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How Many of These Six Flex-Spending Campaign Ideas Have You Tried?

Yep… it’s that ‘use it or lose it’ time of year again!

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BY REMINDING YOUR customers and patients to use their flex spending money before it expires, you’re doing yourself and them a favor. You’re boosting your sales, building loyalty, and increasing customer satisfaction. A “use it or lose it” campaign should be a key part of your Q4 planning, which means you should have your messaging and preferred media figured out by October. At a minimum, reminders should adorn all forms of communication with patients and customers. With the season looming (yeah, we know!), we took a look at six eyecare practices who are doing more than the minimum, to — hopefully — help you shake off whatever summertime torpor is still lingering and give you some flex-spending campaign ideas as we head into the sharp end of the year.

How Many of These Six Flex-Spending Campaign Ideas Have You Tried?

Koch Eye Associates
South Kingstown, RI

Koch Eye found a large audience for their flex-spending message when they appeared in a TV news segment on “The Rhode Show,” a daily lifestyle program aired by Providence’s WPRI. The piece included a discussion of what Flexible Spending Accounts are, with Michael Horan, Koch’s director of operations, getting out the “use it or lose it” message, and medical director Dr. Paul Koch explaining what FSAs cover. The presenter also spoke to a furniture company that provides staff with an FSA and takes steps to encourage them to spend the money each year. Check out the segment here invisionmag.com/092301. Try putting out a few feelers to cultivate a relationship with the business or health reporter at your local TV or radio station; you just might end up on the primetime airwaves at no cost.

How Many of These Six Flex-Spending Campaign Ideas Have You Tried?

Twin Cities Eye Consultants
Edina, MN

If “discount” isn’t part of your vocabulary, you may want to skip this one. But you may also be skipping some of the flex dollars up for grabs in your area. Twin Cities Eye Consultants (formerly Edina Eye) in Edina, MN, runs half off all in-stock frames from Dec. 1-Jan. 31, says retail operations manager Robert McBeath. “We put up posters in the office, add the promotion to the website, push it on Facebook and sometimes an e-blast,” he says. “Patients have come to expect it and many contribute to their FSA knowing that if they over-contribute they can always use the money for eyewear. I have a few that routinely come in at the end of the year to use up their flexible spending. It does keep patients coming back,” McBeath confirms. Social media posts also remind patients that LASIK and cataract surgery, among other services, are covered.

How Many of These Six Flex-Spending Campaign Ideas Have You Tried?

Woolf Eye Lab
Pasadena, MD

Woolf Eye Lab recently launched an OptiLight campaign with the help of Marketing4ECPS to promote FSA/HSA spending as well as Care Credit and cash payments. “OptiLight does not qualify as an insurance procedure, [but] flex spending is able to be used,” says Medical Spa Manager Sydney Tramontano. The practice has been using Instagram and Facebook to get the word out, she says. “Lots of employees in the office repost our posts and, in turn, our families and friends see the posts and get more interested.

Marketing4ECPS has been great for emailing thousands of patients for us.” Woolf Eye Lab likes to start its FSA campaign around October. “It gives us a great fourth quarter push as well as reminds patients that they have money to spend. It’s like a pre-Christmas gift to us and them,” she adds. Anyone qualifies for OptiLight treatments but the main market is existing dry eye patients and “ladies who are getting interested in aesthetics.”

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How Many of These Six Flex-Spending Campaign Ideas Have You Tried?

Rockford Family Eyecare
Rockford, MI

Making the most of flex season was a major impetus for Rockford Family Eyecare to lift their gift-certificate game a few years back. According to Dr. Theodore Sees, who owns the practice with his wife Dr. Carrie Sees, “One of the questions that we always ask patients when they schedule or call is, ‘Do you have flex spending or HSA?’ We then try to target these people with emails and texts about gift cards and using HSA dollars before they expire.” They have tried various designs for their certificates over the years, but recently settled on one featuring an image of the Sees’ niece. “People like the kiddo images better,” he says. The practice does not include any expiration date on its gift certificates, and primarily pushes them on Facebook.

How Many of These Six Flex-Spending Campaign Ideas Have You Tried?

ClearSight LASIK
Oklahoma City, OK

Another useful visual medium for getting the FSA/HSA message out — one that can be easily embedded on your website or social media channels — is your own YouTube video. ClearSight LASIK in Oklahoma City, OK, posted a video to their YouTube channel titled “Flex Spending Plans And How They Can Help You Pay For LASIK.” In the clip, marketing coordinator Robyn Reed offers a clear, concise, two-and-a-half-minute breakdown of the differences between FSAs and HSAs, walks viewers through the conversation employees need to have with their HR departments in order to enroll, and reminds them to make an exam appointment at ClearSight. Perfect for folks who are more inclined to click on a video than scroll through a blog.

How Many of These Six Flex-Spending Campaign Ideas Have You Tried?

Eyes on Trade
Winston-Salem, NC

Eyes on Trade’s preferred channels for reminding FSA holders to swing by for glasses, contact lenses, prescription sunnies and eye exams are social media blasts and emails. And they make a point of knowing exactly whom to reach out to. Says optician and practice manager Maggie Campbell, “We’ve started to keep better track of folks who specifically pay with flex dollars so that we can run a report during flex season and target those folks specifically.” The ads also give the Eyes on Trade team another reason to “flex” their creative muscles and produce some typically fun and vibrant posts.

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