For those of us in the veterinary industry, the end of the slow season is right around the corner. Dental month, the month-long bonanza where clinics offer steeply discounted pet dental services kicks off in February. And while you may be debating about whether or not to promote pet dental services year round, now’s the time to shine and show your inner-promotional chops to the world.
If you’re reading this article to see which tactics you can best use, you’re in the right place.
Depending on your clinic, you have a variety of options. Digital promotions, word-of-mouth, and good old-fashioned phone calls. While each has its own benefit, which is right for your clinic? Let’s find out.
Of the digital channels out there, push notifications, email, and in-app messages are some of your better options.
Let’s see how they work and what they can do for your clinic.
Popular in most industries today, push notifications cut right through the noise of modern society and reach clients where they’re at — on their smartphones. If you’re not familiar with push being used for notifications, think of the last time someone “liked” a photo of yours on social media. The message that pops up in your notifications tray? That’s a push notification. And, they’re great at grabbing your attention. 98% of them are read, after all.
Of the available communication channels at your disposal, it’s an incredibly effective channel. For dental month, you can use push to promote dental cleanings and other discounts you’re currently offering.
The best part about push notifications? You can send them en masse.
Using email to promote dental month has both its positives and negatives. Let’s start with the good.
The main benefit of using email? Sheer client reach. If you’ve been diligently collecting client emails as part of your check-in process, you probably have a good chunk of your clients’ email addresses. That’s great for client reach if you decide to email en masse. You’ll also be able to reach those almost-lost clients who haven’t been to your clinic in the past 6-12 months.
Now, for the bad: Take a look at your inbox. If you’re anything like us, your inbox is bombarded with offers and solicitations. It’s difficult to stand out from the crowd. You always run the risk of clients tuning you out if you contact them too often. There’s a reason only 20% of emails are even read.
In most cases, tune-out can be avoided by simply respecting the clients. The less junk mail they see in their inbox from you, the better.
The best plan of attack here is to write clear, concise, and relevant promotions for your clients. If done correctly, expect your appointment book to be full come February.
If your clinic uses an app, there’s a good chance you can direct message clients on their smartphones. Not only are they a great way to send tailored promotional messages directly to clients, your clients are able to take action after receiving the message — directly on their smartphone.
Put yourself in their shoes: Client receives an in-app promotional message from clinic x on their smartphone. Instead of calling the clinic and sitting on hold, they’re able to request appointments right then and there on their smartphone. Convenience goes a long way.
Word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful marketing tools you have. Use your customer service representatives to the best of your ability here.
Why is it great for promotions? Your staff already has a working relationship with your clients. It’s an easy way to leverage those relations into something mutually beneficial. The clients get an opportunity for discounted medical services, you get another appointment on the books.
Start with something small like a flyer. When staff distributes flyers, you’re avoiding the noise of the digital world entirely. You aren’t casting a net and hoping to reach clients — you’re going right to the source.
And, while it may seem obvious, it’s much better than manually calling your clients. Not only are phone calls time consuming and a monotonous process, they’re also likely to go to voicemail. When you have the client right in front of you, you’re more likely to get them on the schedule for a dental than you would over the phone.
While there is no magic bullet to promoting dental month, you do have a variety of options.
Smartphones present ample opportunity to connect with clients on the go. By using push notifications, email, or in-app messages, you’re reaching clients where they already are. It’s that simple. If you prefer to do things the old-fashioned way, remember that word-of-mouth promotions are equally effective, albeit only for visiting clients.
Ideally, it’s best to use a combination of all three. If done correctly, expect your practice to be busy this next month.
If you’re curious how the digital channels work, how they can benefit your practice, or just plain want to talk dental month promotion tactics, feel free to request a PetDesk demo by filling out the form down below: