June 7, 2023
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Becca Starks: We have the ear with the students to hear what they’re looking for. They’re very, very few students that we’re working with, with the class of 2023 that will even consider an opportunity that is not private practice.
Dr. Bethany Fishbein: Hey, I am Bethany Fishbein. I am the CEO of The Power Practice and Host of The Power Hour Optometry Podcast. And I just want to first congratulate all of the new optometrists graduating this week from the optometry schools across the country. It’s such an exciting time. It doesn’t feel like that long ago since I and my classmates at New England College of Optometry in 1997 graduated. It goes fast. It’s really an exciting time. So congratulations, first of all, and this show is inspired by and dedicated to you and all of the people that you are hoping will hire you. Once you get your licenses and get out there into the world. So I’ve invited a guest, I have Becca Starks, Becca handles Enterprise Accounts and Operations for KMK Careers. And she’s here to help me sort out some of the things that today’s optometry students are looking for, and help educate some of the optometrists who are looking to hire young optometrists about misconceptions they may have or differing perceptions of this graduating class. So, Becca, thanks for doing this your second podcast ever. That’s awesome.
Becca Starks: Yes, thank you for having me. This is exciting.
Dr. Bethany Fishbein: Yeah, thank you. It’s an interesting time because we work with mostly established optometric practice owners. So most of the people that I’m speaking to day to day are employers of young optometrists, and they have this vision of what today’s graduates are like, and then I get the opportunity to speak with optometry students and recent grads and they’re not necessarily like that perception at all. So hopefully, you can help us bridge the gap a little bit.
Becca Starks: Yeah, absolutely.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: So, talk about yourself for a minute here. I want you to just talk about KMK and KMK Careers because when I want to data on students, I knew you were the one to go to. And so I want all of my listeners to understand your involvement with young optometrists today.
Becca Starks: Yeah, absolutely. So KMK for those that don’t know KMK’s foundation is the KMK board review, which was started 18 years ago by Dr. Kyle Cheatham. And now fast forward 18 years we are inside of all of the 23 optometry schools nationwide. We have a team of optometrist instructors that traveled to all of the schools and we have a relationship with both third and fourth-year optometry students and 98, This is a big number to remember 98% of optometry students utilize KMK to pass their boards. So essentially we have a relationship with almost every single optometry student nationwide from the board’s perspective. And so we now have a new division of KMK specifically on careers which is just a natural extension of supporting those same students and finding their first career.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: So you’re initially talking to these students when they’re students studying for boards. And then they hopefully pass boards and you know, move on and take more boards and pass those and move on. So what are the services that you’re providing for these students once they’ve graduated as doctors?
Becca Starks: Yeah, so it’s really fun. Personally, I am mostly an employee you’re facing so those that are looking for these candidates. However, we have a team of career advisors and all day long, they’re the luckiest ones in the world. They get to speak to these upcoming grads. So right now they are around the clock talking to those that are about to graduate here and a couple of weeks or maybe have graduated just recently. And uncovering what they’re looking for in a practice is really it’s a one-on-one relationship, so it’s totally free to students. They sign up to get a career advisor. They have calls with that career advisor to uncover what are they looking for what type of practice is it specific specialties, just anything that may be the true motivating factor as to why they want to go to a certain practice. And then essentially we play matchmaker so the career advisors speak to students all day long. I speak to employers all day long, and then we come together and get to build a bridge between the two and hopefully connect great candidates with a great opportunity.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: Maybe it’ll be the next Netflix show after Indian matchmaking, Jewish matchmaking. It’ll be optometric career matchmaking. And be a celebrity.
Becca Starks: I think some of us would watch that, at least your listeners would probably enjoy that.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: My husband and I would watch it so
Becca Starks: same.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: So I mean, you’ve got a line of sight into exactly who today’s optometrists or today’s graduating class, today’s brand new optometrists are, can you give some facts and figures of what that class looks like?
Becca Starks: Yeah, so essentially, from a demographic perspective, it’s highly female. The data is showing 70% female and 30% Male.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: 70?
Becca Starks: 70 Percent.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: Wow.
Becca Starks: Yes. And there’s information I believe you are going to be able to put in the show notes. But there is a really robust report. I believe it’s lots and lots of pages. I don’t remember how many but there are highlights within that on pages nine and 10 that give a really good but really quick summary of demographics of this class, within gender within race. There’s even financial information about how many needed to have financial aid, that sort of thing, and some really detailed information even about by school breakdown.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: Are you able to roll through some of the things in there that kind of stood out to you?
Becca Starks: So the biggest thing that stands out to me is female and how as you it shows kind of year over year how that transition has changed from much more female than male as it was in the past. Same thing with race, I believe I don’t remember how many years ago it was but just not too long ago. It was predominantly white for professionals graduating and now that’s shifted to highly other races, whether it’s Asian or black or other races that are included in that.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: And what about the financial piece? Because I feel like that’s such a big topic for new doctors. Is this need to pay back student loans? Do you have any stats on the amount of debt that students are graduating with?
Becca Starks: Yeah, so the report itself shows 85% of students are utilizing some type of support financial aid, loans, and the average for a graduate right now graduating is about $200,000 in debt. So definitely it is.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: That’s just from optometry school or that’s including undergrad debt?
Becca Starks: That’s actually a good question. We just get the stat of 200,000 and I assumed it was just optometry school. But that’s a good question.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: So young, female, and any change in like age demographic? Or is it typically right out of college a year or two out of college starting into Optometry?
Becca Starks: Yeah, So typically, it is kind of a typical route straight out of undergrad and to optometry school. There is about of the 16-1700 graduates there are about 150 of those that are considered you know, like other avenues whether that would be part-time or returning back in at a later point in time.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: Okay, so out of 1500 you’re talking about? Very typically, right? 1000 young, female, probably non-white doctors.
Becca Starks: Yeah.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: If you had to say this is what’s typical. This is the majority.
Becca Starks: Yeah.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: With debt?
Becca Starks: Yes. A lot of it.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: Okay. So, when you talk to this typical doctor and are getting into the field of matching into a career of their dreams, what are they telling you that they want?
