Report: Free reminder program re-engages inactive clients

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A free reminder program from Partners for Healthy Pets successfully re-engages inactive clients at companion animal practices, according to a new report.

Partners for Healthy Pets released the white paper on the final day of the annual meeting of the American Animal Hospital Association, March 30-April 2 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Template for an email message through the Partners for Healthy Pets reminder program

PHP partnered with Vetstreet, a marketing company, to develop the reminder program. In 2015 and 2016, 1,612 practices enrolled. Within 180 days of implementing the program, the practices had the following results:

  • A mean of 128 patient visits per practice from formerly inactive clients.
  • An overall 8.5 percent inactive-patient return rate, with a total of 126,576 returning patients.
  • A mean of $20,574 in revenue per practice.
  • Good results with owners of senior pets, cat owners, and long-term inactive owners.

Forty-five percent of the returning patients were dogs and cats age 7 or older. The return rate within 90 days of practices’ enrollment averaged 7.2 percent for feline patients, compared with 6.2 percent for canine patients. Of patients that returned within two months of practices’ enrollment, 38 percent had been absent for more than two years, including many patients that were absent for more than three years.

The PHP reminder program asks practices to identify pet owners who have been inactive for a specific time period. Practices can target pet owners who have been absent for 14 months or longer, for example.

Instead of service-specific reminders, the program consists of a message that emphasizes the following ideas:

  • Recognition that pet owners want to provide great care for their pets, but they often have busy lives, making it difficult for them to bring their pets in for regular examinations.
  • Sincere concern from the practice for their pets’ health by emphasizing the importance of regular checkups.
  • The PHP theme that a pet’s annual examination is as important as food and love.

The reminder program, featuring Henley the dog and Oz the cat, is available for free to veterinary practices at Program materials have been designed so they can be used with a variety of practice management software systems or by general-use email servers.

Related JAVMA content:

Campaign focuses on forward booking appointments (June 1, 2017)