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Kaia Pankhurst

Get the Lowdown on Geofencing to Target Your New Clients

It mixes the major draws of traditional media, like brand awareness and location-specific messaging, and optimizes them to get the best of both worlds.




YOU’RE ALWAYS LOOKING for new ways to bring patients through your doors. If you’ve already invested in methods like SEO, paid search ads, and social media, you may feel like traditional media is the one mountain left unclimbed.While there’s something to be said for branding through traditional media like radio ads and billboards, there’s a more strategic and more effective way to target potential leads based on where they are in the real world — it’s called geofencing.

What Is Geofencing?

Geofencing is a strategy that targets internet users based on their physical location. It’s an excellent way to capture the attention of people who live, work or even just pass through your area in real time.

How Does Geofencing Work?

Geofencing works by setting up virtual boundaries around a real-world space. That space could be anything from 1.6 miles to 160 miles in radius … although it’s best not to go too big.

As users enter or pass through your fenced area, the geofence will trigger some kind of action on their mobile device. The action depends on what you’ve set your fence up to do — it could be targeted display ads, it could be a push notification through a specific app, or a variety of other opportunities to get your practice at the top of the user’s mind.


What Are Its Applications?

1. Brand awareness. Brand awareness is an important part of any marketing strategy. The more often potential patients see your practice name and logo, the more familiar they will feel with it. The more familiar they feel with it, the more likely they are to trust you.

When you add geofencing to the equation, you ensure potential patients get familiar with your brand within the context of their routine. If their office or ride to work is within your targeted area, the user will likely realize that you’re a really convenient and nearby option when they need a new pair of glasses or an eye exam.

2. Promotions. Promotions are a great way to get new patients in the door. But imagine the potency of your promo campaign when the user is already within walking distance. If entering your fenced area triggers a special promo email or display ad for a frame sale, whoever is seeing it is nearby. The timeliness and convenience mean the user is far more likely to just “pop in” and take a look around — something they may not have done if they had to make a special trip to get to you.

3. Target specific types of patients. Your geofence doesn’t need to be set up around your practice. It could be set up around landmarks and businesses, making targeting far easier.

For example, how great would it be to show parents an ad about kids’ eye exams while they’re waiting to pick the kids up from school? If you set your geofence in a school area, there’s a good chance of that happening.


4. Enhancing digital marketing with physical locations. Digital marketing often trumps traditional media because you can see your ROI through analytics, you can target the right people, and you’re meeting potential patients where they spend most of their time—online.

Adding geofencing to your marketing mix takes the major draws of traditional media, like brand awareness and location-specific messaging, and optimizes them so you really get the best of both worlds.

Kaia Pankhurst is a Senior Content Strategist at Marketing4ECPs ( where she creates and implements content strategies for eyecare practices all over North America. Outside of the office, Kaia is a musician, activist, and professional wrestler. Email her at


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