Becca Starks: Yeah. So it’s been interesting to learn that so the things that I came into this thinking people would want my background was actually at LinkedIn for five years before coming on to help launch this division of KMK and I thought it would be very different. I would think pay would exceed everything else. But, interestingly, location is the top deciding factor for these new graduates in determining which practice they want. Obviously, that is the hardest answer because no one can do anything about the location of their practice. But we can touch on this later. Kind of some ideas and tips for those to try to recruit folks into harder locations but definitely the location. Again, before and above pay even this work-life balance coming into play that is much more of a topic. Then I think it has been in years past. Not necessarily meaning, Hey, I want to come in and I want to never work. But this generation is much more just passionate about having that work-life balance of the work to live not live to work mentality. And so location, work-life balance, obviously pay, and structuring pay in a way that is understood to the candidate as well too. So being very upfront about what that pay is so that they know before even applying and putting that in a way that they understand what they actually can make because sometimes it can be hard with percent of production, knowing what that means.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: So let’s go into those a little bit more and I want to just go back one to work-life balance because I think that’s probably the biggest misunderstanding between a doc maybe in their 50s and a doc in their 20s. This idea of working to live instead of living to work and it’s respectable and it’s necessary and mental health is important and it’s and life has to work for you. But these older docs, that was not their world. And so when I hear it, it’s complaints. They won’t work weekends, they don’t want to put in 40 hours. They’re asking for a four-day workweek. They’re like it’s coming across as we’re lazy. We’re not dedicated to the practice. We don’t want to be here we’re not going to work as hard as you and it. It creates a disconnect from the start like somebody interviewing, who says I don’t want to work every weekend. All of a sudden has all these judgments thrown on them that they probably don’t deserve. Do you see that with the docs that you’re talking to and you’re matching?
Becca Starks: Oh, absolutely. Yeah, it’s the same thing I hear to have. You know, that’s typically the demographic of employers that I’m talking to all day long to have, you know, they came out and maybe cold started or they came out and bought a practice and they’ve been doing it for 20-30 years and like. What?
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: Right and they remember, or maybe they’re still working 70 hours a week and they’re there, you know, every day in the practice and their day off there when the cleaning themselves because that’s what the owners do. How do you coach of 50-something and 60-something-year-old practice owners into understanding that it’s not laziness and it’s not to they don’t want to work?
Becca Starks: Yeah, so that is it is a big misconception of the students that it is laziness, and specifically, most students are expecting to work at least one to two Saturdays a month. So it’s not that they’re coming in and saying I only want four-day workweeks, and I’ll never work a weekend. They are expecting a true full work week and one or two Saturdays per month. To your question about how to coach an owner in that situation. I think it’s just taking a step back and looking really high level at your practice as a business and I’ve had this conversation with many owners of I don’t know why we are open Saturdays, honestly, we’ve just always done it and so determined are we doing this because it’s just always been done or when determining this because it is a true business need. And so same thing with later hours or that sort of thing. If it is a true business need 100% voicing that to a candidate that’s a friend and that’s that’s great, but there may be situations where again, it’s just we’re doing this because it’s been done forever. And actually, our patients wouldn’t mind if we didn’t have a late night or we had a late night instead of a Saturday or vice versa.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: Do you think docs have like a little bit of that? It’s like that hazy mentality? Like I went through it I put in my time therefore you you need to.
Becca Starks: I think it could be a little of that. Me not being an optometrist. I have to tread lightly because I have not earned my dues. But in the conversations that I’ve had, I think it is a little bit of that at least.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: Yeah, I worked weekends for 23 years. I’ve never missed it Saturday. I’ve never called out sick. And now I’m going to change my whole practice because this 24-year-old kid doesn’t want to work, like there’s that so what are the students are the new grads thinking about these practice owners, doctors who are in a different demographic from them because there’s got to be misconceptions going that way also.
Becca Starks: Yeah, I don’t get to hear a ton of the misconceptions from the student side. But I think there’s just both sides can teach each other something right like maybe that student can come in and show this business owner who’s been doing this forever, like, wow, I could totally do this differently. And, wow, I’m kind of relieved that you came in and brought up the idea of work-life balance because I as the business owner, really needed that, and wow, my life is different because of it and vice versa. There’s obviously so much that the practice owner can teach and pour into these new grad optometrists. But as far as misconceptions from them, I haven’t heard any to be honest.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: I hear that they look at a private practice. They think they’re not going to be paid as much. So they’re thinking that not necessarily that the owner is cheap, but that it’s not. It’s not as profitable, therefore there’s not as much money in it for them. You didn’t mention the mode of practice. You talked about location, work-life balance, and pay. Are students coming out looking for commercial opportunities? Are they looking for private practice or looking for MD offices? I mean, obviously, students are looking for each of those, but what are you seeing most frequently?
Becca Starks: Yeah, great question. So motor practice is very important and private practice remains. Top of the list for I’d say close to 90% of the new grads.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: Serious?
Becca Starks: Yeah, because I hear the same thing. I hear a lot from private practice owners that say that almost come to the call with me very nervous, like “Becca, what’s going on? Why might all the new grads want private equity and why do they want retail? And can I really afford to hire them? Because it sounds like they’re throwing all the money in the world with them.” And then it’s interesting because we have that ear with the students to hear what they’re looking for. They’re very, very few students that we’re working with, with the class of 2023 that will even consider an opportunity that is not private practice. So there’s just a handful of folks that have said all maybe look at private equity or retail, but the vast majority say I truly, truly, truly want to private practice and there’s even a really good group that says, “Not only do I only one a private practice, but I already know that someday I want to partner slash buy this practice as well.”
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: Do you think though that it’s, it’s like self-selecting a little bit because retail opportunities are so easy to come by? That they might not even consider needing to work with a company like yours? They just need to go on Ziprecruiter, Indeed, and type in optometrists job and the geography they want and they have their choice. Are you talking to them before they’re job-seeking?
Becca Starks: Yeah, so we actually start a process with them a year before they graduate. And so we have them fill out a profile with us it looks just like a LinkedIn profile, but it’s specifically for KMK, and go in and select all of the different types of practices that they’re open to. And so, we have both from the data from what they input on their profile and then they all have a one-on-one call with a career advisor as well. And so that’s where those points come from, both in the data they enter and then the conversations they have with a career advisor.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: And is that when a student should be starting their job search is early in fourth year?
Becca Starks: Yeah, so we were really surprised in the timeline as well that a lot of students start having conversations about the fall before they graduate. So this class of 2023 they were starting interviews, October timeframe, and then a lot of them were during their Christmas break, timeframe holiday break, going on visits to practice owners. And then as soon as the New Year transitioned over there were many that were in contract. So definitely, Fall time is like you can feel good. About yourself being ahead of the game, wintertime is still very safe, you still have a lot of opportunity to be reaching out to candidates, and then as we enter into more of the springtime, a lot of I’d say probably half if not more of those that we’re working with are 100% in contract ready to go.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: When you start working with them. Is there any issue with students who are starting the search and still haven’t passed their boards or won’t have the credentials to work when they graduate?
