It’s 95 degrees out today and I’m responsible for the well being of 55 dogs and 8 humans. It’s August in Philadelphia; it’s not the first or the last time I’m going to send the exact same email. Over the course of 10 years, I’ve sent thousands of emails about the weather. I’ve refined my messages and made them more readable and easier for clients to understand.

Today, we released Messages, Scout’s integrated email messaging center. I still own a dog walking company, which makes new features, like Messages, really exciting for me. Being able to communicate effectively with customers is important. “Messages” helps dog walkers and pet sitters easily send email to highly targeted audiences. Instead of looking up every person who has an appointment and entering their name into an email, I can just use the filters to create an audience. With a few button clicks, I select the users who have an appointment, remind them about our weather policy and give them some hot weather safety tips.

Weather alerts are important, but they aren’t the only emails I’m sending using Messages. Here are a few email templates you can adapt for your business.

Hot Weather Policy for Pet Owners

On hot days I actually have 3 messages I send out:

  • For customers with appointments: It’s a policy email and it’s similar to our winter storm email (below) with some obvious changes.
  • For dog walkers: a reminder not to keep the dogs out for more than 15 minutes (less for smush face dogs), carry plenty of water (for them and the dogs), and drink a Gatorade every so often (all hail electrolytes!).
  • The last email, which I’ll paste in below, is for all of my clients:

Your Dog Walking Company

Hi humans,

It’s really hot outside today, so be careful out there with the pups. Here are a few safety tips our professional dog walkers put into practice on days like today.

  • Stay hydrated. This goes for both of you. Make sure to carry extra water and a collapsible bowl for your dog. You need to drink plenty of water too, but mix in a Gatorade or salty snack.
  • Stay in the shade. Try and stay in the shade and out of direct exposure to the sun as much as possible.
  • Avoid pavement. The pavement gets extremely hot and can cause severe burns on your dog’s paws. 85-degree temperatures can mean asphalt temperatures of up to 145 degrees!
  • Smush Faced Dogs. Dog breeds like Pugs and Bulldogs have a lower tolerance to heat and humidity. While their smushy faces are super cute, they are predisposed to breathing issues. Potty breaks are plenty of outdoor time for these little guys.
  • Don’t leave your dog in the car. The temperature inside a car is not safe for dogs or humans. Never leave your dog in the car, even with the air conditioner running. Please.

Summer is all about having fun in the sun. If you’re going to the shore this weekend, check out one of the local dog beaches.

info@yourcompany.com
555-555-5555

Customer Reviews

Customer reviews are a really great way to let potential clients know that you can be trusted to care for their pets. I like to give my customers an outlet for private feedback if there is room for improvement as well as a place to recommend us.

One thing to be wary of when you’re requesting reviews is filtering by the site like Yelp. My advice is not to worry about it too much. Don’t send a review request to 300 of your clients at once though. I’m sending this email to any client who had services in the previous week. It’s really a feedback email so sending it out once a week shouldn’t annoy anyone. This will also provide a more consistent flow of reviews to the listing sites which should prevent filtering that occurs when there is a one-time influx of reviews.

Your Dog Walking Company

Hi Humans,

We hope your pets had a great week of service with us. Please don’t hesitate to respond to this email if you have any feedback about their care. Our dog walkers and pet sitters strive to provide the best service possible and your feedback is greatly appreciated.

We would love a 5 Star review!

Online reviews help pet owners know that we can be trusted to care for their pets too. If you feel that we are worthy of your endorsement, please consider leaving a review. Here are a few of the most popular sites where we have listings.

  1. Yelp
  2. Facebook
  3. Google
  4. Next Door
 Thanks for choosing My Dog Walking Company

info@yourcompany.com
555-555-5555

Winter Storm Policy

I hate winter. Philly is a biking town for dog walkers and riding a bike is already dangerous. The thought of riding a bike in the winter literally keeps me up at night. When it comes to events like bad weather, I’m very straightforward with my customers that we will not compromise the safety of our staff. This is an example of the email I send out the day before a big storm is expected.

Your Dog Walking Company

Hi humans,
You’re receiving this because you have appointments tomorrow. Please review our weather and cancelation policy.

Severe Weather Policy

Safety, of both the dog walkers and your pets, is paramount. If you are in the schedule your pet will be cared for. In the event that it is unsafe for our walkers to travel or be outside, we will suspend service until such time as it is safe to travel. At that time we will visit each pet in the order they were scheduled.

Cancelations

In the event that (Your County) Public Schools are canceled, we will waive our cancelation fees. If you will be home and you are capable of caring for your pet, please cancel through the app with as much notice as possible. It is dangerous for the dog walkers to travel when there are snow and ice on the ground, even if it’s only a little bit. We would like to keep travel to a minimum.

Cancel using the Mobile App

If you need to cancel for tomorrow, you can use the Scout app.
How To Cancel an Appointment
Open the Scout for Pet Owners app.
  • Tap tomorrow’s date from the date picker.
  • Tap the appointment you wish to cancel.
  • Tap the cancel symbol in the upper right corner (looks like the Ghostbusters but without the ghost).
  • Select “Only This Appointment” if you have recurring appointments.

If it’s been a while since you have used the app, make sure you have the most up to date version. You can search your app store using the term, “Scout for Pet Owners”.

If you have any questions, you can reply to this email.

info@yourcompany.com
555-555-5555

Photo Contest for Pet Sitters

Through Scout, the dog walkers and pet sitters are required take a photo for the appointment to start. It usually at a time of great excitement for our furry friends and there is a lot of movement. These pictures are cute and often make for wonderful abstract art. It’s great for accountability but not necessarily Instagram worthy. From time to time, we like to encourage the pet sitters to spend a little extra time taking photos after walks when the pups are a little more… photogenic. To do this, we run a photo contest. Every photo a walker takes using Scout gets their name entered into a drawing for $100.

Your Dog Walking Company

Hey everyone,

It’s time for our monthly photo contest!

Every photo you take using the Scout app, between Monday and Sunday this week, gets you one entry into the $100 contest drawing. The photo with the most Instagram likes at the end of the month gets $25.

As usual, we’ll let you know how many entries you had and who the winners are.

Thanks for all your hard work!

info@yourcompany.com
555-555-5555

Follow Us on Instagram

Instagram is a great way to stay connected with your current clients and to give prospective customers a glimpse into the fun part of your business: cute animals. We encourage our customers to follow us on social media. To help with the effort, I have a quarterly email I send to anyone who’s had services.

Your Dog Walking Company

Hi humans,

Thanks for letting us walk, play and sometimes snuggle with your pets. We really love the time we get to spend with them, and we love to share that joy with the rest of the world.

Follow us on Instagram.

We would love you to follow all our fuzzy buddies too! As you know, we have a pretty solid social media game! If you’re not following us already, we invite you to do so. It’s an easy way to share awesome pictures of your furry kids with friends and family.

Want to be featured on our page?

We try to feature all our friends, but sometimes we need your help. the best way to get featured is to send us a picture or short video. You can also reply to this email and we’ll find a great in-service photo to feature on our page.

Just follow the hashtag #companyname to see our posts.

info@yourcompany.com
555-555-5555

Author Rich

Rich Miller is a co-founder at Scout. He received his undergraduate degree in Finance and a Masters in Accounting (MAcc) from Tulane University. In 2008 He left accounting to play with dogs full time.You can check out his articles on pet nutrition, behavior and safety at https://walkitlikeadog.com

More posts by Rich

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