Email marketing is one of many components that goes into a digital strategy. Emailing works in conjunction with your website and social media to promote yourself and your practice. A regularly scheduled newsletter is a great way to keep your patients informed about such things as office announcements, new employee introductions, holiday schedules or new procedures being introduced.
Let’s look at some email marketing best practices to keep in mind:
Do Make Sure the Content Matches the Audience
Think back on your patient persona and the data you collected in that research. What is the average age, income, family life of your patients? What are the interested in? What concerns do they want addressed? If most of your patients are seniors, chances are they don’t want to ready about healthcare trends among millennials. Look back on the person your created and tailor your content accordingly.
Additionally, the platform that you choose for your email marketing (MailChimp, ConstantContact, etc.) will have data to aid in your content curation. Look at the emails that had the highest number of opens. What is different about them? Note the wording, aesthetic style and content type of these more popular emails and keep replicating it going forward. More sustained interest = less opt-out.
Don’t Forget About Branding
Giving your practice a brand identity plays a hefty role in your overall marketing strategy. Branding is not one single thing – it is the sum of many parts. Of course, logo, colors, names, and tagline should all be present in emails as key identifiers of your practice. However, make sure that what you say and how you say it are also in line with your identify. Go back to your patient persona. If your patients are mostly seniors, slang and emojis may be a turnoff for them. Stick with phrasing that your know your audience will understand and relate to. Regardless of image you want to project for your practice, emails should always be professional and consistent with your brand.
Do Make Your Emails Mobile-Friendly
According to email marketing platform Litmus, 51% of all email opens happen on a mobile device. 51%! More than half of all emails seen are happening away from a computer. You need to take that into consideration when crafting your emails. You want the email to be quick to load, easy to read and nice to look at. Avoid dense or confusing language, overly large images or videos, side-scrolling and buttons that are too small to press. If people find your email too difficult, it will be deleted quickly. Make sure the design is clean and simple, keep the text short and snappy and include visuals whose file sizes are small.
Do Offer the Option to Unsubscribe
This step can sometimes get overlooked but is extremely important. You are legally obligated to offer your contacts the option to unsubscribe from your mailing list. It can even be at the bottom of the page underneath all of your content but it still needs to be there. Luckily, most email marketing platforms have the unsubscribe option already built into!
Follow HIPAA Compliance
As we recently covered, staying HIPAA compliant is mandatory for any and all communications coming from your practice. This includes your emails. Keep the focus of your emails on news around doctors, staff and the practice itself. Give patients the option to sign up for email newsletters – do not do so automatically. Though it may be tempting, adding contacts without their initial consent may do you more harm than good if patients find it annoying.
Never send sensitive, private or personal information to patients through email. No matter how secure you think your email provider or web browser is, you can’t be too careful. Discussions concerning a patient’s personal business should be conducted in person, over the phone or via a patient portal.
Email marketing is a great way to reach out and connect with your patients. A monthly newsletter with all the latest news about your practice keeps your audience up-to-date and keeps you top of mind. Remember to make it easy for people to opt-in and opt-out. Be sure that your language, visuals and content all make sense for your practice’s brand identity. Keep these simple rules in mind and your email marketing strategy will be off with a bang!
Tags: digital, email, marketing, strategy