Stephanie Onken

Stephanie Onken

SOUTH SAINT PAUL, MN – (April 3, 2017) – Veterinary Hospitals Association (VHA), the leading association for veterinary practices in the Midwest, announced today the election of three local veterinarians to the VHA Board of Directors.

vha downloadble 12 month holiday calendar veterinary clinicsYour veterinary team is extremely busy, from running the front desk and seeing patients to performing lifesaving surgery and educating pet parents. Add the stress of researching and putting together the most basic marketing plan, and your team can quickly become overwhelmed.

We put together the 2017 Unique Holiday Calendar for Veterinary Clinics. If you haven’t downloaded it, it’s recommended as the rest of this post ties directly into it. The 12-month calendar lists fun, unique, and bizarre animal-related holidays that veterinary clinics can market around. We are taking that one step further and outlining a basic marketing plan you can step-and-repeat with any and all of the holiday’s listed in the calendar.

Offer a Special Promotion

For months with themes, such as National Heartworm Awareness Month for April or Lyme Disease Prevention Month for May, offer promotions to entice new clients and those clients who rarely visit to make appointments. Using April as an example, you could offer heartworm prevention discounts or buying in on promotions (buy 6 months, get 15% off 6 months) or tie in with a service, such as a discount on preventatives when the client has a complete heartworm screening performed.

national pet week vhaGraphics

Once you’ve determined the holidays you’re going to celebrate and/or the promotions you’re going to run, create several different graphics using a service like Canva or Pablo. You will use these graphics through all your marketing pieces, so it’s important to have a few different ones so audiences don’t see the same one repeatedly and tune out. Select easy-to-read fonts, complimentary colors, a fun pet-related image, and to-the-point wording for the graphic.

Blog

Continuing our plan for National Heartworm Awareness Month for April, a timely, educational blog is a very effective marketing tool for your veterinary clinic. Not only does it add new content to your website, it can also be shared across other marketing vehicles such as emails, social media, and as handouts in your clinic.

Blogging doesn’t need to be an exhaustive effort, either. A brief 400 to 600-word blog with important information and statistics is more than sufficient, and can easily be reached following a simple outline:

  • What is a heartworm?
  • Why is heartworm prevention important?
  • Who is at risk to be infected by heartworms?
  • How do pets become infected with heartworm?
  • How do owners determine if their pets are infected?
  • Call-to-action to visit your clinic to take advantage of your promotion during April (example: Call today to schedule your appointment to save big on heartworm prevention. Hurry, the promotion ends April 31, 2017!)

If you’re considering adding photos to your blog posts, use your best judgement when doing so. While you’re used to seeing surgical procedures and other aspects of veterinary care, not everyone who reads your blog is. If you plan on using photos of patients, whether on your website, social media, or email, ensure you have the consent of the owner (in writing, preferably).

vha veterinary email marketing sampleEmail Marketing

Your promotion is ready and blog written, now you need to get your information out to the masses. One tactic is through email marketing. One step in your patient check-in procedure should include asking the client for their email address. Not only can you send them helpful appointment reminders but the occasional email from the clinic, such as sharing money-saving events – both of which most clients will be interested in receiving.

Utilizing a service like ePetHealth, MailChimp, or Constant Contact will help you create an email quickly and professionally. Once again, email marketing doesn’t have to be exhaustive if you follow a simple formula:

  • Header (like your clinic logo, photo of your clinic waiting room, etc.)
  • A brief paragraph with any news or updates about the clinic.
  • A graphic showcasing the month’s promotion with a brief description.
  • Hyperlink the graphic to your blog post with a CTA to learn more in the description.
  • A call-to-action to take advantage of the promotion (example: Call to schedule your appointment to take advantage of this limited-time promotion!)

Social Media

You have the holiday selected, a promotion created, and a blog published. Now it’s time to share it all on your social media! Don’t feel like you must share everything at once; spread out the information over the month (it’s why having several graphics on hand will be beneficial). Consider a spaced out posting schedule:

  • Graphic and announcement on the 1st of the month
  • Blog on the 7th
  • Graphic on the 14th
  • Last-minute reminder on the 28th of the month

That way you’re spreading out your points of activation across the entire month, reaching followers each time with a different message with the goal to bring them into your clinic. If you’re not already using a social media management tool, consider HootSuite, Buffer, or DrumUp.

