It’s no secret that the way we communicate has changed. When you walk down the street you’re more at risk of getting run into by someone with their head down texting on their phone than being hit by a car. Marketers have long taken notice and have shifted their communication strategies to email and text messaging to take advantage of where the customers’ eyes are.
For some reason, the healthcare industry is far behind. Perhaps it’s because practices don’t typically have a marketing person on staff. And because, as a practitioner, you have so many important things to focus on, marketing becomes an afterthought. For that reason, I’d like to talk about how easy email marketing is, and why you should incorporate it into your marketing strategy.
1) It’s Effective
Everyone has email, they get to check it at their own convenience, and it’s highly likely that a patient will open up an email from their healthcare provider.
Furthermore, you now have a new way to develop a relationship with your client. Without email marketing your patient only communicates with you during an appointment, plus the occasional reminder phone call from your receptionist. Just like how a friendship grows stronger with regular communication, with email marketing you can send your patients something on a monthly or even weekly basis, strengthening your relationship with them.
2) It’s Easy
There are great programs, like Mailchimp or Constant Contact, that allow you to easily design and send your marketing messages. They allow you to segment your list if you’d like to target certain interests of your patients, and they also have automatic tracking and reporting to allow you to measure the effectiveness of your campaign.
That means all you are left with is 1-2 hours of work each month to design your message. Perhaps it’s informational, or even promotional, but either way, it’s a small amount of work for big rewards.
3) It’s Cost Effective Unlike direct mail, there are few costs associated with email marketing. There are no print fees, no mailing fees, and no design fees. So just how cost effective is it? Well, Mailchimp is free if you have fewer than 2,000 email addresses on your list. That means that the only cost to you is the time to get it set up and the 1-2 hours a month to prepare the content for your emails.
Step 1) Even if you are not planning on starting an email marketing campaign soon, start collecting your clients’ email addresses today! I cannot stress this enough. Your clients’ email addresses are extremely valuable to your business.
Step 2) Sign up for Mailchimp, Constant Contact, or a similar service. Design a simple email template for your messages and add your cleints’ email addresses into your mailing list.
Step 3) Create content for your first email. Think promotions, useful information about your office, details on common procedures, or articles from your most recent blog post.
That’s it, hit send, your email marketing strategy is underway! Feel free to tweet out a copy of your email too. And if you’re not using Twitter, read 5 Reasons Why Every Doctor Should Use Twitter.