Nowadays, every legitimate business needs a website. Your veterinary hospital is no exception. But not all websites are created equally. Some are mediocre and lack any search engine optimization (SEO) value, while other hospitals pay to optimize their sites so their web traffic grows significantly. But what does that mean for your veterinary hospital? How do website visitors equal new clients, and how do you know if your veterinary hospital is getting a return on your monthly SEO investment?
Your website analytics only tell half of the story. If you’re not tracking calls, you’ll never know the true value (or potential value!) of your hospital’s website. The same goes for every piece of marketing you create. If you don’t track calls, you’ll never know your return on investment, and you’ll never know if any of those initiatives were successful.
Call tracking is not a new idea—it has been around for almost 20 years—but it remains the single most valuable tool for understanding true return on investment for marketing initiatives. Call tracking involves placing separate telephone numbers (that all route to your main hospital line) on every marketing piece your hospital creates. This way, you can find out exactly which marketing initiative got a client to pick up the phone and call you. Without call tracking, you’re shooting blind, wasting your hospital’s time, money and, potentially, reputation. You’re funneling money into resources and initiatives without seeing if they actually work.
At iVET360, we provide marketing, analytics and staff development services to veterinary hospitals around the country. Over the last three years, we’ve reviewed marketing spending at over 1,000 veterinary hospitals. We’ve found that the average U.S. veterinary hospital spends over $1,700 per month on marketing outreach without even realizing it. Between your website, digital advertisements, email marketing, reminder platforms and print pieces, these initiatives, and their associated costs, add up quickly. But despite this, we also found that fewer than 20 of these hospitals tracked their ROI on these marketing initiatives.
Stop the Madness
Time and time again, we’ve heard, “I’ve tried that, it doesn’t work” about many marketing must haves, like Google AdWords, Facebook ads and new resident direct mailers. But then we find out these hospitals hadn’t been tracking those initiatives. Veterinary hospitals will cancel marketing initiatives without any data to prove what worked and what didn’t, just basing decisions on a vague feeling that something failed. That can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars wasted.
It’s not that the marketing initiatives themselves aren’t successful. It’s that veterinary hospitals don’t track their returns, and they don’t take the time to understand their initiatives and their anticipated outcomes. For example, when you set up call tracking on your veterinary hospital’s website, you’ll find out exactly how many people called because they saw your website. There’s no more guesswork.
iVET360 uses call tracking on every single marketing initiative we implement for our clients, including websites, e-Newsletters and new resident direct mailers. But call tracking isn’t just beneficial for the marketing side of veterinary hospital operations. If you set up call tracking and find that you’re getting lots of calls but not enough conversions to appointments, you can work with an iVET360 staff development manager on phone training for your front desk staff. An iVET360 analytics manager will also show you the cost breakdown of your calls and the exact increase in revenue from each separate marketing initiative.
It’s time for the veterinary industry to use these powerful tools at our disposal.
Call tracking is included in both of iVET360’s service levels: Base and Base+. Because we handle all aspects of veterinary marketing, we streamline hospital operations. You know exactly what you’re spending, and you know exactly what you’re getting in return.
We invite you to learn more about iVET360’s call tracking initiatives and how we can simplify your hospital’s operations.
Sign up for a webinar: iVET360.com/webinars
Give us a call: 503.765.6360
Send us an email: info@iVET360.com
Justin Vandeberghe is managing director of marketing at iVET360, which he co-founded in 2013. Under his leadership, iVET360 has developed veterinary marketing initiatives that reach millions of people each year. iVET360 provides private practice, primary-care veterinary hospitals with management services, including staff development trainings, marketing campaigns and financial, operational and customer care analytics. In addition to 17 percent growth in revenue, iVET360’s clients saw a 24 percent increase in new client growth on average in 2015.
Also published on Medium.