Email is the communications means of choice for many individuals, but it's a surprisingly neglected strategy that never gets off the ground for the simple lack of opt-in email addresses. Here are seven easy ways to build a permission-based contact list and grow a new provider revenue resource.
One of our big moments of frustration in working with healthcare providers around the nation is when we discover that they don't have an email marketing strategy.
The reason? Many offices have a record of only 100 email addresses, often less. That strategy is dead before it begins.
Email is a popular and effective marketing communications tool. It's accepted, even preferred, by a large segment of the public. Better than 90 percent of US Internet users use email, most on a daily basis.
An email strategy is completely appropriate for many, although not all, providers. It is nearly immediate, easy to use and low cost. It's an effective way to increase patient satisfaction, retention, referrals and revenue.
To be clear, we're not talking about doctor-patient email involving medical matters where there are legitimate concerns about privacy, liability, reimbursement, workload, etc. This is a permission-based email strategy, and for many medical and dental practices, hospitals, orthodontists, cosmetic surgeons and other providers - principally in elective care - the healthcare marketing opportunities are strong and varied.
The bottom line is that email works, but the first step is to have a system to regularly collect email addresses. In all cases, we're talking about asking for their permission (opt-in, decline or opt-out), and that they opt-in with an understanding of what will be sent and that it will be pertinent and valuable to them.
These are individuals who want to hear from you; often they prefer email over phone calls or regular mail, and they are happy to provide their email information. (And with an understanding of the type of information you will be sending and that it is something they will value.)
So, here are seven easy ways to build your contact list quickly.
In fact it's easy to build an email contact list. Many providers can use email successfully in their marketing mix, but they are shy about the idea, unaware of its value, or are too busy to introduce a new office routine.
We've written several how-to articles on this topic that are available in our free library. Consider this a brief preamble to our original, in-depth instructional series about email marketing that begins here.