Why gift cards are better than cash

Why gift cards are better than cash

Looking for an easy way to lure in new clients? Here's a small token of appreciation that shows off your practice.
source-image
Feb 01, 2011
By dvm360.com staff

If you're like most veterinary practice owners and managers, you're always looking for new marketing methods, especially the "sticky" kind. You want advertisements and marketing campaigns that get people talking and prompt new clients to stick around. You might put together a new client packet, complete with informational brochures and coupons for future visits. Or maybe you hand out T-shirts, stickers, magnets, or other promotional items in hopes of getting the practice's name out there.

But rather than giving clients more stuff they don't want or need, what if your marketing program could put a smile on their faces? And what if it could make them think of your practice when they buy something they love, be it a nice meal or a new pair of shoes?

Patrick Maslar, co-owner of Family Veterinary Clinic in Gambrills, Md., has figured out a way to meet both of those goals. Maslar uses custom-made gift cards to lure new clients from the nearby tightly knit communities.

Maslar places ads in the area's small weekly newspaper and in two different local phone books. These ads offer $25 Visa gift cards to people who visit Family Veterinary Clinic for the first time. The cards are emblazoned with the practice's logo and colors, a branding effort that costs far less than the ads themselves.

The practice's most recent direct-mail campaign also showcased the branded cards. Maslar promised $25 gift cards to new residents and also included a list of local businesses. "The idea was for new residents to go explore the neighborhood on us," he says. Maslar asked local businesses he knew and liked—a printer, a bike shop, a couple of restaurants, and a martial arts studio—if they wanted to be included free of charge.

Maslar says the gift cards have been overwhelmingly well-received by new clients and drawn more attention than $50 cash for referrals from existing clients. "They're an attractive commodity, and people seem to think it's better than money," Maslar says.

Hot topics on dvm360

Dog of Dallas Ebola patient will not be euthanized, authorities say

Health officials have quarantined and will monitor dog and amid concerns surrounding deadly virus.

Video: How to perform a belt-loop gastropexy

Prevent GDV in your at-risk patients with this simple technique.

Stretch your skills to earn more in veterinary practice

Finding new tasks could be the key to generating more income for your practice—and boosting your pay.

Veterinary community stunned by Sophia Yin's unexpected death

Prominent veterinary behaviorist died of suicide Sept. 28.

Study shows sustained salary slump for veterinary support staff

Since 2009, technicians paid by the hour have experienced a bump in pay, but pay for other team members has stayed stagnant, according to data from the 2014 Firstline Career Path Study. Here’s a look at changes in team pay from 2009 to 2013.