If you’re missing email addresses from your clients, you’re probably missing out on those clients all together. You’re losing an opportunity to increase compliance, increase client engagement and grow your relationship.
With the amount of emails that hit your personal inbox, it may be discouraging to see the real value in collecting email addresses at your practice. However, this kind of thinking is detrimental to your compliance and could cause greater harm than good. Phone numbers are NOT the most valuable piece of client information required for creating and maintaining client records anymore, email addresses are. Here’s why.
1. Unlike phone numbers, email addresses provide a way to be directly in front of your clients any day, any time, 365 days of the year. Oh, and it’s free! Phone numbers require time and effort to contact with your clients one-by-one and chances are, they’re not going to pick-up anyway. Plus, much like the the door-to-door salesman, phone calls are outdated and represent a major “interruption” in people’s days. Let’s face it, people don’t want to talk on the phone anymore. Instead, they’re more easily reached through email. This allows them to check your message and respond or act upon it at the most convenient time for them. “But I send postcards to stay in touch and remind my clients!” Ahh, yes. I hear you. But postcards are expensive and
2. Email addresses provide a way to market campaigns and promotions that otherwise would be unknown to pet parents unless they had a scheduled appointment. What good is offering a special for dental month when no one knows about it aside from clients who are already visiting your practice or follow you on Facebook? Don’t kid yourself if you think you can promote only through social media and word-of-mouth. Telling clients about a dental promotion after a wellness exam is not hitting it home either and probably just goes in one ear and out the other. They will most likely forget about it once they’ve left the building. Email is an effective way to contact your clients when the promotion is running and stay in front of them until that promotion is over.
3. You’re spending too much time marketing to new clients than you are marketing to current clients. Do you spend at least as much time reviewing wellness compliance or scrubbing your database for missing reminders as you do on reviews/surveys? Can you prove the ROI on your Facebook page? Probably not. But you definitely can prove a return on improving your wellness reminders: they’re the lifeblood of your practice. This just doesn’t make sense - why wouldn’t you spend more time fostering current relationships than trying to create new ones? You’re setting your practice up for failure. It’s easier to grow a client relationship once they’ve already walked through your door than it is to go out and find a new one.
Stay on top of their mind all year round by reaching your clients through email; give them monthly reminders on the importance of preventatives, promote special offers and most importantly, use this opportunity as a chance to educate them to be better pet parents. Because the better pet parents they are, the more important their pet’s health will be for them. Tell them what signs to look for in aging golden retrievers or why annual wellness exams are important for pets who are 4 to 8 years old. Give them the education they need to truly value what your practice offers. When you’re creating an email, think of how the client will view it. If your call to action is always to buy something or schedule an appointment, your message is out of balance. Smarter pet parents become more active clients which leads to healthier, happier pets. That’s truly why we’re all in this business in the first place, right?