If you had to choose one way to market your practice online, what would it be?
A bi-monthly blog?
Sending emails and newsletters?
Here at Clinical Catalyst, we’re obviously fans of all of it. But if we had to choose just one, we’d have to put email marketing at the top of the list. When done right, it can easily become the greatest return on your marketing investment – typically a $36 return for every $1 spent.
But the key phrase here is “when done right.” So, what are the dos and don’ts of email marketing? We’ve put together our top five. And here they are.
1. Up Your Lead Magnet Game
There are two groups of people who are on your email list – your active patients and those who haven’t been in for a while. Now, it’s easy to build an email list full of your actual patients, but how do you attract those who haven’t yet stepped foot into your clinic?
This is where having a lead magnet comes in.
A lead magnet is some type of digital content that you offer in exchange for the person’s contact information. It can also be called an opt-in. If you don’t have one yet, here’s a quick guide on how to build a lead magnet for your practice.
If you already have a lead magnet in place, excellent! But you’re still not off the hook. 😉 Take it to the next level with these two steps:
- Upgrade your current lead magnet with new images and optimized SEO.
- Create a second (or third) lead magnet.
The goal of any lead magnet is to attract as many high-quality, potential patients to your list as possible. So, when considering upgrading or creating additional lead magnets, we recommend creating them based on the exact problems your ideal client or patient is facing.
To do that, start by listing all the problems they currently face. Then, create a simple lead magnet for each of those pain points. It should contain tons of value and provide solutions, tips and ideas to help them deal with the challenge or problem they are facing.
Wait – what? If your eyes are starting to gloss over, that’s okay! Let’s break it down.
Let’s say you’re an acupuncturist and you love helping women dealing with fatigue and low libido so they can feel their best and enjoy a satisfying relationship.
Think of all the different ways these particular women may be struggling and could use your help. Is she….
- Struggling to keep everything together while raising three kids and working from home?
- Working full-time and feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, with little time for anyone else?
- Trying to find love again while still healing from a broken marriage?
All three of these women are experiencing fatigue for different reasons yet each one of them could benefit from the service you provide. Using this example, you can create three simple lead magnets – one for the mom, one for the working woman, and one for the divorcée.
The challenges the mom faces may not be relevant for the divorcée. And the divorcée may not share the same problems as the woman who is working full-time. So, by having three different lead magnets, you now have content relevant to each of your patient types.
2. Be Consistent With Your Email Marketing
We knowwwww – you’ve heard over and over again about the importance of being consistent. But let’s first be clear about one thing: consistency does NOT equal frequency.
You don’t have to email your list three times a week, every week of the year. So take that pressure off yourself! The reason consistency is important is that it shows your patients that you’re reliable and dependable. And it helps you stay at the top of their minds.
The key is deciding how often you want to engage in email marketing and then sticking to it.
3. Balance How Much You Offer Value Versus Sell
Not every email has to include some kind of product promotion or an invitation to work with you. It’s far better to put more effort into building relationships, showing appreciation, and providing value than always asking for ‘the sale.’
But how do you know when to talk about what you do instead of only adding value?
We typically recommend the 80/20 rule. So, for every four or so value-based emails, send one that actually talks about how you can best serve them.
This shows your readers that you’re truly coming from a place of genuine desire to help them.
4. Avoid Spammy Words
Email providers are getting increasingly savvy about flagging emails that feel spammy. When this happens, the emails often end up in the dreaded spam folder, never to be seen again. In fact, roughly 1 in 6 emails get flagged as spam and never see the light of day.
So what can you do to make sure your emails don’t end up in their spam folder? One way to do that is to avoid using words that are known to cause a flag. Here are some of the commonly used words that can flag the spam trigger – and what you can use instead:
- Amazing. Try using more specific adjectives or words like “incredible” or “stunning.”
- Click here. Use “Head here” or “Head this way.”
- Order now. Opt for something like “Grab your product here.”
- Special promotion. Go for “You’re in for a unique treat!” or “A little extra something for you.”
- Congratulations! Swap this out for something like, “You did it!” or “Hip hip hooray!”
This list is just a quick example of what to watch for, so be sure and do some research to make sure your emails stay out of the spam folder. Spam lists can differ depending on the email provider so be sure to ask your patients every now and again if they’re getting your emails.
5. Keep an Eye on Your Email Marketing Metrics
We know this may come as a shock, but did you know that the average open rate for a health-related email is 21.5%? And that only 2.7% of your readers will click a link in your email?
So, if you’re disappointed that you’re not getting a 100% open rate, it’s okay. It doesn’t mean that your emails are bad or belong in the garbage bin.
These industry averages can serve as a helpful guidepost on whether your emails are performing well or not. If you’re finding your numbers are falling below average, here are a couple of tips to troubleshoot:
- Low open rate: Consider optimizing your email subject lines. Also, check that your emails aren’t being delivered to addresses that no longer exist.
- Low click rate: Is your call-to-action clear? Is it easy to spot? Do they know what to do next?
Treat your emails like an experiment and keep testing until you find out what works best with your audience.
Ready for More Eyeballs on Your Emails?
Email marketing can feel a bit like you’re playing darts blindfolded. But the more you get into it, the more familiar and comfortable it will feel. And pretty soon, you’ll be a marketing ninja when it comes to using email to grow your practice.
Whether you’ve been writing emails for quite some time or are just getting started, sometimes it helps to have a marketing pro take a look. If you’d like, we’d love to take a peek at your emails and give you some judgment-free advice. To sign up for a free marketing checkup, head here.
Let’s make your emails click-worthy and irresistible!