Creating Effective Email Campaigns (Health Professionals)
Email Campaigns are a great way to communicate with old, new and existing patients.
These days many EDM (Electronic Direct Mail) systems can connect straight to your Patient Management Software. By linking these together it means you can avoid manually managing your email list as it allows the name and email details to synchronise from the practice management software (eg, Frontdesk or Exact) with Mailchimp. Once these are setup and linked you can prepare your first Email Campaign, but how can you make it effective?
The first step is to an effective email campaign is to know the goal/target of the email. There is no point in sending out an email to your patients if you don’t know what you’re trying to achieve (without a goal you’re email will seem like SPAM).
Here are a few of the most common email goals:
- News and updates of your practice to stay top of mind with existing patients.
- Promotions and special offers. Remember to stay within the AHPRA guidelines for medical and health professionals.
- Improving your patient relationship by communicating more frequently or by providing them with helpful Hints and Tips for improving their health.
- Post appointment follow ups such as reminders of post treatment work outs or maintenance instructions.
- Welcoming new patients to your practice.
- Reaching out to old patients.
** It is important not to use your company email to send out mass emails as your web/email server might get flagged as a spam server causing all future emails to go straight to their spam folder. Use professional EDM softwares such as MailChimp.
When should I send them? And how often?
Emails are great because your patients can open them anytime they want, we usually suggest sending emails during the weekday. People often read emails less during the weekends. Frequency of emails depends on the goal/purpose.
Below is a table you can work to:
|Goal||When||Things To Include||Call To Action|
|Welcoming new patients||Either after their first appointment or at the time of making their first booking||
|Post appointment follow up||1 day after their appointment||Instructions for post appointment treatment||Give us a call if there are any issues|
|Reaching out to old patients||Once a year, preferably during quieter months||
||Contact us to make your next booking|
|Seasonal reminders||Start of a new season||Seasonal hints and tips:
Back To School:
|Forward onto friends and family or share articles on Social Media|
There’s not much too it, remember to keep the emails simple and to the point.
Here Are A Few **IMPORTANT** Rules and Regulations For Email Marketing
Privacy laws in Australia means you must have their permission to send them emails. There are different ways to get their permission; MailChimp allows you to capture their emails through your website using a sign up feature where they enter their own details. However the most effective way to gather your patients emails is to do so when they come in for their first appointment, by asking for the email address on their New Patient Information Paperwork and informing they will be receiving communication emails from the practice.
Another rule and regulation is you must include a note on your email letting the patient know why they are receiving the email: For example: You are receiving this email because you have given your email address and permission to receive follow ups, reminders and useful health hints and tips.
Lastly, you must always give the recipient the option of unsubscribing. MailChimp automatically includes this in the footer of your campaigns.
Know Your Stats
The great thing about using MailChimp is that you can monitor what people are doing when they receive your email such as whether they are opening the email, clicking through to links or whether they are unsubscribing. It has a very user friendly reporting system which is easy to navigate and understand. Below is the industry standard from MailChimp, you can use this figures and compare them to your campaigns to determine how effective they are.
|Industry||Open||Click||Soft Bounce||Hard Bounce||Abuse||Unsubscribe|
|Health and Fitness||22.47%||2.81%||0.47%||0.48%||0.03%||0.38%|
This tells you how many patients have opened the email. The average for the Health industry is 22.47%, so if you’re Open Rate is higher it means you have an effective campaign. This is usually attributed to an effective subject line.
Click Through Rate
This shows how many people are clicking links in your email and going to either your website or other links. The Health industry has a click through rate of 2.81%. Depending on the goal/type of email you are sending out will depend on whether the click through rate is important. For example, if you have there is no need for the patient to click on any links this statistic won’t be too important.
This shows how many emails were correctly sent. This percentage should be close to 100%, if not it may be due to incorrect email address being entered or expired email. You can check which email addresses bounced back and correct them or call them to update their details.
Bounces occur when an email is rejected by a subscriber’s email server. A hard bounce indicates a permanent reason an email cannot be delivered such as email address no longer exists. A Soft Bounce indicates a temporary delivery issue such as their email server is down, with soft bounces MailChimp will continue to attempt delivering the email for 3 days.
This is a result of someone reporting your email campaign as abusive. The matter will be investigated by MailChimp, however if you follow best practices and correct email etiquette you shouldn’t have a problem.
UnsubscribeThis shows how many people have unsubscribed from your emails. The Health and Fitness industry standard is less than 0.5%.
Lastly, the cool thing about sending EDM’s through MailChimp is that you get a high five at the end! If you’re interested in implementing MailChimp into your practice give us a call or shoot us an email. Our service includes setup, integration and full training; plus were only a phone call away if you need help brainstorming ideas!