Attracting New Patients: 15 Marketing Tactics for Growing Optometry Practices


December 6, 2023


How are your marketing strategies working? Implementing a strategic mix of marketing initiatives is crucial for continually attracting new patients and fueling practice growth. Here are 15 proven tactics to boost your optometry practice:

1. Update Your Website

  Update Your Website

Your website is often the first impression prospective patients get of your optometry practice. Make sure it leaves them seeing your office in the best light!  

Start by ensuring your website clearly displays all the eye care services you provide - from routine eye exams to specialized contacts fittings and treatment options for conditions like glaucoma or dry eye. Include detailed bios for each of your optometrists so visitors can get to know your doctors’ experience and expertise.  

Prominently feature what vision insurance plans you accept. This reassures patients that their coverage will be accepted, removing a barrier to booking appointments. 

Double check that your contact information is easy to find, with your phone number, location, and an online booking or request form on every page. Prospects will appreciate being able to easily get in touch.

Also be sure to regularly update website content to highlight new services, technologies, or staff. Keep things fresh and relevant! Check that your site loads quickly, looks great on mobile, and is fully accessible. An outdated or hard to use website turns off modern patients. 

By showcasing all your practice has to offer and optimizing for search engines, your website can help draw in new patients! Make this foundational investment in your online visibility.

2. Promote Your Services Locally

In addition to your website, running localized digital promotions is a great way to boost awareness and interest in your optometry practice within your community. 

Start by setting up Google Ads campaigns that target prospective patients searching for eye doctors in your city or zip code. Use relevant keywords like "optometrist [city]" or "eye exam [neighborhood]." Create text ads that highlight your location, years in business, and insurance accepted.

You can also run Facebook ads geo-targeted to users living within a certain radius of your office. Create eye-catching image ads showcasing your services, new technologies, or team members. Include a strong call-to-action button to book an appointment or learn more on your website.

When running local campaigns, it's effective to promote specialized services you offer that competitors may not, like pediatric eye care, sports vision training, or dry eye treatment. Highlight these unique offerings to stand out. 

Be sure to update digital ads seasonally or for special promotions. You may emphasize kids eye exams during the back-to-school season or run holiday discounts for eyeglasses. Dynamic, timely local ads keep your practice top of mind.

Investing in targeted digital promotions within your community, coordinated with your website, is a great way to consistently generate awareness and new patients from neighborhoods near your office.

3.Improve Search Visibility


A key strategy to help prospective patients find your optometry practice online is optimizing your website and content for local search visibility. This makes your website stand out when people search for eye doctors in your city.

Start by researching popular keywords and search phrases used to find local optometrists, like "eye exam Austin" or "optometrist near me." Tools like Google Keyword Planner can provide insight.

With this knowledge, update website copy and page titles to feature your location name prominently, like "North Austin Optometry - Eye Exams & Treatment." 

Craft page meta descriptions optimized for local searches too. For example "Dr. Smith's optometry practice has served families in the Austin, TX area for over 20 years. Book a comprehensive eye exam."

Publish blog posts focused on serving patients in your community. Write about the services your office provides, eye health topics, and introduce your team. Include relevant city names throughout.

Implement schema markup so your address, phone number, and location map are displayed prominently in search engines. This helps people find and contact your practice.

Optimizing content for local search visibility takes time but can significantly improve your discoverability and appeal to patients searching for optometrists in your area.

4.Get Found in Local Listings

Ensuring your optometry practice appears prominently on popular local business directories is key for driving visibility and new patients. Complete robust profiles on these key sites:

  •  Google My Business - This profile appears prominently in Google search and maps for terms related to your services and location. Optimize with your hours, photos, services, staff bios, and patient reviews.
  • Yelp - Patients often check Yelp to read reviews and see photos for healthcare providers. Create a Business Owner account to manage your listing, encourage patient reviews, and promote special offers.
  • Healthgrades - This directory is specifically for finding doctors. Your profile should emphasize your optometry specialties, credentials, years of experience, and education.

The more complete and optimized your local listings are, the higher you will rank in local search results. Include information that engages prospective patients, like bios highlighting your doctors' expertise and training, patient reviews and testimonials, before and after vision correction photos, and detailed descriptions of your services.

Managing your local listings takes time but delivers a strong ROI by effectively promoting your practice to people searching for eye doctors in your geographic area. Appearing prominently across directories helps convert local searches into new patients.

5.Encourage Online Reviews 

  Encourage Online Reviews 

Positive online reviews are vital for healthcare practices like optometry to build trust and credibility with prospective patients searching online. 

Start by proactively asking satisfied patients to leave reviews describing their great experiences. Provide links and instructions to leave reviews on Google, Facebook, and Yelp. Consider having review cards at the front desk.

When patients take the time to leave thoughtful reviews highlighting aspects like your professionalism, quality of care, and friendly staff, it provides social proof of your services for new patients.

Monitor reviews closely and respond professionally to any negative critiques. Thank the patient for the feedback, apologize for their unsatisfactory experience, and offer to address their concerns. This responsiveness reassures prospective patients.