Becca Starks: Yeah, Yep. There is information from ASCO also about passage rates. And it goes into detail even of school by school, but it essentially shows year over year the decrease in passage rates, and I think we’re at about 70% passage rate, right now. 73%. And so there’s a huge population of students that don’t pass typically it’s part one where the struggle is and so there are some students that will even graduate and still have not passed boards. And another misconception there is, “Oh, these students are lazy or they’re not understanding the information, and I don’t want those students because they won’t be good doctors”. And completely not true. Those are students that could either be not very good test takers. These are also the population that came into optometry school right in the heart of COVID. There are some that have just had really rough life events around the time that it is to take boards and so but they are all great people that will be great doctors, they simply just need to pass this test. Many of them have had really great GPAs some of them have other degrees that help them with the practice management side and so it’s just a matter of getting past that one test or many of them.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: And how does, how did they navigate that with the job contract like, will an employer sign something with a student who hasn’t yet passed boards?
Becca Starks: Yes, we are running into that actually part one. Board scores were just released this past week. And it was a lot of that there was a lot of celebration and there was a lot of sadness around those that didn’t pass. And the good news is, I don’t know that I’ve come across a single employer partner that we work with that isn’t at least open to the idea of bringing on someone that’s graduated in kind of a super tech role. It’s kind of how we position it to practice under that optometrist owner until they graduate and we even have some that say, “Hey KMK I know that you, as an organization, do great at coaching them and helping them after they fail boards.” I will even invest in that side of the house to ensure that they can pass boards not only to show that, hey, I believe in you and the hardest time in your life student but also that gains them a really loyal employee that again, is going to be a great doctor has just had trouble taking this one test.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: Coming in as a super tech though, obviously, they’re coming in at a lower pay scale and they would come in as an optometrist, and they have those student loans. So let’s talk about compensation of obviously it’s going to vary around the country and regionally and how many hours and all of that but what is it that a new OD is looking for as far as the ability to earn money?
Becca Starks: Yeah, good question. So, specifically with this new grad population, the way that I kind of coach, the employer partners that we work with private practice owners is, a lot of times they’ll come into the call and say why pay 16% of production, but with this new grad population, they aren’t able to really wrap their brains around what that is, you could have a $1.5 million, your practice and they still just don’t, they can’t really understand that. And so the recommendation that we give is to at least have some sort of salary and we have information and concrete data on specific areas of the nation. So by all means, if, if we can support you in any way with that, I’m happy to to make sure that you’re competitive, but having some type of salary listed up front is what’s going to entice these new grad population because they can wrap their brains around 140,000. They can’t necessarily wrap their brains around 16% of production. And so totally understand, then obviously the argument private practice owner, I hear you what’s going on in your head is. “Well, I need to motivate them to work hard. Like if I just give them a salary, then what’s the motivation to work hard”, and so there’s been kind of this really nice avenue that we’ve taken with a lot of partners that’s worked well in that advertising a salary a little higher than you probably would have normally, but then decreasing to a really low percent of production, so that there’s some salaries that’s there that’s enticing to a new grad, but a lower percent of production. So for the first year only, so year one higher salary and lower percent of production, and then having that shift for year two and year beyond your two to a lower salary, higher percent of production. And so what that does is again, entices this new grad to apply, and even want to learn more about your practice because there’s a salary, but that little bit of percent of production will get them to realize in their first year of working well. I’m doing the math, and if I would have went on the percent of production, I probably would have made more than my salary. This is making sense this is motivating me to work harder. And then again, you can even have it in the contract that upon year two that shifts to a lower salary that’s guaranteed and a higher percent of production. So as they’ve gotten their feet wet, they’ve learned they’ve been mentored that first year shifting then into percent of production.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: So you’re coaching your doctors to do a salary plus a percent of production?
Becca Starks: Yeah, that’s pretty typical.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: And what about benefits and stuff like that is that important? Yes, it is important. Is that something that a brand new grad is going to give enough importance to that it’s going to help them decide one place versus another?
Becca Starks: Yeah, such a good question. So I’ll give both sides just agree very important. I would say the majority of private practice owners that we’re working with are offering some sort of benefits, whatever that might look like. Some are very comprehensive, some are very “Hey, we will pay 50% of your medical and leave it at that.” But now that we are in this lane of there is competition from private equity and from retail. Those are just a no-brainer. In those avenues. And so to remain competitive from that regard. They will get a full package of 401K’s with matching with benefits with PTO, all of those things, if they’re considering a retailer or a private equity opportunity in comparison to your private practice opportunity. And so, again, I think most I talked to very few that say “Hey, I’m just percent of production and I don’t give any days off you just you if you’re here you make money if you’re not, you don’t but you can take whatever days you want type of thing”. I have a handful of those but for the most part, most private practices are offering the salary with percent of production, at least something towards medical, and then most do have a 401K whether there’s a match or not with that.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: Are there other intangible benefits, other things that would make a practice more attractive?
Becca Starks: Yeah. So I think the thing that’s so such a great opportunity with all of the listeners that would have that are trying to hire than our private practice owners that have been doing this for years to a new grad specifically is mentorship. And so those that are willing to do that are excited about that. Well, maybe “Hey, I haven’t really even thought about that. But I’m gonna share over the last 20 years, I really have learned a lot that I could pour into this next upcoming generation”. And so being very vocal with that, even in a job description, or whatever it is that you’re creating, to entice candidates to come your way and some people put a really extensive plan behind, “Hey, we have a weekly meeting, and you get lunch hour with me every week and we will cover XYZ and some it’s kind of informal of just “Hey, I’m going to be with you I’m alongside you. You can call me when you want”, whatever that looks like, or even if you haven’t, some team members that are fairly recent grads, being able to vocalize that to have hey, we’ve got folks that I brought on board as new grads and couple years later looking them go and so the mentorship side is again that intangible free opportunity that I think a lot of people don’t even necessarily recognize they have the ability to give.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: Is it mostly clinical mentorship they’re looking for? is it practice ownership? like when you say mentorship, what are they hoping to learn from you?
Becca Starks: Yeah, definitely medical at the top of that, but there are again, those those candidates that just know that they know that they want to be very involved in the practice management, the business side of the house. And so for those candidates that are interested in it, being willing to say “Hey, here’s I’ll show you all of our programs and all of our software and how I design the day and this is how I designed the business side of the house”, and so in those situations for folks that are interested in that side, I think it’s important to have just kind of an open door policy of “I’ll show you all that. I’ll show you that number. So I’ll let you in on this.”
