OTC Availability Offers a New Hearing Aid Marketing Opportunity

NEW Hearing Aid Marketing Opportunity: Earlier this month, the FDA approved over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids, removing the prescription requirement to help the 48 million people who suffer from hearing loss—80% of whom have not attempted to improve their hearing.

As the OTC hearing aid market heats up and awareness increases, providers have a unique opportunity to encourage consumers to consult with trained audiologists to diagnose and guide them in optimizing their investment in a hearing aid.

Offering Services to OTC Users Offers a Pathway to New Patients

Many audiologists may choose to offer OTC hearing aids and/or services to those who have purchased them elsewhere. This can be a pathway to new patients, as they may realize their OTC hearing aid doesn’t meet their needs and choose to purchase from a clinic they trust.

  • OTC hearing aids became available in stores as early as mid-October 2022; OTC availability will accelerate growth.
  • Prices will decline and purchases will qualify as an FSA expense, resulting in more devices sold at a lower price.
  • The market potential is projected to grow from $3.46 Billion in 2022 to $5.86 Billion in 2029.

Local retailers already in this space should become familiar with how the retail and manufacturer landscapes will change and how you can stay competitive in a changing marketplace.

  • Retailers are already jumping on this opportunity:
    • Best Buy: 300 out of 1,000 locations will begin selling 10 different OTC hearing aids.
    • Walgreens: Has partnered with Connect Hearing to sell hearing aids in a small number of Walgreens stores as a trial to see if dispensing from big-brand pharmacies is a viable business model. Connect Hearing is owned by Sonova. Walgreens stores in Dallas, Phoenix, Orlando and Chicago have been selected for the trial.
    • CVS, Walgreens and Walmart have in-person doctors and nurse practitioners in their stores, and Amazon is spending nearly $4 billion on One Medical, which will bring the online retailer deeper into in-person healthcare.
    • Walmart, Costco and Sam’s Club are already selling through audiologists and are expected to add OTC.

How Hearing Aid Centers and Audiologists Can Leverage the Opportunity

Take advantage of raised awareness about hearing loss as more ads appear. For example, TV ads are already running from the hearing aid manufacturer sold at Walmart. Differentiate the services you provide by communicating the value patients receive by consulting with a qualified audiologist and an established hearing aid center.

Direct Mail is the Pipeline to New Patients

Print is the foundation of a marketing strategy aimed at acquiring new patients.

Did you know?

  • 70% of consumers say direct mail is more personal than online interactions.
  • Advertising mail is kept in a household for 17 days on average.
  • Direct mail open rates can reach up to 90%.
  • 62% of consumers who responded to direct mail in the past three months made a purchase.

Acquire New Patients with Proven Multi-channel Campaigns

Extend the reach and response of print campaigns with coordinated digital campaigns. When direct mail is supplemented with digital ads, it boosts response rates up to 118% and conversion rates up to 28% versus print alone. 92% of consumers are driven to online activity after receiving direct mail. In the small markets and rural communities we serve, 62.2% of consumers are influenced by mailbox delivered print and digital channels when making health purchases.

Scroll through our case studies to learn how other health care providers have leveraged direct mail + digital to acquire new patients and lower patient acquisition costs. Reach out today to plan your strategy.

Sources: Fundera.com; direct-mail-statistics, 2020; Retail Wire, 2022; Millward Brown Print Campaign Analysis, Simplifi; DMA, 2021; Prosper Insights – MBI Survey, January 2022


National Optical Retailer Case Study


A national optical retailer needed a marketing strategy to help combat competition entering into the marketplace​, maintain and protect market share​, acquire new customers​, and grow current patient base​.

Our Approach

  • Utilized customer data to identify best geography to mail
  • Targeted 36,284 households around one test location
  • Personally addressed Impact Postcard with variable messaging and strong offers to current customers as well as and non-customers

The Results


coupons redeemed


sales revenue generated


in sales ROI for every $1 spent on shared mail


overall redemption rate

Patient Acquisition Case Study


A multi-location physical therapy provider needed an effective marketing program that would help them reach and engage the geriatric population within the marketplace and drive new patient acquisition and growth.

Our Approach

  • Identified key sub-ZIP Codes for distribution based on clinic location density and high population of consumers (geriatric population age 65+).
  • Targeted 154,927 households within a 3-mile radius of the clinics with the Impact Postcard, Targeted Insert, and Addressable Geofencing (AGF) Digital Display Ads.
  • Utilized high visibility, high readership direct mail pieces combined with targeted digital display ads, amplifying their message and serving as additional touchpoints along the patient journey.

The Results


in projected new patient revenue* (*New patient value = $1000 (10 visits - avg. $100 per visit)


return on advertising spend


incremental new patients to the clinics


in projected incremental new patient revenue


return on advertising spend


click-through rate compared to industry average

Optical Retailer Case Study


A local optical retailer wanted to generate awareness of their practice in the marketplace.

Our Approach

  • Saturated the market around the location reaching 41,263 households
  • Utilized a high visibility, high readership Targeted Insert.
  • Promoted an aggressive $29 eye exam offer to generate interest

The Results


in sales for every $1 spent on shared mail

Steady flow of appointments and new clients

Dental Practice – Acquiring Customers and Increasing Sales


A local dental practice was looking to gain new patients and grow their business.


  • Targeted key split ZIP codes around their location reaching approximately 15,000 households per mailing
  • Mail in rotating areas with households who have a high likelihood to use dental services
  • Created an attractive ad using a Targeted Insert to drive new patients.

The Results


New patients averaged across all mailings


Generated in new revenue per year


Gained in sales for every $1 spent on shared mail