Email marketing is easy. After all, how hard is it to send an email? However, easy does not equal simple, and effective email marketing is anything but simple.
For one, you need to verify the addresses before sending emails. After all, some people use dummy accounts to avoid spam, scams, and marketing.
This guide gives you the fundamentals of how to build a healthcare email marketing campaign in five steps, from writing your subject line to making emails easier to deliver.
There is a lot to discuss, so get ready to take notes. Here we go!
Pick a Clean, Effective Subject Line
You might be surprised to learn that email subject lines are important business decisions that require research.
For example, it must fulfill specific criteria to increase its chances of landing safely in the recipient’s inbox. For this guide, we sort them into dos and don’ts to make them easier to follow.
- Personalize your email’s subject. Write a title relevant to your patient’s concerns.
- Limit your subject line to as few words as possible. The ideal number is eight or fewer.
- Write in title case; it looks clean and professional. Sentence case is also acceptable.
- Review which words you should avoid to keep your email away from spam filters.
- Connect your title to your message. Give patients a preview of your message.
- Use unnecessary characters in your subject. They are disruptive and distracting.
- Include question marks unless the email’s title is genuinely a question.
- Add exclamation points. They create a false sense of urgency that is disingenuous.
- Write titles that are all in upper case. It is the text equivalent of shouting.
- Use mixed cases in your titles. Again, this is distracting and adds no real value.
- Over sensationalize in your subject line if you want to come across as genuine.
- Use RE: or FWD: unless replying or forwarding in an email thread with the patient.
The above guidelines are enough to get you started on the right path. However, you can also consult free subject-line testing tools to feel more confident and secure. Plus, they provide suggestions to improve your title.
As said by Digital Authority Partners, a good marketing email puts information over sales, which neatly sums up the dos and don’ts mentioned above. Focus on what value you provide to patients rather than what you can gain from haphazard attempts to sell your services.
Make a Cohesive and Concise Email
A well-written marketing email is concise and straightforward. You do not need to tell your patients the entire history of your healthcare career in every email. Essentially, you only need to include information the patient actually needs to know.
- Is their scheduled appointment coming up? Remind your patient of the time and date.
- Did your patient miss an appointment? Check up on them and see if they need another.
- Does your hospital carry flu vaccines? Let patients know when and how to reserve one.
A long email takes time to read, and your patient may not have the time or patience for it. In addition, the more you put into a message, the greater the likelihood that important information gets covered by unnecessary ones. Make the process easy for yourself and your patient.
Include a Clear Call-to-Action (CTA)
A marketing email should encourage some form of interaction with your hospital. It could be scheduling an appointment, checking your website, or visiting your location.
Regardless of what it is, the patient should draw some value from your message. That is what a call-to-action (CTA) button does—it directs the recipient to a relevant or related step to the information they received.
- Check your appointment schedule
- Schedule a new appointment
- Reserve a flu vaccine
- Download the hospital app
- Visit our website for details
When adding a CTA, make sure that
- It stands out from the rest of the email.
- The button is readable and unobstructed.
- It has explicit and focused instruction.
Assess Your Email’s Effectiveness
The perfect marketing email is not made overnight. Sometimes you find ways to improve the different elements involved. Maybe your subject line could be shorter, your CTA is unclear and confusing, or your message is too long and tedious.
Whatever the case, testing your email and analyzing its effectiveness before sending it to all your patients and prospects is practical.
Here is a simplified version of how to do A/B testing:
- Choose an independent variable you want to improve.
- Pick a metric to measure the variable’s performance.
- Prepare two versions of the variable you want to evaluate.
- Set up your experimental groups and run both versions.
- Analyze your results and update your strategy accordingly.
This process takes a while to work, so be patient with it. After all, it is a necessary step to crafting an effective healthcare email marketing campaign.
Integrate Your Campaign and CRM
As mentioned, personalized messages provide better email marketing ROI than bland templates. Therefore, your campaign might require or involve using a patient’s personally identifiable information (PII), such as their name or health concerns, when marketing.
That means your strategy must be HIPAA-compliant to protect yourself and your patients. The smartest way to cover all of these concerns—email marketing and PII—is by using HIPAA-compliant customer relationship management (CRM) software.
It helps you keep track of patient data in a secure environment while allowing you to set up your marketing campaign all in one place.
Other CRM services, such as appointment scheduling and payment management, also present additional opportunities to begin and maintain email communications with patients. It incentivizes patients to ensure your emails land in their inboxes and that they read them.
The most obvious block to an email marketing campaign is spam filters, both from email services and personal ones. However, there are other roadblocks you need to work around. For example, you must write a subject line that encourages recipients to open your message.
Take the proper measures to reach your goals by following the steps outlined in this guide.
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