Once you’ve finished planning your open house, you can begin taking steps to market your event:
4. Develop your message
Once you’ve nailed down your goal, target audience, and event details, you can begin developing the message to promote your open house.
The immediate goal of your marketing should be to get people to RSVP so that you can get a count of how many people are coming and plan accordingly. Make the RSVP your main call to action, and make it easy for people to register. This can easily be accomplished by providing a phone number for people to call and having a dedicated staff member keep a spreadsheet of all registrants.
Make sure you also highlight the most exciting pieces of your event. You’ve worked hard to plan a great event, so let people know why your event is going to be great! Free food and drink, complimentary product samples and service demonstrations, and educational lectures should be prominent in your messaging if they are included at your open house.
For an additional incentive, you may want to advertise a free first appointment as a thank-you to all who attend your open house. Free appointments are hard to pass up, so keep that in mind if your initial promotional efforts aren’t as successful as you wanted, or if you just want to sweeten the offer a little.
5. Choose your marketing channels
There are many ways to promote an open house, so you need to decide which platforms work best for your given budget and audience.
Electronic promotion is a must. If you have a website and/or social media pages, you absolutely need to promote your event via those avenues. Social media is free, so it works great for promotion on a tight budget. It also presents a great platform for your best patients to help you promote – with social you aren’t only promoting to your contacts, but also to your contact’s contacts, and their contact’s contacts, and so on.
Look into email marketing as well. Sending emails is an easy and affordable way to reach a large number of people with a single click. Whether you tackle this in-house, or elect to outsource your email marketing efforts, make sure you obtain and analyze your statistical results so you can refine your future messaging for greater impact.
Local, in-person promotions should also be pursued. These are particularly powerful if you are targeting a niche group, like athletes. Do some research and find out if there are any specialized groups in your area and where they meet. Schedule some time to attend one of their events to introduce yourself and hand out some flyers. If your targeted group is based out of a busy place like a gym, you should also put up an event poster and make time to tell people about it. People generally respond better to in-person invitations than impersonal mass mailings.
You may additionally want to consider doing some print promotions such as a postcard mailing or newspaper advertisement. Before pursuing these types of promotions, make sure you look at the printing and placement costs to determine whether they work within your budget and satisfy your planned ROI.
One final marketing avenue worth consideration is telemarketing. This can be done either in-house or outsourced, depending on your staffing situation. Existing patients are likely to respond better to this method than non-patients, since they already have a relationship with you, so if you’re hosting an open house to showcase a new product or service, this is a great way to get current clients interested.