Email marketing has long been an effective way for companies to locate and reach both current and potential customers. However, selling a new pair of shoes differs quite a bit from bringing a client to your medical practice for an annual check-up or some type of elective procedure. As such, email marketing for doctors is drastically different from other types of consumer marketing.
Here at Crystal Clear Digital Marketing, we know that email marketing for doctors can be effective if it is used properly and tailored to the practice’s focus and competitive advantages. With that being said, there are many factors a doctor should evaluate before launching or expanding an email marketing campaign.
What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is the practice of using electronic mail to bring in business. It can attract customers to a particular product or service. It shares most of its principles with traditional direct mail, in which a business mails out promotional materials throughout a neighborhood, region or another market to get its marketing message out. In this way, email marketing is closely connected to some of the oldest, most established forms of advertising. However, email marketing for doctors is different by necessity.
There are many forms of email marketing. They differ based mostly on the desired outcome of the campaign. Email marketing isn’t always about generating sales. It can be used in an effort to bring previous customers back in and turn them into loyal, repeat customers, for example. This technique can generate new followers on a selected social media platform or remind contacts of the company’s mission and the products or services it offers.
With email marketing, messages go out via email to a list the marketer must either compile or purchase. Ideally, such email lists are created organically, meaning that the addresses are collected ethically from willing individuals. Often, clients will provide their email addresses and other contact info in order to receive some type of valuable incentive, for example.
There are other email lists available which are generated by large companies that buy email addresses and then sell this information to other companies looking to grow their customer bases and revenues. Stated simply, email marketing for doctors does not work well when using email lists obtained in this way.
Benefits of Email Marketing
Email marketing works and appeals to businesses because it allows a business to reach a large sector of potential customers within a very short timeframe. It is also cost-effective. You can create an email campaign and put it to work pretty quickly with some thought and the right talent.
The vast majority of people in our modern society have an email address that they check on a daily basis. In fact, most check their email inboxes far more frequently than their physical mail because they know the email will come throughout each day and night. Sending a marketing email is like sending out a mass mailer, except that we typically have more information on who will receive it. This allows your emails and campaigns to be personalized and effectively segmented.
A segmented email marketing campaign occurs when the sender segments the email recipients according to known needs and desires and other factors. Not all recipients want or should receive the same information. There are times where a business sells to multiple distinct demographics, and each demographic may call for a different email message. Segmenting can dramatically increase the chance that an individual will respond to the email or click the link provided to learn more about your business.
A key consideration with all email marketing, including campaigns produced by doctors, is that it doesn’t take much time to put together an email, especially when using an email marketing template. Sending it out to existing and potential clients usually requires just a click or two.
Guidelines on Email Marketing for Doctors
Obviously, successful email marketing for doctors is going to look much different than similar activities conducted by clothing stores or outlets. Some businesses send out a different email every day based on daily sales data and new products coming in. Email marketing for doctors must be more substantive and targeted in order for it to work well.
When to Use Email Marketing
There are different times where email marketing for doctors is a near-must. First, if a physician wants to remind someone to go in for their six-month check-up, email contact with a simple, subtle marketing message included is a great way to do this. Of course, e-marketing and e-communication are far less expensive than sending mailers out to communicate with clients.
It can be very important to assess the demographics of your recipients. Some individuals should receive a physical mailer instead of an email (or possibly both). But if a parent has just had a baby, for instance, it can be difficult to remember all the dates for when the child needs to go in for their shots and other check-ups. A simple email can remind them when to come in and what will take place on that visit.
Medical practices can also use email marketing to offer guidance and recommendations for staying as healthy as possible. Depending on the type of work you do, you might offer tips covering how to protect the skin during the summer or how to best avoid scarring after acne. All of this is helpful and welcomed by most readers. Most people pay attention to whatever material comes from doctor’s’ offices, so this can increase business efficiency and goodwill between you and your patients.
Types of Email Marketing a Doctor Should Consider
As we previously indicated, an educational email newsletter can be tremendously helpful for maintaining a line of connection between the client and the doctor’s office. Of course, it is acceptable to send the same email content to more than one person, but all campaigns should be executed thoughtfully.
As another example, if you offer age management services, you might want seniors to receive certain messages about maintaining bone health, staying active, and what to do to help exercise their minds. Parents of small children would not find this information helpful. Instead, it is better to send information based on the client’s known, specific needs. By noting what someone is coming to the doctor’s office for, any private practice has the ability to adjust their email marketing campaigns to better fit the needs of patients and prospective clients.
One more form of email marketing to consider is the strictly promotional type. While it shouldn’t be overused, this approach can be very helpful and highly effective. You can offer discounts on certain products and services that recipients will find desirable, consequently ramping up volume in your practice. Some people dislike receiving large numbers of promotional emails, especially if they are repetitive or redundant, so it’s always important to strategize wisely.
What to Avoid in Email Marketing
It is of critical importance for a doctor’s office to not turn email marketing into spam. This not only is a quick way to get all of your emails permanently blocked, but you could also end up sending clients to another practice. The last thing most professionals in competitive fields want is to lose clients because of an ill-advised, poorly executed email campaign. That is why messages must always have clear objectives, and why it helps to work with the team of experts at Crystal Clear Digital Marketing.
Talk to Our Professionals!
Email marketing for doctors is an effective way to remain connected with clients, telling them about new treatments and specials, and passing along other key information. It saves time overall, and email campaigns can be put together more quickly than direct mailers at far lower costs. There are numerous benefits and few drawbacks when it comes to email marketing for doctors.
If you would like more information on this topic, we encourage you to reach out to us at Crystal Clear Digital Marketing anytime. We are always more than happy to help. Contact us today to speak with one of our friendly team members!