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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.