11 Marketing and Advertising Ideas for Veterinarians
A good marketing plan can help take your veterinary clinic to the next level. We have the tips and tricks you need to grow your practice.
1. Provide great care. Treat everyone’s pet like you would treat your own pet. When you can, go above and beyond the call of duty. If you are a great vet, people will take notice and organically spread the word about your business. Word-of-mouth advertising can be a vital source of new business. Even the greatest marketing plan will fail if you are not committed to providing great care to every animal.
2. Invest in good website design. If you don’t have a website yet, it’s time for you to get one. There are companies that specialize in veterinary web design. If you already have a website, you might want to consider upgrading the design. Is your website optimized for people viewing it on their cell phone or tablet? If not, it needs to be. More and more consumers are using their mobile devices to research local professionals, like veterinarians. You also want to make sure your website includes all relevant information about your business including the services you provide, hours of operation, phone number, and office address. Don’t hide this information either! Most of it should be easy to find on the homepage.
3. Establish a strong online presence. These days, just having a website is not enough. You also need to actively manage your reputation online. This is something that you can do on your own or you can hire an agency to help you out. If you are going the DIY route, ask your clients for positive reviews. If your veterinary clinic is highly rated, people will be more willing to call you up. Any additional visibility online will be beneficial to the success of your veterinary practice.
4. Give direct mail marketing a shot. Sending a simple postcard with a coupon can be a great way to contact your existing clients and prospective customers. A direct mail vendor can handle everything from graphic design to postage. They can also help you put together a list of prospects to receive the mailing. For example, you might want to target people in a few select zip codes near your office. If you specialize in veterinary care for livestock, include that in the flyer! If you specialize in pet care, you might want to include a picture of a dog or a cat on your mailer.
5. Incentivize referrals. If someone recommends their friend to your practice, show your appreciation. There are a few different ways to do this. You can offer them a discount on their next office visit or a free grooming session. You could also give their pet a free toy or maybe give them a gift card to the local pet supply store. It’s important to say “thank you”, even if it is just a small gesture.
6. Reach out to your clients via email. When used properly, email can be a very effective marketing channel for a veterinarian. There are several email marketing vendors that make it easy to create and launch new campaigns. Getting someone to open your email is half the battle. A catchy subject line can make all the difference. The best advice we can give? Don’t send too many emails! You don’t want people unsubscribing from your list.
7. Try pay-per-call advertising. Pay-per-call advertising is a simple and effective way to generate business quickly. How does it work? The pay-per-call company advertises on behalf of your practice. If someone is interested in your business, they can call you directly. You will pay a fixed price for each call. You could receive calls about rabbits, dogs, cats, horses, snakes, guinea pigs, pigs, birds, sheep, goats, turtles, and fish. These call leads may be for a variety of services, including 1) routine examinations, 2) spaying and neutering, 3) veterinary dental care, 4) ear cleaning, 5) nutrition and weight loss, 6) heartworm treatments, 7) vaccinations, or 8) euthanasia. If you are interested, some lead generation companies may sell leads for pet boarding and kenneling as well.
8. Use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can work for many veterinarians. If you are on a tight budget, this is something you might manage yourself. If you have a little more money to spend, you may consider hiring a PPC agency to help you out. PPC ads are quite simple. You are charged every time that someone clicks on your ad. You can edit the settings to determine when and where your ad shows up. For example, you can bid on certain keyword searches like “nearest vet clinic” or “vet offices close to me”. When someone performs an online search for “local veterinarian”, don’t you want your ad to be the first thing on the page?
9. Use social media to win people over. Although social media does not work for everyone, it can be a good idea for some veterinary practices. You can entertain people by posting pictures of cute animals that come into your office. You can also educate people about the latest trends or give advice about animal wellness. Although you should always remain professional, not everything has to be serious. This is a great place to show the light-hearted, fun side of your veterinary practice.
10. Build relationships with related businesses. It’s important to network and build relationships with pet businesses in your area. It can really help to know other people working in the same industry. For example, you can reach out to pet groomers, dog walkers, and pet supply stores. They may be able to refer new business to your veterinary practice. It’s also important that you get to know other local vets. For example, you may not provide 24/7 emergency care. You may not be an expert with exotic pets or livestock. If you cannot help someone, is there another vet’s office or animal hospital nearby that could? You want to feel comfortable recommending another local practitioner. They, in turn, can return the favor by recommending your veterinary clinic to their own clients.
