By Kathy Roy Gaughran
Senior Marketing Strategist
The new business opportunity for healthcare email marketing is real, and better than ever. Here’s why: More than a few people I know have at least one smartphone in hand or close by…constantly. They never travel far without it. And the ebb and flow of email via their mobile device has become an indispensable business tool for them and their colleagues.
Admittedly, some folks are less email-centric than others, but there’s a strong likelihood that you (and I) are among the email user collective. A large percentage of American adults (94 percent) rely on email as THEIR CHOICE for immediate—anytime and any place—communications.
And, yes—there’s a bit of social stuff in that digital mix. Only 61 percent of Internet users access social media. But, business or personal, email is the lifeblood of daily connectivity and productivity for practitioners, communicators and prospective patients.
Healthcare email marketing and the 93% solution…
So here’s the picture. Email marketing isn’t free, but comparatively it is low cost. Your target audience is solidly digitally connected and individually addressable—and email marketing for healthcare is a top-of-the-list option.
What’s more, today’s INBOX is a major communications artery. Online adults (75 percent) actually want branding, shopping and other info via email. Overall, better than 90 percent of adults would prefer a doctor’s office that provides email communications.
These numbers illustrate how email remains alive and well—“the digital workhorse for building awareness, acquisition, retention and conversion.” [Gigaom Research]
Think mobile for smarter email marketing….
It turns out that email first emerged about 46 years ago at the time of the early Internet. But thoroughly modern marketers need to know that the art and science of email marketing have changed, nearly constantly, ever since.
Assuming that you are familiar with the well-established basics, here are some important update tips that can make for better, smarter and more effective email marketing:
Critical Tip #1: Think mobile first. Statistics vary a bit by source, but about half (54 percent) of email is opened on a mobile device vs. a desktop. [Litmus State of Email, March 2017] You can allow only five or six words for an average subject line. Responsive design—where the message adjusts itself to the size of the device where it’s seen—is critical. And if it’s not a responsive, it will not be read.
Critical Tip #2: “What’s in it for me?” People are smarter every day. We are all bombarded with hundreds of sales pitch messages daily—so we’ve learned to recognize an email message as marketing and not a reminder to pick up bread and milk. It needs to be useful or helpful.
Consequently, successful email marketing will engage the reader with a subject line and content that is benefit driven. Nobody wants to hear another heavy-handed sales pitch. But they will open and read a message that helps them, solves their problem, is genuinely unique, or inspires a response that helps them.
Critical Tip #3: Personalize, personalize. The sophistication of email marketing is its narrow-focus capability. Refine your list and message to address the needs, interests and location of individual subscribers. As a start, use the first name to personalize. Segment what you’re sending by interests, and when possible, individualized messages to deliver the feel of a one-to-one conversation.
Email marketing in healthcare is a strong option for nearly every marketing plan. The relative cost is low, the audience is openly receptive, and the rate of return can be exceptionally high. Success, however, can be elusive—it’s not as easy as it might appear. Please get in touch with us today. We can put our experience to work for you, with email as part of your health care marketing plan.
See how Healthcare Success transforms doctor marketing by generating exposure and increasing qualified leads.