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: So for practice in a particular geographic area, if you can get your salary and benefits close, but they don’t necessarily have to be higher. They just have to be within range and you can kind of check off all the other boxes. Is there a type of practice like heavy medical versus refractive versus specialty that people are looking for?
Becca Starks: Yeah, so definitely looking at highly medical. And then what I would also say is kind of another somewhat intangible, but if practice owners are open to new specialties that maybe you don’t have in your practice right now. But hey, if there’s somebody who comes in and is passionate about whatever it may be, and they want to bring that into my practice, that’s a really enticing thing for a candidate to really see themselves. They’re in the long haul of “Wow, I’m passionate about myopia management and this practice says, by all means bringing that on.” That’s such a great thing to be able to offer to a candidate and so definitely, medical and specialties are really where the candidates are wrapping their brains around of how do I see myself there.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: And what if you’re in rural Wisconsin, where there’s just not a huge population of optometrists looking to settle? What’s the best way for a practice like that to set themselves up to find somebody to join because so many of those are great opportunities to become part of a community to ultimately partner buy a practice have a really low cost of living like it’s how do they make themselves attractive or show how attractive they are I guess I should say.
Becca Starks: Yeah, and I think that so often because I get the luxury of talking to these practice owners in some of these more rural areas. And every time I’m just like, Wow, if I could just record this and let all of these candidates see this owner care about the type of patients they get to see a lot of times it’s the smaller communities that because there’s not a nearby ophthalmology or another office like those are the most medically focused practices.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: Absolutely.
Becca Starks: Yeah. And so, so often I feel better. Oh my gosh, if I could just package this up and get a candidate to truly wrap their head around it. So one of the things that we do on the candidate side is our current advisors do as soon as a student comes in and says, “I only want Miami in New York and LA”, we try to mentor as well and show your kind of cost of living and let’s truly take a look at this and let’s look at your lifestyle and look at
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: Miami, LA, how about rural Wisconsin?
Becca Starks: Right? Yep.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: And consider Minnesota.
Becca Starks: Exactly. We play that game all day long. Yep. And then to the practice owners, a lot of what I tell them is, they’ll tell me I say they get to brag. So give me your brag book, when they come on as a partner to me, tell me what’s so great about your practice. And then they’re typically ready to end the call and I say, “Okay, based on your area, we also want you to brag on the geographic location just as much as the opportunity and so getting a candidate to truly understand what their life is going to be like, not just when they’re at work with you all day, but once they leave work, and what does this community look like and what can I do there? Is it great for hiking, is it great for the music scene, and the art scene? Is it great to raise a family and maybe I’m not thinking about that right now. But in the next couple of years, I will be.” And so I always say “Somewhere in your job description, however, you want to do it. It’s a post that you’re putting on to kind of an Indeed or an AOA. Having information, just typed information about your geographic area and what makes it so great. And then also, the other added thing you can do is you can always create videos.” Videos are I feel like that’s kind of how we’re all digesting content at this point. And especially this generation of these new grads, and so if you can even do a quick it doesn’t have to be professionally shot but videos of you just speaking informally, almost as if you’re speaking to a candidate who wouldn’t be right in front of you talking about again, envisioning their life there, the more that a practice owner can make a job description or job post about the candidate instead of themselves. The better that that’s going to relay to the candidates have just really getting to understand “Okay, this isn’t what I thought I was thinking Miami, but now I can kind of envision how my life could be in Wisconsin.”
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: That’s a really strong and valid point. Because when I think about a job ad, it’s all about what we need and what we want. We’re looking for an optometrist to work these hours to do this and when I’m interviewing candidates for Associate optometrist, but really for any position I’m always sensitive to an applicant, who all they’re telling me is what this job is going to do for them. Right. So I’m very critical of it as an employer when they’re like, I’m looking to build my clinical confidence in myopia. I’m looking into, you know, whatever. And I think what are you going to do for me? But in the ad, maybe it should be the other way off, Here’s what I’m going to do for you so that they’re interested and intrigued by the post enough to then come in and want to tell me what they are going to do for me so
Becca Starks: Absolutely
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: Cool.
Becca Starks: We even have one it’s a Power Practice member that wrote a personalized it looks just like a letter you would receive from your grandma in the mail and it was so different and so eye-catching and so engaging. It was truly just a personalized letter, Dear Candidate, and then it just spoke really informally like, Hey, I get it. Words are hard, school is hard, but here’s what it would be like living here. Imagine if you could leave work and go out and do this, this, and this and your two hours within this big city so you can go catch a basketball game and be back home at night. And so it was just very, again trying to get that candidate to envision their life not only with that practice but in that geographical location. And so that was an incredible example.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: Did it work?
Becca Starks: We’ve gotten some interest. We don’t have anybody signed on yet, but it has enticed interest.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: And talked about KMK a little bit again, just before we close. So if a practice owner is looking for an associate, they can reach out to you or how do they go about tapping into this database network matching service that you guys have?
Becca Starks: Yeah, absolutely. Yep. I would be the point of contact Becca Starks. And I’m sure you can put my email in the show notes, but it’s just Becca@kmkodcareers.com. And yeah, we typically just do a really informal introductory call and learn about the practice, learn about what they’re looking for. And then go over kind of our offerings. We’ve got two different offerings to choose from, just depending on what the practice owner is looking for. And then yeah, we just go from there. It’s really simple. It’s free to be in agreement with us and having us promote a practice. And so basically, we get that agreement going and then our current adviser starts promoting any of our partners that we’re working with. And then essentially once we have a student that is a great fit, we play the matchmaking game.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: I love it. Thank you. I think this is valuable information for new grads to help them understand what they’re going out into and some of the misconceptions they might be facing. But hopefully, we did our part today to try and reduce some of those and really give today’s employers a more real picture of new grads who are looking for jobs. So thank you so much for taking the time to do this and give this service to all of the optometrists out there.
Becca Starks: Absolutely. My pleasure, Bethany. Thank you. So much.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: Thank you
Read the Transcription
Eugene Shatsman: You are getting 12% more conversions without spending any more money to drive people to your website. You are not spending any more money on traffic. You’re not spending any more money on promotions, marketing, partnership, whatever it is. You’re getting the same number of people to the website but you’re getting 12% more conversions simply by changing the words.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: Welcome back to the Power Hour Podcast. I am Bethany Fishbein, CEO of The Power Practice and Host of the Podcast. I am also welcoming back a return guest this is Eugene Shatsman. And Eugene is the Managing Partner and Business Growth Strategist for National Strategic Group, a marketing firm that starting with today’s episode is the marketing firm helping us promote The Power Hour Podcast. So if you’re here and you’ve never listened before, then you are already the proof that Eugene knows his stuff. If you have been listening for a long time you’ve heard Eugene and you already know he knows his stuff. So I’m excited to have Eugene back talking today about the power of words and how much the words you choose matter. Thank you Eugene for being here again.
