The level of care you administer to your patients doesn't stop once they leave your optical practice. As any good sales person knows, you have to regularly connect with patients as a reminder that you care about them and their needs. When it comes to reconnecting with your patients to retain patient count, your practice needs an effective patient recall message that your patients not only open, but read, and respond to. This post provides some of the most effective email marketing best practices that can be applied to your recall efforts.
How to Make an Effective Patient Recall Message
Make it Personal
Personalization can drastically increase patient engagement to your recall messages. Think of it this like this. When you’re in a crowded room and you hear someone say, “Hey!” do you respond? Probably not. But, if someone yells, "Hey Dr. <<Insert Name>>" you'll most likely give that person your full attention. Using personalization in your recall message works the exact same way.
Your patients want to feel like they are an individual--and they are. So, when you create your patient recall email, make sure you take the time to personalize the message using these tips:
- Greet them by name: If your patient recall system can auto populate recall templates with the patient's name, then use that feature when starting off the message.
- Write in second person point-of-view: The second person point-of-view addresses the reader by using pronouns like “you,” “your,” and “yours.” This point-of-view makes it clear that you want the reader to do something, and it also gives the message a more natural conversational feel.
Explain Why You're Contacting Them
Don't waste your patient's time with a long-winded introduction. The anatomy of a good patient recall message gets to the point early. In your message, let your patients know why you're reaching out in the very beginning. Perhaps they meant to schedule their follow up appointment, but it has slipped their mind. Life happens.
If they are due for their annual exam, let them know.
Benefits Before Features
In effective marketing writing, you always want to first explain why something is important, how it helps, and what you have to solve that problem. When writing your patient recall message, use the “what’s in it for them” approach.
For example, during a comprehensive exam, your patients may not know or care to know what a Slit Lamp Exam is. But, if you follow the “what’s in it for them” approach, and start off by telling them that you will screen for early detection of eye diseases by using a slit lamp, then they are more likely to pay attention.
Now that you've got your patients’ attention, explained why you're contacting them, and described the benefits of the exam, it's time to guide them to the next steps. In marketing, this is the call to action (CTA).
By providing one clear CTA in your message, your patients will know exactly what they are supposed to do next. If you want the patient to schedule their next exam, tell them how they can do it.
If you have a patient portal, remind them that they can schedule their appointment from there.
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