Email Marketing and How to Double-Down with the Power of Personalization

By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer

personalize email marketingIt was only a year or two ago that the trendy marketing watchword was “personalization.” It seems like everyone was using the P-word in email marketing. Everyone’s ambition was to take email (and other content) to the high-impact, “next level.” Internet and computer sophistication provides the ability to deliver relevant content to the right reader.

As a result, marketing professionals were rethinking their targeting and delivery system. Precision email—as slick as one-to-one—replaced indiscriminate and shotgun-style “email blasts.” Consequently, “blast” is an apt label.

First of all, sending a random email “explosion” is indiscriminate, inefficient and dangerous to relationships. Worse, a scattergun approach is wasteful and likely to reach exactly zero prospects and produce zero results.

The how-to of email marketing…

For all the timely talk a while back, email personalization is now getting real traction with healthcare marketing professionals. And there’s good reason for that. The stats tell us that personalized email subject lines enjoy an increase in open rates by 26 percent. Personalization delivers six times higher transaction rates. And segmented campaigns have increased revenue by an amazing 760 percent.

Personalization—delivering timely and relevant content to the right audience—is a worthwhile payback proposition. The goals are to cut through the clutter, stand out from the competition, and to engage and motivate audience response. Here are some of the ways to shift from “anyone” to “someone” for more effective results.

Get into your audience’s brain. A target audience will include major distinctions (age and income, for example), as well as subtle subsets (such as preferences and hot buttons.) A close understanding of these distinctions, as well as their problems, wants and needs, can reveal ways to reach and appeal to individuals.

Segment by interests and attitudes. Identify logical and appropriate ways to group audience members by critical distinctions and biases. What are the services aspects of your brand that match and appeal to these connecting points?

Give your list a regular workout. Do a routine merge/purge, cleaning and maintenance. Devise segmentation slices that personalize. It is easier to trap off distinguishing characteristics during signup rather than after the fact. So, update your initial entry or opt-in form. Whenever possible, capture subscriber demographics, gender, and other details at the beginning.

It’s more than a first name greeting…

Carefully devise focused messages. Create content tailored to specific subscriber characteristics, interests or needs. The key to relevant content is to focus on what the reader wants or finds interesting to hear. (It’s about them, not about you.) There’s more to personalization than putting the reader’s first name at the top of the page.

Provide a customized landing page. You can payoff a personalized message and call to action with a personalized landing page. Provide the reader with a compelling next step opportunity via a landing page that supports the message.

Make it a one-to-one conversation…

In addition, it’s the “what’s in this for me” perspective. Email recipients don’t care much about other people getting the same message. What they do care about—what engages them—is that the email message or content is pertinent to them.

If it feels like a one-to-one conversation, the individualization inspires action or response. As a result, the reader (consumer or prospect) feels a connection, and they feel valued and appreciated—and response rate goes up. Putting the power of personalization to work in email marketing is challenging, and we’re ready to help. Give us a call at 800-656-0907. We can remove the mystery and increase effectiveness.

Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer at Healthcare Success
Stewart Gandolf, MBA, is Chief Executive Officer of Healthcare Success, one of the nation's leading healthcare and digital marketing agencies. Over the past 20 years, Stewart has marketed and consulted for over 1,000 healthcare clients, ranging from practices and hospitals to multi-billion dollar corporations. A frequent speaker, Stewart has shared his expertise at over 200 venues nationwide. As an author and expert resource, Stewart has also written for many leading industry publications, including the 21,000 subscriber Healthcare Success Insight blog. Stewart also co-authored, "Cash-Pay Healthcare: Start, Grow & Perfect Your Cash-Pay Healthcare Business." Stewart began his career with leading advertising agencies, including J. Walter Thompson, where he marketed Fortune 500 clients such as Wells Fargo and Bally's Total Fitness.



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