Designing an Effective Healthcare Email Marketing Strategy (How-to)
Healthcare email marketing is a viable, low-cost way to reach and connect with prospects and patients. It fits neatly into broader strategies and can be modified to meet various needs.
This guide covers five steps you need to design your email marketing campaign:
- Collect and Segment Patient Emails
- Build Your Emails the Right Way
- Focus on Sharing Instead of Selling
- Optimize Your Subject and Content
- Use CRM Software and Automation
There’s a lot to discuss, so get ready to take notes.
1. Collect and Segment Patient Emails
Designing an effective healthcare email marketing strategy is only possible if you have a mailing list. Sure, you can buy a mailing list and send your messages to those people, but what are the odds that:
- Those addresses are connected to real people and not randomly generated?
- The people who own those emails are part of your organization’s target market?
- They are interested in receiving your messages and not sending them to spam?
Having and growing your own list through organic methods ensures that you send emails to people who are or want to be your patients.
Here are three ways to obtain patient emails naturally:
- Patient Intake Forms: Creating a patient profile is the first step to receiving healthcare. Use that opportunity to get their information and contact details.
- Landing Pages: These are web pages explicitly made to attract leads for your mailing list. Leverage your valuable content or activities to generate interest and get emails.
- Newsletter Sign-Up: If some patients are interested in your website content, they can receive updates and notifications through their email addresses.
Patients who willingly join your mailing list are more likely to open your emails because they know these are relevant to their needs. If possible, allow patients to choose what messages they want to receive. It makes it easier to match patients with the correct email campaign later.
2. Build Your Emails the Right Way
Successful healthcare email marketing starts with assembling an effective email. This might seem straightforward, but remember: you’re writing for your audience, not necessarily for you.. You only get one chance to make the right impression, and the slightest misstep can cost you.
Here is a simplified guide you can follow to make building your winning email easier:
- Write a clean and professional subject line that encourages patients to open and read your message. Avoid using words that trigger spam filters, such as ‘free’ and ‘get.’
- Your email should be personalized and straightforward. Avoid using vague or confusing language. Leave out anything unrelated to the patient’s needs and concerns.
- Include something that provides value. It could be a call-to-action (CTA) to direct patients on what they should do or a lead magnet such as exclusive content or discount coupons.
- Add an unsubscribe button in your email. Give patients the option to drop out of your mailing list if they no longer want or need to receive updates or newsletters.
- Be aware of cybersecurity and data protection in healthcare email marketing. Take measures to keep patient information and communication safe at all times.
Including the right parts does not necessarily make your email successful, however. Using the right tone and focusing on the correct details are just as important. This leads us to the next step.
3. Focus on Sharing Instead of Selling
Remember that email marketing for healthcare organizations should be about helping people. Patients who feel you do not have their best interests at heart may ignore, filter, or block your messages. The best approach is to emphasize what they gain instead of pushing them to make decisions.
Here is how to share instead of sell:
- Your hospital has a new app, and you want to let patients know without being pushy. You decide that talking about features is one way to share the app with patients. So, you begin mentioning the app’s scheduling feature in appointment confirmation emails.
- Your clinic’s procurement team recently bought a new mobile x-ray truck. Rather than parking it out front and making all patients use it, you write about how it improves remote services in your monthly newsletter.
- Instead of sending a list of lung tests to patients who smoke, integrate those services into a quitting smoking campaign. Send a series of information emails highlighting the benefits of quitting or organize an event around it and invite patients to join you.
In a nutshell, your goal should be to help your patients get better through your services. Be authentic and genuine in how you convey that message, because people can tell the difference.
4. Optimize Your Subject and Content
Of course, success is never a guarantee on the first try. You need to make adjustments in places so that everything blends well with one another.
In other words, you can follow the guidelines listed here to a tee and still miss the mark. The only way to be sure of your email marketing strategy is to put it into action. That way, you can see what truly works, what does not, what to keep, and what to improve.
Conducting a test for this purpose is relatively simple.
- Identify the variable you want to test in your email.
- Prepare different versions to test the variable.
- Determine your sample size for the experiment.
- Send both versions to their respective recipients.
- Collect and analyze data from both samples.
Sorting through your mailing list beforehand can help you verify the optimal test population for your emails. After all, you can only include so many people in your experiment.
5. Use CRM Software and Automation
Part of what makes email marketing effective is management. Having your list, email, and schedule handy can get confusing if you are not organized.
Good customer relationship management software (CRM) addresses all of the above. Some developers even build their software with HIPAA in mind, which provides an extra layer of security for your emails.
Here is a short list of its features that make integrating your CRM into your marketing campaign a must:
- Appointment Scheduler
- Patient Registration
- Payment Management
- Mailing List
- Email Marketing Manager
- Email Encryption
- Security Software
Email is a powerful marketing tool that can connect you with patients who benefit from your healthcare organization’s services. Therefore, an effective healthcare email marketing strategy starts and ends with your patients. They need to know and feel that your hospital cares about their concerns.
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