The beginning of the school year marks an excellent opportunity for your optometry practice to revitalize its marketing efforts. As parents focus on back-to-school shopping, you can tailor your marketing activities to appeal to potential patients in need of new glasses by reminding them that the right prescription can prevent eye strain. Read on to discover six back-to-school marketing ideas that can help you attract more patients.

Back-To-School Marketing Ideas

Before diving into marketing ideas, you need to spend a moment defining your marketing strategy. Think about who your target audience is (parents or students), what eye health issues they often have, and how your eye care professionals can help. We also recommend defining your marketing campaign budget before diving into a back-to-school campaign. 

Now that you’re ready, you can keep all this information in mind as you explore our ideas for marketing services as the school year begins. 

Offer Back-To-School Specials or Discounts

Young students often suffer from vision problems, especially as they begin the school year and their eyes adjust to all the reading and screen requirements. Unfortunately, students and their parents cannot always access the necessary care to resolve such problems. Your practice can help out by offering back-to-school discounts or specials to make seeing an eye doctor more accessible. 

To start, try looking through your current patient enrollment database to locate the most prevalent issues among young patients. Discounting such services for a prospective patient is a great way to bring new people in the door. A few popular services you may offer discounts on for student patients include the following:

  • Contact lens consultations
  • Eye exams
  • Dry eye medications 
  • Blue light lens treatments

You can advertise your discounted services using social media marketing, Google Ads, influencer marketing, email campaigns, or back-to-school events, which we’ll discuss next. 

Host a Back-To-School Event

Approximately 500,000 children have undetected vision problems that inhibit their learning abilities. Back-to-school events can boost your brand awareness and help you meet children that may not even realize they require your eye care. In doing so, you can help your local community and bring more customers in the door. 

Here are a few ideas for fun back-to-school events:

  • Free eye exams: A free eye exam campaign can help students with undetected eye issues realize they need your care. You can create fun contests and games out of the exam, with children competing over who can see the farthest. 
  • Glasses fittings: Hosting an eyewear fitting school event can help you advertise new lens products so children can upgrade to stylish frames for the upcoming year. You can integrate this event with content marketing, encouraging students to create a social media post with their new eyewear. 
  • Contact lens consultations: Many of your patients may not realize they’re candidates for contact lenses until you bring them into the office for a consultation. Offering free lens consultations as a back-to-school event can promote your services while helping students out.

Partner With a Local School

Partnering with a local school takes the back-to-school event idea one step further. By joining forces with a school in your area, you’re getting involved with the community and reaching children where they may need you most. Many students in school don’t realize they need contacts or other eye solutions until they receive their first eye exam, which may not happen unless you get involved. 

Here are a few ways you may be able to partner with a local school:

  • Providing free eye exams to students: With the right partnership, you may be able to bring your optometry clinic to local schools where you can give children simple and quick eye exams. Students with vision issues could then bring paperwork home to their parents, who can call and schedule a follow-up visit with your practice. 
  • Donating eyewear to students in need: Try creating an eyewear donation drive that sends used eyewear to students in need. In doing so, you can build brand awareness and credibility in the local community. 
  • Sponsoring a school event: Sponsoring a school event, like a football game or homecoming dance, creates a recognizable name for your practice. Then, when parents or students see your clinic advertising on a social media platform, they’ll remember the efforts you contributed to helping their school. 

Send Email Marketing Campaigns

Email marketing is a tried-and-trusted re-engagement tactic that can remind clients to call and schedule appointments. Your back-to-school email campaign can involve numerous strategies, including the following:

  • Newsletters regarding practice updates
  • Back-to-school discounts or sales
  • Promotions for returning patients
  • Reminders to schedule an appointment
  • Tips and tricks on preserving vision during long homework hours
  • Links to a blog post on when to reevaluate vision or upgrade lenses
  • And more!

You can send your email campaigns to your existing patient list to increase appointment scheduling rates. At Weave, we make email campaigning easy by helping your craft personalized campaigns at scale. With Weave Emails, you can generate more revenue, communicate the way your patients prefer, and scale your digital marketing success. 

Get Involved in the Community

Getting involved in your local community doesn’t have to end with one school partnership. Community involvement offers excellent brand recognition and esteem. Your patients typically have numerous optometry practices to choose between, though many may prefer the office that gives back to those in need. 

A few fun and simple ways you can get involved in your community include the following:

  • Sponsor a local sports team
  • Donate items or funds to a local charity
  • Volunteer at a local soup kitchen
  • Participate in or host charity-sponsored events, like a 5K

If you decide to work on boosting your local credibility, you may want to invest in reputation management tools to help you collect, monitor, and respond to customer reviews. At Weave, we offer a review management tool that helps you collect reviews and get discovered. With Weave Reviews, you can monitor your reputation in real-time, encourage patients to leave feedback and generate the positive recognition your practice deserves. 

Run a Local Facebook Ad

If your back-to-school marketing plan has space in the budget for paid advertising, you can consider generating local PPC ads on your preferred social media platforms. For example, many student parents may use Facebook, so you can create Facebook ads targeting potential customers in your local area. Local SEO requires relevant keywords, striking visuals, and engaging messages, so be sure to spend time doing your research and curating the perfect ad so you don’t waste valuable marketing funds. 

If you’re interested in creating a back-to-school ad, we recommend the following steps:

  1. Select the social media platform that your target audience uses most.
  2. Choose target keywords for your service, back-to-school discounts, the local area, etc.
  3. Create simple, clean visuals that clearly show what you’re advertising.
  4. Keep your copy unique and engaging, directing patients to take a specific action, like scheduling an appointment.
  5. Select an appropriate ad bid amount that fits within your budget.
  6. Monitor progress over time and adjust accordingly.

Nail Your Back-To-School Marketing With Weave

The school year marks a wonderful opportunity for your optometry practice to expand its marketing efforts. Whether you want to get involved with the community or adopt a new platform that helps you master email campaigning and review collection, now is the time to start. 

At Weave, we provide a suite of digital tools to make marketing your optometry business a breeze. You can use Weave Emails to automate campaigns and generate more revenue or Weave Reviews to boost your brand recognition, visibility, and esteem. Schedule a Weave demo today to see our back-to-school marketing ideas in action.

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