According to a survey conducted by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), more than one-third of the respondents claimed that they would be more likely to follow up with treatment for their pet if they received some kind of contact from the clinic staff. The majority of those respondents also expect to receive call-backs while only 52% actually receive these.
As a veterinarian, you know that follow-ups to health checks are essential. So how do you make sure that you get these contacts?
How to Get Email Contacts
There are several ways that you can make sure that you get the email addresses of your clients. They include:
Paperwork—One of the easiest ways to get the email addresses is with admissions paperwork. When you set up the personal information section of the paperwork, you really need to have the patients include their email address, cellphone address, and best means of being contacted. Then, you can easily create a database of your patients with this information. That way, you can choose to call the patient with a reminder or else to send an email or a text message. These can also be easily automated so that your staff is not overwhelmed with these contacts.
Appointment Sign-In List—Another way to get the information is with the traditional sign-in sheet that you have at the front desk. This way, you can either have them sign up directly for an email reminder or you can also have them put down their mailing address on a postcard for a reminder as well. Regardless of what means you use to market to them, your best bet is to send a written reminder to guarantee that they will follow through.
Check-Out—A final point to get the information that you need is when the customer checks out. Some veterinary clinics have had good luck by including a section on the check-out paperwork for email addresses. Others have even been able to place this on the credit card receipt so that they can collect the information when the customer pays at sign-out. But perhaps the best way to do this is by offering the customer an incentive.
Offer a small discount at check-out (for instance, 10% off) in exchange for the customer signing up for emails. If you ask them for the information outright, they may turn you down out of fear of sales calls and spam. But if you give them an incentive like a discount, then you are more likely to get this information.
How Best To Use This Information
When you get the information from the patients, there are several ways to use it. The easiest of these is with follow-up appointment reminders. You can also use it to remind them of medicine refills and for announcing promotions such as wellness checks and vaccination drives. Any way that you can show that you genuinely care about your patients and their pets, the better chances you have for reaching them and making a real connection.
Integrating Email Marketing in Your Hosting Account
When it comes to managing your massive contact list, you want a convenient place to localize all your data. WordPress makes this easy by integrating various plugins like MailChimp into your site. This way, you can also notify your customers (with their permission, of course) when you post new content to your site.
Getting the Most out of Email Marketing
When it comes building a veterinary practice, one of the best things that you can do is to try to create a personal connection with the pet owners that you are helping. Our pets are our children and they depend on us in much the same way as children depend on parents to take care of them.
You would never think of taking your child to a pediatrician whose approach to healthcare involves running you through on an assembly line with no concerns for following up about the treatment. One of the best ways to connect with your clients is to offer follow-up services and to personalize the treatment with appointment email reminders and marketing.