Do’s and Don’ts of Email Marketing for Doctor Practices

Practis Blog

Do’s of Email Marketing

Email marketing is an effective tool to reach patients and promote action. Many practices, both large and small, use email to communicate, inform, or incentivize. Here are a few do’s to help you get started and be successful with your email marketing.

Gather information

The first step to a successful email marketing campaign is to gather up email addresses. This is vital and sending emails without permission is illegal. This can be as simple as an opt-in checkbox on your website, patient portal or including a subscription link on appointment reminders. You can also ask whether they’d like to be added to your email list as you interact with patients. A simple email can provide a big return.

Segment your list to those patients you’d like to target

It is a good idea to break your subscriber list into smaller segments. This will allow you to target readers more effectively. Although it may take a little more effort at first, you can then send targeted emails to those who will find the topics and information provided more valuable. The better you segment your list, the more likely your reader will find it appealing. No one likes irrelevant emails, and if you fail to segment it may result in annoyance and loss of subscribers.

Send a welcome email

A welcome email will allow readers to know what to expect, how frequently you’ll be sending, and direct them to save your email for future communication. If you promised anything to your readers for subscribing to emails, this is also a good time to explain the benefits.

Create a schedule

Set a calendar so you know when emails will be best to send out. This will keep things consistent, and your readers will know and come to expect emails from you on a consistent basis. This will also allow you to plan emails around events, marketing goals, discounts, or pertinent holidays. Deliver on time, on the same day, at the same time. This cultivates confidence from your readers so they know what to expect.

Craft a well-written email

Keep things short and sweet. Remember to always add something of value for your readers. This can be information relating to your practice or hospital, special pricing, events, or news about your practice or the community. If you aren’t sure what to write about, try to think outside your usual scope of expertise. This means connecting with your readers and what they may find interesting. This can include holidays, helpful tips that relate to your specialty, or referral gifts and discounts. Get to the point, and be sure to proofread.

Use pictures and graphics

As your readers open an email, you want something eye-catching. As you use pictures and graphics, your email will stand out and be easier to read or scan. Remember to use images that reflect your brand. This means all colors, fonts, and tone should reflect your larger goals as an organization. Many open emails on a cellphone, so be sure your email is formatted correctly across all devices.

Include a call-to-action

After your reader opens the email and reads it, it is best to leave a call-to-action. This will urge readers to do something as a result of reading your email. Some suggestions or examples may include, “Schedule Your Appointment Today,” or “Book Online.” These links should land on a page that is relevant to the reader.

Don’ts of Email Marketing

There are a few pitfalls you can avoid when trying to establish a robust email marketing campaign. Here are a few don’ts to keep in mind.

Don’t collect emails on paper

If you collect email addresses on paper, this can introduce spelling errors. It can also be time-consuming for participants and usually lead to bounced emails.

Don’t Spam

Your readers should KNOW that you will be sending emails. Your emails may end up in spam if they are using phrases like “save,” “free,” or “promise” too frequently. Be sure to authenticate your emails and regularly check for errors. Staying on top of your bounce-back rates can reduce emails ending up in spam.

Don’t send emails too frequently

The main reason readers unsubscribe from email lists is because they are getting bombarded with emails. They have dozens of unread messages that clutter their inboxes and simply unsubscribe rather than open. There is also danger in rarely sending emails, as you may get lost in the shuffle. Decide on a timeframe that works for you and your readers and stick to it. Anything more than twice a month is too much.

Don’t overlook the subject line

The subject line is the first thing readers see. Don’t overlook the subject line, and be purposeful in what you use. It should be relevant but not sales-oriented.

Don’t be too sales-focused

If your emails are only promotions, your open rate will steadily decrease. It is wise to add value to your email by providing useful information.

Don’t send without permission

Never send an email without permission. If you had someone reach out to be taken off your list, act immediately. Most unsubscribe actions can be done automatically. In email marketing, it is important to keep your readers engaged, happy, and trusting.

No time and Want more help getting started with your practice’s email marketing?

Practis is here to help. From content and custom graphics for your newsletter to management of your list, our team can ensure your email campaign is properly executed and connecting with your practice.