Another frequently asked question on How To Grow Your Veterinary Practice Is:
How Can I Track If My Marketing Is Working Within My Veterinary Practice?
This is a very good question because the key to any successful marketing campaign is tracking. This is also the difference between the sort of advertising that comes out of Madison Avenue and the sort that actually works for small businesses including veterinary practices.
So how do you go about tracking?
Here are four ways you can track if your marketing is working:
1. Campaign Specific Telephone Numbers
Did you know that it is possible to rent tracking telephone numbers? These are telephone numbers that you can put on your adverts, letters and web pages that when dialed will ring in your office but will be also be logged. For example, say you were running an identical promotion in two different local newspapers at the same time at the ad generated 50 new clients for your practice. If you used the same telephone number on both then you wouldn't know which newspaper had generated the most new clients. You might then be tempted to run the same ad again in both newspapers the following week when, in fact, one of the newspapers had generated 45 new clients and the other one had only generated 5! However, if each ad used a different tracking telephone number then you would know exactly how many had come from each.
2. Campaign Specific Codes
An alternative to using telephone numbers is to use different codes for each campaign. For example, you could specify in your ads or letters: Please mention offer code XYZ345 when making an appointment. This is a cheaper than telephone numbers but also not as reliable as you are relying on the client remembering to give the code and your reception staff remembering to keep track of it.
3. Campaign Specific Vouchers
Another well used tracking method is to include a voucher/coupon on your ad that the client has to bring with them to qualify for the promotion. Again not as good as telephone numbers but still a lot more than the majority of veterinary practice do.
4. Campaign Specific Web Pages
If you want to track clients that have come as a result of visiting your website then you could use different "landing pages" for different campaigns which could include any of the above tracking methods. You can also have Internet only offers so you know could only have been found on your website.
Use a simple spreadsheet which lists each campaign and the total cost of the campaign i.e. postage, paper, advertising costs etc. Then have columns for the number of responders (leads), the number of conversions (sales), the Cost Per Lead (total cost/leads), the Cost Per Sale (total cost/sales) and the value of the sales made. By doing this you can track if you are getting a return on your investment and determine if it is worth running the campaign again.
So don't waste money on advertising and marketing that doesn't work. Track your campaigns and focus on the ones that actually give you a positive return on investment.
Dean Biggs is co-founder of Veterinary Practice Profits based in Heathrow, FL. The aim of Veterinary Practice Profits is to teach veterinary practice owners the practice building and marketing strategies they were never taught at Veterinary school.
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