Get Patients Clamoring For Your Services

Written by on November 29, 2013 in Practice tips - No comments

Recently there has been a lot written regarding social media, patient portals and patient engagement.

With meaningful use criteria including the ability to interact with patients online, healthcare providers and doctors have been seeking new interactive avenues, which includes various social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

Ironically, the most effective tool for spreading your message has been at your fingertips all along- your newsletters and email marketing.

Email beats Facebook for getting new patients and Service Signups.

A recent survey by AW Pro Tools of 1,500 consumers nationwide demonstrated that one-third of respondents across all incomes were influenced by digital marketing tools when making online purchases. 13.8% said email influenced them, while 13.5% said Facebook did.

Both those channels beat YouTube (3.5%) and Twitter (1.9%).

Knowing these results can help you decide where to allocate your time and marketing dollars.

“The winning strategies for entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies alike is to attract a base of raving fans that open, read, and click on the emails you send,” says Jack Born, CEO of AW Pro Tools. “Without a well thought-out email strategy, money spent on any advertising is going to be much less effective, especially if you want to attract high-income clients.”

Email marketing and newsletters is one of the best ways to keep in touch with your patients and clients, informing them about what is new in the practice, as well as attracting new ones.

Getting New Subscribers to your List

If you think that you can add all your patients to your Ezine or newsletter list without their consent, think again!

Sending your electronic newsletters to “subscribers” who did not opt-in, is inviting those who did not request your Ezine to hit the delete button without ever opening the newsletter.  Worse yet, when your digital newsletter is reported as spam, since it wasn’t requested, your host server can shut you down.

Opt-In Process

Opting-in is like raising your hand and saying, I want this; I want to participateRegardless of whether you signed readers up or they signed up themselves, an opt-in process will ensure that the readers want to be there.   When they have enrolled as subscribers, a confirmation is requested and when approved, you have them.

4 Benefits to Having an Opt-In Subscription

Adopting a signup process for your newsletters has several advantages:

  1. Improve deliverability- your site will be white listed, ensuring that your delivery gets passed the spam filters.  Your readers will look forward to opening up your regular newsletters and interested in what you have to say.
  2. New Leads (prospective clients) will be genuine people more than likely and not made up names with fake email addresses.
  3. Save Money- newsletters going out in the mail to the wrong address means throwing money out and increasing your expenses with no benefit.  Ezines sent to “fake lists” cost you in terms of wasted time and marketing.
  4. Separates the Real leads from the tire-kickers- By getting the prospective subscribers to go through the opt-in process, you can distinguish those who are truly interested, as opposed to those who are curious and just want to see your work on impulse.
Your Valued Gift

Sure, your message has value, but unless your target market knows this, you will have no one interested in subscribing to your newsletter or Ezine.

Figure out what your market is interested in and provide it.  Give a gift or an incentive, which is valued and considered helpful or beneficial such as:

  • Free Ebook or chapter of a book that you are promoting
  • Whitepaper, guide, tip sheet
  • Frequent Questions and Answers sheet

Part of your opt-in process will consist of having prospective clients provide their email addresses to receive the bonuses they want.

Offer an Ezine or newsletter that has been circulated before so that a prospective reader can get a feel for your “voice”.

Most importantly, make sure that the Ezine or newsletter delivers quality and helpful information every time the new one is issued.

This will turn your information into desired material that people look forward to with each delivery.

Important Information

Don’t forget to put information about the daily operations of your office.  Don’t assume that patients already know.

Information that should be included:

  • Office hours each day
  • How to contact you or your service when the office is closed
  • Telephone number
  • Office address

The telephone number and address can be part of the newsletter banner so that it isn’t missed.  Don’t make patients sift for this important data.

Don’t have time to write and spread your newsletter?  This is no problem.  Outsource it!

By Barbara Hales, M.D.

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