Building your eye surgery marketing funnel

In this post, I’ll answer the question “What is a marketing funnel?” and give you eight steps to create your eye surgery marketing funnel. As I go, I’ll share some examples of these concepts in a successful eye surgery marketing funnel.

The funnel is one of the most fundamental tenets in digital marketing – so it’s on the essentials list for any eye surgeon engaged in marketing to understand.

Let’s get started!

What is a marketing funnel?

According to legendary marketer Jay Abraham’s business growth strategy, there are only three ways to grow a business (or a practice):

  1. Increase the number of customers
  2. Increase the average transaction value per customer
  3. Increase the number of transactions per customer

To make these things happen, you need a funnel.

A marketing funnel is an intentional path you take your prospect through that takes them from unaware prospect to happy patient.

8 steps to build your eye surgery marketing funnel

Here are the eight essential steps to create a stellar eye surgery marketing Funnel:

  1. determine the product fit
  2. choose a traffic source
  3. offer a lead magnet
  4. make an entry point offer
  5. offer a core product
  6. offer a profit maximised
  7. build your landing page
  8. create a return path

Pro-tip: Would you rather just have us do this for you? Let us know by booking a compatibility call. If you’re not quite ready for that, then read on!

Step 1 – Determine product market fit

You must know your customer to market to them effectively, so start by asking these questions to understand your product market fit:

  • Who is my ideal customer? What other demographics, interests, core values, day-to-day lifestyles, etc…
  • What are my customers’ frustrations and pain points? What are the problems my customer faces every day? What’s getting in the way of their success?
  • What is my customers’ desired after-state? What does success look like for my customer? What do they want to achieve?
  • How does my product help transition customers away from their problems and towards success?

Examples of good product-market fit in vision correction marketing funnels

We advise you to build a customer avatar of your ideal customer. When working with any vision correction practice, we typically create three:

  1. An avatar between the ages of 20-42 who desires the benefits of vision correction
  2. An avatar between the ages of 43-58 who wants to be free from glasses and contact lenses
  3. An avatar between the ages of 59 and 77 who might be getting cataracts and wants to be free of them, with a bonus of never needing glasses again

Note how we do not advise building a LASIK avatar or an RLE avatar. That is a common mistake. Instead, we focus on creating avatars around before- and after-states, the product we might offer that avatar as they flow through the funnel is incidental.

Step 2: Choose a traffic source

Now that you’ve achieved product/market fit, your next step is to figure out how to reach that market and get them to your website.

No one has a traffic problem because you can always buy traffic. We often use the store analogy when buying traffic because it’s relatable. When you need something, you go to the store to get it. When you need traffic, you go to the traffic store to buy it. There are many traffic stores, including stores that sell email lists, search engines, social media, events, and media (i.e. YouTube, broadcast TV or radio), etc.

Paid traffic sources include

  • Cold email lists that opt-in to marketing
  • Social advertising (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Youtube, LinkedIn)
  • Search and Display Advertising (Google, Bing)
  • Locating your practice in a high-traffic area where you might get a lot of footfall

If you want traffic but don’t want to solely rely on buying it, you can also work for your traffic. The activities that result in traffic are

  • Content marketing
  • Social media networking
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
  • Optometric co-management
  • customer experience that leads to advocates and promoters.

There are many different places to buy traffic and ways to work for traffic but keep these things in mind when choosing a traffic source.

  • Choose a traffic source that is the best place to reach your customers. Chances are your customers play favourites, so do your research and see what platforms your customers are on the most.
  • Master 1 traffic source before you decide to use multiple sources. Buying traffic is about getting people into your funnel. Jumping around a bunch of different sources will only make it take longer to acquire customers.

Examples of successful traffic sources in vision correction marketing funnels

Again, the right traffic source for you will depend on your avatar and where they like to “hang out”. Are they Googlers alone? Do they spend time on Facebook or Instagram? Have they dropped it all and only spend their time on TikTok?

In our experience with vision correction practice marketing, the most predictable and lucrative traffic sources are

  1. Google
  2. Facebook/Instagram
  3. YouTube
  4. Friends and family referrals

Step 3 – Create a lead magnet

Now that you’ve decided on a traffic source, it’s time to start increasing the number of customers you have.

A lead magnet is an irresistible ethical bribe that gives a specific chunk of value to a prospect in exchange for their contact information (like an email address or a phone number).

Keep this in mind when creating a lead magnet

    1. Make sure your lead magnet provides a quick win. You want customers to find tremendous value in the payoff.
    2. Make it specific. Solving a specific problem or answering a specific question that signals a specific buyer intent ensures that the leads you generate are high quality.

Examples of successful lead magnets in vision correction marketing funnels

Our most cost-effective lead magnets are,

    1. Self-tests
    2. Phone calls
    3. FAQ web chat
    4. Short, uber-specific guides

A newsletter or a brochure is not a lead magnet.

