As David Newman, the author of Do It! Marketing, says: "Email has an ability many channels don’t: creating valuable, personal touches – at scale." Email marketing is a type of direct marketing that involves commercial communication with your target market. Pretty much, any email communication that helps to nurture customer loyalty, brand awareness, trust, and, eventually, sales, is considered email marketing.
According to Hubspot, 75% of companies claim that email offers "excellent" to "good" ROI. What does it mean for you? It means you shouldn’t be afraid to invest in email marketing. Just ensure your marketing email campaigns are actionable and attract attention you need.
When it comes to starting your first email marketing campaign, here are some steps you should follow:
1. Always Get Permission
Rule #1: Never ever include people that haven’t given their permission to receive commercial emails from you in your email list. You know how annoying it can be when you constantly get emails from some company you’ve never subscribed to.
Besides, email permission is not only a common courtesy, it's required by most of the automated email marketing providers. Failing to get proper permission, i.e. purchasing a list of emails from a third-party organization for your marketing purposes, will most likely result in having your e-blasts blocked by spam filters or even blacklisted if enough people mark your email campaigns as spam.
2. Set Up Your Goals
In order to run a successful email marketing campaign, you need to first determine what you want to achieve. Whether your goals are related to initiating, boosting or reviving engagement, generating leads or simply delivering value, you should have clear idea of why these goals are important for your healthcare practice. Knowing what you want to accomplish with your email campaigns makes it much easier to develop a campaign that’s effective and more likely to achieve those goals.
3. Know Your Target Market
Many people mistakenly assume that email marketing doesn’t have to be targeted - the more people that get the emails, the better. Wrong. Not only do you need to be selective with your target audience, you should also segment your audience pool into smaller groups based on their shared interests or needs. A fine-tuned approach like this will help ensure that you’re delivering the most relevant content to the right consumers and will drive higher engagement.
If you don’t know who your audience is, use some digital analytics tools like Google Analytics or Facebook Audience Insights to find out. Both platforms allow you to analyze your website and social media visitors in terms of demographics, location, lifestyle, interests, and more.
4. Master Your Subject Line
Hubspot says that 33% of email recipients open emails based on subject line alone. This means your subject line’s worth alone is at least one-third of your success. When writing your email subject line, be short and on-point. Take into consideration that lots of people check emails on their mobile devices, which doesn’t allow them to read lengthy subject lines fully. If your subject line is longer than 60-80 characters, you should assume that mobile audiences aren’t able to read it.
Additionally, be specific. According to MailChimp, the best performing email subject lines clearly explain what’s in the email without any sophisticated prelude. That being said, don’t forget to be creative enough to grab attention immediately. The ideal subject line for an email will be under 60 characters long and explain exactly what the benefit of opening the email is in a catchy or clever way.
5. Write, Design, & Schedule
When it comes to the nuts and bolts of the actual email itself, here are four key areas to put emphasis on:
- Personalization: Yeah, personalization is the key. In the 21st century, everything is about you and you only. No one wants to be a part of some undistinguished group, every single person wants to feel like an outstanding individual. Use personalization features within automated email marketing tools (such as referencing the name of the person who receives the email, or highlighting their specific history with your organization), so the customer feels like they are the only person you’re talking to.
- Copy: Use a strong hook right at the beginning of your email copy. It might be a question or an impressive fact - just catch their attention! In addition, make the copy scannable. Even though a recent Salesforce report states that the average consumer time spent reading an email has increased by nearly 7% to 11.1 seconds over recent years, let’s be honest…11 seconds is still pretty short. That’s why you always need to make sure to capture the reader’s interest in that first 3-4 seconds so that they will spend those 7-8 additional precious seconds on reading it more thoroughly and end up being captured. Finally, always include clear and inspiring calls-to-action throughout your copy as well as at the very end.
- Design: Design your email as a journey, so the reader walks the entire path visually and gets a reward at the end. Try not to overload design with distracting colors. On the contrary, ensure the color palette and graphics makes it easier to comprehend the copy.
- Schedule: Create an optimal email marketing frequency schedule, one that will keep your audience interested but not overloaded. It might take some time to find out what frequency and timing are the most efficient for your audience, but with proper analysis, you shouldn’t experience any problems.
6. Test & Analyze
Here we are, at the most thrilling part of our entire guide. You’ve identified your audience, crafted a perfect subject line and email copy, what’s next? Now, it’s time to test the email and analyze your KPIs. In order to achieve the goals you’ve set up in step 2, you need to experiment with subject lines, email marketing copy, design - literally everything! You can easily figure out what option your audience is most responsive to conducting email marketing A/B testing.
Finally, having all the data at your fingertips, analyze your open and click-through rates, conversions, bounce rates and unsubscribe rates, etc. This will help you to draw the plan for future email campaigns, knowing what works and what doesn't.
Email marketing is vital to your healthcare practice's success, but it can be incredibly time-consuming and confusing to execute. Let us help! We’re highly experienced in crafting successful email marketing campaigns that are specific to the healthcare space and can help your team through each of the stages from strategy to implementation and analysis. You can view some samples of email campaigns we’ve done in the past here: Email Campaign Samples