When it comes to email marketing, the desire to have the end user open our email drives us as marketers, because if they don’t, we’ve completely missed the opportunity to deliver our offer. Following proper email etiquette before your next healthcare email marketing campaign could be the difference in turning your prospects into leads and your leads into customers.
We know that to create an effective email you must have a few things. You must have compelling copy for your reader, a platform that will allow you to send numerous emails and that allows you to track the effectiveness of those emails. On the back end of an email message, you can see how many prospects received it, opened it and even if they clicked on your links. Email marketing is still the easiest and most economic channel for reaching out to prospects. Active email users spend more time reading and responding to emails than they do drinking coffee or taking a shower.
According to DMR, there are over 4.3 billion email account users worldwide, 269 billion emails sent daily, (did I mention BILLION), with an average open rate for email sent in North America at 34.1%.
Email marketers have moved from “blast” campaign-based mailing to different forms of “contextual messaging” (triggered messaging, automated workflows for buyer journeys, lifecycle stage messaging, etc.). The goal of email marketing is to increase engagement, loyalty and sales.
I’ve put together a list of things to consider in your healthcare email marketing campaigns.
- Purchased Lists - Creating an opt-in subscriber list takes time while buying one is instant. Skip the instant satisfaction, these are almost sure to fail because these subscribers don’t want your emails. Most likely the receiver will unsubscribe or mark your email as spam. Most reputable marketing software platforms will not allow you to upload purchased lists into their database. Building a loyal subscriber base in your industry is a must. Do not give away valuable offers without having them hosted behind a form in order to capture email addresses.
- Hard Bounces - Many marketers use email marketing systems that do not handle unsubscribes from bounced email. This can result in sending email blasts to those users that have already bounced. This not only affects the open rates but also affects the domain’s reputation. Pay attention to what your analytics are showing you.
- Remove Inactive Users - When your list has subscribers who have never opened your emails or have not opened your emails for quite some time, it is always preferable to deactivate them from active sending. Always keep your list active. This is also important if your CMS has a fee which is based on the amount of contacts within your database.
- Deliverability Issues - In my experience, I have learned that some companies have tighter IT security, so if you plan on sending a mass communication, be sure to whitelist your IP address on the receiver’s end to avoid going straight to the junk folder for spam. If you are marked as spam on too many occasions you could be reported to your web provider. If they see fit, they could shut your site down for spamming people.
- Use an Attractive Subject Line - Many email marketers do not pay enough attention to the email’s subject line. Be sure to use an enticing subject line relevant to the end user. Focus on using healthcare industry related keywords. If it fails to attract the subscriber’s attention within a single glance, the subscriber will never open the email.
- Have One Call-To-Action (CTA) in Your Email - It might be tempting to include more than one CTA in your messages, don’t! A single focused CTA makes it easier for subscribers to convert rather than several offers and them straying from filling out any forms.
- Make It Personnel - To make this less-is-more strategy work, marketers have to personalize messages in ways that go beyond slotting, Hello, customer’s first name, into the greeting line. Include something specific to your prospect's healthcare organization to show you've done your homework. Email marketing is a chance to grab the customer's’ attention, and will only work when it is not abused. Research shows that internet users are most likely to unsubscribe from email lists because they get too many emails in general. Focus on the quality, not the quantity.
With stats like the following from Constant Contact, you’ll want to do what you can to increase your open rates.
Remember to speak to your appropriate audience. Put yourself in their position and be sure to focus on solving your prospect’s problems. When dealing with healthcare professionals, you’ll want to keep it professional and understand that they want to be educated with facts that are up to par with regulations.