People who need medical care may not immediately seek professional help. They linger and wait until their symptoms turn for the worse. It is important for healthcare providers and practitioners to give patients the care they need to help them live a good life.
Email marketing is an excellent tool for building a patient-provider relationship. Emails allow you to speak directly to your patients when they find it convenient. With the proper messaging and delivery, it can be one of your top digital marketing tactics.
This guide helps you get started with healthcare email marketing.
Creating Your Email Marketing Contacts
Digital Authority Partners said that healthcare email marketing differs from other forms of email marketing because it is permission-based.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) says that you must follow its rules if you use protected health information (PHI) in your healthcare marketing emails. HIPAA protects patient data and requires marketing email permission.
So how do you build your healthcare email list? Here are some tips.
- Ask patients to sign up from your digital contact points. Include a signup link in your social media posts, blog posts, website, and video channels.
- Request patients to sign up from your clinic. Offer an email signup form after consultation. Addressing patient needs makes them more likely to join your email list.
- Connect with patients from local events. You can ask patients to sign up for events like a vaccination drive, nutrition forums, community outreach programs, etc.
- Sort through your email list. Group your contacts for easy email delivery. You can Group them by age, location, clinic or social media signup, etc. Do this from your email platform or an email management tool.
- Use an email marketing tool. Zendesk, Hiver, and Sendinblue can simplify email marketing delivery. Tools can automate responses, track email engagement, improve branding and workflow, and more.
Delivering Your Welcome Emails 1 and 2
Now that your contact list is ready, compose your email. Like any other marketing email, you politely start with a welcome message. Call this your "Welcome Email Series," with your welcome emails #1 and #2.
The first welcome email should be sent immediately after signing up. This short email has a few frequently asked questions (FAQs). At this point, introduce your practice briefly.
Follow these tips:
- Inform them what they should expect on their initial visit. Give new patients a brief email preview of doctor visits, as they vary by practice. Discuss patient assessments, initial screenings, and medical history.
- Introduce your electronic medical records (EMR) procedure. Give patients a preview of EMR signups before consultation. Tell them to enter personal, health, health card, and other needed information.
- Send welcome email #1 right away. Do not make your patient wait hours or day to get a simple welcome email after they have provided their information. Your patients are less likely to trust you and decide to unsubscribe before you even start sending messages.
- Lay out your email communication schedules and plans. Tell them how often they can expect your emails and stick to it. Send weekly emails or find the right frequency through research.
Now that your welcome email #1 is ready, come up with your email #2, which is about connecting with your patients. Welcome email #2 invites patients to communicate through their preferred platform aside from email, like social media, chat messages, the phone, or by text. Here are a few tips for creating email #2.
- Create clear, straightforward email content. Email #2 lays out the plan for how you and your patient communicate via email. Make the email structure and content clear. Avoid images and other distracting elements.
- Add an unsubscribe link in every email. Tell your patients that all emails have an unsubscribe link if they wish to opt-out of your messages.
- Ensure active and correct contact details on all platforms. Everything must be consistent, from your email forms to your social media channels, to show you are reliable and consistent.
Email your new patient regularly after your welcome series. The majority of emails can be automated, like thank-you, birthday, and appointment reminder emails.
Depending on your practice, send different email types. For instance, a hypertensive patient's cardiologist can email about their condition. Appointment reminders, lab and procedure schedules, diet plans, medication guides, exercise plans, news, and heart health information are great emails.
As you can see, ideas are infinite. The best part is that you can automate your healthcare marketing campaign. You will keep sight of your patients while they move through their health journey. There is a lot more to consider while you continue email communication.
- Know the best time to send emails. Send emails during the day so recipients can quickly respond or accept your offers. Avoid Mondays because people are too busy to check their inboxes. Thursday between 8 and 9 am has the highest open rate, at over 25%.
- Follow the 80/20 rule when creating marketing emails. Your email must contain 80% valuable information and 20% marketing or sales.
- Gather more information to fine-tune targeting. Get to know your audience better to deliver personalized emails. Understand their interests, preferences, unique qualities, etc., to craft better and more attractive offers.
- Add a call-to-action (CTA). Lead your patients to the next level by placing a clear CTA. Use engaging action words like register, download, visit, click, fill out, or take advantage of it.
- Grab attention with a strong subject line. Your email subject line must be clear and engaging to avoid deletion. Also, ensure that what you mentioned in your subject line is in the content of your email; otherwise, you only frustrate your patients and may lead them to opt-out.
Getting started with sending healthcare marketing emails is easy when you know what to send and when to send your messages. And no matter your practice or business, you must always remember your welcome email series to set the stage for good communication and establish your marketing goals.
Also, take time to review HIPAA guidelines. Secure your email communication and always prioritize the safety of your patients. All these things considered, you are ready to build a successful healthcare email campaign.