By Leader Contributor Coleen Ellis, Pet Loss Pioneer
So many people get stuck when it comes to ideas on how to approach members of their community and get their “stuff” in prospective clients’ hands.
When it comes to pet lovers, they truly are looking for you. They want and need this information, but oftentimes don’t know where to look. You can be a resource for families, even if you are not currently offering pet services.
Throughout the year, there are countless opportunities to appeal to pet lovers and to facilitate a function designed just for them. Plan ahead for these occasions, which will certainly result in a return on investment and also help get your firm’s name out in the community.
National Pet Memorial Day
The second Sunday of September is National Pet Memorial Day. Even though the day has come and gone for 2019, it’s not too early to start planning ahead for 2020. Lock the day down, schedule a venue, and start thinking about marketing now. Families will want to know they have a place to come and share memories with their fellow pet lovers.
Blessing of the Animals
On Oct. 4, people all over the world celebrate the feast day of the patron saint of animals, Saint Francis of Assisi, with a special blessing of the animals ceremony. Throughout the month, many churches and organizations will host a special service for pet lovers. You could host an event in your parking lot or at a local park. Share this event with all the clergy who support your funeral home or cemetery and invite them to participate. (If you’d like to host this and facilitate this blessing yourself, email me at [email protected] for a script.)
Holiday Remembrance Ceremony
Schedule a pets-only holiday remembrance ceremony for families. While it seems like extra work to host two ceremonies – one for humans and one for pets – pet lovers will appreciate the chance to mourn the loss of their beloved companion, who will be missed during the holiday season. Special readings and sharing can also be shared.
Get Involved with Local Fairs and Events
Let’s talk about local fairs and events in your market. I want you to think beyond just having a booth at a pet rescue event or pet fair.
Decision-makers for pets are predominately millennial women. Put a booth at a woman’s fair or places where this target market will frequent. Go where they are and appeal to the market there.
Here are some wonderful ways to fully immerse yourself into these events and also appeal to pet families.
- Take paw print clay and do paw prints right on site. Families will take the paw print home with instructions on how to bake/dry the paw print. Don’t forget branding – make sure to put your logo on the bag.
- Host a drawing to give away a Buddies product. These can tie into the paw print that the family just made, continuing the theme of “the prints left on our heart.” Your goal is to always give away something that will have advertising benefits. In marketing, we call this giving something “sticky,” meaning it will stick around. For example, if you give away a gift card for food, that will be gone as soon as the card is gone. Give something away that will have “sticking” power.
- Help people design pieces that don’t necessarily have to be used after a pet has died. Pet lovers can create a rock, complete with their pet’s own paw print and name. This is another beautiful way to tie in the paw print concept.
- Hire a local seamstress with an embroidery machine to create personalized bandanas for anyone who stops by your booth.
- Hire a student from a local high school to make personalized Christmas ornaments with pets’ names on them.
- Create a memorial board and let guests add their pets’ names.
- Make sure you have treats for humans and pets to give out. Don’t forget to bring a water bowl!
- Ask for some “mic time” to host a bubble release at the event, so that guests can honor their deceased pets, and you can also share a blessing for all the pets in attendance.
Pet lovers want information, and there is certainly not a lack of opportunities for you and your firm to bring it to them. If you need additional help with any of these ideas, e-mail me at [email protected].