Email marketing is a great way for healthcare providers to boost patient engagement, share valuable educational content, and increase practice revenue. It’s still used more than any other social platform — the average conversion rate is 6.0%, compared to 1.9% through social media.
Let’s explore the top five tactics to help you make the most out of your email marketing efforts.
1. Create attention-grabbing subject lines.
Creating a catchy subject line is the best way to make a great first impression and increase open rates. Use engaging subject lines that are concise, relevant, and valuable to your target patient.
Consider these options when selecting your subject line:
- Focus on solving a problem your patient experiences
- Promote discounted services or special offers
- Include an emoji
- Keep it simple to share what your patients should expect from your email
2. Don't be afraid to test.
Email platforms collect data to help you decide which campaign is performing the best. Testing gives you the ability to adjust variables to see how changes can impact the results.
Variables you may want to test include:
- Subject line
- From name
- Send time
Let’s review some of the data you can use to evaluate and adjust your email campaign.
The open rate measures how many recipients viewed your email. If your open rate is low, you can test the subject line, first line of your email, and the value of your content.
The click-through rate (CTR) refers to how many people clicked on a link in your email. If it is low, try reevaluating and adjusting your content. Be sure the call-to-action link is easily visible to those who opened the email.
This tells you how many people have clicked to unsubscribe from your email list. Here are a few questions if this rate is high.
- Are your customers leaving your email list after a particular email send?
- Are you providing value?
- Do your emails contain relevant, clear information targeted to your patient?
3. Know your audience and when to send emails.
Knowing your audience keeps you from sending emails that may scare your patients away. For example, a new subscriber may prefer a simple welcome email rather than a promotional email.
On the other hand, those trying to make a purchase decision may prefer an informational email about a service, product, or discount offer. Sending consistent emails keeps your business at the forefront of your patients’ minds, increases patient retention, and generates recurring revenue.
Studies show that mid-week and mid-morning are the best time to send emails — it’s important to look at your own email performance to see the peaks in open rates among your own patient base. The key to planning your email send times is testing to see which days and times have healthier open rates for your audience.
4. Provide one clear call-to-action per email.
Every email should include a clear call-to-action (CTA). This is a directive that helps your customer decide what to do next.A great CTA creates a sense of urgency and encourages patients to take a specific action. CTAs can come in the form of hyperlinks, buttons, and plain text that encourages the next step. Some examples include:
- Schedule Your Next Appointment
- Learn More
- Buy Now
- Download Your Free Guide
- Treat Yourself with 20% Off
5. Consistency is key.
A consistent email schedule keeps the lines of communication open with your patients and builds trust. Building trust with your patients and communicating with them regularly demonstrates that their health and wellbeing are important to you.
Setting expectations of how often your patients will receive your emails is key. To create a streamlined process and save time, try these three tactics:
- Create a calendar to help you keep on track with your email marketing schedule
- Send out reminders about special events and offers periodically
- Create templates and set up automated email series
Automated software platforms such as Mailchimp or Constant Contact offer templates, opt-in forms, data collection, and testing. If you are shopping around for an email platform, consider the following features to make your decision.
- Ease of use and customization capabilities
- The usage plan that is right for your advertising needs
- Analytics and testing capabilities
- Ease of customer service communication
The goal of email marketing for your practice is to create better relationships with your patients by providing valuable content to keep them healthy and engaged with your practice while promoting your products and services in a simple, cost-effective way.
Consider these five action steps to incorporate into your marketing plan today.
- Create a calendar with weekly content focuses.
- Provide clear CTAs in line with each content focus.
- Don't be afraid to test.
- Review your open rates to optimize send times.
- Design templates for easier, faster email creation.