Holidays and events are a perfect excuse to have fun with your customers.
Loyalty is important for all businesses — but it’s hard to build among eyecare and eyewear customers when you only see them every so often.
Holidays and events are a fix for that. Celebrating important occasions with your clients helps you become part of the fabric of their lives.
Choose a holiday or two that will resonate with your customer niche, or fill your marketing calendar with events year-round. Popular options include parties, trunk sales and festive displays, but let your creativity flow.
In addition to traditional favorites (think Halloween or Christmas), you can mark lesser-known holidays — or even make up some of your own. EyeShop Optical Center in Lewis Center, OH, uses every excuse to party, including its own anniversary in June and weekly “Dessert Fridays.”
“Our patients get a better idea of who we are as people, which promotes our word-of-mouth referrals,” says EyeShop’s Dr. Cynthia Sayers. (Bingo!)
Let these eyecare providers inspire you to live it up with events of your own. The more, the merrier — and the better for keeping customers flowing to your business. — By JAMES RITCHIE
TO THE RESCUE
EyeShop Optical Center, Lewis Center, OHWho better to protect your vision than the Eyevengers? This practice assembled its own superhero team for a local July 4 parade. Other EyeShop celebrations include back-to-school events and an ’80s-themed Halloween party. “Dessert Friday” comes every week,with homemade yummies. Marketing is only one reason for the frequent diversions. “Our goal is mainly to let loose and have fun with our patients,” Dr. Cynthia Sayers says. “If we happen to bring in extra revenue in the process, then that’s even better.”
eye2eye Optometry Corner, Alexandria, VA
Trunk shows are a key strategy for this practice. The most successful one featured an Earth Day theme along with Eco by Modo products, billed as being made of “95 percent recycled materials.” Dr. Dora Adamopoulos says eco-friendly living is a hot topic in her area. “We wanted to bring that dialogue into our practice and show our community how they can be Earth-friendly with their eyewear choices.” The practice, which recycles eyewear through the local Lions Club, asked patients to bring in old pairs of glasses. For their donation, they received $25 off their purchase that day and a $25 gift card.
VIVE LA FRANCE
Andes Optical, Knoxville, TN
Owner Faith Andes McDaniel makes no secret: She’s a Francophile. And her employee, Elaine Evans, has her own ties to the culture as a French Canadian. So when McDaniel decided to try a trunk show with more of a social flair — previous ones had been “somewhat clinical” — she knew that Bastille Day offered an ideal theme. “We all have a love for it, and we were looking for an excuse to have a party,” McDaniel says. The July 14 event, held after hours with a cocktail party feel, was called “Raise Your Glasses” and featured Line Art eyewear from Charmant. (There were even gourmet pommes frites to mark another event: National French Fry Day on July 13.)
Eye Candy Kids, Delafield, WI
This kids-focused store opened in April and soon found the perfect way to introduce the new business to the community. Great Glasses Play Day, held the first Saturday in May, was created by the Little Four Eyes website and Peeps Eyewear to celebrate children who wear glasses. “We made it a party,” says Paula Hornbeck, owner of the new boutique (and the original Eye Candy, located next door). “We’re passionate about glasses and want kids who come here to feel that same passion.” The shop offered games, crafts, story time and other activities — all with an eyewear theme.
HOOP IT UP
Yankee Eye Clinic, Rosemount, MN
Leprechaun Days in Rosemount, MN, honors the area’s Irish heritage. Yankee Eye Clinic’s Rosemount office holds a hula hoop contest that typically draws about 75 children, who compete for prizes in several age categories. “Because we have hosted the hula hoop contest for many years, it is one of the events that people look forward to during Leprechaun Days,” says Carol Osnes, vice president of operations. The event’s summer timing encourages families to make appointments for back-to-school eye exams.
Acuity Vision Optometry Boutique, San Francisco, CA
An electric train display greets the holidays at this practice, with a motion sensor that automatically starts the fun when someone approaches the window. “The looks of awe and surprise of both the adults and children are priceless,” says Dr. Lyndi Schmidt. The train became such a hit in the neighborhood that Schmidt added a year-round version. Santa Claus also makes an annual stop at Acuity, where he listens to children’s wishes and poses for (free) photos. It’s lots of fun — and smart marketing for a practice that makes kids’ eyecare part of its focus.