In today’s digitally dominated world, the business opportunity for healthcare email marketers is real and better than the past few decades. A large percentage of American adults are digitally connected and individually addressable with emails, and this makes email marketing as the top-of-the-list option for healthcare professionals.
In fact, the number of emails per day is projected to reach 347 billion by the year 2022 as per the Statista report, and this figure conveys a clear message – Email is here to stay and presents a perfect opening for the healthcare marketers.
Image Source: Statista 2020
Moreover, email is proven to be very useful for medical professionals. Based on the MailerLite survey report, the average open rate for healthcare emails is 21.59%, with a super-high 3.31% click-through rate. It is one of the highest campaign performances among all segments.
4 Reasons Why Email Marketing is Important for Healthcare
Email communication is a reliable option for every healthcare marketing plan. From obtaining new patients, onboarding and retaining them to building trust, email marketing places a vast opportunity for brands to interact seamlessly with their customers and prospects. Moreover, the relatively low cost and the exceptionally high rate of return has helped healthcare professionals in humanizing their medical practice as a trusted partner.
Below are detailed explanation of the importance of email marketing in healthcare:
1. Awareness among Potential Patients
Healthcare email marketing strategy can be utilized to promote specific offers to new patients in several ways. For instance, you can request your existing patients to spread words about your hospital or special healthcare services with their friends and family.
Image Source: New York and New Jersey Family Dental
On the other hand, you can simply email your prospective patients with a massive discount on particular medical treatment or consultation. But how do you get their email addresses? It is pretty simple. Place a signup form on your website or include a pop-up window that asks the visitors to:
- Subscribe to your healthcare newsletter
- Provides space to discuss their health concerns
- Make an online appointment
- Register to some medical offers
As most patients research new doctors or hospitals before calling, placing these forms on your homepage will help you grow your email list quickly and effectively.
2. Onboarding of New Patients
Onboarding of new patients is a quite complicated procedure as we have to consider various factors such as their demographics, chronic conditions, privacy laws, and communication permissions to contact them. However, email marketing lessens this burden by offering content tailored to the unique needs of patients, including:
- Detailed instructions to patients with medications and certain medical conditions after their visit.
- Providing some of the helpful tips or dietary plans to protect themselves from life-threatening conditions.
- Automatically setting up new patient forms or online bill payments before their visit.
3. Retention of Existing Patients
Your healthcare email marketing strategy must also focus on retaining old patients while acquiring new ones. According to Invesp Consulting, acquiring a new customer is five times as expensive as retaining an existing one. Besides, one can increase their profit by 25-95% by merely raising the customer retention rate by 5%.
Image Source: Invesp
Your old patients are a tremendous asset to your healthcare organization, especially in times where leads are hard to acquire. Therefore, it is more crucial to maintain a strong relationship with your past and existing patients, so they stay loyal to you.
Some of the patient retention methods include:
- Prescription observance
- Chronic condition management
- Ensuring patients are showing up for appointments
Based on the above circumstances, you can set up an email automation program around specific timing or patient-specific actions, like annual checkups, expiring prescriptions, overdue appointments, etc.
4. Humanizing Your Healthcare Brand
Patients usually research online before consulting any doctor or healthcare institution. In fact, more than three in four potential patients look for hospital reviews before contacting any medical professional. Trust plays a crucial role in healthcare email marketing. Therefore, medical marketers need to ensure they use every possible tactic to build trust and put their practice at the forefront.
A most simplistic way to do this is by sending a newsletter regularly to share interesting healthcare-related content with your patients and prospects and stay on top of their mind while making any healthcare decisions for themselves or their dependents.
Best Practices for an Effective Healthcare Email Marketing Campaign
Now we have seen how email marketing is more important than ever for healthcare professionals. However, to succeed in this approach, one has to follow specific techniques rather than quickly creating a message and hitting the send button. Connecting effectively with a target patient requires a well laid-out plan and high-quality implementation.
The steps given below will assist you in this area and ensure that your healthcare marketing campaign is truly compelling:
1. Know Your Patients
You need to understand your target audience in order to reap the highest benefit out of your email campaign. Otherwise, you may end up annoying the people by sending irrelevant messages. For instance, sending baby care emails to senior citizens will not help them in any way. Similarly, sending educational material related to maintaining the blood sugar level to young patients will prompt them to opt-out from your email list.
Therefore, it is highly crucial to understand your patients, such as their age group and medical conditions, before executing any email campaigns.
2. Email Personalized Content
Your subscribers are typically bombarded with hundreds of promotional emails every day. Sending a benefit-driven and personalized content will make your email stand apart from other messages. You can begin with personalization by segmenting your existing email list based on subscriber’s specific interest, medical records, age, gender, location, and more.
Segmentation via automation tool allows you to send only relevant content to your recipient at the right time, making the content dynamic and personalized. This email marketing approach helps you build a long-lasting bond with your patients.
For example, if you have segmented your email list based on the patient’s age, you can easily send emails regarding the most common risks for each group, such as sports-related injuries and treatments for younger adults, knee replacement services for older adults, and so on. Your subscribers are more likely to read the emails that confer their pain points.
In the below example, Dr. Bennet sends a personalized birthday email to one of his patients. He makes it personal using the patient’s name and writes a thoughtful note. He also includes his phone number, social media channels, and website link, so that they can stay connected in the future.
Image Source: MailerLite
3. Design Responsive Email
The use of mobile phones to access emails is on a constant rise. Several marketing reports about mobile phone usage have already stated that mobile is accountable for at least half of the email opens. This number indicates that patients and physicians are using healthcare services on mobile devices frequently.
Today, 25% of physicians use tablets, smartphones, and other smaller devices to provide healthcare services to patients, as per a study conducted by Great Call. Physicians use these devices to obtain patients’ reports, gain insight into their health history, and follow-up via email after the appointment.
Therefore, it is crucial to optimize your existing email marketing strategy for small devices to reach more people on-the-go. You must ensure the email is responsive, and the content is easily viewable on devices of various screen sizes.
Have a look at this optimized email template by FormGet. On-point copy, with simple pictures, and CTA makes this email more appealing and easy to understand.
Image Source: FormGet
4. Track Campaign Success
Form a benchmark to assess the progress of your healthcare email marketing strategy. Customary industry benchmarks are not prudent for the healthcare industry as explicit businesses have varying factors. Rather, create certain norms dependent on the present medical industry practices and future email marketing communications.
Some email marketing tools are specifically designed for healthcare marketers and let them track the success of an email campaign in terms of open and click-through rates. By being able to measure the success of this strategy, one can quickly identify the effectiveness of their marketing efforts and determine if it needs to be altered for the future.
Right from increasing patient appointments to building relationships with new ones, the healthcare email marketing strategy helps the professionals in the most exceptional way possible. One can reach and deliver value to their audience without spending a hefty amount of budget or time. If you have overlooked this strategy earlier, integrate it now into your marketing mix to improve your healthcare services, and grow the practice.