Do Yellow Pages still work for veterinary practices?
Q: Only nine of our clients indicated they found us through the phone book last year. I'd like to drop our Yellow Pages subscription altogether, but if each client is worth about $500, I wonder if it still has some value.
Most veterinarians really dislike the Yellow Pages for various reasons. They often don't see good results and question whether it's a worthwhile investment.
"We spent a lot of money on it over the years, and many of us feel like we were taken advantage of," says Dr. Jeff Rothstein, MBA, a Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board Member and president of the Progressive Pet Animal Hospitals and Management Group in Mich. "So we're very excited to ramp it down."But he points out that many veterinarians are seeing fewer new clients these days anyway—no matter what marketing tactics they employ.
"Even if you're not investing in a Yellow Pages ad, chances are, you've shifted your marketing dollars elsewhere, so you're really not saving money by not using the phone book," he says.
The fact is, even if the success rate has dropped over the years, the Yellow Pages are still a source for new clients. Dr. Rothstein estimates there are about 15 to 25 percent of pet owners who use a phone book on occasion—and that's a market worth capturing.
Plus, with fewer veterinarians listing their practice in the phone book, the price of placing an advertisement has dropped—not to mention it's much easier to stand out with less competition.