How To Increase By-law Awareness
Our research and experience tell us that there isn’t a “silver bullet” to boosting pet license compliance. Rather, a combination of things must be done, and done well, to expect reliable and increasing licensing sale trends. These include:
- Providing a valuable service to pet owners
- Making the purchase and renewal of a license easy and convenient
- Increasing communication with pet owners, especially near renewal time
- Actively and consistently promoting pet licensing as a valuable and mandatory service
Today we’ll focus on the last in the list above. With just 13% compliance across North America, it’s clear that not enough pet owners know that they need to license their pets. With that knowledge in mind, it’s on all of us in the pet licensing industry to get the word out. But what messages work? Which methods should you use?
Since launching our first municipal pet licensing program in 2014, we’ve tried countless promotion methods to determine which communications methods are most effective. We are increasing compliance by more than 100% annually in our partner communities, and continue to hone our strategies and optimize our programs. With this is mind, here are our tips for boosting awareness in your community:
- Get The Message Right. Simply telling people that they must license their pets is likely to fall on deaf ears. Most will never have purchased a license and have received no negative consequence as a result. Instead, focus on what’s in it for them and for their community. Let them know that licensed pets get home safely, that lost pets are a burden for stretched pet shelters, and that license fees contribute to the provision of safe and happy homes for all sorts of innocent (and cute) pets who desperately need care.
- Design Matters. No one wants to read a Clip Art laden newsletter. Ensure that your communications use impactful images, relevant statistics, compelling headlines, and effective calls to action. This is marketing 101, but we see so many awareness campaigns that don’t stand a chance in our information-loaded landscape simply because they aren’t well presented.
- Be Consistent and Persistent. Don’t expect a single email blast or bus sign to move the needle much. Get your message out in many ways, and do so over a sustained period of time. Be sure to communicate frequently with your existing licensees too - they are your best advocates and need to have their decision to comply reinforced regularly.
- Use Multiple Channels. Use email, social media, online advertising, well-placed signage, event marketing, community canvassing and traditional media relations - all simultaneously - to get your message out. The more people see it, the more likely they are to follow through and feel good about the decision to do so.
- Make an Investment. Marketing is expensive. If you understand the value of a licensee “customer”, you should be able to determine how much you are willing to spend for every new licensee. If you aren’t willing to make the upfront investment - which can feel risky when budgets are tight - you won’t see a return.
It’s likely your residents don’t know about the benefits for them and their community when they license their pets. That’s if they know about the By-law at all. We know that there is so much license revenue out there for you to realize if you can just get the word out. Let’s do this thing!