11. Find your niche. What separates your veterinary practice from the rest? Do you specialize in caring for livestock? Do you only care for horses? Do you prefer to care for pets? Do you take house calls? Do you provide 24/7 emergency care? You want to emphasize your niche (or specialty) in all marketing materials (flyers, business cards, brochures, etc.) and on your website. This can help you stand out from your local competitors.
Does my veterinary practice need a website?
Yes, a veterinarian should have a website. This is your online business card. You want to make a good first impression to every single person that visits your website. Use your website to describe your unique qualifications. People can learn more about what you do without calling into office. If you only work with pets, make sure to say that. If you usually work with larger animals and livestock, let people know. Do you make house calls? Do you have any special training or certifications? Are you open on Sundays? If you have a great website with the right information, people will pick up the phone to schedule an appointment.
How can SEO help a veterinarian?
SEO can help increase the visibility of your veterinary practice online. By ranking higher in the search engines, you can help increase the amount of traffic to your website. If your website is well-designed and user-friendly, you can turn website visitors into new clients. Although hiring an SEO agency can be very helpful, it’s not your only option. There are plenty of things you can do on your own to optimize your website. For example, you can write blog posts about interesting topics like the importance of veterinary dentistry or what to do if your dog gets into the trash. Make sure that your blog post has an interesting title that draws people in. Another helpful SEO tip? Make sure your site looks good on cell phones and tablets! If your website is unreadable on a phone or it loads too slowly, people will take their business elsewhere.
Can veterinarians purchase leads?
Yes, there are several lead programs for veterinarians. Buying leads can help you find new clients and grow your practice. Most lead generation services charge on a “per lead” basis. You agree to pay a set price for each veterinary lead. Prices can vary based on the quality of the lead.
Can a vet pay for call leads?
Yes, there are pay-per-call advertising programs for veterinarians. When you register, you agree to pay a certain amount of money from each incoming call to your office. People may be seeking a variety of veterinary services, including 1) emergency treatment, 2) veterinary dental care, 3) veterinary surgery, 4) end-of-life care , 5) spay and neuter, 6) pet microchip implantation, or 7) vaccinations.
How can email marketing benefit my veterinary practice?
Email marketing can help veterinarians reach new and existing clients. A simple message with a clear call-to-action can be very effective. For example, you might send an email when you start offering a new service or a new veterinarian joins your practice. Every email should be informative, entertaining, or education. Don’t waste people’s time with overtly self-promotional messages.
Can direct mail generate new leads for veterinarians?
Yes, direct mail marketing can help bring new clients to your veterinary practice. Typically, we recommend using direct mail to contact your existing clients. It can be challenging to market your business to new people with a small postcard or brochure. Although direct mail might seem old school, it can still be very effective. If you are an equine veterinarian, you can target more rural areas.
Should veterinarians advertise in the Yellow Pages?
Internet advertising has nearly put the Yellow Pages out of business. However, it’s not fully extinct yet! In some regions of the country, it’s still common practice to look someone up in the phonebook. For example, a Yellow Pages ad may provide a solid return on investment if you live in a more rural area. If you specialize in treating farm animals and livestock, this could be a great option for your business. If you live in a major metropolitan area, your marketing budget might be better spent elsewhere.
Where can a veterinarian find leads online?
ProMatcher is a great place to find lead programs for veterinarians. ProMatcher can help guide you to some of the best options out there. If you see something that interests you, we can get you in touch with the right people.
How much do veterinarians pay for leads?
The average cost of veterinary leads will depend on several factors, including 1) your geographic location and 2) the quality of the lead, and 3) the type of lead. What type of animal needs treatment? Who are you buying the lead from? Will the lead be sold to more than one veterinarian? Has the lead been verified over the phone?
How much does a veterinarian need to spend on marketing each year?
Veterinarians should spend approximately 5 to 10% of their annual revenue on marketing. For some, that might seem like an unreasonable amount of money. We totally understand. If you don’t feel comfortable spending that much yet, start slowly. Try a few of the DIY marketing strategies we have talked about here. If you are not seeing the results you want, you may have to invest more time and money into your marketing plan.