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Optometrists Can’t Afford to Become the ‘Yellow Pages’ of Healthcare

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They need to be the Google instead.

[Editor’s note: This is one of three honorable mention winners in INVISION’s essay contest. Eyecare professionals submitted essays in response to the prompt, “If you could order all eyecare pros to do one specific thing, and they had to listen to you, what would it be? And why would you ask them to do it?”]

Attention all eyecare pros: It is time to change the image of our profession. Gone are the days where patients stream into your office because you are the only eyecare resource. Now they walk into a “minute clinic” for their red eyes, shop online for their glasses and contact lenses, and can even determine their own prescription from their computer.

So what are we going to do about it? It’s called marketing and you could all use a lesson in it. When was the last time you opened the yellow pages? Oh, like 10 years ago? Optometrists are becoming the yellow pages of the healthcare industry, and we need to be the Google.

Have you looked at your colleagues’ websites lately? Although a few have stepped up their game, 90 percent are living in the realm of the “template.” That’s right, you all have the same website just replaced with your name and lame stock photos of that lady with the fake smile and ill-fitting glasses.

We are actually living in a time where people think it is “cool” to wear glasses. And we are clearly not taking advantage of that fact. Even if you are the only doctor within a 20-mile radius, you may still have someone with an internet connection ordering glasses online. We complain about people taking our commodity, but we don’t take charge and doing anything about it.

Optometrists are becoming the yellow pages of the healthcare industry, and we need to be the Google.

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I beg of you to take a good look at your website (and I pray that you have one). Does it really tell the world who you are? If you think people don’t go online and check you out first, you are kidding yourself. I always check out a doctor, restaurant or shop, read reviews and look at pictures before I commit. Think about what intrigues you about a business, and reflect that back on your own. Remove that staged picture of yourself with the J.C. Penney background and let people know who you really are. Tell them why you are different. Though some may be wowed by your new awesome equipment, it doesn’t help if you can’t get them in the door first. They assume you know your job, as you have that diploma hanging on your outdated clinic wall, but beyond that, what service can you provide that is truly different?

And what about your social media presence? Do you have a Facebook page and Instagram and Twitter accounts? No? Social media is free and allows us to connect with more people than we ever thought possible.

What do we have as brick and mortar that online retail doesn’t? Soul. We are people, caring for people. Pull on the heart strings or tickle their funny bone. So what if you are the nerdy optometrist? Embrace it! The one who geeks out on dry eye? Tell the world! Tell your story, not the one that everyone already knows. You don’t have to be the funniest, the smartest or the most modern, but you do have to be you.


Dr. Cynthia Sayers is the owner of EyeShop Optical Center in Lewis Center, OH. She graduated from the New England College of Optometry in 2001. She loves going to concerts and has seen Bryan Adams over 25 times. She also loves to bake. Every Friday at EyeShop is Dessert Friday for the past six years and patients love scheduling on that day. You can find her on Facebook or at drsayers@eyeshopoptical.com.

Dr. Cynthia Sayers is the owner of EyeShop Optical Cente

r in Lewis Center, OH. She

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graduated from the New England College of Optometry in 2001. She l

oves going to concerts and

ha

s seen Bryan Adams over 25 times. She also

loves

to bake. Every Friday at EyeShop is Dessert

Advertisement

Friday for the past six years and patients love scheduli

ng on that day. You can find her on

Facebook (facebook.com/EYEshopOptical) or at

drsayers@eyeshopoptical.com

.

Dr. Cynthia Sayers is the owner of EyeShop Optical Cente

r in Lewis Center, OH. She

graduated from the New England College of Optometry in 2001. She l

oves going to concerts and

ha

s seen Bryan Adams over 25 times. She also

loves

to bake. Every Friday at EyeShop is Dessert

Friday for the past six years and patients love scheduli

ng on that day. You can find her on

Facebook (facebook.com/EYEshopOptical) or at

drsayers@eyeshopoptical.com

.

Dr. Cynthia Sayers is the owner of EyeShop Optical Cente

r in Lewis Center, OH. She

graduated from the New England College of Optometry in 2001. She l

oves going to concerts and

ha

s seen Bryan Adams over 25 times. She also

loves

to bake. Every Friday at EyeShop is Dessert

Friday for the past six years and patients love scheduli

ng on that day. You can find her on

Facebook (facebook.com/EYEshopOptical) or at

drsayers@eyeshopoptical.com

.

 

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Know Your Niche

Otherwise you may end up compromising.

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Know your niche as a retailer and stay true to that niche. Don’t try to meet everyone’s needs – if you try you will compromise somewhere else. – Carter Johnston, OD, Physicians Optical Luxury Eyewear, Oklahoma City, OK

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The Best Call to Actions to Convert Visitors to Patients

CTAs are probably the most important part of your marketing or campaign strategy.

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HERE’S A RIDDLE for you … what can be as simple as two words but is the key to bringing new patients in your door? The answer is: a CTA or call to action.

A good CTA will keep your phone ringing, fill up your appointment calendar and turn your website visitors into new patients. So, what exactly is this magic little phrase and what makes a good one?

