Dental care marketing hacks

By Kelly Baltzell

Blink. Is it really time for National Pet Dental Health Month again? How can you up your marketing game this year to bring pet owners in for a cleaning of their fur babies’ pearly (or not so pearly) whites? Do you even know how many of your clients have received dental cleanings or not? Do you know how many dental procedures your animal hospital has performed in the last 12 months? How do you compare to other hospitals in your state?
smiley face drawing on paper in front of the cat's mouth

Three questions to answer before starting a dental care campaign


First—and this is a legitimate question to ask yourself—do you even want to promote National Pet Dental Health Month? You don’t want to do a subpar job of marketing because you lack the passion to conduct dental exams. If the exhaustion meter is in the red and the desire is akin to scrubbing pots after Thanksgiving dinner, then maybe this is the year to take a pass on pushing dentals. Read further in this article for ideas for later in the year.

Second, it’s time to get a baseline on the dentals your hospital currently conducts. An easy way to gather this information is through the practice management system. Here at Beyond Indigo Pets, we have teamed up with VetSuccess and created a marketing dashboard that allows us to see how many dentals a hospital has conducted in the last 12 months, which gives us a “starting line.”

Canine example from Beyond Indigo Pets VetSuccess Demo Marketing Dashboard
In this example, there were 389 patients that received dentals, which was 5 percent of the active client base. However, this hospital is a bit low in the volume of dentals when compared to other hospitals in the state. While looking at the data, it is also the time to assess how many dentals the staff can handle over the next four weeks. Having too many bookings for dentals can be counterproductive and overwhelm the entire team. Now, with a baseline and knowledge of the maximum number of dentals that the staff can perform, the results of the marketing can be measured and monitored while the marketing campaign is being conducted.

Third, it is time to run some marketing campaigns. Keep in mind the mental and emotional state of your demographic— the pet owners. Has your area had economic hardships? Have they endured recent weather challenges? Are your clients angry, frustrated types or a calm, wait-it- out group? Depending on these answers, you can now navigate the types of campaigns to run. Keep in mind the “why” a pet needs to have good dental hygiene, as well as the educational part. Try to stay away from fear-based messages. Pet owners want positive, easily attenable solutions.

Here is an example of a “why” message/theme:

Having clean teeth doesn’t just mean that your pet will win the contest for a starring role in a toothpaste commercial. It means that your pet will not lose their teeth, will avoid other potential health complications, and will have clean breath.

Questions to answer in your marketing campaign


When starting the marketing campaign, make sure to jot down your “why” for wanting people to come in and have a dental procedure for their pet. It helps keep the marketing campaign focused and on track.

Pet owner education can take a few different routes. Here are some themes for consideration:

  • How much does it cost to do a tooth extraction or repair work? Let people know that an investment in prevention can significantly decrease costs for repair or removal, or other health issues, down the road. Explaining those costs can underscore the importance of healthy teeth.
  • Explain how easy it is to take good care of a pet’s teeth. You can recommend the hospital’s products of choice and, even better, link to your online store to purchase the products.
  • How can costs for dental care be mitigated? Suggest pet insurance or other financial options to help cover the cost of dental care, now and in the future.
  • What is the “oh my goodness!” status for a tooth that requires immediate help versus just a dental care tune-up? Arming your clients with knowledge makes them more likely to come to you before their pet’s teeth get to the point of no return.

Get your dental marketing campaign off the ground


Finally, you can run a marketing campaign. Think fun, light, and educational. There should be calls to action on each aspect of the campaign and you will need to track each of those calls to action separately. Send people to a form to fill out, or a phone number that can be monitored.

Here are some hacks to try with your own marketing campaigns:

  1. Create and post a dental quiz on the different stages of periodontal disease. Make it as fun and light as possible to better engage people. Anything heavy, negative, depressing, or blaming will increase the likelihood that people will tune out your marketing messages.
  2. Make a video of the team demonstrating how to brush teeth or showing their favorite dental health toys. A countdown could be made or, again, something fun and light. Tap into your inner TikTok star! Fun and lighthearted will win the day.
  3. Post memes on social media that make people smile (think happy, healthy, silly pets), but also get the point across that dental care really matters for overall pet health.
  4. Write at least one blog that covers the “why” of dental care. Utilize Google Analytics to check data from your website to see where people are spending time on your site, and how much education on dental care is already being seen.
  5. Target existing clients in a re-marketing campaign through emails, texts, and social media. Target them with any promotions, incentives, or reasons to get a dental exam this month versus three months from now.

Dental health services poll results

MWI recently polled veterinarians about their dental service offerings and marketing habits.

87%

of veterinarians promote dental health year-round

60%

of veterinarians say at least one-quarter of their clients comply with dental recommendations

33%

of veterinarians say showing pet owner’s their dog’s teeth is the most effective way to illustrate the importance of dental care

Measure and adjust for success


Once the campaigns are created and running, it is time to circle back around and watch the data. If a form is used, see how many have been completed. Are you using VetSuccess or some other system to extract data from your practice information system? See if the numbers increase under the dental care category. Do you have a Google Ad running? See what the conversion rate is, as well as the cost per click. Google Ads always need to be massaged and managed while a campaign is running to maximize click-through-rates (CTR) and conversions. (Conversions are the completion of an action like filling out a form or making a phone call.) If a certain marketing platform is not bringing in results, switch time, focus, and dollars to the platform that is bringing the tails through your door.

Does this process sound exhausting? Marketing is no longer something that someone can do on their break in the hospital. It takes time, knowledge, and energy to make marketing happen. At Beyond Indigo Pets, we can create, manage, monitor, and report the success of the marketing campaigns. We do the heavy lifting and require very little of your time. The best part is, we deliver bottom line- impacting results with a custom touch. Think of us as an extension of your business. Want to call and talk to me personally about it? I’d love to hear from you. Or, you can email me at Kelly@BeyondIndigo.com. We are here to help whether you are open, reopening, or adjusting to the new normal. Call 877.244. 9322 ext. 123, or go to beyondindigopets.com/contact/

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Beyond Indigo is an MWI Animal Health Distinct Advantage™ program partner

To discuss how your practice can qualify for a free Distinct Advantage program membership, contact your MWI Territory Manager

About the Author

Kelly Baltzell

President and CEO
Beyond Indigo
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