Over time, accumulate 20+ consistent 5-star online reviews. This establishes you as a proven, patient-recommended optometry practice, which prospective patients inherently trust more than practices with minimal or poor reviews.

Make review generation a regular process. A robust online presence with overwhelmingly positive patient testimonials can be highly effective at converting online searches into new patients.

6.Utilize Social Media  

In addition to your website and local listings, actively maintaining social media profiles on networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter provides another digital touchpoint to interact with patients and promote your optometry practice.

Post regularly about eye health articles, new technologies your office is utilizing, staff highlights, answers to frequently asked vision questions, infographics, and more. Offer educational and entertaining content that followers will find valuable. 

When sharing practice news like new optometrists joining or office renovations, use photos and videos to give followers an inside look. Highlight charity events or community outreach your team participates in. 

Interact with patients by responding promptly and helpfully to questions, comments, and reviews on your profiles. Maintain a professional but approachable tone when managing your social media presence.

Post consistently 1-2 times per week minimum to grow your audience and keep your practice top of mind. Utilize analytics to determine what topics and post types resonate most. 

An active social media presence allows you to strengthen relationships with existing patients and provide helpful eye care information to expand your local visibility and attract new patients.

7.Send Email Newsletters

  Send Email Newsletters

Email newsletters are a great way for optometry practices to nurture relationships with existing patients while also promoting services to prospective patients. 

Collect patient email addresses and send a monthly e-newsletter covering popular eye health topics like computer eye strain, dry eyes, kids vision needs, and more. Educate subscribers with preventative care and eye disease advice to position your practice as a trusted local eye care resource.

Incorporate practice updates in newsletters too - new technology acquisitions, OD achievements, community involvement, and introductions of additional doctors or staff. 

Promote current vision exam deals, glasses discounts, contact lens sales, and other special offers exclusive for newsletter subscribers. Limited-time savings drive more appointment bookings.

Consider including lifestyle content like recipes, stress management tips, and local event highlights. This well-rounded approach nurtures personal connections beyond just eye care. 

Send newsletters consistently on the 1st Tuesday of each month so subscribers recognize it in their inbox. Use email analytics to continually refine your approach.

Offering subscribers-only promotions, early access to sales, and VIP treatment helps grow your list over time. Email newsletters effectively keep patients engaged while promoting your services.

 8.Host Educational Events

Hosting community events focused on eye health and vision is an impactful way for an optometry practice to establish itself as an expert local resource while showcasing services.

Consider hosting free eye care workshops open to the public on topics like preventing eye disease, signs of vision trouble in children, eye nutrition, and more. Bring in speakers from your practice to share professional insight that community members will find valuable.

For a fun family event, organize activities like vision screenings for kids, free eyeglass cleanings, games focused on eye anatomy, and crafts like designing your own eyeglasses. Parents will appreciate the interactive vision learning.

Reach out to partner with local elementary schools to offer vision screenings or eye health assemblies during school hours. You can provide an important service while introducing yourself.

When hosting any vision-focused community events, have optometrists and staff from your office on-site and make sure promotional materials featuring your services are readily available.

Making an impact through vision education and family outreach establishes your optometry practice as a community leader that families can turn to for their eye care needs. Events also drive awareness and interest in the services you provide.

9.Network with Referral Sources

In addition to marketing directly to patients, an impactful strategy to drive new patients is networking with other healthcare providers in your community who can refer vision care needs to your optometry practice.

Identify and introduce yourself to local pediatricians, family medicine and internal medicine doctors, and general practice dentists. Share brochures featuring your services and doctors, and offer to give their office a tour of your optometry practice. 

Follow up periodically with email updates on new technologies your practice offers or changes in insurance coverage. Make it easy for them to refer patients.

Connect with local opticians and eyewear retailers as well. They can recommend your office when patients need updated prescriptions or eye health exams. Offer discounts for referred patients.

Attend local health fairs, chamber events, or speaking engagements to introduce yourself to diverse referral sources. The more local providers who know your practice, the more referrals you will receive.

Networking leads to word-of-mouth recommendations which are very powerful. Consistently nurture your referral relationships and communicate your expertise. Cast a wide net to make your practice top of mind.

10.Offer Patient Perks

One proven way to get more existing patients to refer new business to your optometry practice is to offer special perks. By sweetening the deal, you motivate happy patients to recommend your services.

Consider providing a discount on future eye exams or eyeglass purchases to patients who refer a new patient to your practice. For example, offer $25 off their next visit.

You can also give gift cards to popular local retailers like restaurants, movie theaters, or gas stations to patients who refer new ones. Something in the $15-25 range provides nice motivation.  

Or simply give referring patients a thoughtful freebie like optometry-branded water bottles, coffee mugs, phone chargers, or other useful swag. People love free stuff.

The referred new patient should receive a perk too, such as a discount on their first eye exam. This immediately rewards them for choosing your practice.

