Email Marketing for Medical Practices: How to Boost Your Bottom Line
What happens when you hear the phrase “email medical marketing”? Do you come alive with excitement, ready to increase your open rates? Or are you one of those who twitch at the thought of producing yet another monthly newsletter, all the while not knowing if it’s worth your time, energy or hassle?
So, are emails really worth it? Can email marketing really boost your medical practice’s bottom line? Or increase your impact?
Yes. Yes they can!
Email marketing today is perfectly suited to the way small businesses and medical practices operate – allowing you to keep your message personal, immediate, and easily tailored to what makes your product or service unique.
The emails you send should entertain, inform, educate, and enlighten so your subscribers, your patients or customers, look forward to and enjoy hearing from you.
Why Is Email Marketing So Valuable?
New platforms emerge all the time. Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Snapchat.
Yet, no matter how many new platforms emerge, email marketing has been, and continues to be, one of the best ways to reach and engage your target audience.
Constant Contact reports that, on average, email marketing returns $38 for every $1 spent.
The number of email subscribers in the U.S. is expected to surpass 250 million subscribers by 2020. Meaning ROI on email campaigns will continue to increase year over year.
Email marketing for medical practices can be extremely powerful.
In fact, it can be 40 times more effective in acquiring new customers compared to Twitter or Facebook.
This provides a great avenue to reach a large number of patients. This can ring true for ENT’s, dental offices, and even hospice providers.
While hospice organizations also provide medical care, they have distinctive differences that should be taken into account when creating an email campaign for them.
In many cases, patients and families state they “wish they had known about hospice care sooner.” An email campaign can be an important part of not only gaining potential patients but providing vital community education. We provide an example of this below.
Email Marketing For Hospice Providers
If you’re a hospice provider, a strong marketing plan is essential to building your brand, improving community outreach, and building a strong referral network.
Email marketing should be an integral part of that marketing plan.
Email marketing provides an opportunity to reach patients, or loved ones of current and future patients, interested in the care and service you provide.
Unsure of when a hospice provider should send an email? Here are a few suggestions:
- After a tour of your facility by a prospective family.
- Introduce new activities or additions to the facility.
- Announce facility calendar of events.
- Before and after any community outreach or fundraising events.
- When a referral is received.
Email Drip Campaigns For Hospice Providers
Email drip campaigns are a great avenue for marketers to take when you want to drive your audience down a specific funnel.
Drip campaigns are automated email sequences that are sent on a specified schedule after someone subscribes to your email list or takes a specific action.
For hospice providers specifically, campaigns with the topic “Which Care is Right?” will allow your subscribers to work their way through your services to decide what they, or their loved ones, need from you, as their provider.
When you set up an email drip campaign for your hospice, the content of your emails important, but so is the order in which these emails arrive in your subscribers’ inbox.
Here is an example of what a successful email drip campaign sequence might look like.
This should be your “introductory” email. Do not try to be aggressive and force the decision right away.
Your job is to help guide them.
In this email, state that you understand choosing a hospice provider is their choice, and only they know what care is best for them or their loved one.
Since many of your new subscribers may be learning about hospice and palliative care for the very first time. You should consider answering a few frequently asked questions.
In addition to helping them better understand their options, this will also allow you to build trust and show your expertise.
We recommend including a link back to the FAQ or similar page of your website. Give them a chance to learn more and continue to interact with your website and brand.
Conclude this first email by highlighting what kind of care you provide, how long you’ve provided care in the area, and what others think of your facilities.
You can do the latter by including a testimonial quote, or one or two positive reviews you’ve received.
Not all Hospices are the same. You know this. Your subscriber may not.
This is your opportunity to show your audience what sets you apart from other providers in the area. How the care your patients receive is a step above the competition.
Be careful not to focus on just the facts. Think about the benefits to the patient and family, and include those.
For example, having a large staff is great. But what does that mean for the patient and level of care they’ll receive?
Your call-to-action, or CTA, for this email should send readers to your website to complete a referral form.
For a short, 3-part email sequence, this is the final email in your drip campaign. It’s time for you to really pull them in.
Content is key!
The goal of your email drip campaign is to drive subscribers to the website to start the discussion with someone at your facility or to schedule a tour.
Explain why it’s important to contact you sooner-than-later. Reiterate that most people don’t get the full benefits of hospice care available to them.
End with a CTA to call or complete a simple form today.
How to Measure Email Marketing Success
If you want to know if your email marketing is working, simply look at the data.
Make sure you are examining the metrics that show your return on investment (ROI). This allows you to truly move the needle in the right direction, increase your impact, and boost your bottom line in the process.
