List segmenting, cadence, promotions and other strategies to give insight to your unsubscribes and make your email marketing more effective
Email campaigns help you keep in touch with former, current, and even future patients. This medium is good for updating recipients about your available services, sharing compelling promotions, and educating them about the importance of continuing their chiropractic regimen. However, the one thing that stands between you and your ability to provide all of these notifications via the convenience of their email inbox is properly handling unsubscribes.
Within the health care industry, the average unsubscribe rate is 0.28%. If yours is higher, understanding why is critical to improving your email marketing results.
Most common reasons for unsubscribes
People can choose to stop the receipt of emails from a particular business for a variety of reasons. Marketing expert Neil Patel explains that three of the most common include:
- Wanting whatever you provided to get them to sign up for your email list, such as gaining access to a downloadable guide or special promotion, but not really being interested in your services;
- Not segmenting your emails, which means sending all of your emails to everyone on your list versus sending more personalized emails to patients based on their specific condition, issue, or age range, for instance;
- Your email marketing campaign being either too aggressive (you send too many emails) or not aggressive enough (patients have no idea when they will hear from you next).
Figuring out the why of unsubscribes from your email campaign is the first step to lowering this rate because it gives you some idea of what isn’t working for your recipients and what needs to be fixed for better results. What does this process entail?
Analyzing the list
Collecting data on your unsubscribes is much like collecting data on your website visitors. Looking at various pieces of information gives you greater insight into what may be leading people to no longer want your emails.
In a post on Practical Ecommerce, Carolyn Nye, the director of the Digital Interactive Group for Acxiom, explains that this involves collecting data such as:
- The method by which recipients subscribe and unsubscribe to your emails (i.e. by subscribing via your website or a third-party site, as well as if they subscribed after a particular promotion);
- How many emails recipients will typically receive before choosing to unsubscribe;
- The average length of time a recipient is subscribed to your email list, whether days, weeks, or months;
- The email the recipient received immediately before unsubscribing.
Nye suggests taking this data and looking for any patterns that may exist among your unsubscribes. For example, are most people unsubscribing after 1-2 emails or are you generally able to retain their subscription for 10-20 emails? Similarly, does the average person unsubscribe within the first 30 days or do they tend to keep accepting your emails longer?
Looking at this data in greater detail gives you insight as to where your email marketing efforts may be falling short. It also tells you where you can implement changes for the best results.
Segmenting your list
Making a few minor tweaks to your email campaign can make a huge difference. Depending on what you find when analyzing your unsubscribes, one option to consider is to segment your subscribers.
Segmenting your emails involves creating smaller lists within your total subscriber database, separating them based on one common demographic. This allows you to send targeted emails to this demographic, increasing the likelihood that they’ll find your communications relevant and want to keep hearing from you.
One way to segment your lists is by age. Older patients often have different musculoskeletal concerns or issues than younger patients. Separating based on age group lets you address their specific concerns or problem areas. An example would be sending an email that includes balance exercises for older adults or emailing younger patients proper lifting tips when moving their belongings to college.
You can also segment your lists based on specific health conditions, whether they play a specific sport, if they have kids, and more. The more your list addresses their specific situation and issues, the greater the likelihood that they’ll want to continue to receive your emails.
Ask about preferences
It can also be helpful to ask your patients directly about what they want from you and your emails. Give each one a short questionnaire that asks how often they want to hear from you, what type of information they want to receive digitally, whether they prefer short or long emails, and any other data you feel may be impacting your ability to sustain subscribers.
Taking this approach enables you to create an email marketing plan based specifically on your patients’ wants and needs, thereby reducing your unsubscribes even more.