Attract New Patients to Your Pharmacy
“If a tree falls in a forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound?”
You could ask the same question about your pharmacy.
You may be the tallest, grandest, oldest pharmacy in the nation, but if people don’t hear about your business, does it matter?
That’s why no matter how great your business, you need to promote it.
But pharmacy promotion can feel overwhelming. And like a huge burden.
That’s why we rounded up 25 pharmacy promotion ideas to attract new patients to your pharmacy. All these ideas are easy and inexpensive to do.
1. Host events at your pharmacy
Use events to raise awareness about your independent pharmacy. Events can get new patients in the door. Maybe even ones who live in your area but have never heard of your business.
Be sure to host pharmacy and health-related events. But also host community functions that have nothing to do with health. That way you can increase the number of attendees and get the most exposure for your pharmacy.
Event ideas to host:
- 5k or walk-a-thon
- Block party
- Food drive
- Flu shot clinic
- Health fair
- Sidewalk sale
2. Set up booths at community events
Booths serve as a simple, unaggressive advertising tactic.
Because they focus on informing rather than selling, people are more likely to engage with them. (It also helps when booths offer free stuff.)
Good places for a booth include a local farmers market, summer carnival, or health fair.
What to include in your pharmacy booth:
- Free promotional gift
- Goodie bags
- Health information
- Interactive game with prizes (like a spinning wheel)
- Service or product demonstration
3. Donate your space
Let local organizations use your pharmacy’s parking lot for events, like a car show or trunk-or-treat.
Donating space connects your business to your community and promotes your pharmacy to new groups of people.
4. Volunteer in your community
Spend a day or evening with your pharmacy staff volunteering at a community event or charity fundraiser.
Volunteering shows people that you’re dedicated to your community. And it gets your business’s name in front of more people.
Ways your pharmacy could volunteer:
- Offer to host or sponsor the water table at a 5k race
- Put food bags together for Harvester’s events
- Run the games at a school carnival
5. Use social media
Social media is the best way to interact with your patients while promoting your pharmacy. It’s also one of the most effective ways to communicate to patients about what’s going on at your pharmacy.
Use social media to:
- Host contests to stir up shares, likes, and referrals
- Promote new services and products
- Publicize sales and promotions
- Share helpful health tips and information
- Show off your pharmacy’s personality
6. Send promotional emails to new people
Email addresses are marketing gold. When you have potential patients’’ email addresses, you can send them communications proving your pharmacy’s value. And convince them to become customers.
Use incentives, like contests at events and giveaways on social media, to gather email addresses. (Set out a sign-up form for people to fill out.)
Send them promotional emails with coupons, product announcements, and specials notifications. Better yet, send them your e-newsletter. Or, direct them to your blog where you can establish credibility with them over time.
7. Try out a direct mail campaign
With the rise of digital marketing, direct mail has become one of the most underrated pharmacy promotion ideas.
People tend to pay attention to what they receive in their mailbox. So, direct mail pieces like postcards, mailers, and brochures will usually find the eyes of the person you send them to.
Plus, seniors respond better to direct mail than to email or online ads. And, millennials love using coupons they receive in the mail.
RELATED: 5 Surprising Pharmacy Advertising Strategies to Get Patients in Your Doors
8. Hold a big sale
Big sales have the potential to bring in big numbers of patients.
A patient who currently uses a national chain pharmacy could visit your one-day front-end sale and see what he’s missing out on.
Even if you lose money on the sale, you could gain lifelong patients.
9. Provide samples and demonstrations
Demonstrating services and sampling products promotes your pharmacy in a unique way.
It engages people’s senses, allows them to experience the benefits, and helps them understand how a service or product works.
Showing is always more convincing than telling.
Ways to offer product demonstrations and samples:
- Give samples of retail products not typically found in other retail stores, like local products
- Highlight samples of retail products that fit with the season
- Show how advanced products work, like blood glucose meters or heart monitoring equipment
- Demonstrate compounding a (fake) medication to promote the service
- Give blood pressure screenings to promote your clinical services
- Ask a patient to “demonstrate” receiving a flu shot to promote flu shots
10. Host informational seminars
Hosting health-related seminars promotes your pharmacy as a reliable source of health knowledge.
And free seminars are an effective way to bring in people who aren’t already your patients.
Encourage your patients to bring friends and advertise the seminars to the general public.
11. Provide free health screenings and assessments
Health screenings allow you to offer more services to more patients. And to create more business.
For example, a patient who discovers she has high blood pressure through your screening will likely get her medications filled to manage it at your pharmacy.
