Healthcare email marketing allows practices to retain and further engage existing patients while potentially attracting new ones.
The average open rate for healthcare emails is 23.7%. That’s higher than the open rate across all industries, which is 21.5%. So, you likely already have an audience who will perform well at your fingertips.
Forge Apollo is an expert in healthcare email marketing. Today, we’re running you through general tips and campaign ideas to help you get started.
Two Approaches to Healthcare Email Marketing
When starting email marketing for healthcare, practices can target two main subsets of contacts: existing patients and new ones.
Retain and Engage Current Patients
Your current patients are a low lift because, outside of ensuring you meet HIPAA regulations, there is little to do to build this email list.
These individuals have already built enough trust to visit your practice once. Keeping them engaged with email content can ensure they stay aware of your practice and are more likely to see you with future medical needs.
Plus, educational content and special offers increase their likelihood of visiting you for optional services. For example, email marketing for dentistry might share a discount on a new teeth whitening service that gets existing patients to book appointments.
Attract New Patients
Before a patient will visit your practice, they need to know you can fulfill their needs and trust you. Nurturing them with a gradual stream of email content can help you educate them on your services and expertise while building trust.
How to Build a Healthcare Email List
There are a few easy tactics practices can use to help them build a healthcare email list.
First, ask new patients for their email addresses as part of their intake. Make sure they sign a consent form so you can use their information for marketing purposes.
You can also ask existing patients for their email addresses by letting them know the benefits they’ll get by joining your email list.
Your website can also help you build a list of potential patients. Offer opportunities throughout your site for visitors to sign up for your newsletter.
The US government signed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) into law in 1996. It is a federal law that sets standards for maintaining the privacy and security of patient information, known as protected health information (PHI).
HIPAA compliance in email marketing is critical to maintaining patient trust and avoiding hefty legal fees. Names and email addresses can be considered PHI, so you must consider HIPAA when choosing which email tool to use.
Before using an email list for marketing purposes, touch base with your practice’s legal council to ensure you’ve adequately obtained patient consent and chosen a secure enough email tool.
Email Content Best Practices
When creating a healthcare email, Forge Apollo’s email marketing experts recommend the following best practices:
- Provide Relevant Content – Segment your list into groups with similar demographics or behaviors to provide content relevant to contacts’ current experiences.
- Attention-Grabbing Headlines – Stand out in the inbox with concise, actionable language.
- Use High-Quality Media – Improve the visual appeal of content with on-brand colors and high-quality images, gifs, or videos that enhance your message.
- Make it Easy to Unsubscribe – CAN-SPAM regulations require marketing emails to have a “clear and conspicuous” way for recipients to unsubscribe. Plus, unsubscribing isn’t a bad thing because it helps you maintain a healthy email list.
5 Healthcare Email Campaign Examples to Start With
Here are five healthcare email marketing examples to help you get started.
1. Welcome Email
Welcome emails get up to a 91% open rate, so your practice should take advantage of them. These emails welcome new patients to your practice or contacts to your mailing list.
“Welcome emails are the perfect tool to build trust and prove email value from the start,” says Forge Apollo’s Digital Marketing Specialist.
“I recommend making at least two types. The first should welcome new patients with information about your practice, like hours, communication options, or instructions for patient portals. The second should welcome other contacts to your mailing list with an introduction of who you are, an insight or offer of value, and social proof, like reviews, proving that patients trust you.”
2. Educational Content
Sharing educational content has several benefits. First, it helps you engage your email list with helpful insights. Second, it can encourage patients to book more services by keeping them more informed about their health. Third, it builds authority for your practice as a thought leader.
Educational content can also help you build your email list. For example, a mental health office could create a unique series of emails about mindfulness meditations and add a form to sign up for it to a page or blog post about meditation.
3. Special Offers
Whenever you have a sale or a special promotion, notify an email list of patients interested in those services. Offer special offers for contacts who consistently open and engage with your content.
4. Share Compelling Stories
Have you had a patient or a case with a particularly compelling story? Or has your practice or a particular doctor done something special? An email is the perfect way to share these stories to build a stronger bond with your contacts.
Better yet, include the story in a gripping format like a video. For example, Forge Apollo created this video of a moving story for Main Line Health.
As always, patient consent is key before sharing their stories. Forge Apollo’s Director of Digital Marketing, who has a background in healthcare marketing, stresses this.
“Never share patient information without permission, including before and after photos and testimonials. Patients should sign a consent form before healthcare practices use anything of theirs in marketing materials.”
5. Asking for Reviews
Potential patients researching you are going to search for online reviews. Emails are the perfect way to build these reviews.
Use emails to request reviews from happy patients. Some marketing tools allow you to automate this, allowing practices to improve their online reputation with little effort. Contact Forge Apollo to learn more about our online reputation and review management software.
Get Started With a Healthcare Email Marketing Agency in Philadelphia
Medical email marketing is the perfect opportunity to engage current patients further and attract new ones. If you’re feeling intimidated or don’t have the internal resources, the experts at Forge Apollo are here to help. Contact us today to learn more.