The Power of Email Marketing for Healthcare Businesses
If you’re looking for the best way to communicate with patients, email marketing is essential. More than 4 billion people worldwide use email regularly. More than 91 percent of adult Americans check email every day. In comparison, HealthyIT.gov reports that nearly 40 percent of individuals nationwide accessed a patient portal in 2020. According to Hubspot, 64% of small businesses use email marketing to reach customers – they must be doing something right. But what about email marketing for healthcare businesses?
Despite its advantages, many healthcare practitioners don’t use email to communicate with patients for various reasons. Many providers are concerned about privacy and HIPAA laws. Others are more concerned with appearing available 24/7 or blurring boundaries between patient care (which they get paid for) and patient communication. Despite the concerns, there are a lot of potential benefits to email marketing from a healthcare business.
How email marketing for healthcare helps business
Email marketing saves time
Most healthcare practitioners say that their greatest challenge is finding the time to do all the things they need to. Adding tasks to a to-do list will usually mean something has to be cut. Too often, that ends up being marketing.
Marketing emails can be sent automatically and scheduled out by time or drip campaign, so you don’t have to think about them all the time. Once you create and set up an email marketing campaign, it can run for as long as needed – freeing you to focus on other aspects of your practice.
Email is the cheapest marketing channel
Email marketing for healthcare is the lowest-cost marketing channel, yet it delivers some of the highest return on investment. In fact, the average ROI on email marketing is between $35 and $40. It’s relatively inexpensive to send digital information via the Internet, and you have lots of options that range from free to 30 bucks a month. You don’t have to buy expensive email lists because your patients have already given you their contact information. With automation features and templates, email marketing requires less time and attention from humans – which, of course, saves money. These cost savings mean even the smallest practices can afford email marketing.
You can use email marketing to complement, or even replace, more costly direct mail such as announcements, coupons, deals, and offers. Sending emails to existing and prospective patients is an economical way to generate awareness and engagement, stay top of mind, and ultimately make more money.
You’re more likely to stand out online
Your competitors are facing the same challenges you are – cutting through online cacophony to cultivate, keep, and communicate with patients.
Email marketing for business provides a direct communication channel that cuts through the online noise that most patients face when searching the web or asking for recommendations on social media.
You already have your patients’ email addresses, which means you’ve already overcome the two most difficult challenges of marketing: gaining awareness and attention. Also, your patients have already granted you permission to email them. So, when your email hits their inbox, it will most likely get their immediate attention.
Types of email marketing – Newsletters
Newsletters are the most common way to market your practice via email. There are three basic types of newsletters: educational, informational, and promotional.
Educational email newsletters
Sent monthly or quarterly, educational email newsletters focus on current health trends, seasonal health-related items, new concerns/threats in your area of specialty, etc. The goal here is to educate patients and keep your practice top of mind should they need your services. It’s not about selling, it’s about providing value.
Informational email newsletters
Sent as needed, informational email newsletters inform patients about changes in your practice. You might announce a new practitioner, a new product or service, disclose a new location, give updates on policies and procedures, etc. Information newsletters are generally short and to the point.
Promotional email newsletters
Promotional email newsletters let you showcase new products and services and offer coupons, discounts, and other deals. You don’t want to bombard your patients with promotional newsletters, so be more strategic in sending these. While you want to drive new patient visits and revenue, you don’t want to lose established patients in an annoying avalanche of ad-like messaging.
Here at Watch Media Group, we often recommend healthcare practices send a monthly newsletter that combines educational, informational, and promotional content. Your patients will learn to expect a message from you every month that includes valuable information and the latest updates or promotions. If you aren’t getting an average open rate of at least 30%, you aren’t including the right information or emailing the right contacts.
Other ways email marketing can help your practice
Newsletters are the best-known, most-used form of email marketing, but they are just one way to use email marketing to boost your practice.
You can also disseminate important communications your staff might overlook via email. For example:
Patient appointment reminders – Between 15% to 30% of patients don’t come to their appointments. Sending reminder emails can decrease patient no-shows (and increase your bottom line).
Patient review solicitations – An excellent online reputation can go a long way toward boosting your bottom line. Automated patient review emails can generate the great reviews you need to enhance your online reputation and ratings, and help mitigate the effects of any negative reviews.
Patient experience and satisfaction surveys – Getting feedback via patient surveys lets you see what your practice is doing well and where you could improve.
Post-surgery/treatment instructions – Automated email sequences at key milestones after surgeries and treatments can help reinforce the verbal and written instructions your patients should be following, and help get your patients back to feeling healthy faster.
Drip marketing for healthcare
Drip marketing is an automated campaign of pre-written emails on a particular subject or tactic, sent over a period of time. The point of a drip campaign is to engage, inform, or persuade your patients or potential patients through consistent communication. You could use drip marketing in the following ways:
- Communication with potential patients who haven’t yet made an appointment
- Patient communication and patient education
- Welcome series for new patients
- Chronic disease management
- Post appointment follow-ups
- Seasonal health tips
- Insurance, billing, and contact reminders
These emails can introduce you and your practice, explain what patients can expect, provide information about medications and diseases, share success stories, etc. It’s also a great way to motivate patients to take the next step in their healthcare journey.
Drip marketing can reduce the amount of time your staff spends calling or emailing patients and complement any reference materials you might be handing out. The best part is, once it’s set up, it can run on its own.
Email marketing for healthcare with Watch Media Group
If you’re thinking about starting email marketing or expanding your current email efforts, Watch Media Group has a range of email marketing and retainer services available. Let’s talk about your practice’s communication needs and how we can help your practice save time and money with email marketing in 2024.