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marketing ehc & ed in pharmacy
Emergency Contraception & Erectile Dysfunction services are such important services, providing care to people in vulnerable situations. But navigating ethics, regulations, and public perceptions when promoting these services is tricky.

Marketing Emergency Hormone Contraception and Erectile Dysfunction (EHC & ED) is important to get right. Not only does it help deliver care and change lives for the people in your community, but marketed correctly, these services help keep your business profitable and sustainable.

So let’s take a look at effectively marketing your ED & EHC services in 5 simple steps.

1. Sensitivity first

As a pharmacist, you don’t need me telling you that Erectile Dysfunction & Emergency Hormone Contraception are both sensitive services from a patient’s perspective. Discretion, judgement free delivery of these services is a must. And whilst neutrality is one thing, compassion also goes a long way.

You probably manage your services in this way – but not everyone does. Patients may have previous bad experiences, so make your pharmacy’s approach clear.

Remember: your entire pharmacy team needs to be 100% sure on how to manage these patient experiences. Semi-regular briefings help keep everyone on the same page.

2. Perfect Patient Experience

Other than your pharmacy team’s conduct, there are ways of providing a service which your community values.

The main things they value with both services are discretion, safety and effectiveness.

That’s one of the main draws of the direct online route – people ideally want complete privacy.

Whilst you might not win over every single patient who might’ve otherwise gone online, providing an environment promoting privacy gives a convenient alternative.

Consider offering at least one of the following:

  • A Pharmacy Messenger/WhatsApp channel for patients to communicate through.
  • Online booking facilities for private consultation rooms.
  • Video Consultations

3. Advertising Do’s & Don’t’s for EHC & ED

As per medicine advertising guidelines, you cannot directly advertise Prescription-Only Medicines (POM’s). It’s good practice to promote the service or condition you’re treating rather than the medicine itself.

  • DO
  • DO show sensitivity in your wording of any advertising of your service
  • DO make use of Local SEO & Sponsored Social Media Ads to advertise your service.
  • DO make sure you aren’t violating terms and conditions when using Facebook & Google.
  • DO Ask Pharmacy Mentor for advice if you aren’t sure.
  • DON’T
  • DON’T Include ED or EHC in any discounts or special offers. This makes patients feel like you’re charging more than you could ordinarily.
  • DON’T Advertise POM’s directly. Always advertise the condition or service.
  • DON’T forget your pharmacy reputation is affected by the style of your advertising, for better or worse.
  • DON’T try to compete on price – compete on service and trust instead.

Making your EHC & ED Services get clicks on Google

There are two stages of getting clicks on Google.

The first is appearing on Google in the first place. But we’ll cover that in the next section.

But let’s say that, either through publishing relevant content on your website, or paying to appear on Google through Google Advertising you appear on Google, like in this image below.

google results for ehc pill

How do you ensure your website is the one that gets clicked, instead of your competition?

Put your USP in your headline

Your opening line on anything promoting your service is like a headline of a newspaper. Grabbing your audience immediately is the name of the game, but it requires balance, so you aren’t perceived as clickbait or spammy, especially on sensitive subjects like ED & EHC.

There’s limited space for your headlines, so prioritising is key.

What is your main USP? The reason your consumers choose you over your competitors? Those should be in your headline.

The Superdrug advert below does a good job with “No Doctors Visit Required.” This addresses a concern of their target market (convenience) and therefore speaks more directly to them than other Ads.

google results for morning after pill near me

For Community Pharmacy, your USP might be safety and professional advice in-person. Or it might be that patients can collect immediately without waiting for delivery.

For patients who don’t want to leave their home, consider offering a video consultation.

Remember, this headline is solely about getting the click. Once the patient has clicked on your headline, this can link to a webpage with much more information. You don’t have to put everything about your service in the headline.

Promoting Your Service through Social Media Adverts (Paid)

Social Media (especially paid advertising through social media) is a great place to promote private services. Especially ones that people often delay treatment for, such as Erectile Dysfunction.

However, sensitivity is once again paramount.

Avoid profiling. Social Media sites terms and conditions prohibits negative profiling in social media copy.

You can restrict EHC marketing to women and ED to men – but you can’t specify your target audience using your copy – this is profiling.

Examples of Adverts that Meta (formerly Facebook) Will & Won’t Accept:

An example of unacceptable profiling in a Meta Ad:

Are you a young, nervous woman who needs the Morning After Pill?

Middle-aged and struggling with ED?

The phrasing of “young & nervous” makes the person reading the advert feel targeted. And whilst that’s acceptable for some forms of advertising, when it comes to sensitive subjects like EHC, ED & Weight Loss, it’s prohibited.

