Email Marketing Tips
Whether you’re a one-person business or part of a professional group, email marketing is a key component of any successful business and should be part of your business marketing strategy.
Email is a versatile, low-cost way of maintaining contact and educating your patients. It allows you to schedule messages in advance. You can use it to welcome new patients and send appointment reminders and other routine information like practice updates or event news. You can also use it to send out newsletters with valuable content and healthcare information, share tips on how to stay healthy and position your practice as the go-to source for various conditions or concerns. Here are some best practices to optimize your email marketing program.
Whether you’re using a template or hiring a designer, you want your emails to be representative of your practice. You’ll want to ensure that they’re professional and consistent with your practice’s branding. You don’t want your recipient to open your message and have no idea who it came from. Design for mobile first. The goal is to provide the best user experience when sending emails and because the majority of emails are opened on mobile devices, you need to make sure that your emails are designed to accommodate any device that they may be opened on. Lastly, create emails that are easy to scan and read.
It’s better to be direct and descriptive than trendy. Your email subject line should be relevant to the topic at hand and ideally contain no more than 50 characters. You can use an A/B testing campaign to see if different subject lines affect the open rates.
Your emails should be sent from an address that contains your practice’s name so that your emails aren’t mistaken for spam.
The best way to evaluate the success of your email campaigns is by looking at engagement. Engagement metrics like opens, clicks and unsubscribes are important. If you see reasonable and consistent open and click rates, you have a healthy email program. If you see email addresses that never engage, it may be time to remove them from your list. You’d do better to send to a smaller, but highly engaged list of recipients, rather than a larger unengaged list.
Build Your List
Be sure to capture email addresses as part of your patient’s registration process. Look for opportunities to promote your sign-up on your website or blog. Just make sure that you communicate what they are signing up for when they give their email address.
Keep Your List Current
Monitor your bounces and opt-outs. Remove bad email addresses from your list and/or ask you patients for current email addresses.
Accommodate Email Preferences
Maybe some of your patients want to receive your newsletter or health tips. Some may only want to get appointment reminders. Others may want both. You should give your patients the option to choose what kind of emails they want to receive, segment your distribution list and target your audience.
Make It Easy to Unsubscribe
By law, you also need to make it easy for people to unsubscribe from these communications if they wish to do so. That means every email you send needs to have an “unsubscribe” link that’s easy to find.
By: Cathleen Thomas
Cathleen is the Marketing Automation Manager at Emerson Ecologics and has more than 15 years of email marketing experience.