Email marketing for healthcare is a very reliable and effective way to build relationships with prospects and current patients. But it can be confusing and overwhelming, especially for beginners. So we will make it simpler.
This post lists five easy steps to launch, run, and monitor an email marketing plan for clinics and hospitals.
A 5-Step Guide for Healthcare Email Marketing
Do you know that email marketing delivers one of the highest returns among all online marketing strategies? When done right, it is:
- Cheap to implement (many of the available tools cost less than $20 a month)
- Convenient to automate
- Easy to track, measure, and optimize
Most of all, it provides an engagement that not even social media can match: personalized, intimate, and spot-on.
All these attributes make it a must-have for any healthcare online marketing plan. Even better, you can simplify the steps to implement email marketing quickly.
1. Define the Audience
Email marketing always starts with a mailing list, which is a database with at least two pieces of personal information, like names and email addresses. These are the people who choose to receive your emails and newsletters.
Contrary to what you might think, this part is easy. The more challenging aspect is writing a landing page, such as a website or blog, that can attract your prospects or existing patients to sign up.
So before you even make a mailing list, define your audience first. Here are some tips to help:
- Begin with a broad segment. If you are in an urgent-care clinic, your patients are more likely to be adults between 25 and 45 years old.
- Break down this huge demographic into smaller ones. For example, you can sort your audience into specific ages, locations, conditions, gender, income levels, interests, etc.
- Develop a persona for each one. A buyer’s persona is a fictional representation of your ideal lead for every segment. For example, Mario is a 25-year-old healthy individual who lives a sedentary lifestyle working as an IT engineer in Houston, Texas, earning $150,000.
- Make a landing page based on the persona. Now that you have a template, you can better understand the content that might appeal to each market segment. The likes of Mario, for example, might want to read about diseases commonly associated with a sedentary lifestyle or receive promos about executive wellness programs.
According to Digital Authority Partners (DAP), email marketing benefits are enormous. But unless you can zero in on your target audience, the strategy’s effectiveness declines fast.
2. Design a Workflow and Automate the Process
Once you have identified and defined your target audience, it is time to design a workflow composed of triggers and actions.
- Triggers are the activities that your prospects or existing patients perform. These include signing up for a mailing list, booking an appointment, sharing your email with friends, or answering a feedback form.
- Actions are the reactions to the trigger. What happens after someone subscribes to the mailing list, for example? Do they get a welcome email, receive a discount, or get access to a free resource?
This step may sound complicated, but it is not. Many emailing platforms already have templates you can customize based on your preferences or the buyer’s journey. You can also get help from healthcare digital marketing agencies to further customize the process.
Either way, your workflow is the foundation for email marketing automation, such as sending bulk emails. This way, you now have a passive system running in the background while you continue building your mailing list, modifying your content, and developing your campaigns.
With automation, your emails reach your target audience’s inbox at the right time and with the right message.
3. Craft Content That Resonates with Your Demographics
Workflows are great, but they will still fail to convert if you do not have the right content for the right people. In fact, every content element, from the email subject to the call to action (CTA), should align with your target recipients.
How do you do it? Here are some ideas:
- Dig deeper into your buyer persona. What language do they speak? What are their nuances? Where do they open emails most of the time? What are the challenges or barriers they experience in healthcare?
- Refer to your workflow. Workflows help you determine which email to send and when. Now you can decide which content will be perfect for each step. For example, if the email is part of a promotion, you can craft copy that entices and invites.
- Go personal. Using your buyer’s persona, address each recipient by name. It helps build trust and shows that you are genuinely interested in their experience.
- Write with a goal in mind. Before writing, determine the purpose of your email and craft the content around it. Do you want them to book an appointment or use a promotional code?
- Be consistent. Establish a content style and tone and stick to it in all your emails. Create templates when necessary.
4. Track and Measure Email Marketing Performance
You have done all the work, and your emails are now out in cyberspace. What is next?
The answer is simple: track and measure results.
Relying on data will help you:
- Determine whether your email marketing campaigns hit their mark or not
- Identify areas for improvement and ensure you are using resources efficiently
- Design a better email marketing plan for your future campaigns
- Adjust existing marketing efforts so that they perform better
Most emailing platforms offer analytics. Monitoring the most common metrics, such as unsubscribe rate, open rate, and click-through rate (CTR), is easy.
Your goal now is to make these data useful or valuable. For instance:
- Compare the information with your past performance. How do your current results fare with the ones in the past?
- Analyze any variation and look for trends. Do you have certain emails that have higher CTRs than others? Find out which recipients engage most with your content and craft future campaigns based on those insights.
- Consider other marketing and sales data. Relate your email marketing results with sales, revenues, profits, budget, etc. This way, you can determine how well your campaigns contribute to the overall success of your healthcare organization.
5. Repeat the Process and Adjust Accordingly
Consistency is what builds relationships online, but what works today may not work later. While you should continue with healthcare email marketing, you must also adjust the parameters and elements.
These may include:
- Workflows. Review your process and look for opportunities to make it better. Check if you can automate or combine emails to increase the value of your content and offers.
- Content. Think of ways to refresh the content of your emails and make them relevant again. You can also use A/B testing to determine which messages resonate best with your target recipients.
- Audience. Update the information you have on your target recipients. Are they now receiving emails too frequently or not enough? Have their healthcare needs changed?
- Automation tools. Do other platforms offer better customer support, user-friendly features, or competitive pricing? Then, by all means, switch.
- Key performance indicators (KPIs). Calculating the open rate, for example, may be less effective because of policy changes and the risk of getting inaccurate results. Decide which metrics matter more in your campaign or overall online marketing plan.
Healthcare email marketing does not have to be difficult you struggle to implement it right. This five-step guide and the tips and tactics discussed can get you started even with a limited budget, know-how, and experience.
You can also partner with a digital marketing team and get their help in setting up the campaign, tracking results, and improving your strategy. You will surely deliver great value to your email recipients and enjoy better returns for all your efforts.