Whether you’re a veterinarian, pet supply store owner, pet photographer, pet sitter or pet services provider, there has never been a better, more prosperous time to be a part of the pet industry. U.S. consumers are spending more than ever on the care of their pets—what millennials refer to as “starter children.” Pets are also influencing where consumers live, work and even what kind of vehicle they buy. Direct mail marketingcan help your marketing to pet owners by reaching them in your community and turning them into “furever” customers.
According to the 2017-18 APPA National Pet Owners Survey, 4 people in their 30s own dogs and over half of those also own cats.
For most Americans, pets are family. In that vein, people want to give their pets the same high-quality care they would provide to their own human children. Veterinarian care expenses in 2017 hit $15.95 billion.
Even though the pet industry is in the best position it’s ever been in, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to market your business. In fact, you may have to market your business more and in a more strategic way to get consumers to try you out while keeping your current customers.
Big word, right? Anthropomorphism is the humanization of something inhuman, like a pet, for example. It’s what more pet owners are doing these days and why Fido and Lassie are as important as John and Sally to some.
You wouldn’t just throw bread at your own children for each meal, would you? Neither would today’s responsible pet owners. Your pet supply and service marketing will have to appeal to today’s pet owners who are looking for high-quality, “real” food, treatment and products for their furry children. Pet lovers are notoriously environmentally sensitive, so any product that also saves the planet while being safe for their pet is a winner.
Pet food is closer to the human diet in more ways than ever before. It’s no longer acceptable to use grains and byproducts in pet food. The proteins need to be high quality and gram-sufficient and the sub-ingredients should be geared toward optimal health, such as sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, green vegetables and the like. And when we say “protein,” we don’t mean horse meat, but salmon, turkey, chicken, lamb, venison and beef.
VACATIONING WITH ANIMALS
It’s not unusual for pet owners—especially dog owners—to take their pets with them wherever they go. Restaurants, workplaces and shops have loosened their stringent no-pet policies to entice consumers and employees. Likewise, consumers would rather take their pets with them on vacation than board them or leave them with a sitter, so pet-friendly destination vacations are popping up everywhere.
This also means that pet owners will need the gear to keep them safe and their vehicles clean.
SOCIAL MEDIA FOR PETS – “YOU HAVE ONE FIDO NOTIFICATION”
When a pet owner can’t be with their pet, there are gadgets galore to keep them connected. From mobile apps synced to a pet’s collar to automatic treat feeders and video monitors. Pets have their own social media profiles—nay—their own social media platforms where they…social petwork. Check out Petzbe.com, a pet social network where there’s “no humans allowed.” Who can blame them?
PET HEALTH INSURANCE
According to Canine Journal, pet health insurance is booming. Because pets are now more like family, health insurance is only natural. And smart. Pet insurance is reasonably affordable and statistics show that at least half of pet owners file one claim each year. The pet insurance market is expected to reach $1 billion by 2019. Becoming informed about pet insurance and even partnering with a pet insurance company will add value to your business and increase loyalty.
WHERE DIRECT MAIL COMES IN
Using direct mail to promote your pet-related business is a pawsome idea. Naturally, pet lovers will respond to adorable images of pets on a printed piece. Use emotive direct mail to target pet owners in your neighborhood—your ideal customers. Based on the increasing value of a pet’s worth, pet owners are always—even subconsciously—open to ways to give the best to their pets.
Promote discounts on pet toys, food and other pet care items. During flea and tick season, offer coupons on products that prevent infestation. Stay informed about trends in the pet care industry, whether it’s new nutrition discoveries, holistic health care, or supplements. Keep your community informed through a blog or even a direct mail newsletter that features a coupon.
Use direct mail to invite your pet owner community to special events at your store. Consider hosting dog training events or grooming specials. Connect with your customers and their pets to create familiarity and confidence. For pet owners, being able to trust their pet supply and care providers is key.
Direct mail offers you response. The DMA asserted that, year over year, direct mail customer response rates were up by 43% and prospect response rates were nearly 4 times that at 190%. For every $167 you spend on your direct mail campaigns, you will generate as much as $2,095 in revenue. No begging.
Even if you love your digital marketing, direct mail will complement your efforts and put you at multi-channel level marketing, which is the best way to reach consumers today.
Valpak loves pets, too! If you’d like to learn more about how direct mail marketing can unleash your pet business in your community and fetch more customers, contact your local Valpak representative today.