Also avoid words like “struggling” as it paints a negative light and Meta doesn’t want their users feeling negatively whilst using their Instagram & Facebook.

Example of acceptable Meta Ad copy:

Need professional, confidential advice about the Morning After Pill?

Get professional, medical support for ED and feel your best self!

 

Difficulties in advertising – don’t get banned

It’s becoming increasingly difficult for pharmacies to advertise online at all without LegitScript.

Companies like Meta & Google were previously pretty lax on advertising around medicine. But since the pandemic, with an increase in illegitimate drugs being sold online, their regulations are far stricter. Pharmacies have found themselves permanently banned from advertising for advertising in a way previously deemed fine.

Not sure if you need LegitScript Certification?

Talk to Pharmacy Mentor and we’ll discuss whether you need certification based on your advertising activity.

4. Providing Information & Guidance Online

As a pharmacist, you’re the most convenient source of trusted healthcare advice in your local community.

It’s this advice which is what direct online solutions cannot offer, and it’s what increases your market share, promoted correctly. One of the biggest concerns with emergency contraception, as an example, is safety. People feel reassured having a qualified professional in front of them telling them it’s safe.

google questions about ehc

However, giving guidance online is important. People typing in these questions in your local area finding you as the source of the answer means more patients. Younger people especially search for advice online before seeking it elsewhere. Creating content for your website around both EHC & ED means when your community searches these questions, you appear with answers.

Once they visit your site for the answers, you simply guide them towards your pharmacy for their treatment.

Whilst many pharmacy services are seasonal, Emergency contraception & Erectile Dysfunction demand is consistent through the year, meaning a stable source of revenue for your pharmacy.

google trends for marketing ehc & ed

5. A New Way to Serve Your Community

For Community Pharmacy, your competition, as usual, is Online Direct Suppliers, offering convenience (not having to leave the house) as their USP with same-day or next-day delivery.

With our Independent Prescribing Website Add-on, you can rival this service. Take orders, payments and approve online risk-assessment forms. This process saves you time by automating all the administrative processes, gives you an audit trail, and lets you focus on care.

After that, encouraging the patient to collect in the pharmacy is the best port-of-call, as you can then give them the advice they need with the meds. We even built a specific “Pay Now, Collect-In-Store” option for Community Pharmacy.

To request a Live Demo of this type of website in action, please use that link and get in touch.

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rank higher on google maps for pharmacies
Google Maps is a common way people search for local services when they don’t know where to go. Let’s look at 7 ways to improve your pharmacy’s ranking on Google Maps for pharmacies.

1. Register & Optimise your Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business)

The first way for pharmacies to rank higher on Google Maps is simple.

Bizarrely, Google prefers showcasing businesses who’ve registered in their directory.

So registering your pharmacy’s Google Business Profile is a pretty good first step in ranking higher on their recommendations.

You won’t rank well on Google Maps if you haven’t claimed your own business profile. If you haven’t done this already, do it immediately. If you don’t know how to, contact us now.

Once, you’ve verified the business as yours, there’s a profile completion guide which walks you through all the steps for optimising your profile. Google majorly prefers recommending fully completed profiles.

2. Regularly Update Your Profile

Whatever the primary reason for visiting your pharmacy is on any given week, there’s your weekly update. (We find once per week is plenty for this.)

Sun skincare, flu vaccines, Travel Vaccines, hayfever relief; whatever the hot topic is, publicise it on your Google Business Profile.

Including photos, videos, special offers,  and links to your relevant blog posts/web pages etc., enhances the experience for Google’s users. (Google likes that!)

3. Optimise Your Website for Local SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

Ranking well on Google Maps isn’t just about your Google Business Profile. Google wants relevance if it’s recommending websites to its users. Optimising your website’s content, and reflecting your local services in a way Google understands, let’s the search engine know that recommending your site isn’t a mistake.

Google prioritises speed, convenience and relevance.

Is your website poorly laid out, hard to navigate, and scant on information? Don’t expect glowing recommendations from Google.

Not sure if your website is properly optimised?

Get a free pharmacy SEO audit from Pharmacy Mentor and find out how Google views your website.

4. Embed Google Maps on your Contact Us Page

You won’t find this in your guidebooks, but it’s almost certainly a factor. A smooth transition with visual consistency from the Google Maps app to a Google Map embedded onto your website is another element of an intuitive user experience. Which, as discussed, Google loves.

5. I’ll take the Google Reviews, with a side of Google reviews, please

Google Reviews would be number 1 on this list if it made any chronological sense, as it’s possibly the most influential factor (you can control) in determining your rank on Google Maps.

Remember, Google is in the business of recommendations.

Hundreds of people recommending you through Google’s own reviews & recommendations section? Google recommending you highly too is a no brainer.

