Summertime

Summertime, a Great Time to Reach Patients

By Mary Anne C. Murphy, OD June 13, 2016

Ahhh … lazy summer months … I wait all year for this time of year. Vacation time, kids out of school – parents bringing children for appointments are less frenzied, less hurried to get out of the office and on to homework or a sporting event. We should all just be able to lay low and relax – if only.

With the summer months inviting relaxation for most everyone, a unique opportunity is presented to the community optometrist that can leverage expertise in protecting patients from the sun.

During the summer months, the time is ripe to promote sunwear sales – that’s obvious. June 27 is even National Sunglasses Day. However, consider taking a more unique approach that can directly enhance our patients’ ability to get the most out of their summertime activities. One area of interest that has taken off in our practice is prescription swim goggles, especially for children. With a myriad of vendors that offer spherical and astigmatic correction for a great price, we can outfit the majority of our pediatric patients for less than $50. Parents have loved this service offering and return year after year for replacements. Even when an Rx has not changed significantly, goggles get worn out after a season and they are an expected summer purchase for families with small children, especially when we remind them of all the wonderful critters that reside in the local swimming pool!

Additionally, we run specials on sports goggles and advertise when leagues have their sign-up sessions. We communicate with coaches to let them know we offer protective eyewear for baseball, soccer, and other summer sports. Our philosophy is, if you get them wearing correction/protection sports goggles at a young age, you increase the likelihood for lifelong opportunity of eyewear sales. Moreover, it’s just the right thing to do.

Eyewear aside, this is also a great time of year to promote your emergency services. Talking about common summertime injuries, be they from sports or from weekend warrior lawn maintenance, no one wants to be laid up during the summer with a bum eye.

Lastly, everyone is up for some fun in the summertime. We find that this time of year gets the best attendance for our patient appreciation events. We host a family gathering and rent out a local community water park – along with a local orthodontist and learning center – and we get a great turn out every summer. With a few fun giveaways like pizza and Frisbees, everyone leaves happy!

So, while the lazy days are calling, don’t miss out on a great chance to communicate and further connect with your patients. For those of us that are parents, I have a lot less e-mail from school to read so I’m much more likely to read a newsletter from my care providers, especially if the tagline offers some fun activities to keep my kids busy this summer.  Share some of your own family fun on social media sites; patients engage most often when they feel a personal connection and can relate to the post.

So no more reading this blog today. Get out there and have some fun!

Want to turn these months into an opportunity for your practice? Check out pathtopremier.com for tips from My Marketing Team on how to drive sunwear sales this summer.

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