Eugene Shatsman: It’s a pleasure to be here. I’m always happy to be a resource for the optometric community and for your listeners. That’s a little bit of pressure you’re putting on me there but today, if we don’t get X number of new downloads, I don’t know. Maybe I don’t know my stuff all that well. But we’ll see. Let’s talk about today’s content.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: I am fully confident and so what today’s content came from is a conversation that I was having with a client who is fairly new in practice. They have a cold start practice and it opened just a couple of months ago and they’re really doing anything that they tend to try and get patients in the door. So we were talking about some of the things that are going on around their office and, you know, in addition to all the other stuff they’re doing, they have one of those signboards out in front of the office and so I said maybe have something on it like “Eye exams available today”. Because they said a lot of the patients that they are getting that are self-pay kind of their ideal patients are same-day appointments that just need something and come in. So that was my suggestion. And the client said “Oh, we have that.” I said, “Really? You have a board out front and has eye exams available today on it?”. And she says, “Yeah, it says we accept walk-ins”. And so I know from talking to Eugene, that those are not the same things, and I don’t totally know which one is right. But I’m guessing that you have a way to find that out and I’m looking forward to hearing it. So talk a little bit about your educational background, which I didn’t know until we started talking today. That really makes you even more of an expert in this than I initially thought you are.
Eugene Shatsman: Well, it’s interesting, and I want to come back to the question you just asked but I guess I will preface it with that all of these concepts have so much to do with consumer psychology, right? And consumer psychology is not really a topic that was taught in college when I was when I was studying. So in fact, my goal when I went to the University of Michigan for my undergraduate degree, my goal was to figure out how it is that consumers make decisions because I knew I wanted to do something with that in my career. And so consumers making decisions to me means you know, why do I pick pizza place A versus pizza place B when I’m going to college and today it obviously means you know, how do I pick eyecare practice A versus eyecare practice B, and what goes into that decision-making process. And so in college, there was no like class that was a consumer psychology so I really pieced in part it a whole bunch of stuff together. So my background is and I did I have a degree in psychology. I have a degree in economics and I study a lot in business, and really all with a goal to try to understand how it is that people function in the marketplace and how logic meets emotion in the marketplace. And what are the kinds of things that influence people, businesses, and really any sort of entities to act in a consumer setting in a setting where they have to part with hard-earned money and make decisions about resources like their time, in what sometimes seem, economically logical environment. And the way that applies to the question you just asked me that was really phenomenal because what you’re really saying is on paper logically, those two statements: Walk-ins accepted and same day appointments available, are both the same thing. They on paper, well, really, in terms of what we might be saying at a logical level is there are appointments at this practice and they want and if you want to walk in the door, you can walk in the door and you can get an appointment but in terms of the way that consumer perceives that message is really phenomenally different. And I can give you a couple of examples if you want but it also has to do with the fact that our brains are bombarded constantly with so much stimuli, right. And in today’s environment, that stimuli is anything from the emails that we get to social media reminders that we get to that our phones are always going off but then you really can’t even drive down the road without seeing a commercial message every five feet. And the truth is the consumer has been conditioned to only focus in on things that matter to them. And these are mental shortcuts. Psychologists call them heuristics that we’ve developed over time. And these heuristics sometimes are really easy to explain, and sometimes they’re not. And it comes down to testing, which I’m sure we’ll talk about a little bit later in the episode. Does that make sense?
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: It does. So stick on the psychology aspect of it a little bit because it’s true, what you’re saying. I mean, it was TV and commercials and visual stuff. And then I’m thinking and it’s email spam and like your email server figures out a way to decide this is a promotional message versus this is something you care about. And they kind of file it separately. So you’re kind of saying our brains are trained to do the same thing.
Eugene Shatsman: No, that’s exactly right. And I mean, the truth is, we are subconsciously processing the world around us at all times. I mean, imagine even the act of driving your car, you think about how many stimuli your body and your brain is almost subconsciously functioning is processing. You know, it’s like, what if you had to think about the pressure that you had to be applying to the gas pedal or the brake pedal every second away or the strength with which you have to pull the wheel in one direction or another to adjust the car’s trajectory, or even the light is turning red. Okay, let me process what does red mean. Like, if you think about the conscious stream of thoughts that has to happen there, it’s just everyday activity for us. And our brain is so powerful that these stimuli kind of happen naturally. And the same is true for processing information. There are some things that we process naturally as more important than other things. So when you think about words, I can give you some examples. In fact, I’ll put you and our listeners through a quiz, if you’d like, and see if you can figure out which one was more important and as a result, generated more results. You want to do that.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: Yeah, no, I want to do it before you do. I’m laughing at your example of thinking about every step of the way when you’re driving a car because I’ve been spending a fair amount of time in a car lately with a 16-year-old who’s never driven before, driving the car and watching her actively have to think about all of those things and you are 1,000% Right? It is completely different than the experience of somebody who’s been driving a car for 35 years like. It’s a whole different thing. So, all right.
Eugene Shatsman: Well, right. We’re experienced consumer so, and you’re an experienced email reader. So I’m gonna give you some headlines that appeared either on emails or on websites, and you’re gonna tell me which one did better so in this first one, you have two choices. Limited time offer choice number one, while supplies last choice number two. Which one did better limited-time offer or while supplies last?
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: As a consumer, I’m going to guess, limited time offer.
Eugene Shatsman: all right, you got it. Nailed it. One point, Bethany. What I’ll tell you is two places ConversionXL and HubSpot ran studies on this and what they found is that a 33% increase in conversion rates with the words limited time offer up to 200% increase in conversion rates. So that is no more traffic. No more marketing spent just using different words leads to drastically different results and drastically different influence customers. Let’s do another one. Save 50% off or half off.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: 50%
Eugene Shatsman: Alright, point number two. you’re nailing it a 72% increase in conversions for say 50% off and a 17% higher click-through rate in a couple of different studies as well.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: Before you keep going these are studies where they just sent the same exact message to however many 1000 people just changing the headline, and from one to the other had twice as many people or whatever percent more people open the same one over and over.
