In a competitive veterinary market, practices face the same challenges as any company. Where pet owners now have many options to care for their pets, marketing is essential for practices to attract more clients, retain existing ones, and improve profitability.
What does a solid practice marketing plan look like?
Here are three key elements to help your practice thrive:
1. Provide Takeaway Client Educational Handouts
It’s one thing to talk to clients during an appointment about the importance of following through with veterinary recommendations and treatments. Yet veterinary visits can be stressful for clients (particularly if their pets are also stressed), and stress can be distracting. So, clients may not remember what you said and not follow through with treatments and recommendations, which impacts animal health outcomes.
When you provide clients with takeaway educational handouts that support the why behind treatments and recommendations, they’re more likely to follow through. This serves to improve patient outcomes and attract new pet owners from happy clients spreading positive word-of-mouth advertising.
Client education information establishes your practice team as knowledge leaders and a go-to resource for pet owners, which builds and strengthens trust—a cornerstone element of repeat business for improved practice profitability.
2. Show Clients They Can Reply on Communications From Your Practice
Today’s pet owners lead busy lives, meaning they value pet appointments reminders, updates on surgery status, seasonal pet health information (e.g. heartworm awareness information), and other practice communications that save them time and keep them informed. The more you show clients that your practice communications are a service they can count on, the more you strengthen client trust and loyalty, which encourages repeat business and even new clients from referrals.
Flexibility is a vital component of your communications system. While some clients prefer email communications, others prefer two-way texting in addition to a client request system for prescription refills and patient updates. Effective practice marketing means reaching pet owners where they consume information without spending more time doing it. And that’s what the ALLYDVM Communication + Retention System was designed to do.
As one of the veterinary industry’s most powerful software solutions for improving client communications, engagement, and patient health, the ALLYDVM solution includes a convenient client-facing mobile app and an optional, engaging Loyalty Program.
3. Take a Long Hard Look at Your Practice Website
It’s one thing to attract pet owners to your practice website through social posts, blog posts, online ads, and other marketing elements. It’s another thing, however, to keep visitors engaged once they arrive, and you only have seconds to do it.
People form opinions about businesses in seconds based on how their website looks, and according to a Northumbria University study, 94% of website first impressions are design-related. That means, the moment a visitor arrives at your website, they should be met with a website that’s visually appealing and easy to navigate. So, take a few minutes to make an honest assessment of your practice website and ask yourself some hard but important questions:
- Does your website include the latest website design trends?
- Does it reflect the distinct style and personality of your practice while adhering to user experience best practices?
- Does it have user-friendly navigation?
Is there anything about your practice website that you perhaps meant to change, or someone once suggested that you change, but you just never got around to it?
In a competitive market, waiting to do things like upgrading your practice website often leads to the sobering discovery that a competing business hasn’t waited, and they’re reaping the rewards. So, take a hard look at your website, and if you’re not sure how it stacks up against other practices, have a look at these veterinary websites as examples of the kind of designs that stand apart from the competition.