IDEA #1 – Host an appreciation event.
Before the school bell rings this fall, host an appreciation event and say “Thank you!” to all of your customers. It could be as simple as bringing a few grills to your clinic and cooking up hotdogs and hamburgers, or you could bring the event to a local park and rent bouncy houses for the children. Invite your entire neighborhood through sending out a mailer and entice potential new customers to come join in the fun.
Can’t host an appreciation event? Consider participating in or sponsoring a local community event. It isn’t uncommon for towns and cities to host special celebration weekends, which provide plenty of opportunities to sponsor, host, or co-host a sub-event during that time.
If neither of these ideas work, review your patient records. If you notice some patients haven’t been in to see you in some time, whether for a yearly check-up, dental work, or vaccinations, send a handwritten letter to the owner inquiring how they and their pet are doing.
IDEA #2 – Get mid-year feedback from customers.
Hold a contest during July or August where visitors fill out a short survey card for a chance to win a prize. The longer the survey, the more worthwhile the prize needs to be. Don’t limit yourself to holding this contest just in-house; create a survey on SurveyMonkey and share it across your social networks and email distribution lists as a way to bring your clinic to top of mind of those who may not have visited for a while.
Contest is a no-go? Provide reminder cards to clients at the end of their appointment with a message stating you’d love their feedback on your social networks and on websites like Yelp and Google. If they weren’t following your clinic on Facebook or Twitter before, this is a double whammy to potentially gain new followers, too!
IDEA #3 – Utilize social media.
If you’ve never run a Facebook ad for your clinic, challenge yourself to start one this month. It’s a great opportunity to reach potential new customers with only a few clicks and a few dollars. If you have been running social media ads, how have they been performing? Do they need tweaking, different graphics, or an expanded audience? It’s important to vary up the ads you’re running so they don’t become stale.
BONUS IDEA #4 – Pokémon Go.
If you have a smart phone, download Pokémon Go, a newly released game that is smashing records and becoming more popular than Snapchat and Twitter – and it just released! If you've never heard of it, ask one of your staff members - chances are they've heard of it and play it. If your veterinary clinic is a PokéStop, or located near one, you have just increased your marketing to include augmented reality. Share screenshots of Pokémon in your clinic in funny places (think on the OR table, in kennels, being held by staff), and share on social media to entice fans and potential new customers to stop by, catch Pokémon, and learn about your clinic. For more ideas, check out Danielle Lambert’s post, 7 Surprising Things Pokemon Can Do at Vet Clinics, on Dr. Andy Roark’s website!
Exploring other marketing options for your veterinary clinics? Let VHA Business Services help! Discover our extensive range of marketing services designed for veterinary clinics by visiting http://veterinaryha.org/business-services/marketing.