If you run a medical or aesthetic practice that relies on patient retention then you absolutely need to focus on email marketing as a core component of your internal marketing strategy.
Many practices struggle with email marketing, getting discouraged because of poor open rates or click-through rates – to the point of giving up on the tactic altogether – without realizing that they’re setting themselves up to fail.
Top 6 Mistakes and How You Can Fix Them:
1) No call to action: You need to have a goal with each email. Even if the email is an informational newsletter, with snippets of your blogs, you should still focus on driving recipients to your website and blogs.
If it’s a promo you’re running, you need to drive these folks to a relevant Specials page. If your goal is to generate RSVPs for an event, you should direct them to an EventBrite page, for example.
No matter what your goal is, you need a call to action to grab the patient’s attention and encourage them to take action. Most often that means clicking a button, and if that’s the case the button needs to stand out. Avoid competing calls to action. For example, don’t link your image to one page and then have a button below it that links somewhere else, and don’t have a clickable phone number AND a button right next to each other; that’s confusing to the patient.
2) Taking patients to the wrong pages: Let’s assume you’ve got the call to action figured out. Great. The next mistake I see is emails that drive patients directly to a contact page. That’s going straight for the kill (their info) when you need to give them more detail on the topic or procedure.
If your email discusses a CoolSculpting special, for example, don’t take patients to your contact page or your general Specials page. Instead, take them to the CoolSculpting procedure page, so they can learn more about the procedure, but make sure incorporate a banner that references the special.
You may be wondering: “Well, if I simply want RSVPs, won’t taking people to my contact page work?” In that instance, I unique RSVP page would be better, so you have relevant fields and can track entries uniquely. Even better, as noted above, Eventbrite is great for RSVPs because it integrates with both Facebook Events and your calendar.
3) Not reviewing the email layout on mobile: Incorporating large, elaborate graphics with text overlaid on them are likely very difficult to read on mobile devices. A simple test email on your mobile device will tell you whether or not the email displays well and reads easy.
4) Too lengthy: Don’t try to stuff too much content into a single email. Every email doesn’t have to be a newsletter, and even if you’re creating a newsletter email, I’d keep your focus on 3-4 items, with a small section for links to additional blog articles.
Patients get confused when you throw too much at them, so keep the email focused, concise and lead them to where you want them to go.
Even if your email is very focused, on one or two topics, avoid lengthy content blocks. Remember that the majority of those reading your email will be viewing on mobile, and a medium-sized paragraph on a desktop computer can look enormous on a smartphone. No one wants to read all that info!
Get to the point by highlighting the benefits and then allow patients to click to learn more.
5) Poor subject lines: Here are some things to avoid to ensure your email not only gets opened but dodges the dreaded spam folder…
- Avoid punctuation, especially exclamation points (hyphens or dashes are ok)
- Don’t fake a “re:” in your subject line. The subject line should relate to the content of the email
- Stay away from spammy words like “sale” ” special” “discount” etc
Some ideas for writing a successful subject line…
- Keep them under 6 words (and under 65 characters)
- “Question for you” is one of the most successful subject lines (according to Inc.com)
6) Sending too many or too few emails: Keep in mind that your email frequency, or lack thereof, will also affect your campaign performance. Sending it out once a quarter is too little, but sending out an email every week (to the same audience) is too much. The sweet spot we’ve found is 1-2 times per month.
You may get to the point where you’re sending 1-2 emails per month- following all the best practices – and getting great open rates and click-through rates. You might wonder, “What now? Can I send more?” My advice is to be strategic about any additional email marketing you do; focus on sending segmented campaigns.
What are segmented email campaigns?
If you’re unfamiliar segmented campaigns, they’re email campaigns that target a specific segment of your total email list. For example, patients who’ve spent $3,000 or more on injectables in the past two years, but haven’t come into your office in the past three months.
The caveat with segmented campaigns is that in order to run them you need to have the data. In other words, you need a CRM software that ideally integrates with or has its own appointment scheduling solution. Even better, if you can integrate with your billing or point-of-sale solution then you can run segmented campaigns based on how much patients have spent.
If you have any questions about email marketing or running segmented campaigns, drop TRBO a line here or call us directly at 877-673-7096 x2.