Even the best planners still occasionally forget an appointment with their veterinarian. Maybe they didn't add the time to their calendar - or their appointment card got lost in the shuffle at home. To reduce rescheduling rates, consider sending reminder cards a week to a few days before your patient's visit.
While reminder cards are important for encouraging repeat visits, you have more to consider than just mailing them out. Where do postcards fit in with texts, emails and calls for client compliance? When do you need to send them? How do you make sure your cards are seen by clients and not thrown in the trash? These tips will help you use reminder cards effectively to keep your patients' health care on track.
How to Design Your Veterinary Practice's Reminder Cards
What Needs to Be on the Card?
Aside from the pet's name and the date and time of the appointment, add the following pieces of information to the card.
Veterinarian's Name: If your practice has multiple veterinarians, name the person taking care of their pet during the upcoming appointment. This helps jog the client's memory, and makes it easier for them to discuss with your staff if they need to reschedule or have questions.
Contact Information: What's the easiest way to contact your staff if the client has questions or needs to reschedule? Where is your clinic located? Having this information handy makes it easier for the client to act.
Patient privacy laws for pets vary from state to state, but they almost universally ban medical information from being out in the open. Instructions for fasting, medication changes and other information cannot be on the card. If a client needs this information, leave directions to contact your office, or mail instructions in a sealed envelope.
Choosing a Card Design
Positive Impressions' reminder card designs are printed on 8 ½" x 11" card stock paper. This makes it easy to store cards and print information directly to them using your office printers. We offer two layouts: 3 Up and 4 Up.
3 Up reminder cards pair a reminder postcard with a business card-sized reminder.This is a clever way of utilizing the full sheet. After the reminders are printed the business card size reminders can be sent home with clients so they have a written reminder of their next appointment... Already using business cards for in-clinic reminders? 4 Up reminder cards squeeze an additional postcard onto each sheet, giving you more cards for your money. Both card types comply with U.S. postal regulations, making them cheaper to mail than standard business envelopes.
Choosing graphics for your cards is fun, but it's also key to making your reminders effective. As soon as the client sees the card, they'll know it has something to do with their pet. This keeps them from ignoring the card or tossing it in the trash, thinking it's junk mail.
In addition to graphics:
- Consider a Custom Designed Reminder Card to use both sides of the card to create your reminder, provide contact information and any general directions.
- Be sure to add your logo and a clear headline about the client's upcoming visit. They should know what the postcard is for once they receive it in the mail.
- Don't alter your brand: Keep colors, messaging and logos consistent with your practice's brick-and-mortar, mobile and online presence.
- Make sure to leave some whitespace on your postcard to avoid a cluttered look and prevent information from getting glossed over.
How to Send Veterinary Reminder Postcards
Use Postcards as Part of a Reminder System
A reminder card should be your first point of contact for a scheduled appointment. It prepares the client for the upcoming visit, ensuring they check their schedule and plan for the timeslot. If there's a problem, they have time to contact your practice to reschedule or cancel. Otherwise, they can confirm via text, phone or email.
When Should I Mail Out Cards?
No matter where you are in the U.S, delivery times through the postal service are pretty consistent. Typically, local and regional deliveries using First Class and Priority Mail take two to three days to reach their destination. Standard Mail takes three to five days. Any mail under 13 ounces is always sent First Class, so a postcard will always arrive at the same time.
If you put an appointment reminder in a new patient packet or other large package without paying for Priority Mail, it's going to take a little longer to get there. To give your client a week's notice, the card needs to be mailed out at least 10 days before the appointment.
In terms of timing, consider issuing multiple reminders:
- Provide your client with a reminder card with the date and time of their next appointment as they leave their visit. Make sure this card is small enough to keep in a wallet or large and distinct enough for displaying on the refrigerator.
- Don't strictly rely on cards. Send a reminder email or text a couple of days ahead of time - or even give your client a call.
- Create an automatic reminder system for your office: Ask clients which devices they use and send your digital reminder a day or two before they're expected in your office.
Get Your Clients' Attention With Help from Positive Impressions
Positive Impressions, LLC offers the veterinary reminder cards you need to get clients and their pets back into your office. We have a wide range of 3 Up and 4 Up cards with themes ranging from kittens and puppies to holidays. Want a custom card for your clinic? We can print an all-new design, or you can add a message to one of our standard designs. Check out our current specials to explore your options.