The best way to a patient’s heart is through email marketing. The right techniques help you build long-lasting relationships that retain clients, reduce advertising costs, and increase revenues.
If you have never tried this digital marketing strategy before, this article lays out a plan for you.
Checklist for a Successful Email Marketing for Physical Therapists
As a physical therapist, your practice relies heavily on building strong, trustworthy relationships with your patients and their caregivers. What better way to foster this relationship than with an email marketing campaign?
Below is a checklist to help you get started and eventually succeed:
1. Generate Your Mailing List
Let us start with the obvious. You cannot run any healthcare email marketing plan without subscribers. You should encourage your target subscribers to sign up for your mailing list. Once they are already part of your database, use the data to:
- Group your subscribers to more specific market segments
- Craft lead-centric content
- Plan targeted campaigns
But being part of the healthcare industry means you cannot collect any data you like. After all, you have HIPAA and other federal and state laws to follow.
How do you then build a mailing list for your clinic without violating any rules? Consider these ideas:
- Offer a sign-up sheet at the reception desk for patients to voluntarily provide their contact information.
- Include a sign-up option on the clinic’s website, explaining how you plan to use and protect the information.
- Run a promotional campaign offering a free health-related educational resource, such as a booklet or guide, in exchange for patients providing their contact information.
- Provide patients with the option to receive appointment reminders or other important clinic-related information via email or text message.
- Use social media to promote the clinic’s mailing list and the benefits of signing up.
- Partner with other organizations or businesses to co-promote the clinic’s mailing list and expand potential reach.
- Offer an incentive, such as a discount on services or a free health screening, for patients who refer friends or family members to the clinic and have them sign up for the mailing list.
According to Digital Authority Partners (DAP), these email marketing ideas help you generate high-quality leads. But consent is key to avoiding any legal trouble later.
2. Break Down Your Market Segments
You cannot please everyone, so expect some to leave your mailing list. But you still want to keep your bounce and unsubscribe rates low. The secret? Be more specific with your market segments.
Segmentation is one of the pillars of a healthcare email marketing campaign because it
- Helps you personalize every campaign, message, and content.
- Lets you track metrics easier.
- Allows you to forecast trends and better plan campaigns.
- Lets you discover more high-value leads with similar interests.
- Helps you refine your focus, save time, and allocate resources wisely and efficiently.
What is the best way to segment email lists? Here are good options:
- Begin with the basics. These include age, location, gender, race, and income.
- Expand these segments with advanced email marketing segmentation strategies. Examples include interests, preferences, behavior, and email interaction. You can use artificial intelligence (AI) platforms to help you.
- Match the entry point with your targeted leads. For instance, use sign-up forms for existing patients or an exclusive portal on your website.
Note: Some use third-party data to speed up the segmentation phase. However, with the growing mistrust of data collection, this may not be the most practical solution. Instead, collect first-party data, then utilize other references to learn more about each market segment.
3. Craft Quality Content According to Audience Needs and Preferences
Content is the lifeblood of any healthcare email marketing plan. Quality content informs, entertains, educates, and inspires your reader. It also helps you build trust with them and establish yourself as an authority in the healthcare industry.
Since patients want answers quickly, here are some types of content to add to your list:
- Educational content. Provide helpful information about health and wellness topics related to your clinic. You can write about common symptoms, services offered, nutrition tips, and more.
- Promotional content. Share offers and discounts for specific treatments or services. Keep in mind that this should not be too pushy. Instead, focus on the benefits that your clinic has to offer. These might include new equipment, treatments, or even free health screenings.
- Interactive content. Keep your engagement level high with surveys, polls, and quizzes. Adding interactive content helps you better understand your readers and create more customized campaigns in the future.
- Exclusive content. Whether it is an e-book about back pain or discounts, exclusive content helps you stand out. It also makes your readers feel special and more inclined to stay on your list.
- Updates. Keep your readers in the loop with news about the clinic, special events, and more.
4. Develop and Automate Workflows
With the right workflow automation tools, you can send messages to your subscribers based on their behavior or past purchases. It also helps you deliver more personalized experiences and increase engagement.
Most of all, you have one less stressor to deal with. Automation helps you manage email marketing by letting you craft and send messages faster. Plus, it lowers the risk of human error.
How do you automate emails? Here are some suggestions:
- Create meaningful and relevant content for each segment. Refer to some content suggestions on #3.
- Set up triggered emails based on time, activity, or milestones. For example, if a patient visits the clinic’s website and signs up for the newsletter, you can send them an automated message welcoming them. If the contact has been inactive for some time, you can also send a friendly reminder about new services or discounts.
- Integrate automated messages with other online marketing tools and strategies. If you are doing search engine optimization (SEO), you can set up an email onboarding sequence for new customers. These include welcome messages, free consultations, and follow-up emails.
5. Measure Your Email Marketing Performance
When you do not track or measure your progress, you run medical email marketing campaigns in the dark. When measuring your email marketing performance, you can:
- Retain strategies that work
- Eliminate severely underperforming steps
- Determine whether you are hitting your marketing goals
- Pivot the marketing plan to align with new trends, patterns, and objectives
- Allocate resources more efficiently
- Refine market segmentation tactics
- Successfully perform A/B testing
Here are some ideas for tracking email marketing outcomes:
- Define your metrics. Are you tracking open rates, click-through rates (CTRs), conversions, and more? These metrics will help you assess the performance of your campaigns.
- Integrate analytics tools. Use Google Analytics or any other third-party platform to measure the success of each email campaign. Pick one that is user-friendly and offers comprehensive metrics and reports.
- Track trends. Look for patterns that could be helpful in your future campaigns. These might include the successful email types, the days when subscribers are most active, or any other behavior that can help you tailor your messages better.
Email marketing for physical therapists effectively builds patient relationships, improves customer retention, and creates more personalized campaigns. This checklist helps you get started so you can reap the benefits quickly.
You can also hire a healthcare digital marketing agency to assist you with setting up and managing your email campaigns. They have the expertise to design and customize messages that will resonate with your readers and improve engagement.
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