12 Mistakes to Avoid With Email Marketing

Written by on July 1, 2014 in Practice tips - No comments

(And Becoming a Medical Rock Star)

Have you implemented email campaigns?

Email marketing is one of the most effective and least costly tools available to you today.  While providing a multitude of benefits, the cost is minimal.

Benefits of Emails

SmilingDocsWEBBy simply utilizing email marketing, you can:

  • Go viral
  • Attract more patients
  • Retain current patients
  • Raise yourself well above your colleagues in your patients’ eyes
  • Become appreciated by your patients
  • Show more involvement and approachability as you provide solutions to their health problems
  • Become the “talk of the town”
Damage Control

Don’t set yourself up for failure before you’ve begun.

It’s great that you are ready to dive into the marketing pool!  There is however some strategies that will determine whether you are successful or ineffective.

Make the most of your email marketing by avoiding these costly mistakes.

1-Being Irrelevant

When patients provide their email address to you along with permission to use it, they are expecting you to use it with discretion and not “sell” to them or sell their names.

They expect to get messages that are relevant and important to them. Sending out email that is uninteresting and inappropriate will tarnish your image and foster a behavior that either ignores you or deletes your messages.  Then you will have actually induced harm because they are no longer receptive to you and what you need to communicate with them

2- Not Segmenting your list

Separate your patients based on gender, age and conditions that they may suffer from.  Then gear your messages or solutions to them.  They will appreciate this more and the open rate will increase exponentially.

An example of this would be to restrict age-related conditions to those over 50.  A 25-year old individual would not be interested in reading about this, more than likely.

3- Long and Complicated Copy

Keep it Short and Simple.

Time is a precious commodity and one that people don’t have much of.  Keep the message to the length needed to convey the information.  For more detail, provide a link where patients can read more about it if they are interested.

4-Being Inconsistent

If you send out your messages the first Monday of the month, then patients will look for your emails.  If you are not consistent, you will disappoint them initially and then they won’t look for your emails again.  Train them to expect your messages.

5- Timing is Everything

When is the most likely time for a patient to open your email?  If it is to new parents, they are most apt to read their email after the children are in bed so sending the blast out in the evening makes the most sense.  On the other hand, business professionals may view their emails during Monday through Friday during working hours.

6- Dull, Old Subject Lines

Subject lines should evoke emotion.

Your subject lines, like headline news, should captivate your patients’ attention.  The words should lure them in with the promise of a great story, solutions or benefits.  No one wants to open up “the same old, same old”, regardless of who it’s from.

7- No images

A Picture is worth 1000 words.

Add a video to the mix.  If you are describing a new medical device or technique that you do, let them see it as you explain the procedure.  This will not only captivate and engage patients, it will help facilitate their understanding of what you are trying to convey.

8- Time Sucker

Your email campaigns need not force you into taking time out of each day to create and send.  A series of emails can be done at one time and then automated to go out on scheduled days or months in advance.

9- Viral Spread

Viral spread is a good thing.

Encourage your patients to spread your emails with a link at the bottom to click and forward to their friends.

Attach social media buttons so that your message can be sent to their list of friends and fans on social media sites, allowing you to be seen by a much larger audience.

Send your emails to your social media groups and Facebook Page so that they are seen and forwarded from these sites as well. Your emails enable you to promote new followers and interact with current “friends”.  Linking back to your website will drive more views to your online site as well.

10- Not Knowing What Works

Implement an analytical program.

There are many tools available to see how effective a specific message is and how much interest was evoked.  One of the easiest tools to implement is Google Analytics which will help you test each email to see opening rate, bounce rate and amount of time spent as well as how many times a person clicked onto your website. (I.e. All helpful information for future emails).

11- Ignoring ROI

Figure out how much return of investment you acquired by your email campaigns.  Consider how many patient appointments your messages brought in vs. the time that it took for you to create them.

12- Out With The Old, In With the New

After you have been sending out your emails for a while, take a look at who is opening them.  This information is readily available with your analytics program.

Remove the email addresses that lead to bounces over time and ones where patients never opened your messages.

Decide whether emails that went ignored are because the messages were not new, or not relevant to the patient receiving them.  This will enable you to target future messages better or to revise your content.

Contact these patients by phone.  Are they still your patients?  Do they use their computers?  Are the messages too frequent?  Try to understand them better on a personal level.

Email List- The New Backbone of Your Business

You are getting your patients’ email addresses, aren’t you?

If you haven’t, you are leaving money on the table and losing out on a golden resource!  You can always start now.

About TheWriteTreatment.com
The Write Treatment, LLC has helped promote medical practices and health professionals with fresh website content, blogs, newsletters, email campaigns and social marketing.

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By Barbara Hales, M.D.

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