Let’s talk 2021realities: Despite our hopes for a return to normalcy, complete with the veterinary industry events we’ve come to rely on, we now know that won’t be the case. Several organizations, including VMX, Austin Vet, DC Vet, Fetch Indianapolis, and ACVIM have pushed their major events to June 2021. So, that’s that. Shall we pivot to other ideas for generating veterinary leads in the meantime? Yes!
Let’s take a collective breath (and perhaps a sniff of lavender oil) and prepare to get creative with lead generation/reactivation ideas that will fill the space between now and the return to live events.
No Lead Left Behind
Many marketers showed real creative chutzpah with generating veterinary leads in 2020! After all that hard work, don’t leave those leads in the dust. Instead, launch a campaign in Q1 designed to reactivate these 2020 prospects.
For leads who engaged in a sales conversation but didn’t purchase, extend an exclusive offer.
For leads who entered the top of the funnel but never progressed, rekindle interest with a nurturing sequence. Begin with a strong hook, such as a free webinar or an e-book download. Follow up with pet owner resources, relevant articles, and ultimately a request for a sales meeting.
Making the Most of What You Have
In a perfect world, we’d present our sales teams with prospects that are ready to buy. In the real world, we do the best we can with the information we have. For this case: leads from past events. Open communication channels with your sales team about the criteria that made those leads so valuable. Here are a few examples.
They were educated.
Prospects who attended a CE lecture at an in-person event are prime candidates to target with a webinar. It provides a comparable level of education that warms leads for a sales conversation.
They were outspoken in recommending your solution.
Prospects who actively share and help you sell your product or service are invaluable. For a short-term virtual pivot, consider implementing a customer referral program. Beefing up testimonials across digital channels could be another related project.
They only had eyes for you.
Prospects who arrived at the exhibit hall on a mission to find something, and voilá, there you were! Chances are many are still browsing for products and solutions—they’re just doing it online. Consider a media partnership to target this audience with an intriguing content sequence.
They could look you in the eye and get a deal done.
Yes, it was easier to do business when you could sit across the small tradeshow table and shake hands on a deal, but that prospect is still important even if sales discussions can’t be had in-person.
Side note: Today, you can still “look someone in the eye” from your webcam and close a deal virtually, it just requires a few new tools. If your team is struggling with selling on virtual platforms or need a streamlined process for closing sales now that the playing field has changed, consider providing different (or additional) support materials or retooling processes to make sales second nature again.
Related Article: Top 10 Tips for Acing Your Virtual Sales Demonstration
Remember Your #1s
You customers are your biggest fans. Now is a great time to honor the value they bring to your business and let them know they’re appreciated. Consider a customer-centric campaign designed to share (and sell) synergistic products, upgrades, accessories, or extended service agreements.
Make Big Plans Now
If it feels like you’re going into marketing hibernation, just remember that great ideas and big plans can take root in the downtime. Start on a high-impact campaign now or introduce a streamlined system.
Here are a few ideas:
- Create high-value content. Clinical content that attracts interest and converts leads really gets your message to the market.
- Educate, virtually. Veterinarians are always looking for education. Webinars (no, it’s not too late!) can work wonders to fill in the gap in your 2021 Q1 strategy.
- Automate. Use this time to invest in your marketing future. Automate prospect marketing sequences and customer onboarding journeys; leverage evergreen content to craft ever-relevant campaigns; support sales with automated nurturing, and improve customer service with friction-less onboarding.
Plant the seeds now for the implementations that will pay off down the road (and down the funnel) and see how much your veterinary leads have grown by the time summer arrives.