Getting new pharmacy patients doesn’t have to be expensive.
Patients are the lifeblood of pharmacies. Whether you focus on dispensing prescriptions, selling supplements, or fixing hormones, you need pharmacy patients.
I am a huge fan of guerilla-style marketing. Over the years, I have perfected many tactics that work well for independent pharmacies as we want our patients to come to us, IRL (in real life!). Tons of marketing strategies are out there, but not all work for brick-and-mortar businesses. Let’s dive into some of my favorite low-cost strategies guaranteed to bring you new pharmacy patients.
You Must Offer Something Different
My first tactic is inspired by one of the best marketing books, Purple Cow. If you want people to change their habits (which is hard) and do something different (like come to your pharmacy), you have to offer them something exciting, unique, dare I say, a little sexy. A great way to do this as a pharmacy is to provide and promote niche supplements. Here are my current favorite 3 options with a brief explanation for what makes them special.
- Ananda Professional PM Blend – A full-spectrum CBD product with a higher concentration of CBN to promote relaxation and sleep. What Makes It Special: It works the first night guarantee. 100% Money-Back guarantee. You can offer this risk-free to your patients as Ananda Professional offers it risk-free to you.
- Berkeley Life Professional – A natural supplement that helps increase the body’s nitric oxide level. What Makes It Special: They have a 15-second saliva test that patients can see if they are low in nitric oxide and to make sure the supplement is working.
- Pharmanex Antioxidant Scanner – With a simple 60-second scan of your patients’ palms, you can give them their antioxidant score. What Makes It Special: A one-of-a-kind line of vitamins guaranteed to raise the score, and you can retest as often as you like to show that the supplements or lifestyle changes are working.
You can simply promote these products and talk about what makes them notable on social media, in bag stuffers, or on your website. They pique people’s interests because they are different than the typical supplement. A test to see if you actually need the supplement? Pretty cool. A 100% money-back guarantee? That’s super rare. Remember, rarity grabs attention, just like a purple cow does.
Fill Prescriptions For Hospice
Dispensing prescriptions for hospice patients is gratifying work. Some of my fondest professional memories are of hospice patients I helped care for. Now I can hear your exasperated breathing as you think, “Aren’t hospice prescriptions really low in profit?”. They can be, especially if a crappy PBM is involved. There are ways to boost hospice prescription profitability by billing directly with the help of companies like BetterRx.
Even with low profits, I say hospice prescriptions are still worth going after if you have a goal of growing your pharmacy. Here’s why:
- You get new patients almost daily. This means you are exposed to new families in your community that has probably never heard of you.
- You become known in the medical community. Nurses that work in hospice often work for local doctors and hospitals too. You can easily impress them on the hospice side, and then they sing your praises during their day jobs.
- New prescribers will become aware of you. Almost every non-specialist doctor will have a patient that goes on hospice. As these doctors call in the hospice scripts to you, you get introduced to new prescribers you now have some relationships with.
I see hospice as a way to get paid to market your pharmacy. While you may not make a killing, you often make a small profit, AND you get a massive amount of exposure in your community. That’s a win-win.
Work With Plastic Surgeons
Plastic surgeons stay busy with a constant stream of patients so that you can be busy with a stream of new pharmacy patients. Every plastic surgery patient will require both prescription and OTC medications to get the best outcome from their surgery. Frequently, surgeons are very particular about what their patients take. You can fill that need by always keeping their preferred products in stock and ready for patients.
These prescriptions are often cash revenue to the pharmacy. Many surgeons include the cost of medications in their surgery price to promote an all-in-one price. Some prescriptions might be billed to a patient’s insurance as well. Surgeons want their patients to experience the highest level of service, and independent pharmacies are the best place for them to receive that. Often, these patients will convert to recurring patients as your awesomeness wows them from their surgery. For more information on partnering with plastic surgeons, check out this blog.
Use Bounce Back Coupons
A bounce-back coupon is a coupon that is only good in-store and generally refers to being valid on the patient’s next visit. I use them for both repeat business and for passing out to prescribers or other local businesses to drive people to the pharmacy for the first time. A great aspect of these types of coupons is that you only pay for them when they are effective. I like to offer at least $10 off, and you can easily vary this number based on how you use them.
They don’t always have to be monetary, either. We give all local pediatricians and urgent care centers bounce-back coupons for free Rx or OTC medications flavoring. The flavoring offer brings a lot of new patients into the pharmacy.
A pharmacy patient referral program is one of my favorite pharmacy growth strategies. It is simple to implement and only costs you when it works. I created my referral program after being disenfranchised by the chain transfer coupons and other companies’ best deals only being offered to new customers. I set out to create a program that rewarded my loyal customers for being, well, loyal and referring new patients.
Here are the basics of my referral program.
- $20 was credited to the patient’s account that referred a new patient.
- When the new patient came into the pharmacy, we asked them how they had heard about us.
- The credit could be used at any time in the pharmacy.
To make your referral program successful, you need to shout about it from the rooftops! Put in-store signage everywhere. Use bag stuffers. Talk about it on social media and with prescribers. Everyone should know you have a referral program. Through a referral program, I added over 400 new patients a month for over a year and a half. To get more details on a referral program, head over HERE.
The most important rule for getting new patients is to be consistent. These tactics or many others will be successful if you execute them consistently. For additional support on increasing your pharmacy’s profits, feel free to reach out to Dr. Lisa Faast at firstname.lastname@example.org.