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Matt is WebPT’s email marketing specialist. He fights crime on the weekends when he’s not competing in canoe dancing. His monthly column covers all things email marketing and how it can help your clinic.
If you’re ready to start harnessing the power of email to market your clinic, you’ll need to figure out whether you’ll write the content yourself or ask someone else to do it for you. Either way, there’s a big difference between just sending a marketing email and sending a marketing email that works. And while there’s no silver bullet for creating the perfect email, here are a few items to consider before you hit the send button:
The Subject Line
This is the first thing an email recipient sees, which makes it arguably the most important part of your message. Entire blogs can be, have been, and will continue to be, completely devoted to perfecting the subject line only. But because this post isn’t solely about subject lines, I’ll just give you a couple of quick hitters:
- Keep it short (50 characters or fewer)
- Don’t include spam triggers (dollar signs, exclamation points, lots of capitalization, or the word “free”)
- Be direct—let people know what’s in the email instead of dancing around the topic or trying to trick people into opening it
Do: “Complimentary consultation at John Doe Therapy”
Don’t: “Get excited! The best rehab therapy in town can be yours for FREE!”
This should be a no-brainer, but I had to mention it. The biggest factor in determining whether people receive your email well is the quality of the content. Make sure you keep it short, place the high-value content in the top of the message (who has time to read more than a paragraph?) and incorporate bullet points to emphasize the most important bits of information.
The Call to Action
What do you want the recipient to do? Too many emails have an unclear purpose. Either there’s no defined call to action (e.g., “schedule a follow-up appointment” or “take our survey”), or there are too many. Having too many calls to action can be just as detrimental as not having a clear one, so make sure you pick one objective and stick to it.
Are you more likely to open an email from a real person or a faceless entity? While there are exceptions to the rule, in general, sending a message from a real person (e.g., “firstname.lastname@example.org” instead of “email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org”), will vastly improve that email’s performance.
Pro tip: make sure you monitor replies to the sender address. You want to encourage interaction as much as possible, and not allowing a recipient to easily reply to an email you send out is terrible practice.
If you want to maximize the potential of your email messaging, these areas are good places to start. But even if you think you’ve crafted a masterpiece, there’s always room for improvement. In next month’s blog, I’ll help you figure out where you need to improve as I discuss the best methods for email testing.