Matt is WebPT’s email marketing specialist. He’s an Aries and is pretty sure unicorns are real. His monthly column will cover all things email marketing and how it can help your clinic.
There are plenty of things to worry about as a small business owner—so does it make sense to add email marketing to the list? Absolutely.
For starters, email marketing returned $39.40 for every dollar spent in 2012, according to the Direct Marketing Association. This return far surpassed the next closest marketing initiative ($22.38 through Web search).
And besides revenue, email marketing makes sense in so many other ways, including:
- It’s cheap (many email marketing tools have free or low-cost plans for small businesses based on number of emails sent)
- It’s easy (you write emails every day, and most email marketing programs have turnkey templates to get you started quickly)
- It allows you to maintain relationships with patients and create brand awareness (think monthly newsletters, holiday cards, and birthday notes)
The best argument for the effectiveness of email marketing is really just your own daily habits. Consider how you look through your regular (snail) mail and the decision process for whether or not something makes it from your mailbox to inside your home. Most likely, you’re going to be able to identify junk (snail) mail just by the shape and feel—without even looking at it.
Now consider the same process for email. The message has already made its way to your smartphone, work computer, or home computer. And to judge an email’s worthiness—and whether or not you spare it from the trash can—the bare minimum you have to do is read the subject line or check the “From” address.
This means that when you send a traditional mail ad, the chances of your piece ending up in the trash bin are way higher than if you send an email. Even if the message is exactly the same. So why throw your money away?
Are you convinced yet? If not, consider one last thing: your patients prefer to be marketed via email. ExactTarget’s 2012 Channel Preference Survey found that 77 percent—of the almost 1,500 survey recipients—prefer to receive permission-based marketing messages through email.
If you’re not already using email as a marketing tool for your clinic, what’s holding you back? If you are, how’s it going? What works for your clinic?
Be sure to stay tuned for next month when I’ll cover the basics of what goes into a great marketing email message.