Think email marketing isn’t an effective way to connect with patients? Think again. The number of active email accounts worldwide reached 4.1 billion in 2021 and is estimated to reach 4.5 billion by 2025, according to The Radicati Group. Furthermore, consumers spend an average of 5 hours checking personal and work emails every weekday, according to the Adobe 2019 Consumer Email Survey.
Email is a valuable component of a healthcare marketing strategy when properly executed. Read on for 10 healthcare email marketing best practices so you can effectively reach patients.
1. Beware of spam filters
Up to 45.37 percent of email traffic was considered spam in December 2021, according to Statista. Unfortunately, your healthcare marketing emails can land in spam folders, even if patients signed up to receive them.
A few tips to bypass the spam filter include:
- Avoid spam words and phrases such as “100% free,” “best price,” “promise,” and “save.”
- Build your email list instead of working with an outside party.
- Follow HTML best practices to ensure the design and layout are clear.
- Properly authenticating your emails so inbox providers know you’re legitimate.
- Clean up your email list regularly because ignored emails lower your engagement rate, jeopardizing your standing with internet service providers.
- Create a preference center where patients can decide what type of content they want to receive from you and how often.
Check out: Engage your patients with ongoing contact
2. Hit the right frequency
The most preferred mode by far, 61 percent of people prefer to communicate with brands by email, according to Adobe. However, another survey from Constant Contact reported that 69 percent of respondents said sending emails too often is the number one reason they unsubscribe from mailing lists.
You don’t want to overload inboxes, but reaching out infrequently can hurt your cause. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all formula, so take the time to figure out what works for your healthcare practice.
More than just a way to avoid spam, including a preference center — as noted above — is an easy way to ensure patients receive an optimal amount of emails of their choice.
3. Use segmenting
More than one-quarter of people (31 percent) find emails that don’t match their interests most frustrating, according to the Adobe survey. Every email campaign you create won’t apply to every patient on your list, so use segmenting to tailor messages to the correct audience.
For example, a dentist might send emails that include a discount on Zoom! teeth whitening to patients who have used at-home whitening strips because the dentist knows these patients want whiter teeth but might be reluctant to pay high prices. The dentist wouldn’t send the discount to patients who have recently undergone Zoom! teeth whitening because these patients are willing to pay the total cost for the service.
Keeping patients informed on topics they’re interested in will boost your engagement rates.
4. Create different types of campaigns
Email marketing can take many different forms. An email campaign can provide educational messaging (i.e., summer skincare tips), promotional messaging (i.e., six teeth whitening sessions for the price of five), seasonal greetings (i.e., Happy New Year!), or even be in the form of a monthly newsletter.
Serving up different types of content will engage and inform patients, keeping them interested in your emails.
5. Monitor the metrics
Patients might receive your emails, but that doesn’t mean they’re reading them. According to Constant Contact, healthcare emails have a 28.57 percent open rate and a 0.69% percent click rate.
Carefully monitoring key metrics like open rate, click rate, and bounce rate will allow you to know what’s working and isn’t. After reviewing, you’ll be able to adjust your messages accordingly.
6. Write an engaging subject line
Today, the number of emails sent daily is approximately 333.2 billion, according to Statista. Your patients’ inboxes are filled with emails, so your subject line needs to stand out.
PatientPop advises keeping your subject line short, including your practice name, and avoiding “reminder” language (i.e., Remember to schedule your annual appointment).
7. Don’t forget to proofread
Many factors go into a successful healthcare email marketing campaign, but none are as important as content. Spelling errors and poor grammar reflect poorly on your practice and make it hard for patients to take the message seriously.
Email content should be proofread by the person who wrote it, but don’t stop there. At least one other set of eyes needs to review it because it can be difficult for the author to spot mistakes since they’re so close to the content.
8. Include a call-to-action (CTA)
Email marketing is the digital channel with the highest return on investment (ROI), up to $36 per $1 spent, according to Litmus. Take advantage of this by crafting email content that incites patients to take action.
PatientPop recommends including call-to-action buttons such as “Book Online” or “Schedule Appointment.”
9. Time it right
In life and email marketing, timing is everything. You could send the most engaging email patients to receive all day, but if it arrives in their inbox at the wrong time, it might not resonate.
Customarily, the best times to send emails are Tuesdays at 10 a.m. and Wednesdays at 2 p.m., according to PatientPop. Try sending emails at these times, and then check your open and click rates. Then, experiment with sending your emails at other times on other days to see how opens and clicks compare.
10. Get to the point
Your patients are busy, so they don’t have time to read an email manifesto. Consequently, PatientPop advises keeping emails short and sweet.
Short messages are also better for mobile. This is hugely important, considering four out of ten emails are opened through mobile devices.
When properly executed, email marketing in healthcare is an effective way to keep in touch with patients and entice them to return to your practice — whether for checkups or other services.
What should you do next?
- Schedule a free PatientPop demo.
- Measure your online performance using our free scanner.
- Check out this webinar: 4 ways to enhance patient communication and retention at your practice