According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and Demand Metric surveys of US marketers, email had a median ROI of 122 percent in 2016. By the end of 2017, the number of email users will rise to 244.5 million. This statistic in itself is sufficient to highlight the importance of email marketing. Thus, it is imperative to utilize the power of email marketing to grow your practice.
Here are some tips on conducting an effective healthcare email marketing campaign:
Catchy subject line
The most crucial thing for an email is to have the correct subject line. The instant decision of marking the email as spam or opening and reading the email depends largely on the subject line. It should be specific enough to catch the receiver's attention and be safe from getting dumped in the spam folder. Think of the best way to appeal when finalizing the subject line. Don't hesitate to display your intensions with words like "Sorry," "Congratulations," or "Welcome." The subject line should not be too long or too short. Use call to action phrases like "Get it now," "Hurry," "Last chance," "Save up to," and "Still time," to increase your email open rate.
Reports say that personalized emails receive 27 percent higher click rates and 11 percent higher open rates than non-personalized emails.
But, personalization does not offer positive results all the time. Thus, avoid sending personalized emails to people who are not your existing patients. Emailing too frequently will alienate consumers. For most people, personalized healthcare emails show unwarranted familiarity that annoys them and leads to an increased number of unsubscribes.
Rather than using people's names, you can segment the email marketing list of customers according to gender or age. This segregation will help send content to the relevant audience. For instance, a campaign launched for women's health should only be sent to women.
Your healthcare email campaign should be precise, clear, and communicate your service in the most concise way possible.
Lucid, simple text offers better understanding of content to a layman. Lucidity and simplicity are key factors that lead to additional clicks and a higher open rate. In today's world where everything is replaced with images and info graphics, it is best to have minimal text because "a picture is worth a thousand words."
If content is not designed creatively, it will go to waste. None of us like monotony. Whether it's vibrant or subtle, the design should be in sync with the message of your healthcare campaign. Creative designs help you spotlight the offer that's being promoted in the email.
An email should be concise but structured so that the reader understands what to do next. For all process-oriented messages, an email should have necessary steps mentioned clearly to help the customer reach the described destination.
For example, if you are launching an email campaign to convince a consumer to subscribe to your healthcare YouTube channel or follow you on social media, the email should display the steps with images. Provide a call to action button that takes the reader to your YouTube channel or social media page where they can subscribe to videos and posts.
Make consumers feel special
It's good to work on acquiring new patients, but you also need to take time for your existing patients, who provide reviews to your service and do word-of-mouth marketing for you. You need to make them feel special and above any other patient for the loyalty and trust they show by continuing business with you. In addition to health tips, offer them something extra, such as a discount, free visit, etc. These acts of appreciation build trust and establish long-term relationships. This will make your existing patients bring their family and friends to you and the new patients will want to establish long-term relationships with you for such benefits.
Compatible on all devices
Most people prefer checking emails on their mobile phones. In 2016, according to a survey, emails opened on mobile devices were 54 percent, webmail ranked second with 30 percent and desktop email opens dropped to 16 percent. Thus, your email design should be readable on any device, especially mobile phones. Mobile phones allow people to stay in touch with the internet all the time and access their email or social media accounts on-the-go. So, even if a consumer is not a frequent searcher of healthcare services, they can find you whenever they need to.
Frequency is one of the most important factors of your healthcare email marketing campaign. Over-mailing leads to a high level of unsubscribes, if not numerically then emotionally. The recipients will ignore the email if it isn't relatable. Conversely, not sending enough will reduce opportunities to promote your healthcare services, inform patients about what's new in healthcare, and sell products. On average, you should send a minimum of six to eight emails per month. Additionally, don't miss opportunities for launching email campaigns during holidays and other major events.
Remember, emails should be interesting and helpful for the reader and concise at the same time. A couple of irrelevant emails can annoy the receiver and they can mark you as a spammer.
Manish Chauhan is Digital Marketing Manager at myPracticeReputation which is an easy-to-use reputation management solution for physicians to help monitor, protect and promote their medical practices at all times in the simplest way possible.