NOTE: The best way to answer that nagging question about practice growth or marketing or patient volume in the back of your mind is to book a free 15-minute compatibility call. Get some options and go away with a clear idea of what’s possible.

Step 4 – Offer an entry point offer

You’ve got a lead. Now it’s time to turn them into a (mini-) customer!

The entry-point offer is an irresistible, super low-ticket offer (usually between £0-£20), that gets your customer’s ‘foot-in-the-door’ with a commitment. An entry-point offer can also be free if the lead takes time to get value. Ideally, this offer is valuable, but incomplete.

There are many types of entry-point offers. You may have seen inexpensive physical products, books, and splinter offers.

They are irresistible because they are low cost, and some are even loss-leaders or sold at break-even.

Starting off generously and providing immense value sets the relationship with your customer off on the right foot.

Examples of successful entry-point offers in vision correction marketing funnels

The best entry-point offers in vision correction are,

  1. Free assessments prospects can book online
  2. Free assessments prospects can book on the phone
  3. Free Zoom calls with an optometrist
  4. Free webinars and patient evenings
  5. Paid appointments prospects can book online
  6. Paid appointments prospects can book on the phone

Step 5 – Offer a core product

As long as you over-deliver and provide immense value with your lead magnet and entry-point offer (EPO), your customers will be eager to purchase your core offer.

That, not before, is the time to present your core offer.

Keep this in mind

  • You don’t always have to keep all the profits. Reinvesting some of your sales into your traffic purchases allows you to buy more traffic, which means more customers in the funnel.
  • Your core offer should be valuable. You’ve already over-delivered with your initial offers, so make sure your core offer delivers just as well, if not better.

At this point, I’d like to just focus on two important points

  1. At the appointment, you should offer one core offer. You can always provide options, but only after you’ve determined that your core offer is either unsuitable for your prospect or the prospect demonstrates a preference for other benefits.
  2. You can, of course, refer to your core offers as often as you wish in your website, landing pages, thank-you pages and other messaging. Don’t, however, focus on offering your core offer until the prospect has an opportunity to buy it. In 99% of cases, that happens only at the appointment.

Examples of successful core offers in vision correction marketing funnels

These are the customer experiences you offer, including

  • PRK
  • PresbyLASIK
  • ICL
  • Lenticule extraction
  • Lens replacement
  • Lifestyle cataract surgery

Step 6: Offer a profit maximiser

If you’re pricing appropriately, you should be selling treatments at a profit that easily pays for your losses when offering free appointments. If not, raise your prices.

Most successful companies, however, don’t start making true profits until this stage.

Profit maximisers are higher-priced purchases that increase the average transaction value per customer.

Profit maximisers come in the form of

  • Immediate upsells
  • Cross sells
  • Premium experiences (people will pay extra for perks and early access)

All of these offers are just different ways you can increase the customer’s experience and thus increase their lifetime customer value.

Examples of successful profit maximisers in vision correction marketing funnels

In all cases, we recommend offering the most appropriate core offer to deliver the customer’s after state. However, sometimes customers aren’t aware of alternatives that might even provide them with benefits they didn’t know were available.

Upsells in vision correction include

  • Offering PRK to a patient who doesn’t qualify for LASIK
  • Offering lenticule extraction to a patient who qualifies for PRK
  • Offering lenticule extraction to a patient who qualifies for LASIK
  • Offering ICL to a patient who doesn’t qualify for LASIK
  • Offering laser-blended vision to a patient who qualifies for LASIK, but also doesn’t like their reading glasses
  • Offering lens replacement in the above scenario
  • Offering lifestyle cataract surgery (with premium IOLs) to any patient with cataracts that has a refractive error and wishes to be free from glasses and contact lenses

The above list may seem obvious to you, but do you have processes that ensure everyone on your team knows how to do this? Furthermore, the

What about cross-sells?

Cross-sells mainly depend on the other services you provide. For example, many eye surgeons provide eyelid surgery and aesthetic treatments. Some practices are sub-practices in a multidisciplinary setting, offering plastic surgery and other treatments. Furthermore, if you remain in touch with the patient over the long term, you can be top of mind if you offer age-related ophthalmology like glaucoma or AMD treatment.

Premium Experiences

Offering premium experiences is only limited to your imagination. For example, you could offer

  • Extended post-operative care and free enhancements (3, 5 or 10 years)
  • Offer annual eye exams
  • Offer “Speedy Boarding” by leaving one surgical space available for any VIP customers who want it done ASAP
  • Total privacy for Super-VIP customers who want no one else in the clinic but them and their entourage
  • Offer a private luxury transport and 5-star hotel experience

Step 7 – Create your landing pages

You’ve got all of your offers in order, now is the time to make a place for customers to learn all about them.

The landing page is a webpage where all essential information about your offer lives.

You’ll need a landing page for your lead magnet. It’s where you point your customers using traffic sources, like ads and links.

You’ll also need a landing page for your entry-point offer. That’s where most of the content on your website will link to.

