Two pro low vision O.D.s share their 7 best tips for marketing your low vision specialty
everyone knows there’s a huge need for low vision services. Part of the challenge for ECPs offering them is how to get word out to prospective patients and their families.
To help, two expert low vision optometrists—Lynne Noon, O.D., and Thomas Porter, O.D.—share some of their best-kept marketing secrets.
As Dr. Noon, who owns two ViewFinder Low Vision Resource Center practices in the Phoenix area, tells EB, the key is understanding that marketing is ongoing. “Have a master marketing schedule with a different goal for each month,” she says. “Then make any staff bonuses dependent on getting that marketing done.”
Here are more tips from Dr. Noon and Dr. Porter, who is director of Low Vision Services at the St. Louis University School of Medicine’s Department of Ophthalmology.
These strategies were among those shared in a recent Eschenbach-sponsored webinar.
1 MARKET YOUR SPECIALTY
“Some of my best referrals are from patients who come in from other areas of the clinic for non-low vision problems…and see the materials we have in the waiting and checkout areas.” —Dr. Porter
2 TAP VIDEO
“We have a continuous loop of videos—some from manufacturers and about products, plus newscasts I’ve done over the years. It’s a great tool to let patients know what we have.” —Dr. Noon
3 LET THEM TRY
“In our waiting room, we have a couple of CCTVs actually turned on so people can try them out. It also provides positive reinforcement that there is something that can help.” —Dr. Porter
4 BE TRUTHFUL
“You have to be very clear in communications that vision rehabilitation does not mean you are going to be restoring them to their previous vision.” —Dr. Porter
5 SHOWCASE PRODUCTS
“I showcase all the products up front. I want people to go play with stuff. It’s like being in a candy store for these patients.” —Dr. Noon
6 LEVERAGE REFERRALS
“I used to market strictly to retinal specialists. Then I added endocrinologists and gerontologists. That’s how I started my marketing.
“I’m also a big believer in sending reports to all the doctors that a patient sees. This can mushroom to you becoming the name in your region that everybody recognizes.” —Dr. Porter
7 GET SUPPORT
“For 25 years, I’ve done a monthly seminar on ways to maintain your independence. We also have a low vision support group.” —Dr. Noon
DO YOU COMMUNICATE?
Both doctors stress the value of regular communication.
Dr. Noon explains, “I send our newsletter to everyone—referral sources, patients, rehab people, teachers of the visually impaired—basically any email address I get from anywhere. People love the newsletter.”
As for the benefits of an e-newsletter, Dr. Porter adds, “It’s efficient and virtually cost-free.”