Eugene Shatsman: Yeah, and everybody can try these studies. It’s not like this is impossible. We’ll talk about how to do this in your practice later on in the show, but that’s exactly right, is that you can run these studies and you can see what works for your practice in your audience. But these are large enough experiments where we think that this applies to a large enough public that this kind of gives you a starting point of when you’re thinking about your own experiments. All right, let me give you another one. This is actually as a call to action button. So it’s a call to action buttons that say you know, book now or whatever so these guys had anything imagine what this was for. But there are two choices. Try it free for a month or join now and get your first month free.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: I’m gonna go join now.
Eugene Shatsman: Aw, Bethany.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: That was a toughy, I was
Eugene Shatsman: Point number three. You got it. You got.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: Oh, I did. Yeah.
Eugene Shatsman: You did 52% increase in signups. I’d like to out there for a second 52% increase in signups compared to try it free for a month. Again, we’re saying the same thing every single time. But you just think about the language that we’re using to say it. The next one. I don’t know if it’s gonna be a trick one for you or not. But let’s go with improved or new and approved which one makes our brain react more positively.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: I gotta go new and improved.
Eugene Shatsman: You nailed that. You got four out of four. Bethany. Congratulations.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: Typical consumer brain
Eugene Shatsman: Yeah, well, so 20% increase in clicks for new and improved compared to using improved. And this is typical stuff, right? Like and there’s language explanations, language patterns, and if you want I can get into a few of those. But the reality is that the way we say something matters and how persuasive the thing is that we’re saying, is completely determined, by the way that we say it. And so you think about the goal of language even kind of going to the example that you shared. The goal of that particular practice is to create demand, right? To generate demand to bring in appointments to have people walk through the door. And so if you’re trying to do that, then you’re obviously trying to be persuasive in the language that you’re using on your sign outside. And so how persuasive you can be is completely determined by the language that you’re using and how quickly someone can react to it. And the truth is, nobody is sitting there and saying, “Oh, I got this email. And let me just read it. And let me read it again. And let me read it a third time. Do I really want to click on it?”, Nobody is sitting there deliberating on whether they want to open an email from you or they want to react to something that they see on the street as they’re walking by. Our brains make that decision for us almost subconsciously. There’s this kind of small layer of like, okay, we’ve got to like turn on the brain for a second and say, Okay, I think this is important to pay attention to it. But it’s so much easier to ignore a marketing message than it is to get a reaction to it and language is what’s going to help you get there if that’s the medium that you’re using.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: So, I’m thinking about the millions of words and messages that we are sending out to our patients before they ever make it into the practice. Once they make the appointment to get them to come into the practice. Once they walk in the practice through the whole experience after I mean we’re using words all the time. So are there a set of ones that you can just hand out and say, okay, these guys definitely work or these things that are different for every geographic area, every patient age group different demographics, like how do you know?
Eugene Shatsman: I mean, you’re going to hear me talk about this a lot. Anytime you talk to me is that everything is a science experiment, right? There is no absolutes in marketing, because it is always a science experiment, because technically what works in California may not work in New Jersey and technically, what works with older patients may not work with younger patients. And you think about all of the things that make somebody’s practice audience what it is, yeah, of course, I’m going to recommend testing 100 times out of 100. However, to make your tests more effective to start with proven strategies, I think you have to lean on what we would call shortcuts, right? Our own marketing shortcuts. And those shortcuts come in multiple ways. And some of them are just experience and some of them have been studied extensively. And so both psychologists and marketers have been kind of testing and studying and I and I have you know, go to seven words that I think that when you can work them in appropriately, that does not mean that you fill your copy with seven words. And those are the seven words you use all the time it would actually be hilarious to try to construct a sentence out of all seven
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: I’m really good at that game. I think I could do it.
Eugene Shatsman: Okay, let’s let’s see if you can, but those they tend to have different reasons why. But from a psychological standpoint, they have kind of an impact on our brain to say stop pay attention and see if this is actually something that’s good. The first word I have you think about kind of where these go they all kind of pull on different components of theory in psychology, but the truth is the first one you’re not gonna be surprised by this the word free gets us to pay attention. However, I always talk about this, is that the word free isn’t always great for your brand. So free may make sense to get someone to stop and pay attention. But it may not always be the best way to present your brand and may not be the best way to position you to consumers. You know, free pair of glasses with a purchase of another one may make you sound like you are a discount practice but we won’t get someone to stop and open your email. So you got to use this stuff judiciously and make sure that it’s on brand but the reason free works has kind of this magical thing of like it’s a combination of like these psychological levers of both scarcity which then leads to fomo. Right? And it’s also this concept of like, I don’t really, so scarcity kind of controls us because we think scarce resources is in associate and I’m going back to the dark ages right and that the caveman times as scarce resources always motivate if there’s a resource that is scarce, we as humans are wired to try to take advantage of it which is why in both marketing copy and really in any type of communication scarcity tends to be if it’s genuine and believable scarcity. It tends to be a motivator, which is where a lot of these words come from, but the other part of it which then scarcity leads to fomo but the other part of it is also it kind of gives you the idea that well if something is free, it’s not going to be free forever. So it’s kind of like that’s the thing that leads you to think that it’s scarce. And the other part is that I don’t have to use my scarce resources to get it. So free is this kind of magical combination of stuff that allows our brains to pause for a second and say this like a good free or is this like a cheesy free and we as marketers, we’re well aware of the fact that the consumer is conditioned to know that a cheesy free is actually not really a positive brand experience. It’ll make people stop it just may not make people have the best possible impression of you. So use free but use free judiciously.
Another word and I’ll actually tell you about test maybe I’ll tell you about the test out a little bit later when we talk about applying this to practice but another word is you so personalizing any marketing messages by using the word you and even using the person’s name is also I would say just as effective. But anytime you can insert “You” help someone understand whether or not you are connected to their particular experience. So anytime that you as a marketer can communicate a sentence from the perspective of your patient, right and yet we’re all marketers, right, let’s not kid ourselves. We’re all salespeople. We’re all marketers. We’re all trying to persuade people on a regular basis to take care of their eyes to take care of their health to take care of to buy specific frames to buy specific lenses. It’s in our nature, it’s what we do for a living. And at the very least, we’re trying to persuade patients to hear about their eye health. And so when we’re thinking about this, wouldn’t it be so odd if you had an exam where you never use the word you if you just talked about the eye right and we naturally know this? When we’re communicating with people. And at the same time, we always forget it when we’re writing copy. We don’t necessarily take the consumer state and to understand what it sounds like from the perspective of the patient to take action that is you facing so that’s my second work you.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: And I mean that comes into play even in the exam room. When we visit clients offices, we’re in the exam rooms watching the doctor communication with the patient, watching the optical communication with the patient. So we hear stuff like high eye pressure can be a risk factor for glaucoma, which is different than you’re at risk of losing your sight.
