6 creative ways to market your veterinary practice

by By Kelly McElhinney, CVPM

9 min read

As a veterinary professional, you’ve probably heard about the importance of marketing your veterinary practice. But today, with appointment slots filled weeks in advance, marketing might not seem like such a big deal. (And, you might hate marketing… there’s that, too.)

I get it. But marketing doesn’t have to be limited to sending emails and handing out fliers. Here are a few outside-the-box (and fun!) ways to reach the pet owners in your community.

1: Attract new homeowners

Is your area growing? Reach out to home builders, developers, and real estate agents, and offer to put together a new homeowner packet for their clients. Include a brochure for your veterinary practice (ensure it has your app’s QR code if you have one!), pet treats, a magnet, coupons for special deals on products and services at your practice, and tips for getting pets accustomed to a new home.

You can do the same for pet-friendly apartment complexes in your area. Ask the property manager for permission to distribute your welcome packets to new residents, or post your information on the complex’s information bulletin board. Be sure to include seasonal pet information, and don’t forget to replace it with new information when the seasons change.

2: Go back to school

If you have children who play school sports or participate in extracurricular activities, you are explicitly aware of the plethora of sponsorship opportunities that exist. You can sponsor a team or special sporting event, which can include placement of your practice’s name on a uniform or a booth at an event, or premier billing on any advertising for the team.

Not quite ready to sponsor a team or event? School bulletin boards are a great place to advertise your business for a nominal fee.

3: Appeal to a higher power

Similar to school opportunities, bulletins for local religious institutions provide an inexpensive way to market your veterinary practice, while also supporting another initiative. Community tends to support community, regardless of your denomination. Show your community that your practice is where they need to come when they need veterinary care and expertise.

4: Cross-promote

Building relationships with related outside organizations can produce a steady flow of new clients when times are slow. If your practice strictly offers general veterinary services, consider partnering with vetted boarding, grooming, daycare, and specialty or emergency facilities for cross-promotions.

Another option is working with animal shelters and rescues. Assist these organizations with preparing new pet owner packs for adoptive owners with relevant information about vaccine schedules, heartworm prevention, and more. Request your practice’s exclusivity in these packets, and include a brochure.

Tip: Offer a special rate on an adopted pet’s first exam at your practice. 

If you have ample space in your parking lot or inside your practice, offer to co-host a pet adoption event with your favorite rescue for a day (or, better yet, once every quarter). Both businesses can advertise the event. Existing clients may adopt a new pet, and new adopters will be able to check out your location, and hopefully become new clients, so everyone wins!

5: Build a culture of philanthropy

Use your veterinary practice’s loyalty program to help local rescue and shelter organizations. Some examples:

  • November is a great time to host a pet food drive. Offer a loyalty stamp (we call them paw prints at Vet2Pet!) for each donated bag or case of food.
  • Host a blanket drive during the winter months to warm up those cold pups in the shelters. Offer a loyalty stamp for each blanket donation.

If your practice is a big supporter of pet adoption, use your loyalty program to celebrate that! Give one loyalty stamp at the pet’s first visit to commemorate your clients’ contribution to reducing pet overpopulation in your community.

6: Start ’em young

Most kids, at some point during their childhood, want to be a veterinarian when they grow up. Give them the opportunity to learn about veterinary medicine behind the scenes by hosting an open house for your community. Let school leaders know about your event so they can inform their students and parents. During the event, offer refreshments and appetizers, and have members of your team show the kids how to check a pet’s vitals or get X-rays using stuffed animals.

Take this one step further by donating “A Day at the Vet” to a school auction fundraiser. The winner of this item could spend a day shadowing you or a willing member of your veterinary team so they can get a deeper understanding of how it feels to work in veterinary medicine.

Make marketing your veterinary practice a fun activity, rather than a chore. At your next team meeting, ask your colleagues for their marketing ideas—you might be surprised at what they come up with!

Looking for creative ways to stay connected to your existing clients? Schedule a demo of Vetsource’s Vet2Pet client engagement system to find out how it can help.

Kelly McElhinney, CVPM

Kelly McElhinney, CVPM

Kelly has been working in the veterinary industry since 1999, with experience in private practice, corporate, specialty and emergency. In 2013, she earned her Certified Veterinary Practice Manager designation and holds an MBA in Human Resources. As a Success Coach at Vetsource, Kelly makes it her mission to help practices exceed their goals, increase client engagement and bridge the gap between veterinarian and pet owner.

Related Post

Connect with us

Our Prescription Management, Client Engagement, and Data & Insights solutions have made a difference for thousands of pet healthcare businesses. Find out how Vetsource can make a difference for you.