Grow your healthcare business with an efficient email marketing strategy

November 6, 2020
Hoala Greevy

Personalized email marketing is an effective, cost efficient strategy to improve patient outcomes, boost your brand, and grow your healthcare business.

Personalized email marketing is an effective, cost efficient strategy to improve patient outcomes, boost your brand, and grow your healthcare business.

The following guidelines will help you develop an effective email marketing plan for your medical practice.

Stay on the right side of HIPAA

First and foremost, be sure to comply with HIPAA rules surrounding marketing to patients. To that end, we have written a detailed explanation of how HIPAA defines marketing and what this means for you.

In a nutshell, covered entities are allowed to market to patients, but in some cases, prior authorization is required, either written or electronic.

In regards to email marketing, most mainstream email marketing platforms will not sign a business associate agreement (BAA), and most of those that do will not allow you to transmit PHI. Make sure you only partner with an email marketing solution which is fully HIPAA compliant.

Build your email list

There are various ways to encourage patients or potential patients to opt-in to receive marketing emails from you. For example, you can include a marketing authorization form in a new patient’s intake paperwork or provide a signup link on your website.

You can also leverage your social media presence to build up your contacts. Your followers on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter are either current patients or potential patients who want to hear from you. Why not get them on your email list as well?

Tell people what’s in it for them

When people are opting in, mention what your emails will include, whether that’s free guides about preventative care, or simply a monthly healthcare email newsletter.

Making your emails’ value clear increases the likelihood of patients checking the opt-in box.

Segment your email lists

Every email campaign won’t apply to every patient, so tailor messages to the correct audience.

For example, if you’re sending an email to senior citizens, mention how the new pneumonia vaccine could keep them healthy. If you’re sending emails to parents, consider sending information about how they can prevent their children from catching the flu.

Personalization demonstrates that you care about your clients’ well-being, which makes them more comfortable trusting your practice with their healthcare needs.

Personalize your messages

As long as you choose a HIPAA compliant email marketing provider, you can fully personalize your email marketing by including protected health information (PHI) in an email to send pinpointed messages.

As a start, try including someone’s name in the salutation.

Use a pithy subject line

The number of emails sent per day is expected to rise to over 347 billion by 2023. Clearly, your patients’ inboxes are filled with emails, so your subject line needs to stand out.

It is crucial that each campaign contains an interesting subject line, inviting the user to open the email.

Provide a clear, useful message

Make sure that your message is explicit. Clearly explain the intention of your email, such as confirming an appointment or information about what healthcare services your business offers.

Successful email marketing engages readers with content that benefits them. Patients will be more likely to open and read a message that solves their problem or is genuinely useful or interesting.

Get to the point

Your patients are busy people, so they don’t have time to read an email manifesto. Keep your emails short and sweet.

Short messages are also better for mobile. This is hugely important, considering 55% of email is opened on mobile devices.

Send different types of campaigns

Email marketing can take many different forms. An email campaign can provide educational messaging (i.e. summer skincare tips), promotional messaging (i.e. six Botox sessions for the price of five), practice updates (i.e. we’re now offering telehealth), and much more.

Serving up different types of content will keep patients engaged and interested in your emails.

Don’t forget to proofread

Spelling errors and poor grammar reflect poorly on your practice and make it hard for patients to take the message seriously.

Proofread the campaigns you write, but don’t stop there. At least one other set of eyes needs to review them because it can be difficult for you to spot mistakes since you are so close to the content.

Include a call-to-action (CTA)

Nearly one-third of marketers cite email marketing as the digital marketing channel with the highest return on investment (ROI). Take advantage of this by crafting email content that incites patients to take action, such as booking an appointment, or referring a friend.

Conclusion

Email marketing in healthcare is a strong option for nearly every marketing plan. The relative cost is low, the audience is openly receptive, and the rate of return can be exceptionally high.