If you are trying to grow or maintain your practice, you need to find ways to market your services to patients. This includes the ones you already have and the ones you’d like to acquire. The goal is to keep the channels of communication open, continue building relationships and encourage patients to book appointments with your practice. Email continues to be one of the most effective an inexpensive ways to market to patients.
As you build your 2015 marketing budget and plan, something to keep in mind is that email marketing still beats social media marketing any day of the week. In 2013, 3.6 billion people had email accounts. It’s estimated that by 2016, that number will increase to 4.6 billion people. While there is a lot of hype around social media, if your practice is strapped on time and money, building a solid email list may be the best marketing tactic for your practice.
What email marketing can do for you
Regular and consistent email marketing campaigns are one of the easiest, least expensive and most effective ways to grow your practice and boost return appointment bookings.
One of the most valuable tools to running a successful campaign is your email list. Take every opportunity to collect email addresses from new, existing and potential patients. Building a solid list takes time and effort, but it sure beats buying a large list of emails. Commit to building a list organically, and you’ll find your email list will be more engaged and more likely to convert into bookings.
5 Easy ways to build your email list
1. On your website – The easiest way for patients to join your email list is through a sign-up form. Most website and email vendors provide simple widgets you can add to your site that synch up to your email database. We recommend putting a link or sign-up box on multiple pages within your site. While it is tempting to ask for a lot of detail, keep the form simple and collect their name and email address.
2. Offer a reward for signing up – Whether it’s a discount, fun samples or an added service benefit, offering a reward for signing up to receive your email newsletter will incentivize patients to enter their email addresses. Offering a specific discount, reward or freebie that is only redeemable by subscribing to your newsletter makes people want it more.
3. Update your email signature – Include a link to your email sign-up page in your email signature, so people emailing with questions can opt-in to your list. If people already view you as a source of information, they are likely to click on a link that reads “Keep in Touch with Our Practice’s Newsletter.”
4. Keep a sign-up form at your front desk – Make sure to keep a sign-up form for the mailing list at your front desk, with any reward promotion prominently displayed. This may sound a little old fashioned, but you’d be surprised by how many people will jot down their email address once they see the awesome reward you’re giving them for signing up!
5. Add an opt-in to your contact form – One of the easiest ways to collect new email addresses will come from your website’s contact form. They are already filling in their information, so make it even easier by prompting them with a simple email opt-in.
Growing your email database is incredibly simple!
Email marketing isn’t something marketers do just because they can and it’s easy. It has been proven to be one of the most effective channels for direct marketing – helping businesses communicate with consumers. Email may be an old tactic, but it remains a vital one. With many turnkey email solutions on the market, there’s no excuse for your practice to not be taking advantage of this marketing tactic. Partner with a marketing vendor that provides the tools you need to build your email list and execute your campaign. Many of these partners will even create content and send your emails out on your behalf.
Take the time to build your email list this year, and it will help you market your practice for years to come. Many marketing tactics have popped onto the digital landscape, but email marketing has remained a proven way to market your practice for over a decade.