Recently, I’ve bumped into a number of ophthalmologists who are either just starting their LASIK practices or trying to grow their existing LASIK volume. They’ve asked me how to they actually grow their LASIK volume.
It’s a simple question that has both a simple, yet complex answer: It depends.
What I tell doctors is you need to focus on the 3 legged stool of LASIK marketing strategies:
1. Word of mouth referrals
2. OD referrals
3. Digital marketing for LASIK
Let’s take a deep dive to look into each one.
According to MarketScope, the highest referring patient base for LASIK has always been previous patients. Makes sense. As humans, we like to do business with people who we know, like and trust. If their friend has already had LASIK with you, you automatically have built trust. If we’ve had a friend or family member have a good LASIK outcome and experience, it’s much more likely they will also choose you.
Most practices I work with, once a WOM patient is at their consultation, their conversion to LASIK is in the high 80 percentile.
So how do you grow WOM referrals? First, create a LASIK experience other people will talk about. As you know, this is a cash pay procedure. They do not have to get LASIK and they definitely do not need to choose your practice. Roll out the red carpet for them.
Make sure they’re never waiting for their consult or pre-op. Ensure they’re offered any coffee, water, or snacks. Then be sure to empower them with knowledge on why they’re in great hands to make an informed decision on LASIK.
During their post-op, push them past 20/20. Most patients don’t realize that anything better than 20/20 even exists. If they’re better than 20/20, have your staff go crazy with excitement. When they go back to work, they’ll be bragging to their friends that they have “superhuman vision.”
A solid referral marketing strategy for LASIK is to thank previous patients with a gift card and offer a discount for the new patient. Of course, check with your state laws on rules around referral programs.
Most practices that work well with their local optometric network via co-management tend to do very well with their LASIK volume as well. Similar to WOM referrals, these patients also convert at a high 80 percentile from consultation to LASIK.
Make sense, you are an extension of the trust they give to their optometrist that they may have gone to for years.
To grow your OD network, you need to make a plan. It’s best to have an OD liaison on your team but this can be a part-time role.
Set goals for your team on how many referring OD’s you’d like to grow by per quarter.
Have your OD liaison map out your local market and where each OD practice is located.
Next, have them go visit each practice to make a warm introduction to the surgeon. OD’s need a place to send their patients so let your OD liaison be the resource that they need.
Ensure your OD lisason is making consistent stops about once per quarter to ensure the OD’s continue sending you patients versus your competitor.
Once an OD sends you a patient, make sure you make it easy for them to refer, communicate what is going on with their patient, and send their patient back post LASIK. These are all important points, but the last is the most important. Nothing will kill your referrals like keeping their patient.
Lastly, you need to ensure you’re found online when someone in your local marketing is searching for LASIK.
When someone is searching for LASIK on Google you need to be found in Google Ads (we’ll chat below), ranked in Google Maps, and then in the organic ranking. This gives you an at-bat for every person searching for LASIK in your city.
We’ve found a lot of success in focusing first on your ranking for Google Business Profile (GBP) in the maps then second in organic search ranking. For GBP, you need to be ranked in the top 3 for maps, anything past that you will see little-to-no traffic.
When someone is searching for LASIK on Google, it’s necessary to have a solid strategy in place for Google ads. Ensuring you’re at the top of Google consistently pays off dividends.
Once someone clicks on your ad, ensure your landing page communicates 1 - 2 clear calls-to-action (CTA’s). Couple easy examples would be a button for leads to book a LASIK consultation as well as a LASIK quiz to see if they qualify. Any more calls-to-action will just confuse people and they will simply hit the back button. A confused mind always says no.
Also under the Google Ads Platform, we’ve found success in generating LASIK leads via YouTube. Use intentionally low quality videos to shake leads out of their trance of watching videos to grab their attention. Then follow the headline, problem, solution, CTA script to actually use YouTube as a lead generating platform, not just for branding.
On the Meta platform, placing Facebook ads in the news feed will stretch the word of your practice and offerings across your network faster than any other platform. Using intentionally low quality images and having a creating offer will push your lead costs down. We’ve seen our Facebook ads consistently push ad costs as low as $10 cost per lead (CPL.)
In conclusion, following these LASIK marketing strategies will give you the best chance at consistent, double digit growth in your LASIK practice. From growing WOM patients, embracing OD referrals and mastering your digital marketing will set your practice up for success for years and years to come.
Nick's super power is that he can grow volume like nobody's business. Plus, extra points for the style, generosity, integrity, and cool kid's table-ness he brings. For almost six years we have watched him leverage critical new thinking & systems to practices that has knocked lowered patient acquisition costs and expanded market share out of the park. Surgeons and their teams that work with Nick rave about his results and their sustainable wins in their digital space. Bottom line is that he is someone you can trust to deliver and push the boundary of what is possible
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