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How to email or SMS NEW patients/clients

Welcome new patients, send intake forms or request feedback

Updated over a week ago

Effective communication with new patients/clients is a top priority for a lot of clinics - and for good reason.

Setting expectations, providing appointment preparation guidance, and ensuring they feel valued and cared for throughout their healthcare journey all contribute to a good client experience.

There are a few key moments you may want to consider when thinking about contacting new clients:

Reasons to contact new patients

When they book their very first appointment

Welcome them: Say hello, introduce them to your business and educate them a little on what's next. You can also include a link to your intake form.

Trigger to use:
After the appointment is created

In the lead-up to their first appointment

Remind them: Touching base before their first appointment helps to demystify the process, reducing anxiety and building trust. You can also remind them to fill in the intake form at this stage.

Trigger to use:
Before an appointment

Right after their first appointment

Check in with them: Ask them how their first appointment was - either with a feedback form, or by asking for a direct email reply. Send them helpful resources or guide them to book in their next appointment.

Trigger to use:
After an appointment

One up to several weeks after their first appointment

Recall: If they never booked in a second appointment, you could reach out at the appropriate time after their first appointment. Be friendly, gently remind them how to book and express that you're looking forward to seeing them again.

Trigger to use:

After the appointment (with 'recall' box ticked)

How to contact new patients

1. Create a Transactional email template

Skip this step if you're sending an SMS

Begin by crafting a dedicated email template. You'll need to create a separate email template for each 'step' you want in the new patient journey (see table above).

Peptalkr provides a pre-built new patient template in the 'My Templates' section of the email builder if you want a head start.

2. Insert your intake form link (if applicable)

Skip this step if you're sending an SMS

Make sure a button in your email template is linking to your intake form.

If you're using a Peptalkr intake form, you can find your intake form URL on the Forms tab of your account.

If you're using a FingerInk web form - you can insert your link to that instead.

If you're using a Cliniko form - unfortunately you won't be able to insert that here due to the way Cliniko forms work. Simply use a Cliniko confirmation or reminder email for that step, or swap over to a Peptalkr intake form.

How we identify the patient filling in the form

Peptalkr forms make life super easy by knowing which patient is filling in the form without them having to identify themselves. Head here to learn more about how to ensure you have auto-identification set up correctly.

3. Create a trigger

For email - head to the triggers tab.

For SMS - head to the send SMS tab.

4. Configure your trigger

Click on the purple + button in the top right of the screen and proceed with the following steps, tailoring each part to suit your needs.

Step One: Name & Kind:

  • Give your trigger a descriptive name, e.g., 'New patient welcome'

  • Select 'Automated recurring' as new patient emails send them selves.

Step Two: Marketing or non-marketing:

  • Generally, essential aspects of the new patient appointment process are non-marketing. However, please use your discretion to ensure you are following the applicable privacy laws in your region. If you prefer only those opted in for marketing receive it, you can select 'marketing'.

Step Three: When should it send?:

  • From the available triggering events, select the appropriate trigger from the table above. Set your timing and any other extra options you want.

Step Four: Filters to apply:

  • You can now also filter down to your new patients. If you're not sure what to do, watch this video as it covers the two main ways we can identify who is a 'new' patient.

⚡️ To target new patients - select your 'initial' appointment types using the appointment type filter. Or, alternatively - set the appointment count filter to 'Exactly 1' - this ensures the feedback request is sent after the attendance of their very first appointment.

Step Five: Frequency:

  • Select 'every time the conditions are met' or 'once ever' depending on your needs.

Step Six: Select your template:

  • Select the transactional email template you created in step 1.

  • If sending an SMS you'd simply write in what you want the SMS to say. Use the personalisation dropdown to insert data specific to the patient.

👉 If you can't see your email in the template dropdown you may not have pressed the 'Finish' button in the email builder. If this happens, just select any available template and continue, you can edit it and set the correct template before you turn it on. Then navigate back to the email builder and ensure you hit the 'Finish' button on your draft template.

Step Seven: Summary:

  • Review all details of your trigger. Once satisfied, press finish to create the trigger. It will be turned off by default.

Step Eight: Summary and Activation:

  • Test your email by pressing the email icon.

  • If everything looks good, press the switch to turn it on.

You can now duplicate the trigger if you want to make more versions. Multiple triggers can reuse the same transactional email template, or you can create more templates.

5. Monitor and improve

Over time, monitor the performance of your emails. Then adjust your template or trigger as necessary to improve your open rate, click rate and response rate.

💡 Remember, the key to a successful new patient onboarding process is to provide relevant, helpful information that is clear, concise (where possible) and provides clear directive on what to do next.

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