Because we care about the growth and success of the independent Eye Care Business, Best Image Optical presents cost-effective online marketing strategies that have been proven to produce real results. Today, Best Image Optical focuses on an essential tool used to reach potential and current customers. Email Marketing should be considered as a vital part of your business Marketing Plan.

Why Email Marketing?

We completely empathize with you when you say that, as a small business owner, you have absolutely no time to spare. Your business is an all-consuming, 24/7 commitment. For this reason, marketing may fall to the way side while you focus on the “essential” duties that come up during the day.

However, Email Marketing has become much quicker and simpler than you might imagine. It is not only an important channel for you to promote your business, email marketing helps you stay connected with potential and current clients when they are not making their yearly visit to see you.

According to Email Marketing company, AWeber, “138% more is spent by consumers who receive email offers than those who do not.” Email gives you the opportunity to keep communication open with customers and build a relationship with them when they are not there in person.

“Email marketing is one the most effective marketing tools, and yet” says President and CEO, Mark Dolabany, “I find this medium the least used in the optical industry.”

email stats 1

 

 

Getting Started

Before you start creating an Email Marketing Plan, start by researching for an email service provider that comes highly-recommended. A few popular providers include AWeber, iContact, MailChimp, and ConstantContact.  Once you have selected a plan that you feel comfortable with, it’s time to start collecting valuable email addresses from your current and potential customers.

  1. Start asking your current customers for their email addresses, make emails as important as asking for a telephone number.
  2. Keep a signup form (paper/or electronic) at reception. You can also create incentives for your visitors to Sign-up to your list by offering promotions or conducting a raffle. {Prize idea: Cleaning Solution/Cloth Kit}
  3. Create a Signup Form for your website that will capture current and potential customers that have expressed interest in your business. This Signup Form can be provided to you by your email service provider.
  4. Promote your Email Program on Social Media by promising updates on new product and promotions, and tips on how to maintain their eye health.
Creating Emails

Now, that you’ve accumulated a healthy email list and captured your potential audience, it is time to start engaging and delivering content. According to the Vision Council of America, those who wear prescription glasses renew their prescription every 2.2 years on average. During that grace period, make sure your customer is going to think of you for any Eye Health needs that may arise.

Sending your customers coupons and discounts is great and can work to your benefit, but today, the consumer has access to cheaper product right at their fingertips, online or at discount chain-stores.  You want to distinguish yourself from the rest of the competition. As an independent, local business, you have the ability to create a personalized experience for your customer.

Build that relationship with them by writing to them about topics they care about. Write to your customers about how 70% of UV–Rays damage to their eyes occurs before the age of twenty-one. Write to parents during Back-to-School months about protective eyewear options for their children who play contact sports. Write to older patients about the early signs of cataracts. Write to your customers about topics that let them know you care about them and their Eye Health.Email Marketing 2 Blog Post

Here, are other general topics suggested by AWeber to help generate email content:

  • Industry News
  • Product Information/Upcoming Sales
  • Customer Spotlight/ Customer Testimonial
  • User Generated Content (Social Media Posts)
  • Company History
  • Case Studies
  • Special Events
  • Newsletters
  • Featured Blog Content

The topic list doesn’t end here. Once your customer has come in to your optical store for their consultation, ask them about their experience. Email your customers a direct link to review your product and services on your business listing. Popular review sites include, Yelp, Google, or Facebook – just to name a few.

Email Marketing is Easy, Quick and Low-Cost…

We strongly believe that email is the one of the most, if not the most, important modes of online marketing strategies there is today. The consumer has grown accustomed to receiving emails from their favorite stores, brands, and websites. According to AWeber, “74% of consumers prefer to receive commercial communications via email.”

email stats 2

The consumer now has the option of receiving email communication from most of their preferred brands. The following is an example of a consumer wanting to be contacted via email by their Eye Care Provider. They had left a review on Yelp raving about the service they received and gave their ECP a five-star rating, however, their only suggestion “would be to have emails with new types of frames available or sales to keep [them] in the loop.”

This only goes to show that you do not have to be a large corporation in order to send mass emails, or “eBlasts,” to your loyal customers. As a small local business owner, you should be just as incentivized to send emails to customers as a big business. Don’t worry about how elaborate your emails have to be. Keep them short, interesting and meaningful.

In most cases, your email service provider supplies you with a pre-designed email template for you to use should you choose this option. The provider even allows you to schedule multiple emails ahead of time.  Once your subscriber has signed up to your list, you can have them receiving emails automatically on a monthly, or quarterly basis.

Email Marketing is an amazing tool that allows you to build your brand within your local community and to grow relationships with your customers. Don’t get discouraged if it seems like a tedious task. As with any good habit, it’s important to maintain your motivation and dedication to your Marketing Plan. Consider spending an allotted time each week to Email Marketing until it becomes a routine.

Have any questions on this or any other topic, email us at marketing@bestmageoptical.com, and we would be more than happy to help.

 

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