Marketers sent 838 billion emails in 2013, and that’s not the only statistic that proves that email is still a relevant marketing tool. Email is a key function in inbound marketing that your healthcare practice needs to be using as part of your marketing strategy. However, with so many emails cluttering patients’ inboxes, your healthcare Brand needs a way to catch their attention and avoid becoming “graymail.”
Adopt the following eight best practices when designing your healthcare Brand’s email marketing campaigns to stand out in your patients’ inboxes.
1. Email Lists
Before you start writing copy for an email, stop and consider who’s going to receive it. Where did you get those emails? If you bought or forged an email list, you need to stop right there. You’re setting yourself up for failure since you can’t nurture an uninterested cold email lead.
Instead, build your email list organically by allowing current and potential patients to opt-in to receive emails from your practice. You can encourage patients to give you their email and other information by offering an incentive – like downloadable content, a monthly newsletter, or a special offering.
2. Targeted Emails
Now that your healthcare practice has its organic email list, don’t send them all generic, blanket emails. Those emails read as very impersonal and are often inaccurate. A little segmentation can go a long way when it comes to healthcare email marketing. Not all of your patients are going to be interested in the same products and services your Brand offers.
For example, if you have an ophthalmology practice you may have a group of patients interested in LASIK, while another group of patients is solely interested in routine eye checks and appointments. You wouldn’t want to send an email for an informational whitepaper on LASIK to every single person in your database, because they’re not all going to be interested.
3. Subject Lines
Arguably the most important part of an email is the subject line. Trying to stand out in a sea of emails and grab patients’ attention is challenging, so your healthcare Brand needs to get creative. But at the same time, you need to give patients enough information to intrigue them without being too wordy.
Follow these seven tips and best practices when crafting email subject lines:
- Keep it concise to prevent part of the subject line being cut off in patients’ inboxes.
- Use action-oriented verbs such as “Join us for our upcoming informational session,” instead of “Upcoming informational session sign up.”
- Don’t lie, make false promises or give misleading headlines.
- Tell patients what’s inside!
- Create a sense of urgency with deadlines such as “today only” or “for a limited time.”
- Use small, personalized touches by using “you” and “your” to make your patients feel special.
- DON’T USE ALL CAPS OR EXCESIVE EXCLAMATION!!!!!
If the content in your emails doesn’t provide value to the patients opening them, they won’t be prompted to take action. Make sure that you’re creating relevant email content that is educational and informational.
Additionally, when planning marketing emails for your practice, create content that is shareable. By including links to informational content on your healthcare website or social media pages, you encourage patients to forward your email to their friends, family or colleagues, or share it on social media.
Use your practice’s patient personas to create more personalized emails. By developing emails around a certain patient persona, your Brand’s emails will feel more personalized and relevant to the patients receiving the emails. If your practice can capture more information about patients such as their name, you can utilize that by personalizing your emails even further.
There’s one more often forgotten detail to consider when personalizing your emails. Who is the email coming from? Your practice wants to make sure that you’re not using a no-reply email or a name that patients won’t recognize. Use a familiar sender name such as the name of the patient’s doctor.
6. Mobile Compatibility
Since 2015, patients are spending more time on their phones, tablets and other mobile devices than their desktop computers. This mobile era requires your healthcare Brand to adapt not only your website but your emails to be mobile compatible.
Here are some ways your practice can create mobile-friendly emails:
- Use adaptive email templates
- Include large buttons for your calls-to-action (CTAs)
- Always add pre-header text
7. Timing and Frequency
To catch patients at the right time in their inbox, choose your email timing and frequency around your patients. Your emails need to be consistent. Don’t be afraid to try different days of the week, times of day or frequencies when sending out emails.
Before sending out a live email, be sure to proofread and test it. Try sending emails to a proofreader for review and feedback before they’re published and sent to patients.
Your practice should also test different elements within your emails to see what your patients are most receptive to. Using A/B testing, or split testing, allows your healthcare Brand to track which elements or your emails are working and where you need to make changes and improvements.
Want to learn more about email marketing? Email isn’t going away anytime soon, so check out our free eBook, Anatomy of a Five-Star Email.
Integrate your current healthcare marketing strategies with inbound marketing’s ROI based ideas to attract more patients to your practice. Let's chat and we can put the Hult Team’s experience to work for you and your Brand. You can reach me at 309-673-8191 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and together, we can grow your healthcare Brand.