Use the power of email marketing to think about what you’d say to that email recipient if talking in person…
Email marketing can be an effective way to grow your patient list, thereby expanding your practice. Like with any other digital marketing campaign, following a few best practices can enhance your results. Here are a few of those practices that show the power of email marketing, courtesy of marketing experts.
Don’t spam patients (or potential patients)
Get permission first — “Simply said, you are permitted to send bulk email only to individuals who have specifically requested to be included to your mailing list,” says Kavin Patel, founder and CEO of Convrrt. “If you obtained email addresses in exchange for a free chiropractic exam or massage, you do not have authorization to send marketing emails about other products or services unless you made it clear during signup.”
Segment your email lists — “To avoid losing a large number of subscribers, I suggest segmenting your email lists from the get-go,” says Stephan Baldwin, founder of Assisted Living Center. “Some patients will only want to hear from your practice when you have attractive deals to offer. Others will join for educational content. And a few will enjoy a combination of both. In that case, it’s best to provide a checklist so patients can select features they’ll receive from the start of their subscription.”
Don’t become spam — “Avoid the spam folder at all costs,” says Brice Gump, SEO expert with Major Impact Media. “If you’ve already sent out an email campaign and received an unexpected response, you should check how many times your IP address has been identified as spam and adjust your email campaigns accordingly. Also, if you can invest in reliable email service providers like Outlook, it can help you get higher deliverability.”
Make signing up simple – “Include a signup form on your blog, Facebook page, Twitter, Google Plus, and LinkedIn profiles, as well as anywhere else your potential patients and followers are active,” suggests James Angel, co-founder of DYL. This makes subscribing to your emails a simple process. Additionally, while you might want to require a lot of information from subscribers to sign up—such as their full names and birthdays—”a lengthy subscription form may scare folks away,” warns Angel, so don’t go overboard with these fields.
Tell the subscriber what to expect — “It is critical to inform your readers what to expect and how frequently,” says Kevin Cook, Chief Product Owner at TrackRight. “Provide them with as much information as possible on your signup form to enable them to decide whether or not to join the list.” Do your emails contain special offers or health-promoting tips? And how often do you send them? Let your subscribers know this in advance.
Branding and personalization
Brand your emails — “Branding your emails is an excellent method to raise awareness of your practice and build trust with prospective patients,” says Tiffany Payne, Head of Marketing at Replace Your Docs. “All you have to do is include your logo and website colors in each of your emails and keep the formatting constant. You should also ensure that your emails are sent from a branded address, such as email@example.com. In this manner, your recipients will know who sent them the email and that you are a reliable source.”
Personalize them too — Personalizing your emails significantly increases engagement says Tyler Garns, founder and CEO of Box Out Marketing. “Use your client’s first name in the subject line,” Garns suggests. “You will catch their attention by providing content that will meet their expectations and unique customer experience.”
Format for multiple devices — Payne adds that it is also important that you are “utilizing an email service provider that supports responsive email formats. You want to ensure that your email looks good on a desktop, tablet, and mobile phone. Formatting reverts to a mobile-friendly state. Your email service provider should automatically adjust the image and text sizes to the device that your patient is using.”
Create clear and compelling subject lines — “The subject line is your first impression,” shares Daniel Foley, SEO Manager at MCS Rental Software, “and a third of individuals decide whether or not to open emails solely on the basis of the subject line. If you want to increase the number of people who open your emails, make sure the subject lines are clear and simple. They should also appropriately reflect the content of your emails and entice recipients to learn more about them.”
Make the email scannable — “Your subscribers are busy people who receive a lot of emails on a daily basis,” says Jay Bats, co-founder and developer of ContentBASE. So, it benefits chiropractic professionals to send emails that are easily scannable. “Provide subheadings and photos to lead readers through your email and make it easier to skim,” suggests Bats, “and include a teaser at the top to let subscribers know what’s coming next. Consider including a ‘read more’ link if you’re sending a big piece so readers may read the remainder when it’s convenient for them.”
The power of email marketing and communications styles
Keep your tone conversational — “Keep in mind that your emails should be viewed as an extension of the conversation that began in your office,” says Marc Stitt, chief marketing officer at FMX. When writing your promotional emails, this involves using a tone that is “more relaxed and conversational than salesy,” says Stitt. Use the power of email marketing to think about what you’d say to that email recipient if talking in person, then put it in writing.
Create emotional resonance — “When someone realizes that someone just like them has achieved success in your profession, they are far more likely to believe they will as well,” says Tyler Martin, founder and certified business coach at ThinkTyler. You can provide this type of experience through emotional success stories or testimonials. Connecting with prospective patients emotionally offers a secondary benefit says Martin, and that is creating trust and recognition, which can help keep your emails from being labeled spam.
Include a clear call to action — “Despite the fact that your emails should primarily be informative, it’s critical to inform readers about the next steps they can take,” says Ariana Flynn, marketing and communications Manager at ProxyRack. “This can be as basic as inserting a ‘Click here to arrange an appointment!’ button at the bottom of the email. You might also tell them to go to your website or blog to learn more about your services.”
Overcome the new email track changes — Several recent changes have made it harder to track email marketing campaign results. This can leave you wondering whether what you’re doing is working and you’re correctly utilizing the power of email marketing, or if it should be tweaked for a better response.
Sam Cohen, founder of Gold Tree Consulting, recommends working around this issue by using different channels to “track and probe” your patient’s interests. Google AdWords is one option that Cohen says is good for educational content, and if you use Outlook, the Dynamic 365 app is another that follows the new tracking rules.
Cale Loken, CEO of 301 Madison Consulting, adds that it also helps to integrate analytic tools that improve visibility and tracking. Many email platforms offer insights as to performance, such as by analyzing open rates. “These softwares also offer customization of robust analytics according to your needs,” says Loken. “The numerous metrics can help boost conversions and track your success rate as well.”