|ONLINE COUPON SITES CAN PAY OFF
Online-coupon and deal-of-the-day websites promise a winning opportunity for ECPs looking to promote their products and services.
Experienced ECPs know that retaining valued patients while making the effort to find new ones is a challenging endeavor in today’s market. The competition is fierce and the risk of advertising has become somewhat of a great unknown. While there are many options to consider, one of the most creative avenues to turn to in order to market your goods is online-deal websites.
In your hunt for potential new patients, it’s a huge help to capitalize on these sites’ sizable and established audiences, and two of the heaviest-hitting firms in the category are Amazon Local and Groupon. Each has a vast network of clients and extensive patron email lists in your area to which you can send daily promo deals. The best part? Both offer programs that market new online deals for your products and services at a $0 investment. That means if a deal doesn’t sell, you are not on the hook to pay for the promotion.
HOW IT WORKS
After signing up with either of these outlets, you’ll work with a merchant account management team to create a deal, negotiating everything from the price and the deal’s verbiage to the expiration term of your promotion. For example, if your business provides eye exams and sells eyeglasses, you could offer a deal that pairs an eye exam with a discounted pair of glasses when the patient purchases them on the same day.
For the sake of this example, we’ll start with the premise that you’re willing to waive your normal $100 examination fee and offer $150 off of a complete prescription eyewear package for the patient. (You can include specific wording and restrictions to your deal, like it cannot be combined with insurance or it excludes certain designer styles or manufacturer contracted frames. Everything is negotiable.) The deal, regularly worth $250, would be advertised by Amazon Local or Groupon and sold for, let’s say, $59. This is an incredibly attractive level of savings for a purchaser and the opportunity is likely to create both a lot of buzz and demand in your community. For each deal that’s bought, it’s likely you’ll receive roughly half the price it’s sold for, depending on the company with which you’ve partnered. It’s a phenomenal deal for the patient for sure, but you might be left wondering how exactly does it pay off for you?
REAPING YOUR REWARDS
Giving away $250 worth of products and services to only make $29.50 seems, at first, like a pretty poor return. But the real value in what you’re receiving comes in the opportunity to wow each and every new patient and potentially upsell them frames, lenses, and lens add-ons. Don’t forget that each new online patient who comes into your practice may wind up purchasing additional items, such as prescription sunwear or products for their children. Your professionalism and stellar service (of course!) also up the chances of satisfied patients promoting you and your skills to friends, family, and associates. Free word-of-mouth marketing like that, after all, is priceless and well worth your time and effort. And remember: your online-deal ventures aren’t costing you anything upfront.
What may seem like a losing investment at first really holds a ton of potential for practice growth and increased revenue. If you use online coupon sites wisely, they could prove to be a very sweet deal for you and your practice in the end.
Francis Gimbel, Jr., is a licensed optician and owner of Gimbel Eye Associates in Wayne, PA.
WHERE TO FIND IT:
Amazon Local 866-395-6793 • local.amazon.com/merchants/get-started
Groupon 866-956-1276 • grouponworks.com/merchant-resources