Health screenings to offer in your pharmacy:
- Bone mineral density
- Blood glucose
- Blood pressure
- Full cholesterol panel
- Wellness exams
12. Give out coupons
Send coupons to potential customers to get them to go to your pharmacy. Or, include them in the mail or advertise in your local newspaper to entice readers to come visit.
Both can generate traffic to your pharmacy. Statistics show that people travel to redeem coupons, which means they’re an effective way to bring in people who are normally outside your market area.
13. Start a referral program
No marketing or advertising promotes your pharmacy as effectively as referrals. The reason is simple: Patients trust their friends and family.
So, getting current patients to refer your pharmacy is one of the pharmacy promotion ideas guaranteed to get you more patients.
Ways to encourage patient referrals:
- Build a loyalty program with referral incentives
- Encourage online reviews
- Hold a referral contest
- Reward referrals with coupons or discounts on retail items
14. Improve how your pharmacy ranks in online search results
Your pharmacy’s website is there to promote your business. But that only works if it shows up when people search.
Search engine optimization (SEO) enhances your website’s placement on search engines, such as Yahoo or Google. And, when your business comes up higher in search results, potential patients have an easier time finding your business.
Create an SEO strategy and improve your pharmacy website’s search ranking by using strategic keywords.
15. Write a blog
A blog promotes your pharmacy to patients searching on the web for health answers or information.
With good SEO practices and informative blog posts, patients will come across your blog when it addresses the topics they’re looking for.
And if your posts provide value, it will build your pharmacy’s credibility. And, those people may even visit your pharmacy next time they need a prescription or immunization.
16. Advertise on community bulletin boards
Don’t underestimate the value of a community bulletin board.
Create flyers that promote your pharmacy. (Or, have a marketing firm create them for you.) Then, put them up on bulletin boards in your community.
Places to hang up flyers:
- Business offices
- Community centers
- Fitness center
- Local businesses
- Senior centers
- Yoga studios
17. Contact local media
The local newspapers and T.V. stations love to promote local businesses.
Give them a reason to showcase your pharmacy.
Host a large community event, unveil a new service, or ask a reporter to interview you as an expert on current pharmaceutical events.
18. Sponsor local events or teams
Think of sponsoring the local school sports team or a 5k as a marketing investment.
Over time, it’s worth the investment because it promotes your pharmacy to a lot of people across the entire age spectrum.
And it brands your pharmacy as committed to the community.
19. Encourage online reviews
Eighty-four percent of people trust online reviews as much as friends.
So, online reviews from sites and apps like Yelp, Google, and Facebook are great for promoting your pharmacy.
The only question is, will people write positive or negative reviews?
Encourage satisfied patients to review your pharmacy through incentives like discounts and coupons.
20. Offer check-in deals
Social media websites allow people to tell others when they’re at a business, like your pharmacy. Check-ins can spread your pharmacy’s name quickly and boost visibility.
Offer every customer who checks into your pharmacy on social media an exclusive promotion or enter them into a contest to win an enticing prize.
21. Host a ‘Talk with A Pharmacist Day’
Your pharmacists have valuable knowledge. Show them off!
Host a ‘Talk with A Pharmacist Day’ event where the pharmacist dedicates time to exclusively converse with patients.
Promote it to everyone, not just current patients. You could even bring in patients from national chain pharmacies, where pharmacists tend to be more out of reach.
22. Rent a billboard next to a national chain pharmacy
Patients heading into national chain pharmacies are your target market.
So, advertising near their stores means you could reach new patients.
Place a compelling ad on a billboard as close to your competitors as you can.
RELATED: 10 Pharmacy Advertising Ideas to Get New Patients Now
23. Advertise in a local magazine
Most cities publish at least one local magazine that highlights the great local places where people can shop and eat.
These magazine readers seek to spend their money and time at local retailers and businesses. Which makes them a perfect audience for your pharmacy promotions.
Take out a large advertisement in the most popular magazine that readers can’t miss.
24. Partner with other independent retailers
Don’t try to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps. Help other local retailers and let them help you as you both strive for the same thing.
When local businesses recommend your pharmacy, it’s just that. A recommendation. Not an unwanted solicitation.
Consider partnering with these unusual businesses in addition to other healthcare organizations.
25. Build relationships with other health practitioners
Health practitioners can serve as valuable promoters of your pharmacy to their patients.
Ways to build a promotional relationship with health practitioners:
- Build collaborative partnerships
- Create a mutual referral program
- Give thoughtful gestures on the proper holidays
- Invite prescribers to your pharmacy events
Don’t be like the tree. Make a sound. Use these 25 pharmacy promotion ideas to make sure everyone hears about your pharmacy.