8 marketing tips for vets on home visits

I was super excited when Adam Christman, DVM, MBA, suggested I write an article on one of my favorite topics. There is so much to say about home vet marketing that I can only select a few to share with you today… but know that this is an incredibly rich and important topic for mobile vets.

It is especially important for people who are just starting their independent home visiting practices or for those who are relatively new business owners. As a good friend of mine said, let’s “level the playing field a little bit,” because those new national visiting visiting practices have entire marketing departments, right? It can be a real challenge for larger companies to ethically and truthfully market and deliver on their promises, but I’m really proud to say that we small vets usually achieve that organically. Independent mobile veterinary practices can also do a great job with their marketing, and in our own special way.

It’s important to note that the marketing methods that work best for your practice depend on many uniquely individual factors. This includes your location, demographics, what sets you apart, and how to effectively market your skills (or investment in learning how) in these ways. I go much deeper into these topics in my online CE course, The House Call Vet Academy.1 But for now, I’ll leave you with my top 8 tips for marketing your practice:

1. Focus on your unique strengths.

Do you practice a unique service, such as acupuncture, chiropractic, or physical therapy, in a place where not many other vets do? Are you Fear Free certified? Do you offer concierge services (that’s what I do!) or any other exciting and new way to give your clients and patients the best possible experience? Whatever that is, put it there.

2. Invest in a really good search engine optimized website.

Your website is an integral tool to bring in new customers. You don’t want a cookie-cutter website that doesn’t reflect what makes your practice unique. And if you want potential customers who search for you on the web to find your website, then it must have some search engine optimization (SEO).

3. Word of mouth is essential.

Word of mouth has a very special place in the visiting home practice niche, more so than other types of businesses and veterinary practices. Even (and especially) if you only do euthanasia at home.

Word of mouth is critical for vets who only use euthanasia, even though they usually represent a single event, transaction, or patient, because if you can keep the same customers in the loop, they’re more likely to remember it and go to. refer you when someone they know needs your services. Building rapport and relationships with local clinics, especially emergency rooms, and local resources in your community is vital to establishing a continuous flow of patients to you — and without having to use Yelp when you need to. don’t want to.

4. Your efforts to retain customers should outweigh customer acquisition (except for IHE-only practices).

Did you know that a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75%?2 In other words, repeat customers are where it is. It’s so much easier (and more cost-effective) to acquire customers you already have than to find new customers from scratch. Therefore, the rest of these tips will focus primarily on marketing to your existing customers.

5. Take lots of pictures of your patients (with their permission, of course).

One of the best things I’ve done from day one of starting my practice, which also happens to be one of my top tips, is to take tons of photos of your patients. First, make sure it’s okay with your clients and get the necessary legal paperwork to post photos of their animals on social media. Then use all these photos of your beloved patients in social media posts (e.g. Instagram or Facebook) and newsletters to reconnect with current customers you haven’t heard from in a while.

People love to see pictures of their own animals in your content. Use any excuse you can find to include these photos of your patients in the content you provide to existing and potential customers. For example, place tons of photos of your patients in your communications about the introduction of new services, products, offers, wishing people happy holidays, and so on.

6. Always stay top of mind.

One of my mentors, Nicole Riccardo, taught me to always stay “top of mind”. well-known online pharmacy giants and certainly none of the in-your-face, non-veterinarian controlled giant home visit chains. Not that your customers would ever think about that after having a taste of your incredibly personalized in-home services.

If your customers have recently heard from you in a post, newsletter, or email that just dropped by them, they’ll remember that you’re always there for them. They will immediately think of you if something comes up. And most importantly, they remember to come to you for an appointment at home or for telemedicine.

That way they can get expert advice, continuity of care, real information (no alternate facts of who knows where), and information relevant to their animal based on their unique situation that only you can give them.

7. Use calls-to-actions in your marketing materials.

Another basic principle of marketing is to use calls to action in your social media posts, newsletter, website and any other content that your existing and potential customers will see. In other words, always include a button or link that they can easily and quickly press to perform the action you want them to perform next. For example, add a nice little button to your newsletter or website that says “Schedule your next appointment here” or “Apply to work with Dr. Eve!”

8. Make sure your customers know how much you love them.

My last tip is one of the most important for me, and that is to let your customers know how much you love them and their animals. I don’t mean lip service like the companies do, but honestly, since you really know these individuals personally. Thank them regularly for their loyalty and trust in you.

Ultimately, when people hire a vet, they buy into you and how you do things. Home visits are always about authentic, genuine and irreplaceable relationships. Any old vet can come to his house and treat vomiting, diarrhoea, give a vaccine, but what really sells in house calls is when your customers can see and feel your genuine love, care and devotion to their animals.

As the popular saying goes, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” So let your unique independent home visiting practice create a feeling for your clients and your patients, a feeling they can’t get enough of.

I wish you the best of luck with your marketing. People and animals need you everywhere. You got this!

References

  1. dr. Eve Harrison. The House Call Vet Academy. Accessed June 16, 2022. https://www.dreveharrison.com/house-call-vet-academy
  2. Reichheld F. Recipe to cut costs. Bain & Company. Accessed June 1, 2022. https://media.bain.com/Images/BB_Prescription_cutting_costs.pdf

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