The medical sector is slowly but surely transitioning into the twenty-first century. But it’s not the industry itself that is driving the change; rather, it’s the change in patient habits.
Right now, more than 80 percent of patients use the internet to learn about medical conditions. “Doctor Google” is alive and well. As a medical practice, you can tap into this digital demand and use it to your advantage. If you let it pass you by, you could miss out on important revenue opportunities and, worse still, see a decline in your practice.
Email marketing is nearly a quarter of a century old, but remarkably, it’s still arguably the top of the pile when it comes to digital marketing methods. It might not be as trendy as social media marketing or as impactful as, say, video campaigns on YouTube and Facebook. But it has return on investment on its side; there’s practically no other form of marketing, digital or otherwise, that can give you as much bang for your buck. Data suggests that for every dollar you spend on email marketing, you get back more than $44 of business in return.
If you’re a physician and you’re just getting started with email marketing for doctors, it’s worth pointing out that you won’t perfect the art in a day. But with the following tips and help from the experts at Crystal Clear Digital Marketing, you’ll be well on your way to a successful campaign.
Select a Marketing Email Service Provider
If you want to use your current email address to send marketing emails, forget it; it won’t work. Regular consumer email platforms are smart, and they can detect a marketing email from a mile away. If you try to send out 500 emails to your mailing list from your Gmail, you’ll be met with an endless list of bounced email reports in your inbox – that’s not what you want.
It’s imperative, therefore, to choose an email marketing service provider. You want a smart email system that will let you send out thousands of emails a month without 90 percent of them bouncing back.
It’s also important to find a service that enables you to create email marketing templates so that you can easily and quickly generate repeatable marketing material. The good news is that our services come with features that allow you to create stunning marketing emails rapidly, without having to spend hours arranging images or text boxes.
Add Your Contacts to Your Email Marketing Platform
Our email marketing team knows that the whole point of their service is to provide medical practitioners with tools to send out emails to all their patients. So, it should come as no surprise that practically every piece of email marketing software out there allows you to import your current list of contacts to your marketing account. It’s a quick and straightforward process.
Create a Welcome Email
Digital marketers call the first email a patient receives from you a “welcome email.” Welcome emails do what you might expect: They welcome patients to the fold. But they are particularly important because they create a first impression. Medical practitioners need to ensure that their first welcome email is warm and breezy, provides an overview of their services and gives the patient something that they need or want, such as access to gated content.
Choose Your Email Template
The next stage is to choose some sort of template or format that works. For medical practitioners, this is probably the hardest part. Unlike most organizations, you’re not trying to sell a particular set of services or generate awareness of your promotions. Instead, you’re attempting to communicate general value to the customer or remind them of when they should seek medical check-ups. For these reasons, you may want to keep your templates quite generic, giving you the flexibility to change them according to customer requirements.
There are some basic things, though, that you’ll want to include in all your patient communications. These include links to your website, contact information and links to your social media channels if you have them (and you should). When choosing a template, make sure that you’ve got space for everything and that you don’t leave anything out.
Create Compelling Content
Writer’s block happens. It’s inevitable. You have an idea in your head about what you’d like to communicate to your patients, but getting something down on paper that sounds good is often easier said than done.
Most medical practitioners try to get around this problem by imagining that they are in the office with their patient having a regular face-to-face conversation. That doesn’t necessarily mean being informal. Rather, it involves going about creating email content in a natural way. Ideally, you want to communicate with your patients via email as if you were right there in the room with them.
Emails, though, have more structure than a regular conversation, so you’ll also need to carefully consider your headline, body text and call-to-action. The headline should quickly communicate what you’re offering. Patients don’t want to read emails with titles like “about us” or “the people in our practice.” What they want is an incentive to open the email and find out more.
The best way to do this is to offer them something. It could be something as simple as a free eye test or a guide to being healthy; the choice is yours. You must, however, provide immediate value in your title. If you don’t, your open rates will be rock bottom and your campaign a waste of time. People want headlines that jump out at them and grab their attention.
What about body text? Here you have a bit more leeway. The goal here is to get down into the nitty-gritty of what your patients want to know. You could use body text to promote a special offer, but as a medical practitioner, you probably want to focus on providing information and reminding patients of the services that you offer. For instance, if you provide the flu vaccination, you could use email marketing for doctors as a cost-effective method to tell patients that they need to get their shots.
The call-to-action is the final part of the email (although it doesn’t have to only appear at the bottom). Using the above example, you could use a button saying “book your flu shot today” to get people to take some next steps. It’s essential to keep your call-to-action interesting, just like the rest of your email. Many email marketing gurus advise against using generic calls-to-action such as “book now,” “subscribe now” or “call us with your questions.”
Preview Your Email
Once you’ve created an email, the next step is to preview it. Our email marketing system allows you to see how your email will appear to the end-user, in this case, your patients. Viewing your email as it will appear before you send it is essential. Having to change the details or the formatting and resend the email looks unprofessional and could irritate your audience.
Remember, once you’ve sent an email, there’s no going back, so you’ll want to double check it and then get somebody else to look over it with a critical eye. It’s not just mistakes you want to look out for, but omissions too. Does the email provide a method for your patients to get in touch with you? Have you included links to your social media pages? Are all the images you need present and correct? Check thoroughly before you send. Of course, our team will help you with all of this!
Time Your Email Campaign
When you send your email can have a significant effect on open rates and, therefore, your ROI. The peak time for open rates can vary from industry to industry. You’ll also want to send emails during the week, perhaps between Tuesday and Thursday, as these days also appear to garner the highest open rates.
Track Your Results
The only way to know whether your email marketing campaign is a success is if you track results. The good news is that our platform automatically does this for you, providing basic metrics, such as how many people opened their emails and how many clicked the internal links or calls-to-action.
The ability to track results is crucial. If you don’t know what works with your patients and what doesn’t, you could be missing out on opportunities to generate revenue.
Tracking enables you to estimate your return on investment. It gives you an idea of not only how many people viewed your email, but also what proportion of them later went on to become patients.
Get More Information
So, will you start using email marketing in your practice soon? You should, and you owe it to yourself to get all the facts about how this form of marketing can benefit your practice. That’s where the team at Crystal Clear Digital Marketing comes in. We want to help you find, serve and keep more patients profitably, and email marketing for doctors is just one of the many services we provide. Contact us today to speak with an expert!