Healthcare Email Marketing Best Practices

September 30, 2023

Could email marketing be what's missing from your practice? Plenty of people in the business world refer to your email list as your biggest asset. Why? Because each email you send has the potential to either bring in a new client, or reactivate an old one who hasn’t been in for a while.

Healthcare email marketing falls into two areas: acquisition, which means getting new patients, or retention, which refers to turning people on your email list into regular clients who continue to come in and  see you when they need your services.

If you’re collecting email addresses but aren’t doing anything with them, you’re sitting on an untapped gold mine. Read on to learn why it’s time to consider email marketing for your healthcare business!

The Segments Involved in Email Marketing

There are three separate segments of people to consider when you’re looking at email marketing in healthcare:

  • New website visitors: People who end up on your website and want to sign up for the free information they can get by providing their email.

  • Inactive clients: People who are already in your email database as clients, but who have stopped coming in to see you.

  • Active clients: People who come in to see you as new patients and give you their email.

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How to Use Email Marketing for Different Segments

Now that you know the different segments involved in email marketing, let’s look at how to utilize email to reach each one.

People land on your website for different reasons. They may already have knowledge about you and your services, and they’re ready to book an appointment. Or — and this is more often the case — they’re looking around at different providers to decide who best fits their needs, and they’ve come in search of more information. Either way, capturing these visitors’ email addresses is imperative so you can start building a relationship with them. There are several ways to do this:

  1. You can have a form on your blog page that encourages website visitors to sign up for the latest updates from you.
  2. You can have a pop-up that prompts them to enter their email when they land on the site.
  3. You can offer a free download they can access once they provide an email address.

Once you decide how best to capture website visitors’ emails, you can start building a list for this segment of potential customers. Look at options such as nurture or drip campaigns, which will involve a series of emails sent to them over time, designed to nurture them into becoming a client.

Next, you have clients who aren’t currently seeing you but have in the past. While some may consciously choose that, others have simply forgotten and let their appointments fall by the wayside. People are busy, and often all it takes to remind them they should meet with you is a gentle email.

This segment can be sent periodic, “Hi, how are you?”-style emails, simply checking in with them and reminding them you’re there for them. You might also want to consider sending out birthday emails that are personalized. They can also benefit from informative, nurture-style campaigns similar to what your new website visitors will receive. But you have an advantage in that they will already be familiar with you, and hopefully it will take very little to get them back on board and once again benefiting from your offerings.

Why use email marketing for your currently active client base? Simple: to keep your authority in your given space, to provide even more valuable information, and to tell them about offerings of yours they might not be aware of. Email marketing to this segment falls in the category of relationship management. They already love what you give them, so encourage them to keep benefiting from your services and knowledge.

For example: a chiropractic patient might not be aware that you provide orthopedic pillows. A timely email about how to choose the right pillow with a call to action to check out the range of products you have next time they’re in the office? That can add up to significant sales for you.

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How to Get Started With Healthcare Email Marketing

Your goal is to get an email list started by collecting people’s emails who are on your website, or who come to your practice for an appointment. Once you have a healthy list going, you can segment the list, and start sending the appropriate emails to each segment.

How you do so is up to you. You can choose to do it all analog, adding emails to a spreadsheet and tracking your emails sent to each person on the list. Or you can track things digitally, which is our preference — there are plenty of tools out there to simplify healthcare email marketing.

Most websites have the ability to sync with your email marketing, so when someone contacts you on your site or joins your email list to get the latest updates, their email is sent right to your email service — typically an email marketing platform like Active Campaign, Mailchimp, or Hubspot, as examples. Many have cost-free plans available that you can trial when you’re first getting started.

Using these services, you can add tags to each email to show which segment they belong to, so that you’re only sending emails that are right for where that person is in their customer journey with you. You can even tag them so you know if they came from your contact us page, or from signing up for blog updates or your lead magnets.

That kind of information will serve you well later on when you want to send certain email campaigns to certain segments.

Top Tips for a Successful Healthcare Email Marketing Strategy

Now that you know email marketing can be a cornerstone to success, what else will help you along the way? There are a few things that are important to keep in mind:

Know Your Area’s Regulations

You might not be allowed to say certain things via email to each segment. There may be laws that you need to be sure you adhere to, and since these differ by region, you’ll want to look into what applies to you.

Get Consent To Email

It’s imperative that you first gain someone’s consent before you begin emailing them, to ensure you’re contacting them legally. The GDPR act and CAN-SPAM are two examples of laws that have been put in place to regulate commercial email and protect people’s privacy. With your first email, ask someone to click to confirm that they want to subscribe to your emails. Not only is this the legal way to go about things, if they aren’t interested, you don’t want to waste your time talking to people who don’t want to hear what you’re saying!

Have an Unsubscribe Option

At first, you might think you don’t want people to unsubscribe. But if you have people on your list who aren’t interested in your emails, it’ll make your opening rates look dismal. It’s in your best interest to let people easily leave your list who want to. And again, an unsubscribe option is necessary for legal purposes.

Clean Your List Regularly

Around 2-3 times a year, remove the people who don’t interact with you from getting regular emails. Don’t delete them entirely from your list, but keep them in a different place so they don’t drag down your stats. You may want to tag them as “unresponsive” or something similar in your email marketing software and only send to them periodically to see if something can catch their attention.

Now you know the strategy - what about the substance?

It’s important to think carefully about the content you want to offer in your emails. If you don’t have compelling content, your list won’t want to read it. A huge list with no engagement is the same as not having a list at all!

And that’s where The Health Writers come in. If you’re not sure what to write, or who needs to hear it, we can help. With our years of experience, we can help you craft emails designed to build your authority and make people want to pick up the phone and contact you. Get in touch with us today to book a free 15-minute discovery call!