The core email marketing metrics include:
- Open Rate
- Clickthrough Rate (CTR)
- Bounce Rate
- Unsubscribe Rate
What Is Email Open Rate And How Do You Increase It?
Your email campaign’s open rate is the percentage of the total number of subscribers that open an email. In other words, the number of people on your list who click on your email to see what’s inside.
In 2018, roughly 125 billion emails were sent and received each day. Probably not shocking based on your own daily inbox.
But did you know that your email gets about 2 seconds in someone’s inbox before the user decides to open or delete it.
If you want your emails to positively impact your bottom line, you’ll need to make sure they get opened. After all, the user won’t follow your CTA if they never see it.
So how can you make sure you survive the inbox and get your emails opened?
We put together a list of simple steps you can follow to keep your emails out of the trash. But here are most CRUCIAL parts of your email directly impacting your open rate?
Your subject line. Your preview text. And your “From” line.
Keep your subject line benefit-focused. Avoid subject lines like “January Newsletter”.
Check your preview text before sending. This is the text that a user can read without actually opening the email. It’s usually the first line or two.
Use this text to further engage the reader and get them to open the email.
Finally, the “From” line. Make sure this is easily recognizable. If the user doesn’t quickly recognize who the sender is, they will delete it. Or worse, mark it as spam.
Improve Clickthrough Rates With Design & Landing Pages
You’ve sent your email. You’ve grabbed your subscribers attention. Now what?
What your readers see once they open your email is just as important as your subject line. Maintaining an attractive landing page is also a must.
Effective email marketing maintains what is called “scent” between clicks.
As your reader opens your email and clicks through to a landing page, what they see should be congruent. Same visual elements. Same branding. Same voice and messaging.
When a reader senses a disconnect, they backtrack, even if they’re not sure why. Keep them engaged and moving forward.
Below is an example from Lower Cape Fear Hospice. Notice how the email design (right) matches the website design.
And above all, your landing page must deliver on the promise you made in your email and CTA.
If you’re explaining your referral process, and your CTA is “Refer A Loved One”, make sure they end up on the page with the appropriate form.
How to Build a Strong Email Subscriber List
Since email is one of the best means of communicating with your audience, if you aren’t building a strong, reliable email list, you are making a huge mistake.
There are five main points to keep in mind while building a strong email list.
Manually maintaining a list of hundreds or thousands of people can be a tall task. Use list management software to help you keep track of your subscribers, and alert you when a contact unsubscribes from your list.
Spam has always been an issue, and email marketing continues to see more regulations. So make sure if someone unsubscribes from your list that you don’t inadvertently add them back down the road.
List management is also important in keeping your bounce rate low. Bounce rate is the percentage of emails in your campaign that never make it to the user’s Inbox.
These are emails that usually get rejected from the server, often times because the email address is incorrect, or the user no longer uses that email address.
If your bounce rate is too high, your email marketing service may flag your account. They want to make sure you’re not buying third-party lists or emailing people who never subscribed to receive your emails.
Email Marketing Software
Email marketing software allows you to both manage your lists and create your email design magic.
It’s usually purchased with a month-to-month subscription, and is maintained on a server managed by a third-party company. You don’t have to purchase expensive equipment or software.
We recommend MailChimp, and have partnered with them to bring our clients the best email marketing services.
Opt-in Form Creation
Before you can email someone, they must opt-in, or subscribe, to your email list.
If you already have a list of subscribers, that’s great. But email lists tend to shrink over time, so it’s important to continually build your list.
And if you want to grow your list, you need to offer website visitors a chance to subscribe. You need an opt-in form.
Opt-in forms can be placed anywhere on your website. We typically recommend the contact page, footer and at the end of blog articles.
To increase the likelihood that someone will subscribe, you’ll need to give them a good reason to.
Use a short CTA or phrase to encourage them to sign up. For example, “Sign up to learn more about Hospice care” is more effective than simply “Subscribe”.
You’ve heard it before. Content is key!
Email marketing for medical practices won’t have the impact you want without great content.
Getting email content that converts is both an art and a science. Lucky for you, there is a short guide to email copy that can help you.
Does Your Medical Practice Need Help With Email Marketing?
When was the last time you went an entire day without checking your email?
Your patients and their families are connected 24/7 to their email accounts through phones and tablets. It’s no wonder that email marketing is a crucial component in amplifying your brand’s message and impacting your company’s bottom line.
If you need help designing emails, writing copy, or increasing conversions, we can help.
We can create unique email designs that match your website and integrate it with all social media platforms. We can craft great copy to increase open rates and clickthrough rates. And we can bring it all together to increase conversions and positively impact your bottom line.
Overwhelmed with email marketing? Not sure if you’re getting a great ROI?
Let us help! Contact Us today to learn more about how you can get started or improve your email marketing.