your patients and connect with your community, so that your practice will be well on its way to even greater success. Happy Thanksgiving!