How Texting Can Engage a New Generation of Pet Owners

No one wants to make calls about overdue preventive care. Phoning each client, reviewing their pet's delinquent care, and pointedly asking when they'd like to schedule an appointment is painfully inefficient, ineffective, and a bit awkward — and that's if the client actually answers the phone. A 2019 survey found that 75% of millennials avoid incoming phone calls because they are too time-consuming, and another survey on mobile communications found that 85% of smartphone users want businesses to use texting for communication.

The bottom line: If your practice isn't sending texts to remind clients about preventive care, you're missing a big opportunity. Here's how to make the most of it.

Transform Your Reminder System

Many people can't take their eyes off their phones so use that to your advantage. Start reminding via text message and your practice will enjoy the following benefits:

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1. Your Reminders Will Get Noticed

Smartphones have captivated the world and changed how we communicate; it's an undeniable fact. Consider the following stats:

  • Messaging is preferred three to eight times more than phone calls or face-to-face communication across all generations — including those over 55 years of age.

  • Message notifications are turned on for 82% of phones, while email notifications are often turned off.

  • Simply knowing you have a notification on your phone is a distraction that affects your performance of basic tasks.

  • 95% of texts from businesses are read within three minutes of being sent, with an average response time of 90 seconds.

For comparison, only 21% of emails are opened, with only 2.6% of those readers following a link or taking action.

When clients pay attention to your reminders, they'll be more likely to act, increasing compliance and practice revenue.

2. Your Clients Will Be More Comfortable

Generally speaking, texting is a non-intrusive and non-confrontational communication technology—although clients may still feel shame on hearing that they've neglected their pet's healthcare. Nevertheless, sending a text is neutral and allows the client to check their schedule, finances, and emotions before scheduling an appointment.

3. You Can Bond With Millennial Clients Through Technology

Millennials are the largest pet-owning generation. They place great value on the human-animal bond, and 67% of them view their pet as a family member.

They are ready to care for them like family, too. Millennials are prepared to spend an average of $2,000 on a sick pet and 1 in 10 are willing to pay up to $10,000. With this previously unheard-of level of devotion and commitment, millennials are a sought-after clientele for veterinary practices.

Second only to their pet, the smartphone is the fastest way to a millennial's heart:

  • 59% of millennials would like text reminders to schedule preventive care.

  • 86% prefer appointment reminders by text.

  • 48% would like text reminders for prescription refills.

It takes more than just recognizing you should be using texting as a communication channel with clients. Read this article for tips on how to use texting to engage millennials--including actual scripts for doing so!

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Sarah Rumple
Owner, Chief Creative Officer of Rumpus Writing and Editing

Sarah Rumple is an award-winning veterinary writer and editor. Since 2011, her work has focused on pet health/behavior and veterinary practice management topics. Her clients include individual veterinary practice owners, national corporations, nonprofit associations, media companies, consultants, and others. Learn more at

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