By Zach Zavoral
Everyone, especially chiropractors, wants to create the brilliant 5-word subject line that blows away recipients. Chiropractors often mistakenly believe their patient emails must have a brilliant subject line to maximize patient interest, and thus, resulting revenue.
Bad news: a chiropractor’s clever, creative subject line won’t win a presidential nomination from any political party, nor will it get forwarded to Bill Gates for a trillion dollar reward.
Chiropractic-patient communication is necessary to build patient loyalty and grow revenue long term. So chiropractors must send quality emails and e-newsletters to their patients. But how do you grab a patient’s attention in their inbox?
A perfect, effective email subject line takes little writing prowess and strategy.
As it turns out—and there’s plenty of statistical support for this—a subject line should be nothing more than a SUBJECT LINE: a summary of your email’s subject. The simple subject line wins the attention of your chiro patients. And that’s all you should aim for anyway.
When writing a subject line for your newsletters and emails to chiro patients, follow these 5 Rules …
Rule #1: KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid. Your chiro patient e-newsletter subject line shouldn’t tease or cryptically avoid the actual subject. Curiosity doesn’t open emails. Your patients won’t sit on the edge of their seats to read what you teased. Statistical analysis from some of the world’s leading email marketing firms proves that direct summaries in subject lines leads to opened emails. Replace “What Your Chiropractor Really Thinks of New Year’s Resolutions” with a subject line like “Dr. _____’s December Newsletter – Holiday Greetings and Insurance Updates”. Simply tell your patients/recipients what you sent them, especially highlighting the value of what you’ve sent (see Rule #3).
Rule #2: Avoid Using These Words: Free, Help, Percent Off, and Reminder. Firstly, “Free” sets off some spam filters, so your email to patients will go straight to some recipients’ junk folders. Secondly, more than one marketing firm found the words Help, Percent Off, and Reminder in the subject lines lead to extremely low open rates.
I know what you’re thinking: “But what if I’m sending a REMINDER email to my patients about how I can HELP them get 20 PERCENT OFF their next visit for FREE?” Such a situation, though rare, is no pickle. See Rule #1. Keeping a subject line simple means to summarize and omit details without being cryptic. Instead, try “Save Money on Your Next Visit to Alpine Chiropractic”. Not cryptic, simply direct, and aims at the interest of your chiro patients.
Rule #3: Value is Everything. Avoid sounding like a used car salesman, but you must convey value in your subject line. Assume your patients pinch every penny jingling in their pockets. Chances are, in this economy, they really do.
Consider this: Even with insurance, to visit your chiro practice, your patients spend:
$10 on a co-pay (average)
$23 for an hour of missed work (U.S. median income is about $45,000, $23/hour)
$4 on gas to your office and back (a vehicle with 20 mpg driving 10 miles to your office, or a typical bus/public transportation ticket)
In all, chiro patients spend $37 out-of-pocket just to visit you WITH INSURANCE! If you’re going to retain or reactivate your chiro patients and get them back on your table with an email, you’d better offer some sort of money-saving opportunity or procedure they can’t turn down. And that offer must be carefully summarized in the subject line.
Rule #4: Do Not Replicate Your Inbox. Nobody opens the same email twice. Make sure you’re not duplicating an email subject line you received. If you’ve seen it before, they have too. Remember Rule #1: tell it like it is.
Rule #5: No Questions. An email with a question as the subject line is like a car with a pig for an engine: you’ll get nowhere and you’ll stink doing it.
Professional marketers, especially copywriters, spend hours analyzing the success of their words. Trust me, I am a copywriter and I drive myself crazy. Email Subject Lines prevail as perhaps the most difficult to write—yet easiest to track—medium of precise wordsmithing. Get it right and reap the results.
Here are a few email subject line suggestions …
For a Newsletter
Dr.———- ’s Monthly Newsletter: (Insert main topic here)
Dr.———- ’s Newsletter: (Insert main topic here)
Newsletter from Your Chiropractor: Which Stretches Work Best?
Chiropractor Newsletter: (Insert 3 article titles here)
For an email offer
Discount on (insert procedure)
Save on Your Chiro Bill
Dr.———-’s Tips to Save on Your Next Visit
Valuable Savings on Your Next Visit to Dr.————-
Save $20 on Your Next Visit to Dr.————-
Dr.———- is Happy to Shrink Your Bill
Bring in (insert patient name) for a Cheap Visit!
Details on Money-Saving Options with Dr.———-
Summer Sale: 2 for 1 on any service over $50
Dr. ______’s new website is live! Give your opinion …
Zach Zavoral is a marketing expert and chiropractics explorer, helping DCs enhance their practice revenue. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.