When practicing the veterinary sciences, you have a natural customer base that is all around you. Any animal owner in your community is going to automatically look to you for services when their animal is sick or needs a check-up. For many small communities, you could be the only veterinarian available! For larger communities, especially metropolitan centers, a veterinarian needs to market themselves in such a way that people come to visit them instead of their competition.
A good place to start with your services is to just be upfront and honest about how much each service costs. Many people don’t take their pets in for check-ups simply because there’s no idea of the cost and they don’t want to call ahead to receive it. By letting everyone know your pricing structure, you’ll create a comfortable mindset that will allow the rest of these ideas to take root.
Best Veterinary Marketing Ideas
1. Make Sure to Bundle Services
Use special client pricing to help generate more sales because the upsell technique will provide better overall animal care for a price that seems more affordable. If you tie-in specials on your bundles with specific awareness campaigns, like National Pet Health Awareness month, then you can take this marketing idea even further. Be sure to include your local media in with these bundles, especially around the awareness months, because you could end up with a lot of free press as well.
2. Offer Free Services Every Once and Awhile
Pet health is the primary goal, so coaxing owners out that might not come to the vet on a free day is a good way to get some information about local animals, owners, and be able to expand your eventual revenue base. You’ll be helping animals with their health right away and get the chance to market to owners in the future for a very small per animal investment. If you’re concerned about paying too much, then you could limit the event to one pet per owner or a level where you’re comfortable.
3. Provide a Sliding Scale
Cost is the #1 reason why owners don’t bring their animals to see you, so countering that with a sliding cost scale can help remove that one final barrier. Make your baseline cost be something you can live with and then proceed up to the prices you’d normally charge. You’ll want to have people prove their financial need before offering this pricing scale, of course. Once implemented, you can then start booking even more appointments.
4. Offer To Accept Donated Items
There are many non-profit groups looking to have a donation site in their community and by becoming one, you get two good benefits: you get the chance to interact with people who wish to donate items and you get to network with local non-profit professionals who are more than willing to throw some business your way. It isn’t uncommon for people to specifically purchase items from you and then stick them directly into the donation box.
5. Give a Free Seminar on Pet Health
Information is a valuable resource, so a seminar that focuses on pet health tips could generate a lot of interest in your community. A lot of people pride themselves on being able to do a lot of things on their own and this seminar will give them the tools to achieve that goal. In the meantime, you’re bringing in potential prospects through your doors every time you provide one of these special events.
6. Extend Your Business Hours
Some people find it difficult to bring their pet to the vet during normal business hours and if you’ve got weekend hours, your slots probably fill up fast. Pet owners can’t always get off of work either, so they’re stuck in a bad place. Extending your hours a couple nights per week can help these folks get their pet in and it will help you see more profits. Market these extra hours as a means of differentiating yourself from other vets in the community too.
7. Send Out Reminders Regularly
It’s pretty easy to forget when an animal needs a check-up, so a gentle reminder that gets sent by direct mail or email can help to spur repeat business to your practice. Customize the reminder to include the name of the pet for a little extra relationship building too!
8. Start a Loyalty Program
If you have farmers or large-scale pet owners in your community, then reward them with a loyalty program because of all the business that they give you. The solitary cat owner probably won’t think much of your loyalty program if it’s purely sales based, but you could set up something that includes volume and longevity. After all, you want to keep seeing kitty throughout the years, right?
9. Reach Out To Others
A lot of your clients know other people who probably would come to see you if they knew about you. Reach out to loyal clients and ask them to say nice things about you to their friends. Offer referral discounts or other benefits for those that do reach out and bring in friends and neighbors as their clients. Farmers often have their own network that shares info too and if you get in good there, you’ll have plenty of business every day.
10. Get Into or Start a Referral Network
Referring animals to veterinarians that have health specialties is a great way to network between doctors and help find a level of mutual success. If your community has a referral network, then get into it as soon as possible! If your community is lacking in this area, then take it upon yourself to begin one. Speak with other local vets, talk about what everyone is willing to do, and then implement a system where every animal as the chance to experience good health.
11. Involve the Local Press
Good stuff is happening all the time and you should let people know about it. A simple press release to your local media can help make this happen and you’ll get free exposure when it does.