Today's Veterinary Business

FEB 2019

Today’s Veterinary Business provides information and resources designed to help veterinarians and office management improve the financial performance of their practices, allowing them to increase the level of patient care and client service.

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Page 33 of 71

30 Today's Veterinary Business Communication We've all have heard the phrases "You get what you pay for" and "Penny wise and pound foolish." Whatever expression you prefer, the message is the same: What you put out is what you get back. That being said, emails are free for a reason. Communication MARKETING Not too long ago, the amount of daily mail received in our home mailboxes was almost overwhelm- ing. Bills, catalogs, solicitations — the list is endless — created so much visual confusion that little stood out in the sea of paper. Fast-forward to the present day. Many of the items that used to arrive via letter carrier now show up in emails, and at a stag- gering rate. Our inbox has become a place where messages are only as relevant as the page they are seen on. Once an email is marked as "read" or does not fit on the first page, it is almost always forgot- ten and buried by the next batch, creating a user experience that is unpleasant and ineffective. It's a never-ending cycle. Emails have created such a level of inundation and satura- tion that they rarely do what they are supposed to do, which is get opened and get read. Advantages of Direct Mail According to Constant Contact, the open rate of an email sent in the companion animal profession is below 13 percent. Surprisingly, the open rate is one of the highest of all industries surveyed. If your goal is to attract, en- gage and enlighten your clients with an email, the sooner you break the habit, the better. Instead, redirect your marketing efforts and pay for postage. Due to the huge reduction in paper mail over the last 10-plus years, your client's mailbox is valu - able real estate these days. Direct mail allows content you want to convey to be delivered in a highly personalized, highly visible man - ner, giving recipients a break from the digital mountain they have to climb each day. Your clients want to feel as special as you consider them. They are ready for a break from the boring and mundane. They want to feel the personal connection, which is something that can never be achieved electronically. Here's a look at the life cycle of email versus direct mail: Target Your Audience Granted, direct mail will cost slight- ly more than email marketing, but here is the catch: When done cor- rectly, the money is an investment, not a cost. Take, for instance, a "new client acquisition" direct-mail campaign in which a qualified partner company will work with you to develop a list of client prospects in a set radius from your hospital. You choose their income level, the types of pets and their distance from the practice. A list of 500 to 5,000 names and addresses is generated. Now you can deliver a highly visible, acutely targeted mailing with a strong offer and eye-catching design into the prospective client's mailbox for un- der a dollar, including postage. If the campaign brings you one new client, the effort might more Marketing to in-boxes delivers hideous open rates, so why not do something that is sure to grab the attention of an existing or potential client? Try old-fashioned direct mail. By Dan Truffini Email Direct mail Open rate averages less than 13 percent. 100 percent open rate. Once the mailbox is opened, they have it. Often not trusted — think "spam" — even though you are trustworthy. Your logo and brand are recognized instantly. Once marked "read," it doesn't stand out. Bold, bright, eye-catching messaging stands out. Once off the main page, it's often forgotten. Stays until read and can be circulated to multiple family members. No emotional connection. Tactile, personal and meaningful, and calls to action. Stamp out email

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