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The pandemic has whipped most everyone’s overbooked calendar into something much more manageable. That wouldn’t sound so bad had it not hit our chiropractic patient appointment schedule equally hard with canceled appointments and missed visits. But as society returns to a functional state, chiropractors will seek to prudently fully re-open their practices and refill their appointment books.

Re-activations will be a crucial component of our return to meaningful production. This blog will answer the question: How to start patient recalls & reactivate.

Check it out as we cover the essentials of effective patient recall and patient re-activation programs, including an interview outlining the specific steps to make that happen, along with a customizable template for your reactivation message.

Reaching out to existing patients requires much less work than obtaining new patients- because these patients have already seen you and know your good work. A simple reminder at the right moment can turn thoughts into new business.

Two primary strategies for connecting with dropped or inactive patients include:

  • Re-calls- A phone call then email or letter to patients who have missed a recently scheduled appointment.
  • Re-Activations- Marketing communication to a prior patient who has not visited your office recently, i.e., three months.

Check out this video where Dr. Bertelsman and Steele discuss the nuances of successful chiropractic patient recall and patient re-activation campaigns.

5 Steps for a Successful Re-Activation Campaign

1. Even if you’re not yet back in full swing, now’s the ideal time to prepare your assets. First, choose the format for your re-activation message, i.e., email, letter, or postcard. The most successful campaigns provide a motivating message, and one clear call-to-action.


Customize your postcard in less than a minute with the ChiroUp fillable PDF template. Then have your postcards printed locally or online through a company like Vistaprint ($35 for 500).

Email or Letter

If you prefer sending a reactivation email or reactivation letter, download this sample text.

2. Choose your mailing dates carefully. Marketing should not strain to “fill up the lows,” but rather to “pump up the highs,” since “highs” represent the natural “buying seasons.” The peak of a pandemic is not an opportune time to initiate a  reactivation campaign. Wait until the majority of patients can safely return. Also, avoid holidays and vacation seasons.

3. Develop a list of potential reactivations- i.e., those who have not visited your office in the prior three months, but have within the past three years. (Patients who have not visited for three plus years are less likely to reactivate) Most EHR’s can develop this spreadsheet in seconds.

4. Don’t try to reactivate an exhaustive list all at once. Limit each batch to a manageable number of patients- usually 100-200, but no more than your staff can call within two weeks. Consider starting with your most recently dropped patients first. Hold off on reactivating higher-risk groups, i.e., seniors, until later.

5. After sending the email or card, a follow-up phone call will increase conversion DRAMATICALLY! Ask your friendliest staff member to call a set number of patients each day to follow-up. (If this is not your receptionist, then someone’s in the wrong seat).

“Hi (patient), this is (staff) from Dr. (provider) office. Since we haven’t seen you for a while, Dr. (provider) asked me to give you a call to see how you’ve been feeling.”

(If feeling OK) “Great- I’ll pass that along to the doctor, they’ll be glad to hear that you’re feeling well. If there’s anything we can ever help you with, please call.”

 (If they are having any problems), “Sounds like something we can help you with, and now is the perfect time to come back in for a re-evaluation. Would you like to come in tomorrow or Friday? Early or late, 4:30 or 5:15? Confirm the appointment by saying, “We look forward to seeing you on Friday at 4:30”. If the patient declines an appointment, close with, “Don’t forget we’re just a call away if you ever need us.”

The patient will usually be very cooperative. Many assistants have misgivings about making recalls. If they do, ask them to consider the situation from a patient’s perspective- a recall is just a courtesy extended by your office. Most patients realize this and appreciate your efforts.

According to surveys, patients appreciate your calls, as long as the intention of the call is one of individual concern. If the patient is not interested, simply acknowledge this by telling them you understand and to please contact the office if they need your help.

Successful re-activation campaigns are time-dependent. You probably don’t want to overinvest your resources in attracting visits until patients are willing to come in. Plan content and delivery mechanisms now, then keep your finger on the pulse to know when it’s go time.

Patient reactivation is Phase 1 of getting back in the groove. Phase 2 is delivering exceptional care that makes your patients excited– And don’t forget…excited patients refer.

If you want to know how ChiroUp can help to take your patient care to the next level, click the button below to start your FREE trial now.

We are the only company that delivers an up-to-date, evidence-based, comprehensive rehab protocols that are continually refined by 1000 of the world’s top providers – together, we’re redefining new standard of care.

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