Digital marketing people have been writing the obituary for email marketing just about from its first day. But decades later, email marketing is still going strong, and it may be getting even stronger.
It’s thought that the perseverance/success of email marketing is, in part, due to anti-spam legislation. This has given email credibility with consumers, who trust the emails generally hitting their inboxes. This can be looked at as a contrast to social media options like Facebook, where users are increasingly wondering what is real/fake/spammy or just a waste of time.
Of course, the end goal is not just to have the recipient open your practice’s email, but to engage with it. This is called the click-to-open rate. This rate is the percentage of subscribers who clicked on something in your email, rather than simply opening it.
The goal is engagement that will lead to a conversion. You want those patients or potential patients who receive your email to believe it will be worth their while to open and engage with your message. Email marketing is a great way to keep your practice top of mind. Here are some areas that influence user engagement.
When consumers open an email from your practice, they want to know the content has value to them. They don’t want to see trite topics such as “Dental Tips for a Healthy Halloween.” Everyone knows kids eating candy isn’t the best thing for their teeth, but it’s Halloween, so an email from a dental practice preaching that is likely to simply be deleted without engagement. But, if the dentist offers free dental sealants with the next routine cleaning, now there’s something that ties to the Halloween candy message, but also offers clickable value to the recipient.
Timing is important
Don’t be haphazard with the timing of your emails. First, decide what frequency is best, there’s nothing worse than hitting your patients’ inbox too frequently. That’s a quick way to watch your “unsubscribe” list grow. Your MyAdvice representative can help you here.
Second, the right timing is important for higher engagement rates. This is another area where we can help, but it’s also important to look at your open rates when testing different email delivery times. Many studies show that Friday emails have the highest engagement rates, and Saturday emails have the highest conversion rates. This may or may not be true for your practice, but look for the timing that seems to work best for your patients.
Make your offer real
Consumers expect real value to come in these email messages. If they’re going to open and read an email, they don’t want to sense that a discount is simply making up for an inflated initial price. If you offer a true value, the odds of the reader engaging with it are far higher. For instance, when a car dealer offers a “free brake test” consumers are likely to hit “delete.” There is little, if any, value there. But if the offer is for 25% off brake shoes and labor, now there is value.
Understanding your patients
You can have emails that are sent to certain patients through triggers. For instance, if your Botox patients just crossed the four-month timeline after their session, it’s basically about time the wrinkle relaxer will be absorbed by the body and stop providing results. This is a great trigger to send an email offering a discount on their next session to maintain their results. Or a follow-up email after a patient has had a procedure and is well into recovery could do two things: check in to see how the patient is doing, and ask for the patient to submit a review of the doctor/procedure. Adding something of value, say a free IPL session as a way of saying thanks, will encourage even greater engagement.
In these days of fake news stories and endless trolling on social media, consumers trust emails from sources they patronize and believe in. That’s probably why email marketing keeps on keeping on, despite all the other options out there.
If you need help with your email marketing, don’t hesitate to contact your MyAdvice representative.