Acquiring new patients is important, but there’s nothing that matters more than keeping your existing patients happy and engaged. Too many optometrists fall into the trap of thinking patient loyalty is a given, but really, it’s something that’s earned. If you focus all your marketing efforts on acquiring new patients, you’ll risk losing the ones you already have.
You must put effort into making your patients feel cared for, heard, and important. This will, of course, rely on your professional service. However, there are many ways you can utilize and adapt your marketing practices to keep current patients hooked on your practice’s services.
Create a patient-centric marketing strategy
Create a marketing strategy that focuses on providing value to your patients. Consider their needs and preferences when developing your messaging and marketing materials. Are your patients regularly asking the same questions? Making the same mistakes with their eyecare? Have you recently launched a new product or service you think customers would be interested in? Incorporate these topics into your marketing content. Don’t focus on content only explain the benefits of your practice’s services to prospective clients.
Show your current clients that they are the most important part of your marketing strategy. Seeing content that is aimed at encouraging their eye health journey will make patients feel truly valued. It shows that you legitimately care about their well-being and the effectiveness of their treatments. For example, don’t just write blog posts about the best treatments for dry eyes. Also, write posts about how you can extend the results of dry eye treatment and keep dry eye symptoms from returning.
Engage via email
When you take on a client, it's pretty common to get their email - to confirm appointments, get insurance information, or explain a course of treatment. Because of this, you’ve probably gathered a pretty extensive list of customer emails. Now, it’s time to put that list to good marketing use.
Email marketing is an invaluable tool for patient engagement. You can use your vast customer email list to keep in touch with your patients. Send newsletters, updates, and check-up reminders to patients. You can offer email incentives like exclusive offers or discounts to patients who are subscribed to your email newsletters.
Getting customers to engage with your emails is all about keeping the content exciting and relevant to them. Use intriguing subject lines. Make sure the updates, blog posts, and other media in your emails are always new and engaging. Keep track of email analytics to help you better determine what content is performing well and which types of emails are most interesting to patients. You’ll learn about your patients’ likes and dislikes and be able to add value to both your emails and your practice as a whole.
Leverage social media
Social media platforms might seem like they are only valuable for promoting yourself and securing new patients, but they can also be excellent tools for keeping your existing patients engaged. Create educational content on social platforms that’s relevant to everyone. Think of topics that are valuable and can be easily shared, like a post on the best eye drops or ways to store contacts.
If your patients know they can rely on your socials for educational content, they will feel more inclined to engage. Your practice will establish a strong social voice and become a go-to source for answers to eye health questions. The bonus is that they can share these posts with friends and families, thus widening your audience and expanding your patient base.
Add a personal touch
Patient engagement is all about connection. You may have patients who are only in your office every couple of months or even years, so it’s important to use marketing tools to connect with patients in other ways.
Do this by adding personal touches to the ways you communicate with them. Consider adding names to emails and subject lines. Send patients emails on their birthdays or as reminders when they are overdue for check-ups. You could even sort patents into specific email lists. For example, put all of your contact patients into one email group and your glaucoma patients into another.
Adding personalization to your marketing communications will show your patients that you care about them and their eye health.
Your patients are paramount to your success, and it’s vital to the health of your practice that existing patients are considered when planning your marketing strategy. Thankfully, you have more insight into your patients wants, needs, and concerns than you even realize. In collaboration with an optometry marketing agency, this information can be leveraged to create an exciting marketing plan aimed at your valued patients.