Maintaining strong connections between you and your patients in today's world is important for ongoing business growth and success.
Your passion for helping people lead healthier lives means meeting them where they are and employing strategic business solutions that keep patients engaged and committed to their health — and so cue in email marketing.
We talked with Nathan Brammeier, DFH Functional Medicine Consultant and email marketing pro, as he explains why email marketing is important and how it can empower practitioners to build business success.
Continue reading to learn more about Nathan's step-by-step strategies to expand your email marketing capabilities and why it's important to further the growth of your practice.
Question 1: Why should practitioners utilize email marketing?
You can only see so many patients in a day. As a practitioner, you're an influential person in your community — but your patients spend most of their time outside your office.
Staying connected with your patients through email is a great way to build consistency and trust. Email is not for initiating and building relationships but for maintaining and growing relationships once you establish rapport.
Question 2: What is the most common roadblock to starting email marketing?
People often prolong the initial step of email marketing because they're afraid it won't be good enough — but "done" is better than perfect.
The solution: Be honest with yourself about your schedule. Can you create an email once a week? If you can't, can you write one per month? Commit to a plan, and do what works for you.
Some people will unsubscribe — don't take it personally. They probably weren't going to buy from you anyway. When people unsubscribe, it increases your open rates and cleans up your list.
Question 3: How can practitioners provide relevant content to all of their patients?
The short answer is, that's not the goal. The first step is deciding who your audience is and marketing to one specific niche. Most practitioners want to help everybody, and rightfully so – but you market to nobody when you market to everybody.
For example, you can't sell the same way to a 25-year-old male as a 65-year-old woman. Get focused and clear on what audience you're targeting.
Question 4: What’s the best way to share content with patients?
What does your target market want to know? Content is king, but how it's delivered is essential.
If you have a lot of content, split it up into multiple emails, or risk inundating your reader. It's better to send one short email every week than one long monthly email.
People don't open every email. It's ok to send multiple emails about the same topic (up to three times). Remember, facts tell, and stories sell — ultimately, patients care about how a treatment or a supplement will help them feel better.
Question 5: Do readers prefer long or short emails?
Keep your emails concise and readable. Writing 1-3 sentence paragraphs is all you need. If you have a lot of information to share, write a blog and train your customer to click it using a little teaser. Don't inundate them with tons of information – that's email marketing death. It offers too many choices.
Question 6: What’s the best tone to use?
Make your language personal — people do business with people; they don't do business with companies. When you share a little about yourself, it resonates with people. Write the email the way you talk and make it look like your email comes from a friend. Never say, "Hey everybody," keep everything singular tense.
The first 2 to 3 lines of your email are essential, so start with a bit about yourself, your family, or something new in your world. It builds rapport and trust and leaves the reader feeling like you wrote this just for them to read.
Question 7: What should every effective email contain?
Every email must have a call to action (CTA) and one subject per email. The desire to get all your great content out there is understandable, but emails are not an information delivery system. They are simply the stepping stone to get the patient to take the next step.
Marketing is all about training people to take action. You can't expect them to buy the first time; marketing is a process. Get your patient used to clicking your emails, and see results. And, P.S. — The postscript is the second most crucial spot after the subject line and your opportunity to repeat your call to action.
Question 8: Are there any common email mistakes to avoid?
Take five minutes and double-check your links. If you send something out and links don't work, it can send subconscious messages to your patients that you don't care about your business, so how much will you care about their health. Your emails don't have to be perfect, and everyone can relate to fallibility, so be vulnerable but be meticulous with links.
Question 9: For practitioners ready to get started, what do you recommend as their first email to kick it off?
Let your patients know that this is something new and you are excited to share more information. You want to help them be their healthiest and be there to give them more support.
Be transparent and direct with a simple five or six-sentence email. (Be sure to use the singular tense "you" when writing.) At the end of the email, let them know they can unsubscribe if they don't want to receive these emails.
Question 10: Can you recommend a monthly email schedule for practitioners to follow?
The best way to approach email marketing is to develop a monthly schedule. Choose 12 topics for the year (for example, Immune Health, Sleep, Weight Management - that's already three topics/months right there!)
- Week 1: Write a blog post and use your email as a teaser linking to your post.
- Week 2: Showcase a supplement, then link to your eStore where the patient can buy the supplement.
- Week 3: Link to an interesting article/video.
- Week 4: Provide a fun health fact or discuss a recent research piece you read or the latest health trend.
- Week 5 (if there is one): Use this to remind your patients of your services and convey to them how grateful you are they take the time to read emails, etc. Then link to your blog post one last time.
As practitioners, you can support your practice by utilizing these best practices in email marketing, where you become a consistent, trusted source of education outside the office on your patients' time.