Regular appointments are an essential part of successful veterinary practices, and sending reminders plays a crucial role in ensuring they are scheduled – and kept. In the past, sending reminders was a manual process — extremely time-consuming and very expensive.

Today, reminders, much like veterinary practices, have evolved with the use of technology. The choices are endless—text, email, automated voice reminders, automated appointment confirmations, or some combination of them all. There are even automated programs that gather and print your postal reminders for you. But regardless of the reminder strategy used, how can you really know if it is working?

Set-it-and-forget-it doesn’t cut it with reminders. Here are a few ways to make sure you are reaching clients efficiently and effectively.

Monitoring Key Reports in Your Veterinary Software

Before you can really dig into your reminder strategy, it’s important to ensure you have all the correct contact information for your clients, including their addresses, cell phone numbers, and email addresses. It also includes making sure you have the right information in the right place. For example, maybe you inadvertently added a cell phone to the home phone field. If that’s the case, that client would not receive any text message reminders. Mistakes like these can happen, but they also can be easily fixed when you take the time to view the following reports:

Client Missing Data Report

This is a great place to start because it will tell you where there is missing information. In fact, it is so helpful that we recommend running it a few times per year or even monthly. This report shows you which clients have missing contact information so that you can gather the missing data, find and correct any mistakes, and make sure your reminders are going to the right clients. Then, any time you want to send a reminder, you’ll know you have all the information you need. And, you won’t miss out on other opportunities, such as sending a birthday message.

Health Service Reminders Report

Once you have confirmed you have all the correct information (in the correct fields), you’ll want to gauge if your reminder strategy is actually working. Are clients coming in after the first reminder, or the fifth? Essentially, you want to see if you are reaching them, and if you aren’t, what you can do to fix that. This report tells you how many reminders were sent at the beginning of the month (or whatever date range you choose), and how many clients have responded. That’s the rate of return—a measure of success for your strategy. So, if you sent 500 reminders and 250 clients returned, you know you have a 50% return rate and can measure improvement from there.

Reminder Platforms that Integrate with Your Software

Many software platforms (including NaVetor) have basic reminder functions built in, such as email and text. But when you add a client communications platform that integrates with your software (like ePet which integrates with NaVetor), you get many more options – plus a great deal of additional data to monitor your reminder performance and return. Veterinary practices often receive extraordinary value from what these integrated platforms provide, including postcards, newsletters, and coupons.


Choosing to send electronic postcards to those clients with emails is easy with ePet. And for those clients who are over 90 days past due, who don’t list an email, or who unsubscribed from email communications, you can also choose to send physical postcards. If you go this route, be sure to send a card that is going to stand out in their mailbox and put a smile on their face. This can be done automatically by checking a box to send the postcards at 90 days overdue or whatever time frame you choose.


Newsletters are another effective option to get your clients’ attention. You can upload a file with client and patient information and then set your parameters. Do you want to send a newsletter to everyone or just those who are past due for services? To make creating it even easier, you can use a template with pre-set content and graphics. So, come heartworm season, you’d be all ready to send a timely, informational newsletter that serves as an effective reminder.


Creating a coupon with an expiration date is another great option in client communication platforms like ePet. This not only incentivizes clients to bring their pet into the practice to be seen, but it also provides a built-in mechanism for tracking the success of the strategy. You can simply see how many coupons were used compared to how many were sent to measure your rate of return. Any small percentage off or other incentive may be worth it if you get more clients in the door.

Using the Right Mix of Tactics

The times of waiting in line at the post office with a box of reminders are long gone. Today, there are many options to choose from for your reminder strategy. Experiment with text, email, and automated messages. While you do, try not to assume that whatever is the latest method is the best.

For example, text reminders have generally been very effective, but now that every business is sending text reminders and even advertisements, texts are at risk of getting buried just like emails. You’ll want to consider the different options and then track success. Armed with this knowledge, you can come up with the right mix of options to create an effective reminder strategy that works for you.

At the end of the day, the right reminder strategy can increase efficiency and productivity for your busy practice while ensuring the best care possible for your patients.