Remember, bad reviews come with the territory. Check out the video above for a guide on responding to negative reviews online.

The biggest way of attracting new Google reviews is to…ask! Whenever patients experience great service in your pharmacy, ask them if they’ll leave you a Google Review! Make it easy for them with a handy QR code. Check out our Get More Google Reviews section of our shop.

6. Make Directories Your Directive

The most important pieces of information on your Google Business Profile, website, and across the web are your Name, Address and Phone Number. (NAP)

It’s important that potential visitors have consistent and accurate information on you across all of these sources.

Not sure if your NAP are up-to-date across the Internet?

Simply search your business name and note all of the places your business details are. If they’re not all up-to-date, reach out to the directory owner and update them. Or get us to do it for you.

7. Engage with your community

Google also rewards your efforts to support other businesses in your community.

Build active partnerships with other small businesses around your community.

Build on existing partnerships like your GP surgery. Promoting each other’s businesses through your Google Business Profile, by linking to each other’s website and services are great ways of boosting each other’s business.

Be sure to also activate the messaging feature on your Google Business profile so that people can reach out to you directly. This is becoming more and more popular and we’re seeing an increasing number of messages come through to our pharmacies every week.

Does all of this sound like a lot of work?

We get that. Running a business is a full-time job. Marketing is another.

We love helping pharmacies rank higher on Google Maps. Hit that button below to get in touch.

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A successful Travel Clinic is one of the most profitable private services for Community Pharmacies. But how is success achieved? How are those profits unlocked? Let’s go through the Top 5 ways any community pharmacy can boost their Travel Clinic bookings.

Is running a Travel Clinic worth it?

By now, most pharmacists in the UK understand the opportunity of Travel Clinics. But that’s the drawback for a lot of people. “Everyone’s doing it,” you think. It’s not worth doing when it’s so competitive, right?

Wrong.

Making your Travel Clinic successful

Despite the fact that a lot of pharmacies now run Travel Clinics, unless your local competitor happens to be dominating the space, it’s absolutely worth your pharmacy running one too. Even if they are dominating the space, it’s likely because there is no competition.

1. A Travel Clinic Website

Travel Clinics have huge revenue potential. Some of our clients make enough money from their Travel Clinic alone, it is its own business. Any successful Travel Clinic should have its own website. Just in the same way that Argos is owned by Sainsbury’s. You’ll often find Argos stores within Sainsbury’s stores, and yet the websites are kept completely separate.

Why?

Because they’re two separate businesses, with different services and products on offer, trying to jam everything into one website dilutes the message and dilutes the brand.

Some of main benefits of a separate Travel Clinic website:

  • A more intuitive patient journey with specific online booking calendars
  • Doesn’t confuse your pharmacy website
  • Focused Travel Clinic content

Google Adverts for your Travel Clinic

What do you do when you know what you need but you don’t know where to get it? It certainly isn’t flicking through the yellow pages anymore. You do what everyone does. You Google it.

I’ve heard people judge Google Ads before they’ve tried it. “I don’t click on ads,” they said. They presupposed that because they didn’t click on Ads, nobody does.

Do people click on ads?

The reality is, people do. Without getting too bogged down with the hows and the wherefores, most searches don’t have commercial intent. Around 93% of searches on Google are either informational or navigational, according to a survey. And those people do not click on adverts, in general. Of course they don’t. If you’re looking up how to cook fish, it’s unlikely you’re clicking on an advert selling fish, no matter how low the low prices are. Because if you’re looking up how to cook it, the chances are you already have the fish.

But if you’re searching for cheap fish, then the odds of you clicking that ad leap like a salmon.

A 2021 study carried out by GroupM UK and Nielsen reported that 94% of total search engine clicks go to organic results, with just 6% of click share left for paid search ads.

The stats for searches with commercial intent (7%) matching up with the overall click share of searches being (6%) shows that, contrary to popular opinion, searches with commercial intent do get clicks. Which is great, because those are the clicks you’re after. Paying for people to click on your ad when they aren’t booking an appointment is a waste of money.

2. Google Maps Ads

Google Maps advertising is a recent addition to the marketing arsenal available to pharmacies. Just in the same way you would advertise anywhere else, Google Maps advertises…well, in Google Maps. When people search on Google Maps for “Travel Vaccines”, “Travel Clinic” and other related searches, that is a HUGE signal of intent. You don’t ask generally for directions unless you’re on the way.

Appearing at the top of the results on Google Maps is a great way of increasing walk-ins for your Travel Clinic. And because it’s new, there isn’t a lot of competition on the platform.

