There is an ugly side of email marketing…Junk Mail.
These are two words nobody likes. It's challenging to find someone who enjoys getting 15 emails each day with the subject line, “HOW YOU CAN LOSE 50 POUNDS IN 5 WEEKS, GUARANTEED!”
A lot of companies spam people's inboxes in the hopes that less than 1% take action. For massive companies with enormous email lists, this can be an effective, albeit annoying marketing strategy.
Due to these unsolicited and aggressive email campaigns, email marketing has gotten a bad reputation. Luckily, this bad reputation can mean great things for your practice.
Given its poor reputation, too many practitioners either neglect or completely dismiss this channel to connect with their patients. That means there's a golden opportunity for your practice to stand out and provide a unique experience for your patients.
Why Email Marketing Is A Powerful Tool For Practitioners
In general, you see your patients for a very brief amount of time each year. If you see a patient three times a year for 20 minutes each appointment, that's a total of 1 hour over 365 days. If actively participating in the SHAPE program, while their desire for your attention increases, your actual facetime is still limited.
Your patients trust you with their health and well-being. They look to you to provide expertise and suggestions that impact their lives in a significant way. While they have this need, their time in your office is not enough to satisfy their hunger for your knowledge. To do so would be expensive and impractical.
Enter email marketing.
When your patients subscribe to your email list, they are opting in to keep in touch with you, your practice and get useful information that can benefit their health. Moreover, this allows your practice to turn new patients into loyal followers of your practice and your mission.
How To Build Your Email List
Aside from asking current patients for their email addresses, the most effective way to build your email list is to use what is called a lead magnet. A lead magnet is an offer for your potential subscriber that provides value to them.
Lead magnets can be freebies, discounts or useful resources. These need to be relevant to your patients; we aren’t giving away a free crockpot and calling it good. Some examples for practitioners include:
- Free consultation
- Free urine testing
- Health analysis
- Discount for services or tests
- Free downloads
- Case Studies
The key is that your lead magnet needs to be valuable enough to your potential subscriber that they feel it is a fair trade in exchange for their email address. Every practice is different, so assess your practice and what would be useful to your ideal patients.
Using Your Lead Magnet
When you have the time, create several lead magnets and do what is called a split-test, or A-B test. With this test, different patients get different lead magnets. Through your email software, you can track what percentage of people opted in to each lead magnet. Tracking helps you get a better idea of what your clients want and find useful.
Pro Tip: Once you have a lead magnet, it is typically best to offer it on your website via a pop-up. Pop-up is another term that sometimes scares people away. But remember, these people have come to your site for a reason, this is a different pop-up compared to the flashing box that tells you that you’ve won 1 million dollars.
They’re On Your Email List, Now What?
Once you have your email list built, it is time to turn interested prospects into loyal patients. We do this by creating valuable blog content that we send out through email once per month.
Your content should be something that makes your patient's life better. Some rules of thumb when creating blog content:
- Have a subject line that stands out. If you don’t give your patients a reason to open your email, you wasted your time and effort making content. Subject lines should be short and direct, the length of a bumper sticker: “End Your Headaches,” “Your Anti-Inflammatory Grocery List,” “Why you are not losing weight,” “ Are you doing THIS daily?”
- Be consistent. When you email your content consistently (weekly, monthly, etc.), then your readers will begin to expect and anticipate your email.
- Keep it relevant. Your content is about your patients, not you. Stick to things that are useful for your patients and relevant to the problems you solve.
- Fewer words, more visuals. Your reader doesn’t want to sit down for 30 minutes to read through a newsletter. Avoid covering numerous topics in one email. Touch on the essential points that your reader wants to know about, then supplement the content with pictures, graphics and other visually engaging material.
The best piece of advice is to be genuine and to focus on what your patients will find useful and straightforward.
Still Need Help?
Creating an email marketing campaign can be a bit of a challenge, especially if it's your first attempt, and if you are short on time. If this is your situation, let us help! We have seen numerous email campaigns, so we know what to do, and even more importantly, what not to do. We will save you time and money so you can get back to doing what you do best, healing patients! Click here to schedule a free consultation.
About the author:
Ashley Nanney: Experienced Chief Executive Officer at Vitality Consultants LLC with a demonstrated history of business consulting within the health, wellness, functional medical and food industries. Skilled in coaching, consulting, public speaking and event management. Strong entrepreneurship professional, author and professional public speaker.
If you are looking for assistance, guidance or execution in DIY marketing, branding or business strategy, Ashley provides affordable solutions and suggestions for health and wellness professionals throughout the country. Visit AshleyNanney.com for more information.