Your landing page will need

  • An attention-getting headline. You can use the name of your lead magnet as inspiration for your landing page’s headline.
  • An image of your offer. People are visual, and they love seeing the payoff before they get it.
  • Compelling copy. Explain the benefit and the value they’ll get from the lead magnet. Use your copy to show them how your offer will get them one step closer to their desired after-state. More complex offers usually need more copy. Try to be as simple as possible with your lead magnet offer.
  • Below the fold opt-in form. If your landing page is longer and will require someone to scroll through the whole thing, include two opt-in forms, one above-the-fold and the other below the fold.
  • Privacy policy and terms of services. These are required to be compliant with traffic stores.

Create your thank-you upsell pages

Once your customer makes a purchase; it’s a great idea to offer them an upsell immediately.

You’ll need, at minimum, two thank-you upsell pages. One landing page follows your lead magnet offer, and the other follows the entry-point offer.

The next page that appears after the prospect orders the offer should be a thank-you page with…

  • A thank you for purchasing/opting in. It’s just polite.
  • Basic Access Instructions: Confirm with them that the order has gone through. Let them know when they can expect delivery or appointment confirmation. Give them any information they might need in case they don’t receive their confirmation email (i.e. it might end up in spam).
  • Bridge the Gap: explain what they just got is a “part” of a much larger “whole.” Tell them that this next offer will help to enhance what they just got.
  • Offer to Upgrade their Offer: hint at a killer deal, and explain what that deal entails. For example, after someone books an assessment, you could offer them a chance to book a provisional surgery date, contingent on suitability in exchange for a small deposit.

Examples of successful profit maximisers in vision correction marketing funnels

We’d be happy to show you examples of these but won’t share links here. Why? Because we are tracking all landing page and thank you page hits, we don’t want to mess up our customers’ statistics!

Step 8 – Create a return path

Give the customer a reason to return.

A return path is a way to increase the number of encounters for each customer. It’s a way to encourage customers to come back to your brand.

Why would you want to do this? In most cases, you’ll want patients to attend all their post-operative appointments. I’m aghast when I notice that surgeons reduce the number of these appointments to a minimum to save time or fail to remind patients to attend them. Don’t see post-ops as a burden, but an opportunity!

Every post-op appointment is a chance to WOW them with your service and gently prompt them to rate you online, giving you a positive online review or referring friends and family.

The Return Path is also necessary for those prospects that didn’t convert to your entry point offer or your core offer.

The Return Path is anything that brings the customer or prospect back more frequently, including…

  • Email Marketing
  • Exit Offers
  • Organic Social Media (like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and LinkedIn)
  • Loyalty Programs
  • Content Marketing
  • Outbound Re-Calls
  • Ad Retargeting

By following these eight essential steps, you can create a funnel that will help you increase your number of customers, average transaction value per customer and transactions per customer.

Applying Abraham’s business growth strategy to your eye surgery practice is a great way to increase the number of customers, transactions and average transaction value. But it’s not as simple as copying these eight steps. You need to ensure that each step in your funnel is tailored to your specific audience and their needs.

Our team at LiveseySolar can help you create a custom funnel that increases leads, conversions and sales for your eye surgery practice. Have you tried any of these techniques?

NOTE: The best way to answer that nagging question about practice growth or marketing or patient volume in the back of your mind is to book a free 15-minute compatibility call. Get some options and go away with a clear idea of what’s possible.

About the author

Rod Solar
Founder & Scalable Business Advisor / fCMO

Rod Solar is a co-founder of LiveseySolar and a Scalable Business Advisor for its customers. Rod mentors and coaches eye surgery business CEOs/Founders and their leadership teams to triple their sales, double their profit, and achieve their “ideal exit”.

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Meet our Founders

We’re passionate about helping leaders of high-quality, growth-minded practice owners double their practice revenue

Rod Solar

Founder & Scalable Business Advisor

Rod Solar is a co-founder of LiveseySolar and a Scalable Business Advisor / fCMO for our customers. Rod mentors and coaches CEOs/Founders and their leadership teams to double their sales, triple their profits, and achieve their “ideal exit”.

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LiveseySolar completely transformed the way we were approaching this… We’ve gone from having just the dream of having a practice to having a practice up and running with people making inquiries and booking for procedures… It’s extremely pleasing. We feel lucky we connected with LiveseySolar.

— Dr Matthew Russell, MBChB, FRANZCO, specialist ophthalmic surgeon and founder of VSON and OKKO

Laura Livesey

Founder & CEO

Laura Livesey is the co-founder & CEO of LiveseySolar. She has developed powerful refractive surgery marketing systems that increase patient volumes and profits for doctors, clinics, and hospitals, since 1997.

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Rod and Laura know as much about marketing surgery to patients as I know about performing it. They are an expert in the field of laser eye surgery marketing. They know this industry inside out. I believe that they could help many companies in a variety of areas including marketing materials, sales training and marketing support for doctors.

— Prof. Dan Reinstein, MD MA FRSC DABO, founder of the London Vision Clinic, UK