5 Effective Email Marketing Tools and Strategies for Healthcare ProfessionalsPosted: September 16, 2021 - By Health Dev
Email marketing strategies for the healthcare industry are somewhat different than others. Instead of trying to sell a product or service to an individual, effective healthcare marketing builds trust with patients. Campaigns must be geared to the right audience, contain interesting and factual information, and present your practice as both professional and caring.
As with any email marketing campaign, creating an interesting, highly readable, and concise email is key. Here are some tips for building the perfect healthcare email.
1. Build The Perfect Healthcare Email
Regardless of what tricks of the trade you’ve mastered to find the perfect email list, sending emails won’t do any good if the recipients don’t open them or if they don’t contain anything of relevant value.
Your marketing campaign will likely involve two basic types of emails:
- Cold emails. These are sent to patients who haven’t previously shown interest in your specific healthcare practice.
- Engagement emails. These seek to keep your current patients up to date and involved with your practice.
Sometimes referred to as a welcome email, cold emails are used to drum up new patients from a broad spectrum of prospective patients. With the right software, email addresses can be generated from Google searches related to your healthcare practice. They can also be generated from searches done on respected healthcare informational sites like WebMD or Vitals.com.
Engagement emails are designed to engage the patients you currently have and to keep your practice in the front of their minds. They’ve been shown to be remarkably effective at giving patients an overall positive feeling about the healthcare practice that’s sending them. Sometimes they’re as simple as “Happy Birthday” messages or appointment reminders. These don’t need to contain anything except a brief message and a signature from your practice.
Other forms of engagement emails are more informational in nature, like a healthcare newsletter or updates on new treatments. These may take a little more work to craft correctly. Further, they should always be clear and concise. Make it obvious what action should be taken, if any — but don’t come across as demanding an action.
For example, if you sent an email to ask your patient to leave a review for a recent visit, give them the option by suggesting it and providing the appropriate link. Don’t demand that it be a positive review or that they do it at all. Consider framing it like this: “If you would like to leave a review of your recent visit, clicking this link will take you to a place where you can do so.” Never say something along the lines of, “Click here to leave a positive review about your last visit with us.”
Though these tips will help, it’s likewise important to note that engagement emails will yield the best results when they’re segmented. With that said, here’s what you need to know about segmentation.
2. Segmented Contacts Lists
Segmented email communications allow you to separate your list of email addresses into various categories and send specific emails based on those categories.
Let’s assume for a moment that your healthcare practice offers multiple specialties. Using segmented email lists would allow you to easily determine which patients should get information related to which specialty. For instance, an email that’s about easing the effects of menopause doesn’t need to be sent to men and young women, nor to senior citizens of either gender.
Add a checklist of topics to your emails that your readers would like to know more about. Not only does this make creating segmented email campaigns easier, but it also gives readers a sense that your practice is interested in them as an individual.
3. Email Templates
Email templates work well for a welcome email to a new patient, an appointment reminder, or a birthday email. They provide a quick and easy way to generate effective emails and subject lines. The only personalization that’s necessary is to add a name, gender, or other specific demographic.
The best templates are those derived from actual email campaigns that have been shown to increase the open and response ratios. These templates come with notable benefits:
- They give you the confidence of using proven tools
- They remove the need for A/B testing
- They reduce time wasted during trial and error while attempting to craft effective emails
If you have software that provides you with email automation, all you need to do is choose the template and the segment of your contact list that you want to send emails to. This software will also automatically add important information before the emails are sent. Personalization, the addition of dates for appointment reminders, and the names of new patients will be accounted for.
4. Customized Email
Customized emails take a bit more work on your part, but there are certain situations where they are much more appropriate. If the needs of an information email are specific, chances are you won’t find a template for that.
If you aren’t following a template, know that there are a few best practices to follow when you’re drafting these emails. Following these steps makes it more likely to get desired responses.
Keep it short and simple
Make the information contained in the email as concise as possible, and never forget that you are writing for a layman’s eyes. Avoid using too many long words and terms that are medical jargon. What your readers don’t understand will turn them away.
Break up blocks of writing
Blocks of writing and sequences that are time-consuming for your readers will often be ignored. Use lists and subheadings to separate blocks of information into smaller easily digestible bits. You can also steer clear of monotony by including pictures or artwork between blocks of writing.
Don’t order actions — do suggest them
No one likes to be told what to do. Avoid phrases like “Act Now” or “Click Here.” Instead, use phrases like “Time Is Limited” or even “Find Info.” It’s also important that these actions are easy to do and relevant to the information in the email.
Maybe you want a patient to click a link to learn more information about a specific part of your email. In this case, either embed the link in the information or place the link directly beside or beneath it. If you wait until the end of the email to add these links, readers may well get distracted before they get there.
5. Provide Links to Your Social Media Channels and Blog
Getting your patients actively involved with your social media accounts yields huge benefits. For starters, this will increase traffic and raise your number of potential followers. Additionally, it gives your patients the feeling that you want to share your practice with them. This leaves them with a more positive impression of your healthcare practice.
Providing links to your blog makes it quick and easy for your patients to find out more information related to the email’s topic. The same is also true regarding access to information about other topics. Both of these links should be contained within the body of the email where they can be clicked effortlessly and without much forethought.
Monitoring Your Results
All of the above-mentioned digital marketing strategies are designed to get your practice the best results with the least effort. But how can you tell if your healthcare email campaigns are working? This is where you keep a close eye on the email open ratio, rate of return responses, and other key statistics.
However you choose to view them, the statistics presented to you should include everything you need to check the performance of your email marketing campaigns. This includes:
- The open rate.
- Responses generated. This lets you know if you’ve reached the appropriate target audience.
- Appointments set.
- Click-thru rates, or CTR. This is how many readers click on a link in the email.
- Reviews generated. Ideally, you can also see whether they were positive or negative.
Having these statistics at your fingertips is invaluable when it’s time to generate your next email campaign. You can determine how best to proceed with just a quick look.
Monitoring your email campaigns should be more than just seeing their overall success or failure. It should allow you to see specifically how the success was generated. You’ll want answers to questions such as:
- Did this campaign drive up revenue by adding new patients to your practice?
- Did it result in the booking of more appointments from your current patients?
- Did it result in the generation of an increased number of positive reviews?
Knowing how a specific email marketing channel helped your practice is ideal. You’ll want this information for your next campaign in order to fit the specific needs of your office at that time.