November 20, 2018
Inside: Leaving existing patients out of your marketing plans is like leaving money on the table. Here’s how a simple bag insert can help nurture your ongoing relationships.
Your marketing efforts probably focus on bringing new patients to your pharmacy. That’s just common sense. But is it enough?
A commonly cited statistic from Marketing Metrics says the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 to 70 percent. The probability of selling to a new prospect is just 5 to 20.
Marketing to your existing patients also reinforces your brand in their mind and fosters loyalty.
In e-commerce, package inserts are a popular way to market to current customers. Take a cue from the digital world at your brick-and-mortar store with bag inserts – paper collateral that you include in each customer’s prescription bag to nurture that business relationship.
Bag inserts are an easy, cost-effective way to keep your store on patients’ minds. And, done right, bag slips can help you garner additional business from people who already know and use your pharmacy.
For example, touting your pharmacy’s delivery service may persuade a patient who fills one prescription with you to transfer their other prescriptions to your store. Advertising your convenient immunizations could upgrade an occasional prescription patient to an annual flu shot patient.
The content and the design of your bag inserts matter. Choose your content wisely based on the time of year and the type of patients your pharmacy serves.
Think about the following criteria when deciding what message to put on your bag slips.
Bag inserts should be more than just a logo and a slogan, but the possibilities from there are plentiful. Here are some ways to utilize this versatile collateral at your pharmacy:
A bag slip isn’t the right place for just any housekeeping announcements, but it’s the perfect medium for good news. When you have operational information to share that makes you look particularly good—longer hours or a more convenient messaging system, for example—let people know.
Or use these inserts to announce a sale or any specials you have running in your front end.
2. Seasonal reminder to get a flu shot
This public health message doubles as an advertisement if your pharmacy provides immunizations. Not only do vaccines increase revenue directly, they’re also a convenient opportunity for patients to buy OTC medications and other essentials while they’re in your store.
3. Details about additional or new services
Many patients don’t realize all you have to offer. Use bag inserts to tell them what else you can do for them. Highlight a new service if you have one. Otherwise, choose timely and more lucrative options.
Or, if you have a lot of patients with kids and pets, let them know about your flavoring service. That way they’ll know to ask for it next time they fill a liquid prescription or if they need a custom prescription for their pet.
4. Introduce an exciting new product
Has your pharmacy recently expanded to a full-service natural supplement section? Have you jumped onto the lucrative bandwagon of CBD oil products? Maybe you’re now stocking a virally popular bug spray your customers have been asking for. Don’t use this method to introduce every new item on the shelves. Wait for something big that you know consumers will be actively looking to buy, or something that meaningfully expands the scope of your store’s offerings.
5. Information and resources for health events
Alert patients to health and pharmacy events, and encourage them to participate along with you.
For example, create a bag insert reminding patients of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day (the next one is April 27, 2019) letting them know to bring expired or unused medication to your pharmacy. It’s gives patients a reason to return to your store and, hopefully, spend more money.
For other events, like the Great American Smokeout, consider providing resources to help lead to better health outcomes for patients.
6. Educational brochures and resources for national health observances
Whether it’s Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month in May or American Heart Month in February, the calendar is full of opportunities to raise awareness and peg your pharmacy as the local health experts.
Follow the themes of these health observances to advertise relevant products and services. This is a good opportunity to push your clinical services, like testing and vaccinations that are relevant to the health issue at hand.
See healthfinder.gov for dates and ideas.
7. Information about public health issues
Providing tips, warnings, or easy explanations helps you establish a role as trusted advisor. Useful tip sheets also tend to have staying power as an item some patients will save to reference later. Think about creating a bag slip that someone would want to put up on the refrigerator at home.
8. Coupon for a discount on their next visit
Consumers love discounts. Coupons are such a powerful motivator that many consumers will actually pay more for a product if they get a discount. (Learn ten other ways coupons significantly benefit your pharmacy business).
9. Request for an online review
Asking patients to review your pharmacy on online review websites and social media is the most effective way to introduce your pharmacy to new patients. Ninety percent of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business. And people trust the opinions of their friends and family more far more than branded messages.
10. “Got questions? Give us a call.”
You already make every effort to make sure your patients understand their medications before they leave the pharmacy. Reminding them that your pharmacists are available as resources even after the transaction encourages an ongoing relationship.
11. “Sign up for text message updates”
If you offer text message notifications for filled prescriptions or reminders to refill, consider using a bag insert to push this service. In addition to shortening the time prescriptions languish on your shelves, it ensures the patient will have future contact with your pharmacy’s brand.
Marketing doesn’t end when a prospect becomes a customer. Use a versatile tactic like bag slips to keep your patients coming back.
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