4 Ideas for Back-to-School Marketing

By Ritesh Patel, OD
and Alvin Yang, OD

Oct. 10, 2018

Back-to-school is a key time to bring families into your practice for yearly eye exams.

When parents get the first report card, they often realize that it’s time for that exam they forgot about before school started. So, it still isn’t too late to reach out to parents in need of eyecare for their children.

Yearly exams are important to safeguarding children’s eye health, academic performance and overall development, and back-to-school time also is a key time for you to grow your practice and profitability.

Here are a few ideas from our practice of how we have marketed our services to our communities during this key time of year.

Drs. Patel and Yang say reminding parents of the benefits of yearly exams is essential to spurring many to make an appointment.

Ugly Glasses Contest
People post an ugly glasses photo on Instagram/social media with our clinic hashtag. The person with the most likes wins a $500 credit toward eyewear. The winner must have an up-to-date prescription or schedule an eye exam with us.

Cost: The great thing about this kind of promotion is that you can spend as much or as little as you want. We are able to utilize Facebook and/or Instagram to very specifically target our audience, but also decide exactly what amount to spend on each (and what time).

Marketing that makes back-to-school eye exams a part of every parent’s to-do list can be an effective driver of exams.

Results: This type of campaign is designed to be an “awareness” campaign. Last year, we were able to increase our revenue by 11 percent from the previous year.

Teachers-Only Fashionable Glasses Contest
Teachers post a picture of themselves wearing any type of eyewear on social media with our hashtag. The one with the most likes wins a $500 credit toward eyewear.

Cost: We boosted the campaign on Facebook and spent $45.

Results: We increased revenue by 30 percent from the year before during the same period.

Children’s books, and the visual demands of reading, can be a way into the conversation about back-to-school eyecare.

Protect Your kids from UV & Digital Devices Campaign
Offer complimentary harmful blue-light blocking lens treatments and Transitions with the purchase of a full frame and lens package for kids between 4-18.

Cost: $5

Results: We saw an increase in children’s exams by 14 percent from the previous year, and an increase in overall conversion rate by 22 percent.

Publicizing Contact Lens Rebates
We partnered with a contact lens company to send flyers to the neighborhoods surrounding our practice to remind people that ODs have access to rebates that no other suppliers do. We educated patients of the up to $200 rebate we offer on yearly supplies of contact lenses. We used social media and paper mailers to get the word out about the rebates available in our practice.

Cost: We paid for 50 percent of the mailer, which came to $1,500.

Results: We increased both “new contact lens” patients by 24 percent and revenue by 31 percent. We also combine rebates for yearly supply purchases with an additional offer of 25 percent off sunglasses.

These articles may also interest you:

How to Capture the Second Wave of Back-to-School Sales

Generate Back-to-School Exams: 4 Things to Do

Extend the Back-to-School Opportunity Year ‘Round



Ritesh Patel, OD, and Alvin Yang, OD, are co-owners of See & Be Seen Eyecare in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. To contact Dr. Young: To contact Dr. Patel:

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