Is your client reminder plan being forgotten?

By Marketing

24 May 2020 5 min read


Are you using a series of targeted and frequent email communications to capture your lapsed veterinary patients?

Reminding your clients that their pet is due for their next check-up is never a ‘one and done’ type of scenario. While, for some clients, a single reminder that their pet is due for its check-up will suffice, others may need a few additional prompts.

The best way to ensure that a patient returns to your practice is through a series of targeted communications, often spanning several weeks, months, even years. A strategic patient recapture program:

  • Brings lapsed patients back to your practice
  • Reinforces the client-veterinarian relationship
  • Helps owners provide the best possible care for their pets

Here’s what a best-practice practice reminder plan could look like.

Coming due

This could be considered the most obvious of all reminder communications. This would kick in if it’s been almost a year since the patient was last seen for their annual check-up, and it’s time they came back in for booster shots, and to make sure they’re at optimal health.

Sending a series of postcard, email and text reminders around three weeks out from the due time gives your client optimum time to book in for an appointment. And, sending out the reminder via these various touchpoints means the client is more likely to take notice.


Unfortunately, coming due reminders don’t guarantee that a patient will be booked in for their appointment. Common excuses include ‘life got busy’, ‘something pressing came up’, or ‘it simply slipped my mind’.

When it’s been a couple of weeks since the patient was due for their appointment this is a good time to send another series of reminder notices to their pet-parent. If they still haven’t booked, send them one last series of reminders a couple of months after the check-up was due.


The final stage in a practice reminder plan is patient recapture. Sadly, this is an often-neglected component of a practice reminder plan, with research finding that the average veterinary practice hasn’t seen over 20% of its patients in the past 18 months.

For a busy two-vet practice this means that up to 1,400 patients haven’t come in for over a year and a half. These lapsed patients can cost your veterinary practice thousands of dollars in lost revenue every year.

It can be tempting to give up on this group and consider them a lost cause. The client may have moved or decided to take their pet to another clinic. No point bothering them, right?

However, adding this step to your reminder plan can prove invaluable – especially for the health of the pet. It’s also a low-cost way to recapture lost revenue. After all, it can cost up to five times as much to attract a new patient as it does to keep one.


While these various steps and reminders are vital to the plan, automation is vital for recapture success. Sending out communications for each patient manually is a time-consuming process. And, if the practice gets busy, these steps may be delayed or missed altogether.

By automating the process through a fully integrated, automated patient recapture program you simply set when the reminders should be sent out, plus the message you want to be included, and the program takes care of the rest.

An effective practice reminder plan:

  • Helps you reengage with lapsed patients
  • Reinforces the importance of regular check-ups and preventive care
  • Encourages pet owners to schedule their next appointment with your clinic

Contact us to learn more about adding the risk-free Covetrus® Patient Recapture program to your practice.