3. Google Search Ads

If you want any proof that Google Search Ads work, you only need look at who’s currently running them in your area when you Google “Travel Clinic”. More often than not, it’s the big boys.

I can’t compete with them,” you say. The reason the top results on Google win is convenience. Shopping around takes time. But community pharmacies win at convenience. The likelihood is that people will pick the option closest to them, and that’s you. (For example, my nearest Clinic by clicking on a big supplier was in a neighbouring town, over 30 minutes drive away.) If there was a rivalling community pharmacy with an option close to the top on Google, I’d 100% go there instead.

Search Engines – Get found for “Travel Clinic” in your area

A common misunderstanding with websites is that just having one is enough. Without understanding the intricacies of the Internet, it’s a fair assumption. But having a website is just like having a pharmacy. If it isn’t listed on the map, how can people find it?

How do search engines work?

Search Engines like Google help Internet users navigate the world wide web. You almost certainly know that already. Like you know that when you put your foot down on the accelerator, your car goes forward. And you can know that, but not understand how the engine works. The same is true for how Search Engines work. You understand what they do, but not how they work.

Every website is designed, just like every car is assembled. But just like a Mini Metro is built differently to a Ferrari Enzo, website design varies too.

Search Engines regularly run what are essentially MOT’s across all websites, assessing them for suitability for users.

4. Optimising your Website for Search Engines

Optimising your Website for Search Engines is like letting an engineer fine-tune your car before it goes in for its MOT. Without it, you probably won’t check all the boxes, and you’ll be ranked lower. With it, you’ll tick every box and have a much higher chance of ranking amongst the top results on Google.

5. Optimised Travel Clinic Content helps your website get found

Search engines will only point people in the direction of your website if it thinks your website has what they’re looking for.

How do the search engines know if your website has what they’re looking for? You write content for it.

For instance, if you want to be found for Yellow Fever Vaccines? Create a page specifically for Yellow Fever. Answer some FAQ’s and away you go.

Want to learn more about how content on your website can help drive footfall into your pharmacy? Check out Why every Community Pharmacy should be Blogging.

Read our Complete Guide to Winning Google for…a Complete Guide to Winning Google. It breaks down SEO, how people use Google and how combining the knowledge of those two things gets your pharmacy higher up that results page.

Combining these three tactics is a winner

How do we know? Every Travel Clinic we’ve helped market using all three of these tactics in their strategy is a successful business.  (Website/Ads/SEO).

Want Pharmacy Mentor’s help with your own Travel Clinic marketing? Book in a call for a chat with our Pharmacy Growth Specialists.

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The Pharmacy Digital Diagnosis

LEARN THROUGH VIDEO

LEARN THROUGH READING

Is your pharmacy catering for the digital behaviour of your customers and patients?

In a world where we’re online more than we actually sleep, where online retail sales are breaking records year on year and where 40 million of us in the UK are now active on Social Media…have you considered what kind of presence your pharmacy has online to cater for this behaviour?

Can people find the services you offer on Google before they leave the house? Are you maximising the use of Facebook to target those people and businesses around you? Is your website fit for purpose for the 21st century?

Having a digital presence is just as important as having a physical presence these days and there are so many tools you can use that will help market your services better, create stronger business and customer relationships, and help drive pharmacy footfall and website traffic.

So, in light of this, I wanna help you understand the current health of your pharmacy online and what kind of opportunities lie ahead of you through what I have coined as the “Pharmacy Digital Diagnosis”. Let me explain what this is in a bit more detail.

What is a Pharmacy Digital Diagnosis?

 

Pharmacy Digital Diagnosis Screen Shot Example

An example shot from the digital diagnosis of a chemist in Nottingham

 

Essentially, a Pharmacy Digital Diagnosis is where I screen your pharmacy business to help you realise:

 

  • What your current online presence is like
  • How well you’re marketing your pharmacy online, and
  • What opportunities exist for your business in terms of digital marketing

 

Through screencasting and voiceover, I will examine each of the digital marketing channels you’re using and the strategies you may be employing, and advise you on:

 

  • What’s good about them
  • What’s not so good about them
  • And what can be done to improve them, which will lead to better results

 

All of this is then packaged into a short and concise video which I will send you via email so you can watch, learn and digest in your own time.

I conduct each and every Diagnosis for free of course and what you do with your video is completely up to you. But, if you want to talk to me about how you can improve your presence online, market your pharmacy services better or would like me to implement and manage a more powerful digital marketing strategy for you, then I’m all ears! Get in touch with me by phone, Whatsapp, Email, Skype, FaceTime, LinkedIn, Facebook (you get my drift), and I’ll get back to you right away 🙂

Looking forward to helping you get digital.

All the best,

Saam

Click here to request a FREE digital diagnosis of your business now