Eugene Shatsman: Yeah.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: Right.
Eugene Shatsman: Exactly. And even in that example, you know, think about the experience that someone has when hearing those words. The first one is a clinical experience where I zone out. The second is an emotional experience where I tune in.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: Absolutely
Eugene Shatsman: And that’s the difference of sharing the same exact information using different language. The third word is new. So you got it with new and improved and that’s kind of why I snuck that one in there. New is a powerful way of saying this is something that’s warranted of your curiosity. There is some excitement here because there’s something novel, we are definitely creatures who seek out novelty on a regular basis, even if it’s just to figure out that we don’t like novelty. But we are and specifically in the most you know, we’ll call it in the last decade, decade and a half. If you think about how society has evolved since the advent of cellphones which you’ve maybe heard me talk about, but the reality is that our lives were completely different 15 years ago in 2008, when we weren’t on carrying around iPhones and smartphones and we had to ask our friends, what was that movie called that you know, had that person and that actor and now novelty is something that we’re used to it’s part of life. But real novelty comes with purpose and utility and sometimes excitement. And so anything that you can work new into, even if it’s a hey, we have this new device, we have this new procedure, we have this new test, we have this we have a new set of frames that I want to show you. New is good, new is exciting. New means someone feels purposeful about being there today of all days because you have something new that they haven’t seen yet, especially for a returning patient. Number four limited. So again, we’re kind of playing on the idea of scarcity. But limited can kind of create motivation for urgency. It’s an opportunity to get people to act quickly. Sometimes when we run ads for practices or we do recall and we try to get people to take action. We sometimes use the word limited appointments or limited or evening appointments or after-hours appointments are limited, you know, get people to explore now. Why should I take action now versus later? Well, because there’s a limit and because I don’t want to miss out. And again, it kind of uses that concept of scarcity, which is a powerful motivator for our brains and gets our brains to stop and pay attention.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: Ok, What’s number five?
Eugene Shatsman: Exclusive, so exclusive is again, it’s an opportunity. It’s another way to say hey, we have scarcity, but it’s elevated scarcity. This is scarcity. Along with making someone feel good about themselves. Exclusivity makes you feel like you’re special like like you’re in a club, like you have status like you have stature like you feel important. And so it combines this concept of scarcity and importance. And again, it gets us to stop and say okay, yeah, that’s important.
Six is instant. We are in a society and this is one that’s been rising through the ranks. You know, and this is, this is great to put on call to action buttons sometimes or if you have a way to communicate the benefit that someone is going to have, you know, there are some, for example, someone who’s going to have instant relief or you know, somebody who’s going to put on a pair of glasses and they’re going to look instantly younger, or instantly more fashionable or their headache is instantly going to go away. Those are all things that it is a powerful motivator. And so you can see these are not just motivators, in your marketing emails that you’re sending out. This is really language and this is language that you can use with your patience. This is also language that you can use when communicating with your staff in your practice, you know, think about the way that you motivate people to take action inside of your practice. If you want to see change. If you want to see someone try a new process if you want to see someone run an experiment. These are also words that we can use to accomplish that.
My last one has proven. It’s a concept, age-old obviously social proof. We are in many ways people who as much as we appreciate novelty. We don’t want to be the first ones to try something new. And we want to see that somebody else has had success before us. And so anything that can be proven. And anytime we can use social proof to communicate the value of a particular action for a human. This is absolutely a really great word but it’s also a really great concept is that social proof absolutely motivates and anytime you can include testimonials and anything that happens if you’re selling a high-value lens, if you’re selling an expensive frame, if you’re talking about an expensive procedure, anything that’s proven is going to be received much better than something that’s not.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: That’s kind of a question is. Is it these words? Or is it really the idea behind it? Or is it maybe some combination of both like, now I’m thinking about this easel sign right that says “walk-in appointments available” and now I’ve got “You can be seeing better by noon with our brand new sunglasses just arrived today exclusive collection limited time”.
Eugene Shatsman: Bethany, you got this. Can we borrow your expertise as a copywriter?
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: Right, but then like at the bottom can you put five yellow stars with copy from an actual review that somebody left you know, best eye exam I ever had? And a tee?
Eugene Shatsman: Yes.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: Or is it the words that you’re trying to get in there?
Eugene Shatsman: Yeah, so I think it’s really that’s why I kind of went into it. It’s really the concepts behind the words that get us to stop the exact words and the exact formula is really just more about, where do you start your testing? Where do you start thinking about what you’re actually going to test? But in all reality where you’re going to end up is that there are certain words that are going to perform better than others, but it’s more about the concepts and the psychology behind why we would use those words in the first place that ultimately is going to motivate someone to take action. So whether it’s anticipation or curiosity or kind of fomo and scarcity or whether it’s trust, these are all powerful motivators for humans, and then there’s a lot of words around those powerful motivators, the words that I just shared the seven, you know, I pick those because those are great places to start an experiment but the reality is the intent of the experiment needs to rely on how we’re trying to influence or persuade some.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: So talk about the experiment like now you have this idea and the typical path that I see is optometrist want to promote something and they spend time figuring out what they think is the best possible email and then they send that out or they put it into their patient communication system. And then that goes out for the next seven years until somebody questions it right. Like, typically that’s how it’s done. Talk about setting up a test to know if what you’re saying is working, or is there something better you could be saying?
Eugene Shatsman: Yeah, so I’m gonna start with the simplest place we could possibly start because everybody has a website. And on everybody’s website, there is a call to action and the call to action, hopefully on everybody’s website. There’s a phone number, and it says something like call us or call now or something. And there’s also some sort of button that says, book schedule, something you know, request, whatever it says, but most practices have a website and whether it’s linked to a practice scheduling system or not. There is language that gets people to take action. So this is actually a study that we ran with our clients. And this is again, kind of in the concept of, we don’t want to have static marketing, we want to always want to be optimizing. And we ran with our clients a study but this was kind of the first study of its kind because we really thought that the behavior that people have on a desktop device is very different than the behavior that people have on a mobile device. And so we did is we showed people and this is. We did this across maybe five, maybe seven different websites that I kept websites, and we show people different versions of the same call to action. So for example, for the appointment scheduler, we showed people when you can see the button, the button would change if you and I went to the website at the exact same time from different IP addresses. Even if you and I were both on a desktop device. I would see a schedule now you might see your scheduling appointments, somebody else might see booking appointments, somebody else might see scheduling your appointment, and somebody else might see book your appointment, so I’m gonna play the game with you again, Bethany. And say okay, well there’s five. So again, what are they: schedule now, schedule an appointment, book an appointment, schedule your appointment, book your appointment, which one.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: Is kind of hoping for book now but I’m gonna go with schedule now.