Client Handout

Not everyone is signed up for your email list or regularly checks your website for new blog posts. To reach these individuals, consider printing out your blog post to hand out to clients in your clinic. If your blog is long without bullet points, consider condensing and adding points to make it easier to scan and read.


If you’re looking for pre-made client handouts, continue to check back on our blog as we will be producing regular handouts for specific months, like Heat Awareness in June! Or sign up for our email newsletter to receive an update as soon as they’re available for download.

Stay up to date with the latest information from VHA. Join our monthly newsletter!
Please type your full name.

Invalid Input

Invalid email address.

Invalid Input

Please write letters
Invalid Input

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

Do you dread administrative tasks at your clinic?

Do you put off inventory management, or avoid it altogether?

Are you bombarded with questions from your staff that get in the way of you practicing medicine?

Introducing the Practice Managers Program

As part of a developed marketing plan for veterinary clinics, consideration must be given to the fun, unique, and bizarre holidays that have been established outside of the traditional holiday schedule. These days, like National Lost Dog Awareness Day on April 23 or National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day on August 22, are perfect opportunities to reach out to your target market in an entertaining manner. You can share educational information for pet parents to utilize, like developing a family plan to deal with natural disasters like flooding or earthquakes during September for National Disaster Preparedness Month. You can also keep it lighthearted and share fun photos of cat's being herded with a motivational message to clients for Cat Herder's Day on December 15.

Consider the special days most important and relevant to your veterinary clinic and develop a marketing strategy you can step-and-repeat for every event. Such strategies can include:

  • One Facebook post per event;
  • Two Tweets with appropriate hashtag per event;
  • One graphic (which you can create with Canva for free!) to utilize across social media;
  • A brief fun or informational blog you can post to your website;
  • And a brief email to send to your clients alerting them of the special day, why it's important, and a call to action to visit your clinic if appropriate.

Not sure what would work for your clinic? Important holidays and special months to pay attention to can include:

  • January 2: National Pet Travel Safety Day (How can pet owners keep their pets safe while traveling by car or plane?)
  • February: Pet Dental Month (Why is it important to have your pet's teeth regularly checked, and a call-to-action to set up an appointment today.)
  • February 28: World Spay Day (Help control the pet population by spaying your cats and dogs.)
  • March 19 - 25: National Poison Prevention Week (What can pet owners do to ensure their pets are safe in their home? What are some uncommon things that can be poisones to pets?)
  • April: National Heartworm Awareness Month (What damage can be done by heartworm and a call-to-action to come to their veterinarian for preventative medicine)
  • May: National Chip Your Pet Month (Call-to-action to get pets microchipped) & Lyme Disease Prevention Month (call-to-action to have preventative medicine)
  • June: National Best Friends Day (Share photos of your clients and their best friends)
  • July: National Hot Dog Day (Perfect for sharing fun photos of dogs in hot dog costumes!)
  • August: National Immunization Awareness Month (Reinforce the importance of preventative care for pets)
  • September: World Rabies Day (Discuss the importance of rabies vaccinations for pets and how often pets should be vaccinated with a call-to-action to schedule an appointment today)
  • October 15 - 21: National Veterinary Technician Week (Great way to feature and thank your team for their hard work!)
  • November 23: Thanksgiving (What not to share with your pet from the Thanksgiving table)
  • December 31: New Year's Eve (Time to thank your clients and patients for making the whole year so successful)
Download the full list of unique, fun, and important pet holidays for all of 2017 in
a handy 12-month calendar that your veterinary clinic can utilize
in your marketing strategy all year long!

holiday calendar graphic
SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

SOUTH SAINT PAUL, MN – (January 31, 2017) – Veterinary Hospitals Association (VHA), the leading association for veterinary practices in the Midwest, is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2017 MVM Foundation VHA Memorial Scholarship.

