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5 Reasons Your Patient Recall Messages Get Ignored

Posted by Jeff Rezabek on Jun 12, 2017 2:19:00 PM

Getting a new patient to your practice is hard. And sometimes, getting a patient to return to your practice is just as hard. With patient recall messages, you can take away some of the burdens of your front office by sending automated recall messages to your patient’s preferred means of communication. This keeps your staff’s focus on the patients inside of the office, not on the phone.

However occasionally, your patient recall messages get ignored. Below are a few reasons why your recall messages aren’t getting a response and what you can do about it.

The Reason Your Patients Are Ignoring Your Patient Recall Messages

The Subject Line Doesn’t Match The GoalThe Reason Your Patients Are Ignoring Your Patient Recall Messages

The subject line is usually the thing that will grab your patient’s attention and help them decide whether they are going to open the email or not. According to this post, 35% of email recipients open an email based on the subject line alone.

When you write a subject line, you want to keep best practices in mind, but you also want to tie the goal of the email into the subject line so the recipient knows exactly why you’re contacting them and what they should expect in the message.

You’re Using A Generic Sender Address

You know how when you get a call from a number you don’t recognize, you have to think longer about whether you’re going to answer it or not? Is it spam or is a friend calling you from one of the last pay phones in America to tell you that their car broke down in the middle of nowhere and their cell died, and somehow they memorized your phone number because you haven’t changed it since high school?

Well, that same decision-making process occurs when someone sees an email from a “no-reply” or another generic sender.

If you can, set up your patient recall system to have the sender name as either your practice’s name or the doctor’s name, so the patient knows who is sending the message.

The Content Doesn’t Connect

When you get a patient to open an email, you want them to quickly read the content and follow-up. But, if your message is too long, not structured for scanning, or just flat-out boring, the odds of your patient deleting the message and not scheduling their follow-up exam increases.

To write an effective recall message, your content needs to be brief, personalized, and should be focused on the patient benefits.

You’re Not Using a Clear Call To Action

If you get a patient to open the email and read the message and they’re still not responding to your recall message, you might need to update your call to action to encourage the patient to schedule their next appointment in the patient portal.

The call to action (CTA) grabs the email recipient’s attention and tells them what they should do next. Your patient recall message should contain only one CTA, and the CTA should be short and tell people what to do.

For tips and ideas to use in your next recall message, check out these 75 CTA examples.

Not the Right Form of Communication

There are so many different ways to communicate today; it can be challenging to keep up. Trying to find a mode of communication that your patient prefers or responds to may take a bit more time. If you find that they aren’t responding to your emails, perhaps it’s time to call them or send them a text if possible.

If nothing else works, you can always try the classic postcard recall reminder.  

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Topics: Tips for ECPs, Practice Owner

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