Optimizing Reminders Delivers an Exceptional ROI

By Distinct Advantage Partner

FAQ’s with Hank Swartz, DVM, MBA, Co-founder Boomerang Vet

Q: What is the No. 1 marketing issue for practices?

A: Some of the biggest issues for practices are a lack of knowing what works and not having a marketing plan. An optimal marketing plan in a veterinary practice should use real analytics and identify missed opportunities to help a practice develop customized marketing activities.

Q: Why focus on reminders and preventive care? And why is this marketing method the best one for veterinarians?

A: Most veterinary practices allocate only one-half to one percent of revenue to marketing efforts, compared to the average four percent of other service businesses. Because of this, practices need to be especially prudent in how they allocate their marketing dollars to make the most of their investment. This is why augmenting reminder performance with existing clients works so well.

Veterinary practices have to make limited marketing budgets work. And, since research shows that spending money on client retention is more profitable than spending on client acquisition, the most efficient use of this budget is leveraging reminders with existing clients. 

Additionally, preventive care, which is needed by up to 95 percent or more of pets, is easily marketed to existing clients with a focus on services and products necessary to safeguard the health of pets.

Q: What is the best reminder strategy? How often should they be sent, how many should there be, and does the size of the practice matter?

A: Regardless of practice size, the over-arching reminder strategy is the same. Customized, personalized reminders elevate the relationship between the practice, clients and their pets—and all practices benefit from this. 

Also, the multiple variables at work within a strategy should be optimized to make them work for the practice. For example, with Boomerang Vet, total customization of the reminder is key, which includes the size and color scheme of the reminders, how engaging they are, and whether the schedule for sending them out is optimized. We optimize all of these elements when we set up reminders, and all of this is done on behalf of the practice. Our reminder assessment helps demonstrate how all of these elements come into place.

Q: When a practice implements its custom reminder strategy, what other things are needed (e.g., training the staff on tracking, scripting, etc.)?

A: Specifically speaking, at Boomerang Vet our reminder services are intended to be hands-free after the initial practice assessment. This assessment is where the practice data is compiled as a baseline from which to benchmark against other practices. Next, we create a reminder strategy that is customized to the practice. We then create goals and track performance to ensure ongoing success.

Q: How important is it for a practice to market preventive healthcare, opposed to marketing more non-wellness services? 

A: Preventive care is applicable for all pets, with the exception of those that are very old and those that are chronically ill. Clients who consider their pets as family members are interested in preventive care. Subsequently, marketing preventive care also allows practices to more effectively deliver their non-wellness services to clients once health problems are identified. Practice data from our reminder performance assessments shows less than one-third of all practices have reminders in support of disease management and chronic care.

Q: What are the flaws of traditional reminders?

A: Competition for attention is a major flaw of conventional, non-customized/personalized reminders that fail to stand out in the mailbox. One of the things I impress upon practices is that they are competing with some of the best marketers in the world. This becomes even more apparent when clients check their mailboxes and e-mail inboxes. You should also ask yourself if your reminders are congruent with your image. Hotels, airlines, travel companies and credit cards are just a few examples of industries that rule the marketing world. So, how can practices compete in this arena? At Boomerang Vet, for example, our reminders possess multiple proprietary features proven to increase client engagement.

Q: What is the importance of data when it pertains to veterinary marketing?

A: Data is the most important marketing ingredient. Being data-driven, Boomerang Vet uses data to assess a practice and align performance from start to finish. Data is used to measure current practice performance, and this becomes the foundation for a custom reminder strategy.

From assessing each practice’s data to implementing reminders and analyzing the results, Boomerang Vet has helped hundreds of hospitals improve revenue and visits and increase client retention. Dr. Swartz and the Boomerang Vet team complete the entire process, which makes this service easy to implement for even the busiest of practices. As an MWI Distinct Advantage Program (DAP) partner, we can help you get started by covering the cost of the initial assessment fee (a $395 value). 

Boomerang Vet is the industry leader in optimizing preventive care performance through effective client communications. Our proven strategies in database marketing, targeted reminders, and client education enable veterinarians to consistently bring existing clients and pets back to your practice to achieve optimal growth. Our client practices realize a 32 percent increase in weekly reminder revenue (an average of $1,610 additional revenue per week). Contact us at 800.658.0121, email practicegrowth@boomerangvet.com or visit www.boomerangvet.com.