Call me old fashioned, but writing thoughtful, handwritten letters is a lost art. There’s nothing like sitting down and putting pen to paper to make one feel like a character in a Jane Austen novel. That said, while sending out handwritten notes is a great way to make recipients feel special, the fast and furious pace of modern life leaves little room to wax poetic for every communication—even when those communications are going to your patients. Fortunately, email has become a great vehicle for not only sending patients vital information, but also keeping them engaged in their care—and loyal to your practice. To that end, we’ve compiled the following list of healthcare email examples you should be sending to your patients:

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1. Welcome Email

If you’re not reaching out to new patients immediately after they book an appointment, you’re missing out on a prime relationship-building opportunity. A timely welcome email shows patients that you’re excited about having them come to your clinic. Perhaps more importantly, it tells them what they need to do to prepare for their appointment and who they should contact if they have any questions. Plus, if you send it immediately after your initial phone call, you’ll still be top of mind—and patients will be more likely to open and read it.

2. Home Exercise Reminders

Let’s face it: home exercise programs can be tough to stick to. And yet, doing so is absolutely essential to patient success. A gentle reminder in the form of an email can be just the kind of motivator your patients need, especially if they’re feeling discouraged. After all, consistency is key, and sometimes, that’s all a patient needs to hear.

3. NPS® Surveys

On the WebPT Blog, we talk a lot about the need to track patient feedback. That’s why we’re big proponents of the Net Promoter Score® (NPS®), which goes beyond tracking patient satisfaction and gets at the heart of patient loyalty. It asks patients one simple question (“How likely are you to refer your friends and family to us?”) and allows them space to provide additional feedback. That simplicity—and brevity—means patients are more likely to complete this survey than a super-involved questionnaire. Ideally, you’ll want to send NPS surveys throughout each patient’s course of care. That way, you can track the patient’s feedback in real time—and provide the best patient experience possible by capitalizing on positive feedback or making adjustments based on the less-positive feedback.

4. New Product and Service Announcements

Got a new product or service you’re excited about? Share that excitement with your patients in an email! Just make sure the offering you’re writing about is relevant to the patient’s condition. Otherwise, he or she won’t have much reason to open your message, and that could lead the patient to disregard future emails.

5. Event Invitations

Getting involved in community events—or hosting events of your own—is a great way to grow your visibility and inject some fun into your company culture. Whether it be a patient appreciation party or a charity fun run, events are a great way to get out of the treatment area and engage with patients—and personalized email invites are a great way to generate interest.

6. Monthly Newsletter

The monthly newsletter certainly isn’t a new concept, and chances are you’re already sending one out. However, there’s a right way to do a newsletter—and there’s also an oh-so-wrong way. We cover this topic in depth in our marketing e-book, but here’s the gist: keep it short, sweet, simple. Avoid cramming too much information into one space, and make sure your design isn’t too cluttered. That way, your newsletter is super scannable and digestible.

7. Promotions

Whether it’s football season for the local schools, or it’s time for everyone to start thinking about New Year’s resolutions, there’s always an opportunity to promote something special—or seasonal—to your patients. For example, offering a free sports screening to student athletes is a great way to generate interest during the school year. Or, if you’re thinking of implementing wellness services like group exercise classes, consider sending a new year-themed email with a coupon or promotional code.

8. Educational Materials

These days, with so much health-related content available at their fingertips, your patients are probably already scouring the web for information related to their diagnoses. Instead of leaving their discoveries up to Dr. Google, send your patients evidence-based, diagnosis-specific educational materials. That extra thought not only tells patients you care enough to think about them outside of their appointments, but it’ll also help them feel more in control of their health.

9. Birthday Message

People always appreciate it when you remember their birthday, and if you go the extra mile by sending your patients a happy birthday email, it’ll keep you top of mind, too. (Just make sure your emails look professional.)

10. Post-Discharge Check-In Emails

After discharge, your patient may be gone from your clinic, but he or she shouldn’t be forgotten. A post-discharge email is a great way to solicit final feedback and, if appropriate, ask for a patient review. Ideally, you should link the recipient directly to the desired review site or page. If you make the review process super simple, it can actually increase your chances of obtaining a review from the patient.

Handwritten letters are a thoughtful gesture. But in 2019, it’s time to meet your patients where they are: online. Want to make emailing patients easier than ever? Patient relationship management tools like WebPT Reach do most of the work for you, which means you can get back to treating your patients, writing letters, or whatever else you love to do.

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