Email marketing remains one of the top oldie-but-goodie techniques for healthcare providers. It improves customer retention, nurtures leads, and scales your business fast with active audience engagement.
But because of your niche, healthcare email marketing looks slightly different from other industries. Here are five strategies to build and maintain a list for medical practices.
5 Ways to Create and Grow a Healthcare Email Marketing List
“Think of email marketing as a stranger who knocks on your door. Would you let it in if you do not trust it? The answer is no.”
That is why it requires a well-thought-out plan to work, especially if you are in the healthcare industry. The information you share can potentially save a life.
Consider these pointers when building and nurturing your subscribers:
1. Do Not Violate HIPAA for Marketing
Because you are handling and storing patient health information (PHI), you should abide by the HIPAA rules for promoting products and services. In hindsight:
- Always ask subscribers to opt into the mailing list. Get their consent to give you their email address. Let them sign a form if they visit your clinic or include a detailed note on your website. Share how you plan to use their data.
- Limit access to sensitive information. Create different levels of security controls for those involved in email marketing.
- Allow subscribers to opt-out. Include an unsubscribe button on your emails. Guarantee you will not send them any more mail after they remove themselves from the list.
- Do not share PHI on marketing materials. However, you can use aggregated information, such as statistics, in your emails and articles.
2. Hyper-Personalize Emails with Segments
People have various motivations for subscribing, meaning not everyone will buy a product or book an appointment—ever.
How do you ensure that you can focus on high-value leads instead? The answer is hyper-personalization.
According to Digital Authority Partners (DAP), personalizing emails suggests breaking down subscribers into various categories. Hyper-personalizing implies further segmenting members of each group. This way, you can:
- Weed out unqualified leads and subscribers who will never amount to anything
- Nurture those in the awareness stage with helpful content
- Engage those who are ready to buy or book an appointment
- Reengage subscribers who have not interacted recently
Here are a few ideas to make this strategy work:
- Understand your ideal audience more deeply. Go beyond demographics and incomes. Learn about their culture, buying behavior, influences, and pain points.
- Conduct surveys and interviews. Encourage subscribers to answer questions that may help you know their challenges in accessing emails, the content they wish to see, or the tone you should use.
- Use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. These tools leverage big data to identify specific market segments, understand their needs, and personalize messages for a higher chance of conversion.
3. Maximize Drip Marketing Efforts
Drip marketing is a strategy that involves sending subscribers a series of messages over time. It is effective because it:
- Actively engages leads and customers without overloading them with information
- Nurtures subscribers and keeps your brand top-of-mind
- Builds relationships and strengthens the bond between patients and healthcare providers
- Lets you customize the campaign depending on your goals (e.g., offer a new service or reactivate dormant leads)
- Reacts to user behavior, so you can always provide the right content at the right time
“Drip marketing structures vary according to your objectives, audiences, and length of the email campaign.”
To show you an example of a sequence, let us say you are a dental clinic inviting old customers back after the pandemic.
Your email series may look like this:
- Email 1: Welcome back. This email informs your subscribers your clinic doors are open again. Include a FAQ section to let them know what to expect during the visit. Provide your schedule, and add a clear Book an Appointment call to action (CTA) on the page.
- Email 2: Incentives. Not everyone will immediately sign up to get their teeth cleaned. You can encourage them further by offering promos, discounts, and other incentives. Make these exclusive to email subscribers only.
- Email 3: Inspire them with new content. Do you want to bump your patient appointments? Share the latest dental news and tips. Emphasize why getting their dental health back on track is essential today.
- Email 4: Last-chance offer. If you still have not received a response from your subscribers, send them one last offer. This email should sound urgent to push people to book an appointment before it expires.
- Email 5: Appointment follow-up. Did they finally book a consultation? Send a follow-up message to thank them for coming in. You can include a short survey to get feedback about the experience.
- Email 6: Post-appointment follow-up. After the patient has left, send another email to thank them for their business. You can also invite them back for another cleaning in six months or a year.
4. Take Advantage of the Trends
“Healthcare marketing is changing rapidly. And you can harness these shifts to produce more compelling, audience-centric content.”
These are some of the top healthcare marketing trends:
- Digital health tools. Brands are investing more in digital health platforms to reach and engage patients. These include telehealth, remote patient monitoring, and digital therapeutics. Meanwhile, marketers are using technologies such as cloud computing to speed up data collection and analysis.
- Consumer-driven healthcare. Patients are taking a more active role in their health and well-being. They are researching treatments and providers and making decisions based on their needs. In response, marketers should develop easily accessible and digestible content.
- Rise of social media. Social media is no longer an afterthought in healthcare marketing. It is a powerful platform to reach and engage patients, build relationships, and drive conversions. Use it to complement email marketing by adding social media buttons to your newsletters or inviting followers to subscribe to your mailing list.
5. Always Include the Basics
Email marketing basics are called such because they work regardless of the trends and changes in consumer behavior. In other words, they are non-negotiable.
Begin with the following tips:
- Spruce up your mailing list. Remove inactive contacts, update information, and add new subscribers. This way, you can reduce your bounce rate, create more targeted content, and increase click-through and conversion rates.
- Design a responsive email. Optimize your layout for small screens using a single-column template, large font sizes, and clear CTAs. You can also use accelerated mobile pages (AMPs) to create interactive and engaging emails without relying excessively on images.
- Perform split tests. A/B or split testing compares two or more email versions to see which performs better. It can be the subject line, CTA button color, email layout, etc. Conduct split tests for at least two weeks and monitor your results with Google Analytics or similar platforms.
- Utilize automation. Automated emails are sent without you having to lift a finger. They can be in the form of welcome messages, appointment reminders, post-purchase follow-ups, etc. Automated emails save you time and increase conversions because recipients get them at the right time.
Healthcare email marketing personalizes the brand experience, helping patients feel attended to and cared for. Executed well, it can also result in higher open rates, click-through rates, and returns.
These five ideas ensure you can launch a productive marketing campaign today. But if you want to amplify your efforts, working with a digital marketing agency specializing in your industry helps. You can count on the team to deeply understand your target market, know the latest trends, and utilize the most effective strategies.