The scholarship contest, hosted by the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Foundation, is open to fourth year veterinary students with companion animal objectives in good scholastic standing. It requires applicants to submit an essay discussing the benefit of VHA to its members.

The $1,000 scholarship has been awarded to Anastasia Johns, a student at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine studying for her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree. 

“It is an honor to help further the futures of our upcoming leaders in the veterinary industry,” Jeff Benson, Executive Director VHA said. “Our commitment to our members extends beyond individual practices and to the successful continuation of the industry itself.”

This scholarship is awarded annually in memory of VHA members who have passed. To learn more about the scholarships provided by the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Foundation and to apply, please visit http://www.mvmfcares.org/.


About Veterinary Hospitals Association

Established in 1984, Veterinary Hospitals Association (VHA) is a member-driven association organized to represent the interests of members and the veterinary community. VHA currently serves more than 400 veterinary practices. The goal of VHA is to enhance the profitability of each member practice by positively impacting its bottom line. With member involvement, VHA will continue to offer services that either save money or make money for all members. Follow VHA on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

SOUTH SAINT PAUL, MN – October 13, 2016 – Veterinary Hospitals Association (VHA), the leading association for veterinary practices in the Midwest, is pleased to announce their newest Preferred Partner CBIZ. Through this partnership, VHA members will have access to additional services provided by CBIZ that are critical to business success.

SOUTH SAINT PAUL, MN - (September 20, 2016) - Veterinary Hospitals Association (VHA), the leading association for veterinary clinics in the Midwest, is hosting the 11th Annual VHA Expo on Thursday, November 3, 2016 from 8:00-4:30pm at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest in Brooklyn Park, Minn. This one-day event is expected to be visited by nearly 300 veterinarians, practice managers, veterinary technicians, and staff and will be highlighting the newest products, services, and programs in the industry.

If you haven’t heard of the new mobile game Pokémon Go, you could ask your staff or children if they have and I bet the answer will be a resounding yes. It’s dominated airwaves, TV time, social media, and just about every major publication has published an article about the records this game has shattered in the few short weeks it has been out.

New Route Launching April 4, 2016 to Bring Cremation Services to Veterinarians in Rochester, MN

SOUTH SAINT PAUL, MN--(Marketwired - April 04, 2016) - Veterinary Hospitals Association (VHA), the leading association for veterinary practices in the Midwest, is excited to announce the expansion of their cremation services to southwestern Minnesota and eastern Wisconsin. Veterinary hospitals from Rochester, MN to La Crosse, WI will now receive weekly cremation services.

VHA provides essential services to veterinary clinics throughout the Midwest, including product delivery and reliable, ethical cremation services. Clinics in Rochester, MN and surrounding areas were previously receiving weekly product deliveries. Now they will have access to the trustworthy cremation services VHA provides in order to provide quality end-of-life options for their clients. This expansion highlights VHA's ongoing commitment to furthering their veterinary clinic member's success.

"We have greatly anticipated extending our services to better benefit more members in the greater Midwest," says VHA Executive Director Jeff Benson. "Continuing our member's success is top priority, and by providing ethical cremation solutions to more members, we are achieving that goal."

Three area clinics in Rochester, MN, have committed to using VHA's cremation services, with more joining every day. To learn more about VHA's portfolio of services, visit http://www.veterinaryha.org.

About Veterinary Hospitals Association

Established in 1984, Veterinary Hospitals Association (VHA) is a member-driven association organized to represent the interests of members and the veterinary community. VHA currently serves more than 400 veterinary practices. The goal of VHA is to enhance the profitability of each member practice by positively impacting its bottom line. With member involvement, VHA will continue to offer services that either save money or make money for all members. Follow VHA on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


Media Contact

Stephanie Onken
Communications Coordinator
Veterinary Hospitals Association
651-287-3325
sonken@veterinaryha.org

shutterstock 263635745July means mid-year marketing reviews for businesses. It’s a perfect opportunity review how the last six months have performed for your business, and if any changes are needed to obtain the goals you’ve set for the rest of 2016.

If you’re looking to add a little boost to your marketing efforts, there are several ideas you can implement:

Page 13 of 18