Running a practice is about more than just seeing patients. You are a full-fledged business manager, handling all the challenges that come with that responsibility. For many practices, one of the most overwhelming aspects of running a business is marketing. Today’s modern patients are researching their healthcare options more than ever in history. They are reading reviews online, visiting multiple websites, and checking out their choices on social media before settling on a doctor. But even after they’ve selected you, you’re still not safe. Around one in three patients say they will likely switch practices in the next couple of years. Ouch.
Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to improve your marketing today. I’d recommend you start with email. Studies show that the ROI (return on investment) for email is a whopping 122 percent! And with the availability of easy-to-use email templates and automation services, email is a quick and easy way to reach patients. In fact, sending marketing emails to your patients to educate or promote services is just good business practice. In order to send emails that help you attract and retain patients, there are a few things you should keep in mind. So without further ado, here are 7 tips to writing (or improving!) your patient emails.
1. Use a killer subject line
Everyone has an inbox that is constantly being filled with work requests, newsletters, or coupons, and the one thing that keeps us from hitting the archive button on all of it is the subject line. There are a few things to remember when writing your subject line.
- Spark curiosity: It should entice the reader to open the email and read more. Make it fun and relevant to your email content.
- Keep it simple: Your subject line shouldn’t be more than 50 characters. Ideally no more than five words.
- Be descriptive: Sometimes it’s best to be direct but not repetitive.
- Don’t over promise: Using clickbait tactics, which trick patients into opening your email, might work the first time but it won’t have lasting effects long term.
2. Keep main message above the fold
Patients tend to skim email in an attempt to quickly gather the needed information. If the reader needs to scroll to view the whole email it’s less likely that your message will be read in it's entirety or call to action seen. When writing your message remember the Three Cs: Clear, Concise and Compelling.
3. Include your logo
One of the main goals to marketing emails is building brand awareness. Eye tracking research shows that the most effective location to place your company logo is the top left corner of your email. If you do not have a logo, you need to get one asap! Part of building your brand is having something that patients associate with you.
4. Segment your emails to different lists
Only send your email to patients where the message is relevant to them. If you don’t segment your email list and repeatedly blast everyone, patients will start ignoring and unsubscribing to your emails. Some easy ways to segment your email list is by using demographics, location, care needs, or exam type.
5. Use visuals
Pictures or videos are an easy way to break up blocks of text, and put a professional touch to your email. Readers are also more likely to be read, understand, and engage with your message when pictures or videos are used.
6. Proofread, proofread, proofread
There is nothing worse than pressing the send button only to realize you made a typo. Once you finish writing the email proofread it, then have a second pair of eyes proofread it and then proofread it again yourself. A second pair of eyes should not only help catch typos but offer suggestions of tone, and language.
7. Don’t forget to track results
By tracking email performance you will have an advantage to change tactics or improve your next email. Basic metrics to track are:
- Open rate
- Click-through rate
- Deliverability rate
Open rate is number of total number of emails sent divided by the number of opens. It is often a good indicator of how successful your subject line is. Click-through rate is the total number of emails sent divided by the number of clicks on links in your email. Email layout and call to action placement will affect the click-through rate. Deliverability rate is the total delivered emails divided by actual emails sent. Removing invalid and non-active emails from your list will improve your deliverability rate.
Implementing these seven simple tips into your email marketing will help increase ROI, build brand awareness, and strengthen relationships with your patients.
Want more ideas for attracting and retaining patients? Read our free checklist, "9 Steps to Awesome Online Reviews."