By Janelle Davison, OD
June 1, 2022
Aesthetic optometry services are taking off. Patients want to look as good as they feel. That means there is a tremendous opportunity to both fulfill a patient need and generate additional profitability. First, however, you have to let your community know about the aesthetic services you are offering.
In aesthetic product sales alone, we generated $14,000 in revenues in the first quarter of 2022.
Aesthetic products we sell in-office, or have affiliate relationships with, in which we get a percentage of each sale of a product I prescribed, include: twenty/twenty beauty, OCuSOFT Zoria Cosmetics, Eyes Are The Story, Oculaire and We Love Eyes. We offer Upneeq as a solution to droopy eyelids, which serves both a medical and aesthetic purpose, as do the new presbyopia eye drops, Vuity. We market both solutions under an “anti-aging” banner.
In addition to our product sales, we have an esthetician who works, in a contract employee arrangement, in our office whereby we share 50 percent of the income from the work she does in our office (though she keeps 100 percent of her tips). The esthetician comes in three days per week to do facials, dermaplaning and low-light level therapy for acne and fine lines and wrinkles.
Here is how we are marketing these services in our practice.
On Intake Form
As soon as patients fill out their online forms for their appointment, they are made aware, or reminded, of our aesthetic services via our “anti-aging assessment,” which they can opt for as a bundle of services. We also include a reminder on the intake form that our office offers aesthetic skincare services, and ask the patient to indicate if they would like to see a brochure with details on these services.
At the Door to Our Office: “Eye Spa” In Lighted Marquee Sign
If patients didn’t already get the message when filling out the online intake form, which we ask them to fill out ahead of arriving, they will see a message about our aesthetic services just before they walk through our door via a prominent sign high above the entrance to our office, above the awning.
E-Blasts to Patients With Seasonal & Year-Round Messaging
We send e-blasts to patients around holidays, such as Valentine’s Day, and year-round.
Ad in Local Print Magazine
We advertise in a local magazine, Our Town, that is sent only to upper-income households in the county where my practice is based. Since aesthetic optometry services with no medical eyecare purpose are out-of-pocket expenses, it helps us greatly to get the attention of people in the local population who likely have disposable income for luxury purchases. The ad costs us $280 per month/issue of the magazine.
Billboard at Busy Intersection
There is an intersection you have to cross to get to downtown Smyrna, where our office is located. It was at this intersection, where there are also Publix and QuikTrip stores, that we placed a billboard from late September through December 2021. I purposely wanted a billboard in a highly trafficked area that was at least 5-8 minutes from our office. I wanted people who lived nearby, but may never have heard of us, to learn about our services. The billboard cost us $1,800-$2,000 per month.
Bottom Line: Let Patients Know You Can Address Aesthetic Concerns
Patients want to be able to talk to their eye doctor about the appearance of their eyes and the impact of the cosmetics they use on their eye health and comfort.
Other Articles to Explore
Marketing and exam-room conversations that let patients know that you can answer anti-aging, skincare and makeup questions related to the eyes can come as a great relief. Patients have one more reason to respect your expertise and come to you for care.