Bring back inactive clients with an email reminder program that’s proven to work


Two years ago, Partners for Healthy Pets (PHP) partnered with Vetstreet, a leading provider of veterinary marketing solutions, to develop the Inactive Client Program, a client-centric email reminder program to reengage inactive pet owners.  

The new program targeted pet owners whose pets had not been seen by a veterinary practice for 14 months or longer.  

1,612 practices enrolled. 

Those practices: 

  • Generated an average of 128 patient visits, from formerly inactive clients 
  • Had an overall 8.5% inactive-client response rate (the percentage of clients who responded to the email and brought their pets in for an appointment), high by overall industry standards 
  • Showed overall outstanding results with cat owners, owners of senior pets and long-term inactive owners; and  
  • Generated an average of $20,574 in revenue per practice from the targeted population of previously inactive clients. 

Significantly, 38% of returning clients had been inactive for more than two years; 14.3% had been inactive for more than three. 

What makes this different from other reminder programs? 

Two things:  

  1. The PHP program is based upon clients visitation history, not a timetable for a specific service (i.e., heartworm testing), like typical reminder programs. 
  2. Instead of service-specific reminders, the PHP reminder program conveys an empathetic message that emphasizes three primary points to pet owners: 
  • Recognition that although pet owners have busy lives and it may be difficult to schedule checkups, they still want to provide great care for their pets. 
  • The practice is sincerely concerned about their pets health.  
  • Yearly checkups are as important as food and love.  

Simply put, the messaging focuses on the bond between your practice, the pets, and their owners instead of the services your practice provides. 

Partners for Healthy Pets, an alliance of more than 100 veterinary associations, veterinary colleges, and animal health companies focused on preventive care, and led by AAHA and the American Veterinary Medical Association, is offering these free, downloadable tools to help your practice implement forward booking. 

These email templates can be used in almost all practice management software systems or by general-use email servers. Your system may allow for using these templates as a reminder, as e-blasts, or as one-off emails. 

And you can use them to start bringing back inactive clients today. 

Photo credit: (c) iStock/glegorly

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