What is a CTA?

A CTA is phrase that instructs or encourages a user to take a specific action, such as booking an appointment, signing up to a mailing list, calling the office, or getting more information about a promotion. It can (and should) be used in basically any form of marketing from your website, to a landing page, to a Facebook promotion, email or even a radio ad.

Each element of your marketing is designed for one ultimate purpose — to bring in appointments and optical sales — and if you fail to include a CTA, you risk losing potential patients who may delay or not otherwise take the next step toward that goal.

Making the call to your office or action easy and quick reduces lag time and drop off rates.

So, what makes a good CTA? A good call to action makes it very clear what action you want visitors to take and gives them the tools they need to do so. The best CTAs address the what, when and why of taking the next step and usually have the following traits:

WHAT: They use action verbs to direct conversion such as: “Call our office, Fill-out an appointment form, Book an appointment, Contact us, Visit our office etc.” The best CTAs are those that include the words that would follow the phrase, “I would like to…”

WHEN: They use time-sensitive wording such as, “Today, Now, Don’t Delay etc.”

WHY: They are often benefits-oriented, answering the question of why one should take the action: “Take care of your precious eyesight, Save time and money, etc.”

They stand out using bright colors and bold text. They are clear and easy to spot, and they are most effective when placed in the header and/or at least above the fold. They should also show up prominently on both desktop and mobile devices. And in case you’re wondering, circle buttons stand out more and work better than rectangles.

They are easy to use. Nowadays, clickable buttons, especially on mobile friendly sites, are the way to go. If your visitor can click a CTA button on your site and schedule an appointment or call your office directly, you’ve eliminated almost every obstacle. What could be easier? We recommend a CTA attached to an embedded online scheduler when possible that allows patients to instantly see your availability and book an appointment.

Now there’s one catch… there is such a thing as too many CTAs on a page. You don’t want to overdo it. Think top, bottom, and once in the middle is ‘enough’, they’re easily accessible and they get the job done.
The next time you’re working on your website or scheduling a promotion, stop and think about your CTAs. They are probably the most important part of your marketing or campaign strategy.

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Danielle Richardson

Feel Like Your Wellness Routine Could Be Missing Something? It’s Probably Sleep

We spend nearly a third of our life sleeping which makes getting quality sleep as essential as a healthy diet and regular exercise.

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WHEN YOU THINK OF your health and wellness, how often do you think of sleep? Chances are not often — but you should. Sleep is the newest frontier in wellness as public health consciousness continues to increase and we move to a more holistic idea of health. We spend nearly 1/3 of our life sleeping which makes getting quality sleep as essential as a healthy diet and regular exercise.

The National Sleep Foundation defines quality sleep as occurring when you’re asleep within 30 minutes of laying down, wake no more than once, and sleep for at least 85 percent of the night. Unfortunately, quality sleep is an uncommon occurrence as the CDC reports a third of American adults experience poor or inadequate sleep on a regular basis. An estimated 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from sleep-related problems or disorders, such as sleep apnea, insomnia, narcolepsy, or restless leg syndrome. As a country, we need to get some rest!

Sleep deprivation increases the risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and triples the risk for type 2 diabetes according to Johns Hopkins sleep researcher Patrick Finan, PhD. Those not getting adequate sleep suffer from a weakened immune system, irregular metabolism, and obesity secondary to increased levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin. Not limited to just the physical body, sleep deprivation can also manifest as cognitive impairment and/or mental health changes including depression, irritability, anxiety, forgetfulness, and brain fog. Poor quality sleep is far less recuperative, which causes us to not feel rested when do we wake up.

Sleep depends on a number of factors, our body’s internal regulating system is chief among them. Our Circadian Rhythm functions as the body’s biological clock and regulates the experience of alertness vs. sleepiness. This rhythm is sensitive to fluctuations in hormone levels, particularly cortisol and melatonin. Cortisol peaks in the morning allowing us to be alert and focused throughout the day. The secretion of melatonin — which helps us sleep — is highest at night.

These days, our minds are moving a mile a minute and we’re constantly on light-producing digital devices even though increased high-energy blue light exposure from devices decreases melatonin production and causes insomnia or sleeplessness. The disrupting culprits aren’t limited to devices though; increased stress, irregular work schedules, frequent jet lag, and sleep disorders can also disrupt our cycles.

The CDC recommends 7-9 hours of quality sleep for adults and more for teens and children. Here are some easy ways you can get better sleep tonight:

Build Consistency. It’s important to wake and head to bed around the same time each day — even on the weekends.

Use Sleep Monitoring Technology. Smartphones and wearable tech devices can help monitor the duration and quality of your sleep through downloadable applications and Bluetooth technology.

Sleep Habits. Limit screen time and diminish light sources in the bedroom. Additionally, use the automatic setting on your phone to warm the screen at night.

Bonus — Zen Out! Use essential oils or pillow sprays in scents like lavender as aromatherapy to help you sleep. Also consider meditation, light music, or other soothing sounds as a relaxing way to send yourself to bed.

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