by Catalyst Healthcare Marketing | June 4th, 2013
Medical emails and newsletters are very popular and useful marketing tools, but many medical practices have questions about what to include, how often to email, and when to email. While none of the answers are straightforward for all physician practices, these tips can jumpstart your medical email marketing campaign.
How often should you email your subscribers? The answer is: It depends. It’s best to let your subscriber decide how often they want emails. When they opt-in to your newsletter, have them select their preference: weekly, monthly, or quarterly. Some subscribers may want emails daily, especially if they have a serious health problem or they’re trying to conceive. Give the subscriber the power to decide and take out the guesswork.
Be realistic about your email frequency. If you can’t commit to daily or weekly newsletters, don’t give your subscriber those options. Every practice is different and deserves a unique email marketing campaign.
When is your audience most likely to open and read your medical email newsletters? This can be tricky to master, and, sorry, there’s no straight answer. GovDelivery suggests testing the waters, and we agree. Some helpful hints from their post “Is There a Best Time to Send an Email?” can at least put you on the right track.
Mondays and Fridays are generally bad for getting recipients to open and read emails. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are better, and longer emails have better response rates if sent on Saturdays. People also tend to check email most in the morning and the afternoon. Lunchtime and dinnertime are slower, and the longer an email sits in an inbox, the lower its chances are of being read.
Pay attention to the responses, the click-through rates, and the open rates. Be flexible, and find the right strategy for your practice.
What should you include in your newsletter? That depends on your medical practice. Are you offering a new service? Have you hired a new doctor? Did you remodel your office or overhaul your website? These newsworthy items should be included. You should also brainstorm timely topics that interest your subscribers. What are your patients’ concerns or questions about warm weather health? You might include topics on heat safety, sun exposure, or hydration. In the winter, what topics are relevant? At back-to-school time, you may discuss vaccinations, the importance of hand washing, food allergies, or vision testing.
Create a calendar to help you stay on track, and stay ahead. When you send out one newsletter, have at least two more completed, ready to send.
A subject line reading “Catalyst Newsletter No. 12” probably won’t have you itching to read more. “Increase Your Fertility With These 12 Steps” is a much better subject line. Use actionable verbs and a concise phrase that communicates the theme of your newsletter.
There comes a time when your subscribers may no longer want to receive your email newsletters. Be respectful to your readers and include a simple “Unsubscribe” button at the bottom your emails. This shows patients and potential patients that you’re an ethical practice.
Don’t take it personally when people unsubscribe. Say you’re sorry to see them go, and ask why they’re leaving with a quick poll. It could be that their circumstances changed; a woman may no longer want fertility emails if she has already conceived and/or had a baby. They could be leaving because they receive too many emails, they don’t find the content useful, or they didn’t mean to sign up at all. You can learn from all of these situations. Create meaningful, engaging content, don’t bombard inboxes, and make your newsletter opt-in crystal clear.
What email marketing techniques work for your practice? We want to hear from you.