5 Surprising Pharmacy Advertising Strategies to Get Patients in Your Doors

5 Surprising Pharmacy Advertising Strategies to Get Patients in Your Doors by Elements magazine | pbahealth.com

This article expires today. Don’t miss out on your chance to learn proven pharmacy advertising strategies to gain more patients.

Just kidding. This article doesn’t expire.

But you wanted to keep reading didn’t you?

Advertisers often use people’s fear of missing out to persuade them.

And persuasion matters for your independent community pharmacy as much as any other business.

Over decades, advertisers have perfected the tricks to persuasion. A handful of them have proven effective no matter what the business offers.

Apply these proven pharmacy advertising strategies and you can get more new patients than you’ve ever had. (For real this time.) And, you’ll turn on-the-fence patients into loyal ones.


How to Apply Proven Advertising Strategies to Your Pharmacy

We’ve picked the best proven advertising strategies and detailed how to apply them to an independent community pharmacy. Get ready to attract new patients like an advertising pro.

Advertising Strategy 1: Social proof

Humans suffer from herd mentality. If a group of people endorses something, others will likely follow.

Real-life examples of herd mentality:

  • Sitcoms use audience laughter tracks
  • Websites have user reviews
  • Instagram abounds with amateur brand advocates

Social proof strategies take advantage of herd mentality by corralling the herd to a brand.

Social proof has proven so effective in advertising that it’s created a multibillion-dollar online industry. For a fee, companies will create thousands to millions of fake followers for a social media account or for online reviews.

People are especially likely to follow others when:

  • They hear from multiple sources
  • They feel uncertain
  • They’re similar to the people they follow

How to apply this advertising strategy to your pharmacy:

  • Use testimonials in your advertising
  • Use photos of people who resemble your target patient base
  • Encourage satisfied patients to post online reviews of your pharmacy
  • Give incentives to patients to refer others to your pharmacy
  • Provide prizes to social media followers to share your posts or participate in your social media contests

Advertising Strategy 2: Scarcity

You’ve probably seen a scarcity sales tactic.

For example, you go to book a super affordable flight online. The website says, “Five seats left.” And the page alerts you that two hundred people are looking for tickets on the same flight. You feel like you better buy the tickets right away or you’ll lose the seats.

Advertisers for airlines latch onto people’s overwhelming tendency to overvalue scarce products or services. And, almost every retail outlet online uses this strategy in some way.

When you paint your pharmacy or products as scarce, patients will want to get a hold of them.

But don’t worry. The idea isn’t to sell patients something they don’t need. You can use this strategy to help patients realize you offer something that can benefit them.

How to apply this advertising strategy to your pharmacy:

  • Advertise a one-day sale with limited retail items
  • Keep select high-price retail items in low stock and advertise them as a limited amount
  • Advertise the limited number of seats when you invite patients to your events

Advertising Strategy 3: Foot-in-the-door

The “foot-in-the-door” approach gives people a taste of what you offer for free or inexpensively. So they’ll realize its value and pay to keep it.

People are more likely to act when they stand to lose something than when they stand to gain the same thing.

This is the principle behind free trials. For example, HelloFresh, a meal kit delivery service, offers a free week of its meal kits. The company believes once someone tries their kits, they won’t want to return to life without them. People who wouldn’t have paid to try them will then pay to keep them.

How to apply this advertising strategy to your pharmacy:

  • Provide a free personalized health screening that requires regular check-ins with the pharmacist
  • Offer patients a free trial to attend a diabetes education class before signing up for your full diabetes care program
  • Offer a discount on your smoking cessation program if patients sign up by a certain date

Advertising Strategy 4: Anchoring

Anchoring is a famous negotiation tactic.

The strategy focuses on the idea that humans rely on the first piece of information they get.

Negotiators will start by asking for the highest possible rate (the “anchor”) so subsequent offers sound generous.

Advertisers have adapted this strategy in their own ways. Amazon and other companies will reveal the “regular” or “anchor” price to show you how much lower the new price is. Consumers are more likely to buy a $100 product originally marked $300 than one originally marked $150.

How to apply this advertising strategy to your pharmacy:

  • For retail items that you regularly discount, raise the regular price and show the discount’s difference
  • When negotiating with vendors, aim higher than you think you’ll get
  • Any time patients could save money, show them how much they’ll save

Advertising Strategy 5: Reciprocity

When someone does something for you, you’re likely to do something for them in return.

That’s reciprocity. Don’t believe it? Famous psychologist Robert Cialdini showed the power of reciprocity influencing the way people behave.

Reciprocity works in business relationships as well as personal ones. Patients who feel cared for by your pharmacy will want to return the favor with loyalty.

How to apply this advertising strategy to your pharmacy:

  • Spend time consulting patients one-on-on
  • Give out gift bags at event
  • Go out of your way to invest in the well-being of your patients
  • Provide a free consulting booth at events

With these five pharmacy advertising strategies, you’re sure to win over new patients. Don’t miss out.

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Elements is written and produced by PBA Health, a buy-side solutions company.

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