As a veterinarian, you play a personal role in the health and well-being of your clients’ pets. If you send a lot of emails, then you’re familiar with the waiting game—hours, days, and sometimes weeks pass without getting a reply, and you have to ask yourself: at what point do I send a follow-up? The quality of a pet’s life is important to you. You want to take every step to make their experience comfortable, helpful, and tailored to their needs. When you send follow-up emails to a client, personalize them towards each specific person, and you’ll see a higher response rate.
Vets are busy people; when their customers cancel or miss appointments, it reduces the number of pets that they can see in a day. When you suddenly have an open time slot, write to clients in a specific way. For example, let’s say you have one client named Jill. You can send an email that reads, “Hey Jill, I hope your cat Flo is doing well. If you have any concerns, I have an available time slot for a check-up today. Let me know!” It’s more than a business request—it’s a message addressed personally to your client and their pet.
There are several reasons why a vet would need to send a follow-up email. The problem is when your emails are ignored by clients. That’s where personalization comes in: one study showed that by personalizing outreach emails, businesses saw a higher response rate. Another analyzed the open rates of different types of emails and found that the personalized messages had the highest open rate. If you want your emails to be noticed, make them more than generic.
Your follow-up emails can be as unique as your clients and their pets. Consumers get dozens of emails a day—they can detect a standard template from a mile away. Once they see that you’ve copy and pasted your message, perhaps without even adding their name to the top, they’ll click the Delete button and move on to the next one. They don’t want to deal with robotic messages; they want to hear from a real person. Your emails should be personal and tailored. Build a business that stands out to catch the attention of your clients.
Pet owners are concerned about the health of their beloved fuzzy (or scaly) friend; send an email that reminds them that pets need regular check-ups just like people do! Even though a client didn’t reply to your initial email, it doesn’t mean they aren’t interested. They may have opened it and then forgotten about it, failed to hit “send” on their reply, or simply didn’t see it. You might also decide to follow-up after a phone call with a client, a check-up, or a question they emailed you.
What can you do to personalize your emails? For one, don’t send them from your company—use a real name so that the interaction appears more direct. When it comes to writing subject lines, use the name of the recipient in the text to catch their attention. This will show them that you’re not sending the same generic email to everyone since it’s addressed to them directly. If you’ve interacted with this client in person before, include details about your personal experiences. For example, let’s say you treated their dog for fleas. In your follow-up email, ask how their golden retriever, Mia, is doing. You can include details about your last check-up with the pet, like how they behaved or any concerns you expressed. When the client can link your email to a real conversation, it puts a face to your digital message.
Don’t feel guilty about sending follow-up emails: it shows that you’re passionate, dedicated, and concerned about the well-being of your client’s pet. Some businesses use psychology tricks to get higher open rates. You can adjust your strategy based on each client and their relationship with you. If you have a customer with an older cat, send an email on the pet’s birthday. Follow-up emails with personal details are a proven way to increase response rates; by sending one, you’ll see 22% more replies.
Vets deal with dozens of no-shows in a week. Those who want a better way to optimize their appointments can use Next In Line, a scheduling software that sends follow-up reminders to clients. After a client cancels, it can send a reminder to reschedule the meeting at a later date. You’ll find it easier to correspond with pet parents when you have software that helps you stay organized.
Sending a follow-up email can be intimidating; you don’t want to pester a client after they’ve ghosted your first few messages. But for veterinarians, this practice can be beneficial to your business. Follow-ups are a necessity when your clients have health concerns about their pets; it shows that you care about the life of their pet. Including a personal detail (like the name of the client and/or their animal) demonstrates to them that to you, they are more than just a patient.