A manual marketing approach may be hurting your practice’s bottom line, automated solutions can take the burden off your team and increase compliance.

The secret? Communicating with clients by their preferred method.

The real cost of sending manual postcards

The average veterinary practice spends $1.40 in staff time, printing, and postage for every postcard it sends. Sending 500 postcards per month—the number a typical 2-doctor practice would send—costs $8,400 per year, and the fact is that only 20% of veterinary clients respond to traditional methods of communication. This results in fewer client visits and poorly educated clients who choose to spend their money elsewhere.

According to our research, the average revenue per visit is $150. Those 80% of clients who didn’t respond to your postcard reminder represent up to $60,0002 per month ($720,000 per year!) in revenue left on the table. This is not to say you will ever achieve 100% reminder/recall compliance. However, if you were to improve by just 20% that could be worth as much as $180,000 a year to your practice. To be truly effective, your reminder/recall plan should be fully automated and include a variety of reminder types, including direct mail, email, text and phone calls.

Multiple vehicles, more revenue

The good news is that most pet owners still want letters and postcards. But, you also need to communicate with your clients based on their preferred style. The best protocol to increase staff efficiency and get better results is to send automated postcards weekly that are customised to your practice.

Combining print and digital reminders can increase compliance up to 31%.3 Adding text messages can boost this number even more.

The top reasons why many reminder programs fall short:

  1. Most traditional programs focus on appointment reminders and overdue procedure alerts for specific services, such as vaccinations, heartworm checks, and dental services.
  2. Messages are typically impersonal, which some clients may consider insensitive or commercialistic.
  3. Most reminders don’t focus on a client status – typically, they are only sent to active clients who have visited the practice in the past 12 months, not lapsed cients who can help to drive gorwth if they return.
  4. Active clients who fail to respond to service-specific reminders may not recieved a follow up reminder (only 1 per client regardless of results). Not sending a follow up if the reminder wasn’t successful, places these clients at risk of becoming lapsed.

1 2017 Australia Masterclass Series Research

2Assumes 80% * 500 * $150

3Vetstreet Reminder Compliance Study