Helpful Hints from ClearVision Optical – Co-op Advertising

Save money with help from your vendors

In an uncertain economy, advertising and marketing are often among the first areas to be reduced or cut from the budgets of eyecare professionals. While this may lower the cost of doing business in the short term, it will likely hurt your sales, as well. Instead of cutting part of your optical practice’s advertising budget, consider taking advantage of Co-op advertising programs.

Many eyewear vendors offer Co-op programs for their customers to help cover the costs associated with advertising and marketing. Co-op programs vary by frame vendor, but most operate like bank accounts that accumulate funds throughout the year based on a percentage of how much an optical customer spends. So the more you spend with a vendor, the more money you’ll get in return to help cover the expense of advertising to eyewear and sunwear customers.

If a Co-op program puts 5% of your accrued sales into your account, and you spend $5,000 with that vendor, your practice will have $250 to help cover the cost of advertising. ClearVision Optical offers up to a 50 percent reimbursement on approved marketing, advertising and educational efforts with their Co-op program.

Practices that use Co-op typically wait until the 3rd or 4th quarter each year to redeem their funds, so that their accounts have had a sufficient amount of time to accrue funds.

Most vendors include a wide range of materials in their lists of “co-op-able” items, such as:

  • Newspaper Ads
  • Magazine Ads
  • Journal Ads (such as high school yearbooks or a local theater programs)
  • Professionally printed customer newsletters
  • Duratrans
  • Lens cloths and spray bottles
  • Outdoor advertising
  • Pre-printed postcards
  • Branded T-shirts and hats for employees
  • Trunk Show Giveaways
  • Displays
  • Radio Commercials

To help customers run their practices better and more efficiently, ClearVision’s Co-op program now includes Practice Management Consulting fees in the growing list of approved items.

If you do a fair amount of business with a vendor, you may already qualify for their co-op program. Remember, co-op programs are typically free, so it behooves you to sign up and reap the rewards.

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