Attracting new pet patients and bringing existing ones back on a regular basis is a must for any growing practice. Veterinary marketing doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. People love their pets and want to give them the best possible care. The most important thing you need to do is make your practice a happy place for pets and their parents to be, and encourage them to spread the word. Here are five veterinary marketing tips that will have your practice hopping in no time.
1. Foster a sense of family
Put up pictures of your furry clients. Offer treats to pets and their parents (but don’t mix them up!). Send sweet and funny holiday cards to all of your patients. Pets are an emotive subject, and it’s not hard to tap into those warm and fuzzy feelings. When your clients feel a sense of belonging with your practice, they’ll be loyal, and they’ll bring their friends.
2. Make education a priority
Becoming a trusted educational resource is good for pets-and good for your business. Send pet-related news releases to your local papers whenever there’s a special event. It’s free and it’s a service for the entire community. Talk about the joy of pound puppies for National Pet Adoption Day. Warn pet owners of the start of tick season. Offer tips for pet safety on Halloween and ideas for calming dogs frightened by fireworks on the 4th of July. Any excuse will do. You’re not just adding value, you’re positioning yourself as an expert and you’re getting your name out to the public.
3. Reward loyalty
Sometimes little gestures mean a lot. Give your patients a small gift, such as a new collar at every yearly visit. Surprise clients who have spent a lot with a gift certificate to a local pet store. Offer discounts on vaccinations for multiple pets. Bundle services such as dental care with routine check-ups. You’ll encourage the most profitable patients to return, and they’ll smile when they think about your practice.
4. Look into an extended schedule
Even one night or weekend day each week, experiment with late hours and advertise well. Families these days are juggling more than ever and fitting in appointments for their pets can sometimes slip down the list. If you make it easy for your clients to visit, they’ll visit.
5. Support local rescues
Rescue work is difficult and indispensable, and rescuers need all the help they can get. Whenever possible, do your best to lighten their load. Make your office a drop-off point for donations. Sponsor a fundraiser. Provide discounted or free health care to animals in crisis whenever you can. Your existing clients will feel good about being associated with you. And once those lucky pets find their home, the rescue will recommend your practice.
Providing a pleasant environment, world-class care, and a warm welcome to every creature and human who walks through your doors will go a long way to ensure repeat visits and recommendations. Spend a little time and creativity on your veterinary marketing and you’ll save a lot of advertising dollars.