Matt is WebPT’s email marketing specialist. His monthly column covers all things email marketing and how it can help your clinic.

Collecting Email AddressesWhen it comes to personal information, these days it doesn’t get much more personal than your email address. This might seem like a bit of an exaggeration, but just think about how often businesses try to get you to dish out your email—there has to be a good reason, right?

The email address is practically your digital social security number. Sure, you can abandon it and get a new one, but when you consider your email history and all of the contacts you’ve amassed, it’s not as simple as it sounds. It’s the importance of this piece of information that makes it so critical for businesses to collect it—and why you should be doing so as well.

For months I’ve droned on about the importance of email marketing and how it can help your clinic’s bottom line, but what good are all my rantings and ravings if you can’t acquire (and hang on to) an email address?

So what’s the trick to getting someone to hand over one of the most personal pieces of online information? Here are three things to keep in mind:

  1. Make it worth their while.
    What’s in it for the patients who give you their email address? Are you just going to spam them with irrelevant information and promotions? Make it clear what benefits they’ll receive by handing over their email. Maybe it lets you send them email appointment reminders, helpful recovery information, even coupons—whatever it is, they should feel like they are going to benefit from—not regret—the decision to entrust you with their email address.

  2. Be trustworthy.
    The guiding principle for just about everything in business is to build trust with your customers. The same applies for email collection. In 2012,
    68.8% of all email traffic was spam. That’s close to 100 billion spam messages every single day. (Tweet this!) So a vital part of collecting emails is assuring your patients that you won’t send them anything they don’t want. How? Just try to be very upfront with them about what they’re signing up for and include a reassuring disclaimer about valuing their privacy and not sending spam.

  3. Maintain your reputation.
    Your clinic’s reputation is everything, so don’t risk it over something as silly as violating trust with an email address. Every part of your practice affects its overall reputation, so if you purchase a list of emails in the area (big no-no), sell the ones you’ve collected to local businesses (
    bigger no-no), or if you don’t honor unsubscribe requests (biggest no-no), these things can greatly damage all the hard work you’ve put in. Just like your reputation as a therapist, you have to maintain your reputation as an email marketer.

With those in mind, all you’ve got to do is actually collect the email addresses—which is, believe it or not, the easy part. If you’re not already doing so, start requesting the patient’s email and asking if they’d like to receive marketing emails from your practice during the new patient intake process. Just make sure this form is totally separate from your other medical paperwork; that way you’re playing it safe when it comes to new HIPAA regulations. Furthermore, add a newsletter subscription form to your website as well (and if you don’t have a website, get one). Finally, check out other businesses and see what creative methods they’re using to collect email addresses—imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all.

Soon enough you’ll be up to your neck in these incredibly valuable pieces of information. Just keep the three tips above in mind when you start thinking about what to do with them. Are you collecting email addresses to help market your clinic? Let us know about it in the comments below.

Suppressing Sticker Shock: How to Handle Your Patients’ High-Deductible Health Plans - Regular BannerSuppressing Sticker Shock: How to Handle Your Patients’ High-Deductible Health Plans - Small Banner
  • articleSep 13, 2013 | 7 min. read

    6 Common Rehab Therapy Marketing Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

    So, you’ve got a marketing plan , you’ve honed your content-creation skills , and you’re ready to get down to business—or, to be more accurate, you’re ready to get down to marketing your business. As with any new endeavor, you’ll probably experience a few bumps along the road to building a successful marketing campaign—and that’s okay. After all, some of the world’s best innovations came about through trial and error. But while mistakes often present you with …

  • 6 Biggest Takeaways from PPS 2015 Image

    articleNov 16, 2015 | 10 min. read

    6 Biggest Takeaways from PPS 2015

    Last week, I joined hundreds of amazing physical therapy professionals, students, and vendors (including yours truly, WebPT) at this year's PPS Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida. Despite the uncomfortable combination of tropical heat and humidity outside—and near-freezing conference rooms inside—everyone was in high spirits. Though I never made it to Disney World, I still felt like I was in the most magical place on Earth, thanks to the inspiring and informative presentations I saw and the thought-provoking …

  • articleSep 23, 2013 | 6 min. read

    5 Tips and Tricks for Better Website Design

    During this month’s marketing-themed month, in addition to covering overall marketing strategies, we’ve focused pretty heavily on the importance of developing an online presence when it comes to reaching potential patients. There’s a reason for that: it’s 2013—and in a blink of an eye, it’ll be 2014...and 2015...and, well, you get the idea. Time is moving forward, not backward, and in our ever-progressing technology-centric world, it’s going to become more and more crucial to present yourself and …

  • Write Start: Intro to Website Copy Creation Image

    articleJul 13, 2016 | 10 min. read

    Write Start: Intro to Website Copy Creation

    Earlier this month, WebPT’s Courtney Lefferts told you everything you need to know about designing a physical therapy website . Today, we’re going to discuss filling in that design with captivating copy, persuasive prose, and warm words that will instill confidence in your audience about you, your practice, and your services. When done write (right), website copy can convert perusing potential patients into contacting customers. When done wrong, it can send readers running for the hills—straight to …

  • How to Manage Your Online Marketing Image

    articleMar 26, 2014 | 5 min. read

    How to Manage Your Online Marketing

    Today’s blog comes from E-rehab.com President David Straight, PT, DPT. With the current level of over-regulation and increasing pressure from competition, payers, and POPTS, running a physical therapy private practice can be a challenge. That’s why it’s more important than ever for owners and directors to efficiently manage their business operations—and that includes marketing. While many small practice owners often view online marketing as an afterthought, it should actually be a high priority. After all, record numbers …

  • articleSep 4, 2013 | 4 min. read

    Four Metrics Critical to Your Blog

    So you’ve started blogging , and that’s fantastic. It’s a great way to get your message out to the masses—whether it be how fantastic your services are, the latest in industry developments, or preferably, a well-balanced mix of both. But just like everything else in your business, it’s important to track your return on investment so you know just how much time you should be devoting to researching, writing, and responding. Now, there’s a ton of super …

  • articleMay 15, 2013 | 3 min. read

    Does Email Marketing Make Sense for My Clinic?

    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 …

  • It Only Takes 3 Simple Steps: The Physical Therapist’s Guide to SEO Strategy Image

    articleMar 16, 2015 | 5 min. read

    It Only Takes 3 Simple Steps: The Physical Therapist’s Guide to SEO Strategy

    Let's face it: As the owner of a physical therapy practice, you probably have a shortage of hours in your day. You're not interested in learning the finer points of Facebook advertising. You don't care about the ins and the outs of crafting the perfect email drip campaign. And you're not even slightly amused by the cute black-and-white animal names in Google's zoo of algorithm changes (lookin' at you Panda, Penguin, and Pigeon ). And unless you’ve …

  • 5 Steps to Create an Advertising Plan for Your Clinic Image

    articleJun 25, 2013 | 6 min. read

    5 Steps to Create an Advertising Plan for Your Clinic

    The purpose of this month’s blog theme—small business best practices—is to help you be better in business. And as any business guru will tell you, advertising is a huge factor in not only creating new business, but also in solidifying brand identity. As a small business owner, you probably don’t have a lot of money to throw at media buying opportunities. But if you’re smart, you can get a lot out of the ad spots you do …

Achieve greatness in practice with the ultimate EMR for PTs, OTs, and SLPs.