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Webinar: Emailing Prospective Therapy Clients

In this webinar, you will learn the best practices to effectively respond to emails from prospective clients.

Length: 7:17

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Here is the transcript of the webinar: Today, many therapists receive emails from individuals who are interested in potentially becoming a client. Typically these emails come through your professional website, therapist directories or a site like There are many benefits of email, including:

  • • Available 24/7
  • • Low to no cost
  • • Available anywhere
  • • Exchange information quickly

There are, however, several problems that arise with email as a method for connecting with prospective clients. Let's compare an email from a prospective client to a phone call:

  Phone Call Email Risk with Email
Timing Immediate communication Delayed – dependant on when the therapist receives and responds *Inspiration for therapy may have passed *May have found another therapist while waiting for you to respond
Medium Voice – therapist can pick up on and respond to tone, mood, etc. Written words Difficult to pick up on the 92% of communication which aren’t words
Conversation Two way One way Therapist can’t ask questions until they respond. No back and forth in real time.
Commitment High Questionable Lowers the chances that the prospective client will respond.
Time to first session First exchange Can require multiple exchanges Email can take longer…

Clearly, contact with a prospective client via telephone is preferable to email, however, email is here to stay. Here is an example of an email exchange between a prospective client and a therapist:

Dear Therapist,

I am recently separated (about 2 weeks), I'd like to discuss my shortcomings in leading to this outcome. Hopefully, identifying and dealing with issues personal to me.

Prospective Client

The Therapist responded (first attempt)

Dear Prospective Client,

Sure, let me call you and we can discuss this. Can you please send me your phone number and some good times to call you?

Thank you,
Concerned Therapist

After 3 days, there was no response from the client, so the therapist tried a different approach and sent this email:

Prospective Client,

I was just wondering if you are still interested in talking with someone about this. The breakup of a relationship can be such a difficult thing to go through, fraught with grief and loss and self doubt and confusion.

It is very smart that you want to change the things you may be doing that can prevent you from having a satisfying relationship.

I work with relationship issues almost exclusively in my practice whether it is with couples or an individual who is seeking to improve his relationship skills, so I feel sure that I will be able to help you with this.

Please call me at 310-xxx-xxxx and if I don't pick up then please leave me a number so I can return the call.


Concerned Therapist

The client responded and ended up meeting with the therapist.

How to respond to potential client email contacts:
  • • Respond to emails as soon as possible so to reduce the chance of the prospective client losing interest, finding another therapist, etc.
    • Wear a blackberry or iPhone so that you can get emails on the go.
  • • When responding, take your time to write a well thought out response.  Since you can only use words (8% of communication) try to write a response that:
    • • Addresses their concern
    • • Communicates that you understand that it what they are going through must be difficult.
    • • Establish authority by saying you have experience in their area of concern
    • • Ask them for their phone number and times to call.
  • • Offer to have the patient call you as a next step, not send another email
  • • If you don’t hear back within 2 or 3 days, email them again.