Eugene Shatsman: Okay, you’re going with schedule now. Interestingly enough, you would be right if we were using a mobile device, and in fact, schedule now outperformed every other one by about 12%. Now this is not a small I just want to communicate I just want to make sure our listeners understand this is not a small amount of percentage points. That means that you are getting 12% more conversions without spending any more money to drive people to your website. You are not spending any more money on traffic, you’re not spending any more money on promotions, marketing, partnership, whatever it is, you’re getting the same number of people to the website, but you’re getting 12% more conversions simply by changing the words to schedule now on a mobile device. But here’s what we learned. Interestingly, enough to schedule your appointment and book your appointment and both did really well on desktop. And in fact so well that they outperformed everything else by 25%. 25% but that’s on desktop.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: So is that like a screen size different or is it a demographic difference that people on a desktop are likely to be older or is it mindset when you’re sitting at a desktop you have time to read three words where you’re on your phone two make a difference?
Eugene Shatsman: Yeah, well, you’re absolutely right. I think it’s a combination of all of those things. So I think that what we found is that urgency is what drives mobile users because you’re typically on a mobile device. I mean, you and I both know we’re distracted, right? There’s somebody texting me. And then there’s somebody you know, there’s some social media notification, and you know, and I only have five seconds and before somebody comes in and disrupts me with whatever I was doing. Our experience naturally when we’re browsing on the internet on our phones is very different than when we have a dedicated session potentially on a laptop when we’ve pulled out the laptop and we’re trying to do this desktop browsing session. So we found that urgency drives mobile users and ownership drives desktop users. So there’s a lot of reasons could that we could kind of hypothesize why but the point is, if we didn’t test we wouldn’t know. And this is where my really kind of plea to all of our listeners is, is that your marketing is never going to be something that static, it’s something that needs to perform. And the only way you maximize that performance is by testing every element of it. Right? So it’s not just the website. It’s not just the call to action on the website. It’s how you got to the website. It’s how you got everywhere, but every single thing can have a split test associated with it. And that’s where I see so much opportunity without necessarily even people running big expensive marketing campaigns are just think about the language and the words that you’re using. With the different programs and tools that you’re running. Where else I can apply that, by the way, because I think that it’s worth noting is you can do this with reputation management texts. We found that there are certain texts among out there’s a lot of regional differences with this one, but we send out to when we ask our patients or our clients patients to leave reviews, we send out five different texts typically. So say the same 1000 patients were texting 1000 patients, or 100 patients, whatever. Each one of them will get a slightly different text, and we’ll test and see how many of them click the link to go leave a review and which text performs the bests. And we find that you will be surprised, you will be surprised by some of the ones that that we find are working and there are a lot of regional differences. What else can you test you can test whether or not you include emojis in your subject line in an email. By the way, the answer right now for many practices is no do not include emojis in your email in the subject line of your email. Although if you did a year ago, that email would be more likely to be opened, but include the first name of a person in your email subject line because you’re going to increase the open rate by at least 10 to 15%. So these are all tests that you run, and you just send you know, 50% of your list. You send one version 50% of your list, you send another version, and you’re constantly optimizing. And you have to also realize that it’s not that seven years set it and forget it cycle. We’ve seen it so often right it’s that I just rebuild my website every five years and the copy decisions I make at that point are the copy decisions that are going to last for me for the next five years. I set up my recall system, and that’s what it’s going to happen. But there are so many things you can test, you can test the frequency of sounds, you can test the messaging, you can test a copy of the headline, you can test the time of day that you’re going to send it out. There are just so many different elements that are worth testing because they interact with the kind of human decision-making mindset in many different ways. And quite frankly, you know, we’re all underserving ourselves if we just stick with one version and delude ourselves to believing that even if it’s the best-performing version at that exact moment that the market isn’t going to change six months from now, and that we won’t have something else that can outperform it.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: My head is spinning Eugene and I think this is such an interesting topic and such an interesting message and especially to think about this being something that has such huge impact and such huge results right? If you’re investing in marketing or you know you’ve committed to having a website you’re paying a certain amount of money every single month for that to perform a certain way to not optimize it to know if there’s something that could be tweaked that would create 10 or 20%. More people clicking through to schedule an appointment is like having an instrument that essentially prints money for your practice and not tuning it up from time to time. So I think the idea of doing it is so important, and that doing it is something that’s a constant dynamic process because you’re absolutely right that consumer minds change. And what I’m doing in response to ads and things is very different than what I was doing six months ago or 12 months ago. People are different and you’ve got to keep up with the times. I am super glad that I know you because you can geek out on this in the most tremendous way. And so I absolutely appreciate you sharing your wisdom for those of you listening you can go back and look at the email that got you to click on listen to this podcast and know that maybe wasn’t the exact same email that someone else received. Maybe you’re part of a test you didn’t even know it and or my client and maybe we get them to go back and redo their sign with. Get your eyes checked limited appointments available today.
Eugene Shatsman: Yeah, yeah, we’re getting closer, but this is the trick right? Is that tested, tested and tested? That’s what I want to leave everybody with today. Is that the reality is it’s not just your marketing, everything that you do has leverage in it and that leverage can be extracted through discipline through testing, right. So what you say in your exam, what you say in your optical, what you say during pre-testing, even how you greet someone can have a meaningful impact on what their end outcome is, and ultimately on the profitability of your practice. And so I just encourage you to not let things sit too much without changing and then measuring the impact of that change. Because testing ultimately, lets you take advantage of everything that you’ve built and just get more out of it. So that’s my parting words for everyone today.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: Awesome. Thank you so much, Eugene. If somebody wants to get in touch with you, how do they reach you to learn more.
Eugene Shatsman: NationalStrategic.com, So that’s our organization National Strategic serves practices across the entire field of vision, Optometry, Ophthalmology, and any affiliated programs and the reality is that we’re just happy to be a resource for the organization. So drop me a line happy to answer any questions you possibly can. Your listeners are always welcome to ask a question, and I make sure that myself or someone from my team can respond.
Dr.Bethany Fishbein: Thank you. And if you have things you want to accomplish in your practice and want to get instant results from a proven team, be part of our exclusive club. You can get a free practice analysis for a limited time. Go to our website PowerPractice.com.