Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Three Ways to Promote Successful Adoption Listings

I've said it a few times but I'm going to reiterate this point again ... if you are involved in rescue, you will increase adoptions if you promote the animals properly. There are many people out there who are surfing the web in their spare time (at work, on lunch, at home, etc.) ... some of them are looking for new pets. We have to accept that potential adopters are sometimes out there to be found via the internet.

Successfully presenting an adoptable pet is not brain-surgery but there are certainly a few best practices you should use that will help ensure the pet is adopted. Some of these suggestions are courtesy of AdoptAPet.com and Petfinder.com.

Promotion Tip #1 IT'S ALL IN A NAME

Shorter, easy-to-remember names work best. Also, you can use the name field to include a short attractive phrase like: “See My Video!”, “loves kids”, “fully trained”, or any other word or words that call out the best feature of that pet (for example “Molly – Loves Kids!”). Adopters will see that on their search results page, and are more likely to click on your pet!

Promotion Tip #2 THE VIDEO

A picture is worth a thousand words… but nothing captures a pet’s personality like a video! You only need 20 to 30 seconds… you can do it with most phones or digital cameras. Why are most rescues too lazy to make a video?? Probably because their fosters don't take the time to make one. It only takes a few seconds ... maybe even 10 minutes if you include the set up and take down time! *gasp* COME ON FOSTER HOMES! Here is your moment to STAND OUT and SHINE!

Promotion Tip #3 THE PHOTO

Oh dear ... how many times have I said that the rescue posted a terrible picture of a dog? TOO MANY! Rescues ... here’s your chance to make your pet really stand out! So DON'T MUCK IT UP! When a potential adopter does a search on a pet website and looks at the results page, the pet’s photo and name are the first things they see. Research shows that the best eye-catching main photo is a close-up of the pet’s face. Here are a few other suggestions:

~ Take the photo in the brightest light possible. This will hopefully eliminate the flash and will help show the actual contours of the pet rather than showing how shadows collect around them. It will also reduce red-eye.

~ Have the pet wear a bright solid color bandana that compliments the pet (how about a blue bandana for a dog with blue eyes?!?).

~ Place a toy or commonly recognized object (like a tennis ball or telephone) next to the pet to effectively show the pet’s size.

~ Take the photo with grass or a soft solid bright color as the background.  

~ Make dogs run around first so they are panting and look like they are smiling!

~ Hold a treat right above the camera lens to get the pet to look right at you!


bbes tribe said...

Great reminders for us fosters and others who are trying to find loving forever homes for our rescued furiends...
Ernie,Sasha,Chica, Lucas's Mom

Lauren said...

Some great ideas here...thanks for sharing!

GoLightly said...

Oh, so naming "my" hyper-thyroid cat "Stinky" isn't a good idea?

He's looking for a new home, but he's safe with me until he does.

Amar | Aqua World said...

good ideas, but i pity these pets, they need homes but why should we advertise them as if they are for sale? i think whatever the name would be, the important factor in adopting is the instant connection.

dog fence said...

I have personally never seen a shelter do a house check, but I am sure there are some that follow through on it. They look for the simple things... clean house, adequate food and water for the dog, etc. The basic necessities of a dog that sadly most people ignore. If your house is good and clean enough for you to live in, then i'm sure there's not going to be any major issues.

Unless they are one of those shelters that think every dog needs a fenced in yard and someone home 24/7, then having a dog walker midday while you are gone should be fine. But do remember, as great as the idea of a shelter is... some take things to the extreme and make it almost impossible for any regular joe to adopt a dog there. if they don't like you having a dog walker then go to a different shelter.

DogsDeserveFreedom said...

Yeah ... "Stinky" might take a bit longer to rehome than "Duchess" would ...

GoLightly - Should I even ask how you ended up with a hypo-thyroid cat who needs a new home?

Amar - you are right, it should be ... but unfortunately, it's not enough. There are thousands of dogs out there; so why should someone who is looking for a dog look at the one you have?? Promotional advertising for adoptable dogs help them find homes faster.

dog fence - I'm not actually sure where you took that ... what does having a dog walker have to do with promotional advertising?? Or even a house check?? Did you even read the post?

K-Koira said...

Whats sad is I offered to our local AC to take pictures of the dogs for them, as they have some of the worst blurry, through chain link or in kennel pictures ever, and they turned it down. I may not be a professional photographer with an expensive camera and amazing editing skills, but I take pretty decent pictures of dogs, and it would be a great improvement over what they have up now.

DogsDeserveFreedom said...

K-Koira ...

That is terrible. Idiotic. I bet they just can't be bothered. Probably figure theirs work fine so if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Just don't realize they'd help more dogs with better pics. Dumbass.

Meanwhile, I've had multiple people offer to take pics at the shelter and I've accepted each one ... NOT ONE PERSON has taken any pictures. Go figure, eh? I'm stuck doing it (have I mentioned how much I hate taking pics?!)

Anonymous said...

I also think if the dogs are in foster care the fosters should write out a brief paragraph describing the dog's personality, as there are hundreds to look through and it is the ones with discriptions that will get the visits. We are looking for a small rescue and some of the rescue groups are great at writing up if the dog likes kids, is cuddly, energy levels, if they like other dogs, are ok with cats...others have nothing but a picture. With over a hundred dogs in our area that meet the size we are looking for we can't go see them all so I don't even look at the rescues that don't care enough to describe the personality of the dogs they have up for adoption.