Promote the referral incentives in your office, on your website, and through email and social media campaigns. The more visibility, the more referrals you'll gain.

Leveraging patient incentives taps into powerful word-of-mouth marketing. The rewards motivate referrals, build loyalty, and attract new patients.

11.Advertise in Local Publications

Advertise in Local Publications


Taking out strategic print advertisements in publications and materials frequently seen by residents in your area can provide valuable exposure and reach new patients for your optometry practice. 

Local newspapers and circulars that cover neighborhood news are often well-read by community members. Run affordable small ads highlighting your services, grand opening, new optometrist joins, or latest technology offered to put your practice in front of readers.

Nearby magazines that focus on local lifestyle, events, parenting, and senior news also provide targeted print outlets to advertise in. Consider half or full-page visual ads showcasing your eye care services.

Sponsor calendars for schools and nonprofits to feature your ad. This establishes you as an invested community supporter while marketing to families. 

Take out an ad in the regional chamber of commerce membership guide and event programs. Chamber readers are tuned into local businesses.

You can also partner with direct mail marketing companies that send postcards or flyers to specific neighborhood zones, allowing you to target households near your practice's location.

Allocating a portion of your marketing budget to local print advertising expands your reach and visibility with nearby residents. Multiple touchpoints drive new patient acquisition.

12.Sponsor Community Events

Sponsoring local community events is an effective way for an optometry practice to raise visibility and make positive connections with residents in the surrounding area.

Look for opportunities to sponsor relevant events like school fundraisers, charity vision walks/runs, health fairs, cultural festivals, and more. Provide a financial sponsorship in exchange for promotion.

As a sponsor, you'll gain visibility through presence on all event marketing materials, signs, t-shirts, website and social media. Set up an on-site booth to engage directly with attendees. 

Have optometrists and friendly staff from your practice attend to meet community members in person. Collect emails for newsletters, give out freebies, and answer vision questions.

When possible, choose events tied to your specialty like kids vision health or eye disease awareness. But any community event creates positive associations with your brand when you visibly sponsor and participate.

Sponsoring impactful local causes, rather than paid ads, builds community rapport and nurtures relationships. Meeting locals in person also sparks powerful word-of-mouth referrals.

13.Personalize Outreach

Taking a personalized approach to marketing and outreach efforts with existing patients and local prospects can significantly boost engagement and lead generation for your optometry practice.

Start by segmenting your patient database and email list by factors like location, past service utilization, age and life stage. Identify groups like past vision therapy patients, seniors in need of glaucoma exams, families with kids.

Craft tailored email campaigns, direct mail postcards, and letter content relevant to each group. For example, send vision therapy patients articles on maintaining progress. Email parents tips for back-to-school eye exams.

Personalize emails using merge fields to include the patient’s name. Segment postal mailings by zip codes near your office so content resonates. Recommend specialized services based on past appointments. 

The more you can tailor messaging to align with the patient’s specific needs and interests, the better response you will receive.

Testing personalized segments and offers allows you to refine your approach over time. The goal is to provide value through relevant education and promotions.

Taking the time to personalize outreach boosts engagement from existing patients while also bringing in new patients when campaigns are geo-targeted thoughtfully.

14.Partner with Employers

  Partner with Employers

Reaching out to local companies, both large and small, can connect your optometry practice to a steady source of new patients - employees seeking vision benefits.

Introduce yourself, provide informational brochures, and offer to give an on-site presentation about the importance of regular eye exams and vision care. Emphasize how providing vision coverage leads to happier, healthier, more productive employees.

Offer convenient on-site vision screenings and eye exam days at workplaces to attract interest. Be flexible working with employers on pairing your services with their insurance plans to minimize disruption.

Once you partner to become an approved vision provider for a company, market directly to employees with emails, flyers, and posters to drive bookings for their covered eye exams.

Tapping into this employer-provided vision coverage patient funnel provides a major boost in new patient acquisition. The flow of appointments and referrals from corporate partners can anchor your practice's growth.

15. Analyze What Works

To optimize your marketing approach over time, diligently track each initiative - digital, print, events, referrals, etc. - in a CRM to identify what drives the most calls, form fills, bookings, and ROI. Monitor web traffic, social engagement, online reviews and rankings, emails opened/clicked, ads and keywords cost per conversion, referral volumes by source, and more.

See which initiatives, campaigns, and tactics produce tangible results you can tie back to your marketing efforts. The more data you track, the smarter your spend decisions and activity focus will become.

Constant analysis and refinement is key - double down on what moves the needle while pruning ineffective programs. Test new approaches to stay nimble. Optimize towards higher conversion rates. With dedicated metrics tracking, you gain visibility into what marketing provides the biggest impact and expansion opportunities for your optometry practice. Use data to guide strategic decisions.


Employing a mix of digital marketing, community engagement, referral development, and analytics tracking will help attract more patients from your surrounding area.

Be consistent, provide value, and make outreach a priority to realize results. Leveraging tools like mConsent can streamline administrative tasks and free up more time for effective patient acquisition initiatives.

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