Did you know that according to the 2019 Vision Council Market Survey, that only 14.3 % of Canadians wear any form of contact lenses? With all the new technology, materials and modalities it is estimated that over 50% of refractive errors could be corrected with contact lenses. So, if 50% or more of your patients could wear contact lenses why do only 14.3% currently choose to?
It all comes down to marketing and selling. If patients don’t know about new technologies like multifocal contact lenses or they are unaware they can purchase a small supply of lenses for special occasions or sports then we are not doing a great sales job.
Here are 10 tips for marketing and growing your contact lens sales:
1. Build a Page About Contact Lenses On Your Website
All marketing roads lead to the website. 95% or more of your current and potential patients will land on your website at some point. Make it a hub of information and that includes contact lenses. Talk about brands, new technology and materials that make lenses more comfortable. Put a link to your online e-store if you have one or a call to action button to book a contact lens fitting.
2. Invest in an E-Commerce Platform for Contact Lenses
Currently, 21.9% of contact lenses in Canada are sold on the internet. (Vision Council Market Survey 2019) That number is growing every year. It’s time to embrace e-commerce and take back some of those sales by driving patients to your online platform instead. (Interested in options? Check out our eGuide on every e-store in our industry.
3. Post information On Your Facebook & Instagram
This might seem basic, but you can develop a great social strategy using images and video to highlight the information you deem important. A couple of tips to build your strategy is to look to contact lens suppliers for content. They all have images and ready-made social posts and even videos to download and use immediately. Think about your audience…use images of 40+ models to highlight multifocal and sports-related images for part-time wear.
Last tip here…boost at least one of your posts a week. Facebook and Instagram are a pay-to-play model now so if you want people to see your posts you need to put a little budget behind them.
4. Launch ads on Google, Facebook & Instagram
While social posts are great, ads can gain you some amazing exposure. Patients are searching on the internet and social platforms all the time and for specific product searches like contact lenses. Digital ads these days can be very geo-targeted to be only in a geographical area as well to a defined audience like mothers (who may have children who are interested in contact lenses). You can also use Google Adwords to show up for searches like contact lenses near me or specific brands like Acuvue Oasys contact lenses.
5. Talk About Dry Eye and Contact Lenses
When surveying patients on why they drop out of wearing contact lenses, comfort is cited as the top reason. Over 30% of Canadians suffer from dry eye and dry eye-related symptoms. There have never been so many treatments available for treating dry eye and ocular surface disease as there is today. From drops to laser therapies there is an option to make most dry eye patients more comfortable, allowing them to continue to use contact lenses. Talk about a win/ win because you are also driving your dry eye medical niche at the same time as saving a contact lens patient.
6. Ask Every Patient in for an Eye Exam if They Are Interested in Contact Lenses
We still hear every day that people never knew that multifocal contact lenses ever existed. Asking every patient in the exam chair if they are interested in contact lenses is a great sales and marketing strategy all on its own. It can open up a host of questions and comments that can lead to a discussion on options available.
7. Advertise New Technologies and Materials in Your Practice Newsletter
I personally dropped out of contact lenses before silicone hydrogel was available. I could not tolerate the hydrogel lenses for more than a few hours before rushing to take them out. Silicone hydrogel lenses were a completely different story as were multifocal lenses. I became a full-time contact lens wearer spending 16 hours a day in lenses. If I hadn’t been in the business I might not have known about the new technology. Always talk about new products and benefits to all patients.
8. Create Email Blasts Specifically About Contact Lenses
We’re a big advocate of email marketing! In fact, we just recorded a new webinar on the power of email marketing for your practice. Email marketing can have a 38:1 ROI or for every $1 you spend on email marketing it can yield up to $38 in return. There are lots of promotional messages you can build into your email marketing strategy from annual supply discounts, manufacturer rebates to new products and technology.
9.Put on an Information Evening on Multifocal Contact Lenses
The population is ageing. Therefore the need to move patients from a spherical contact lens to monovision or multifocal is also going to increase. Put on an information evening (once the pandemic is over!) and invite patients over 40 years old to learn more about multifocal contact lenses.
10. Show up on Google for Searches for Contact Lens Brands
Every single day a patient in your targeted geography is searching for contact lens brands on Google. There are really only two ways you can show up for those searches. One we talked about above with investing in Google Adwords, but another often missed opportunity is to highlight the brand on your website. It’s important to note that a logo alone won’t work. Google can’t distinguish a logo so you need text as well with the brand name like “Acuvue Oasys” so Google can now see that you carry that brand. You now have a chance of showing up for that brand search.
We love helping practices market and grow contact lenses. Check out our webinar all about the secrets to a thriving contact lens business. You can view the recording here. This webinar is jam-packed with great information and includes a surprise giveaway at the end!