How to offer a veterinary loyalty program without discounting

By Marketing

30 January 2020 5 min read


Welcome to Part 1 of our use case series on Care Plans and veterinary loyalty programs!

On July 1, 2019 Covetrus™ began trialling a new veterinary loyalty program with deliverable preventative products with a group practice across Queensland. The trial is ongoing, and after the first four months the group has seen some incredible results on the impact of subscribing clients and their companion pets to proactive care plans. We are proud to bring you this three-part series to share the positive impact on client retention, patient care, and practice revenue made possible by the effort and determination of the group’s team. It’s a real glimpse into the future of animal health for the profession in creating new proactive patient health strategies.

Why offer veterinary loyalty programs without discounting

Veterinary loyalty program rewards and discounts can be a fine line to tread when caring for patients and creating a great client experience. The veterinary profession advocates for preventative care and wellness, however, are continuously challenged with reactive care for when companion pets are already facing an illness or injury. During reactive treatments, it may feel as if practices are trying to sell products to the client in the form of loyalty programs, when really what is happening is the balancing act of proactively treating the patients to avoid preventable consults in the first place.

The conversation around this holistic and proactive approach is something we are seeing more and more across the profession as experience economy trends change client expectations. Clients are looking for a partner to help them raise their companion pet and are investing heavily in their health and lifestyles, from food to pet insurance and wearable tech.

One group of veterinary clinics has started on their journey working towards this equilibrium of creating a veterinary loyalty program based on proactive patient health.

Decide on a veterinary loyalty program approach

A group of veterinary clinics in Queensland approached the Covetrus team in April 2019 to revamp their client retention strategy. The group had an existing loyalty program which was generating approximately $300,000 per year as per their 2018 results. However, this loyalty program included discounting services, offering free check-ups, and reduced rates on certain preventative products.

The practice wanted to focus on creating loyalty with their clients in a more proactive, long-term perspective that encouraged preventative care rather than reactive care that discounted services. These objectives all needed to integrate with their practice management software and stock management to track products and services to:

  • facilitate better patient medical record history
  • focus on preventative care rather than reactive care
  • help predict resources needed in advance

Commit to tailor the program to specific patient profiles

Our team introduced the practice to our Care Plans feature within RxWorks™ practice management software. The feature enables practices to create and automate a proactive care plan for specific patient profiles by subscribing clients to a 12-month program. To start the program off, the practice focused on creating a strategy for canine patients within RxWorks that would incorporate upcoming appointments, preventative products, and even delivery and reminders to dose. Clients would then be offered to subscribe and pay upfront for the year or in monthly installments, with an option to have preventative products delivered to the client’s home address or to the clinic for pickup.

The group set to work to create two types of care plans:

  • Professional services care plan
  • Professional services with deliverable preventative products

Within three to four weeks of setting up their care plan the group had created their new 12-month subscription program focused on patient’s proactive health and wellness while locking in resources and revenue.


The group practice’s new veterinary loyalty program launched on July 1, 2019. In the first four months the group had 592 active care plan client subscribers to the value of $174,000. Breaking this amount down into the upfront payments and the monthly payments, the group had recouped almost $112,000 of upfront payments – 65% of the total active value. The remaining $62,000 is expected revenue from clients who have subscribed to monthly payments. Unless the plan is cancelled or in an unfortunate event where the patient passes, this is amount represents patients being cared for by their clients and guaranteed, forecasted income for the practice.

Comparing results to the previous year

When we look at the same period in 2018, the group’s veterinary loyalty program had 246 active clients to the value of $145,017. Breaking this number down, the group had recouped almost $69,000 upfront with $76,000 in expected revenue from monthly payments.

Compared to 2018, the group have increased their program value by 20%. They also increased the amount collected upfront by over $43,000, meaning the group has more income in the bank to invest back into their services and equipment.

Furthermore, more clients are opting to pay their veterinary loyalty program upfront in 2019 compared to 2018, which is 65% compared to 52% respectively.

Exceeding delivered preventative product goals

We mentioned earlier the group revamped two types of care plans:

  • Professional services care plan
  • Professional services with deliverable preventative products

When the group finished their training with Covetrus act activated their care plan marketing strategy on September 1, the team had a goal to signup 50 clients to Care Plan 2 by the end of November. As of October, the group had already achieved 85% of their goal with 42 care plans with delivery dropship products signed up.

The difference up-skilling staff had to sign-ups

Each clinic within the group had a go-to care plan guru in their team to help train and up-skill their team members. These gurus attended a special training session with our Covetrus care plan expert to finesse their strategy and workflows within their RxWorks practice management software. Once the training and activation process training was complete, the gurus were able to take this knowledge back to their teams. As a result, their care plan signups when from their care plan signups went from 10 to 42 in 6 weeks from activation.

The outcome

Vet practices struggle for this visibility on preventative care for their patients and keeping the medical records up-to-date with each visit. With care plans and the deliverable option, the group now has this visibility the product has been delivered, they have set up an automatic reminder to the client to dose and can now report on the guaranteed revenue for the upcoming 12 months.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of the series where we look at applying a canine use case to a 12-month plan.

Looking to get your paws on a care plan strategy? Get in touch with one of our experts!