You have a new veterinary practice and you want to get it off the ground. You know that Americans love their pets. In the United States the veterinary care industry has been valued at an estimated $14.37 billion. There are at least 88.3 million pet cats and 74.8 million pet dogs around the country. They all need vet care. The problem is that their owners are forgetful. Most people are. Nearly 40% of all people in the United States admit that during the past week they forgot one basic piece of information or lost something every day. This is why veterinary reminder cards are so important. Before you worry that a direct mail campaign may be too much work or money, there are ways to do it that make the process pay for itself. You can work with services that will take care of the everything from the list to the mailing label stickers.
Get the Most of a Direct Mail Marketing Campaign with These 5 Tips:
- Buy a mailing list. You may think you can build your own but you really should bite the bullet and buy a professionally made list. You should absolutely take your clients’ information and put that into a list but if you want to grow your veterinary practice, you need to reach more than just the people who already know about you and the work that you do. Find a reputable company and buy a list that targets pet owners and animal lovers in your area. There is a 40/40/20 rule. You want to reach 40% your audience, 40% offer and 20% everyone else.
- Include some value added item. Your mailing will not be worth the cost of your mailing label stickers if you do not include some kind of offer or deal. For example, in the late winter or early spring, send out a mailing reminding pet owners that flea season is coming up. Give them a discount on the flea protection that they can get at your office. You need to give people a reason to act soon when they get your reminder postcards. Nearly half of all people say they keep direct mail marketing materials to look at later. You want them to use your coupon sooner than later so put an expiration date on it.
- Find a great, local printer. Good printing companies will save you a lot of time. They can handle everything from printing your materials to assembling them, affixing the mailing label stickers and getting them sent out. You do not have to pay an arm and a leg to get this kind of service. Talk to a few local printers. It is worth noting that some practices think they can do it in house. These mailings may seem simple but if your staff do not do them a lot, and they most likely do not, it will be a time consuming and frustrating experience. You are really better off paying a company to handle this for you.
- Make your copy short and sweet. People have very short attention spans. you need to make your message short and snappy. Tell prospective clients why they need flea protection for their pets.
- Make sure you follow up with your prospects. They say “90% of life is showing up,” well a lot of the success of any direct marketing campaign is in the follow up. After you send out welcome cards to your list, follow that up with personalized cards that remind people where you are and what you do. If your veterinary practice is really new, you can even have an open house event to get to know the pet owners in your area. The printer you use can handle a lot of this for you. One mailing may not be enough to get your name out there. There is a reason companies like Coke and FedEx run so many ads on television and elsewhere. Marketing and advertising are all about repetition. One time is never enough to raise real brand awareness. They can use the information they used to print the mailing label stickers.
People sometimes say they hate snail mail but it works.