The Importance of Email Marketing

Monday, April 01, 2024

Primary Blog/The Importance of Email Marketing
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The Importance of Email Marketing For Healthcare Professionals

Most healthcare professionals acknowledge that marketing is important to the health of their practices.

However, most providers think about advertising when they consider the concept of marketing.

Unfortunately, most providers do not consider the importance of email marketing to their healthcare businesses.

This article will discuss why email is so important and how to maximize its use. 

The Three Audiences You Can Reach With Your Marketing.

Marketing at its core is about getting the right message to the right market through the right media.

The right market is the audience you want to reach.

There are three audiences you can reach with your marketing. Each one is important. However, one is best.

First, the audience you rent.

When you rent a house, you pay a certain amount of money for a specified period of time. Once the time runs out, your access to the house ends, unless you pay more money.

It is the same with paid ads on social media platforms.

You pay a certain amount to the platform. You tell the platform which audience you want to reach. You can specify their demographics and interests.

The platform then agrees to send your message to recipients matching the characteristics you specified for an agreed upon period of time.

During that agreed upon time period, your message has access to your chosen audience. Much like the rental house, once the time expires, your access ends, unless you pay more money.

Therefore, that is the audience you rent. It is temporary and costs money.

Second, the audience you earn.

When you post content online without paying, the posts are known as organic posts.

The social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, TikTok, etc., then show your content to certain members on its platform.
The audience that gets to see your content is the audience you earn. You didn't pay for them. You earned them.

In general, the better your content is and the more engagement or views it receives, the more people are shown your content. If your content is not very engaging, few people will see it.

So, the size of the audience you earn is dependent on the quality of your content.

Many providers assume their content is always shown to all their followers. That is not true. Only a small percentage of your followers are reliably shown your content.

How the platform determines who sees your content is known as the algorithm.
Each platform has its own algorithm. They change their algorithms frequently. So, what content strategy works well on a specific platform today may not work well tomorrow once the algorithm changes.

Playing the game of matching your content to the best strategy working in social media today is not easy for providers. You are busy enough with your practice. It is nearly impossible to also stay on top of the best marketing strategies working today.
You should hire a marketing firm to do that work for you.

Again, this audience seeing your organic content is the audience you earn.

Third, is the audience you own.

The audience you own is your email list.

You don't have to pay to access this audience.

Your access to this audience is not limited to only a certain amount of time.

You don't have to get permission from any third party to access this audience.

You have complete control over access to this audience.

You can communicate with this audience anytime you choose.

Therefore, the audience you own is by far the best of the three options!

Each audience is important for your marketing plan, but email is the best!

Therefore, growing your email list should be a top priority.

How Do You Generate and Grow Your Email List?

We've already established that your email list is vital to your practice.

But, how do you generate this list? And how do you grow this list?

The fact is, you actually need two lists, and how you generate them differs between the two.

So, here are the two types of email lists.

First, is your "Current Patients" list.

When patients see you for an appointment at your office, you collect various personal identification information.

Included in the list of information you collect on each patient you see should be an email address. One of the permissions they should consent to by seeing you should be to receive your free email newsletter.
This free newsletter should be sent at least weekly but can be sent more often.

The newsletter will include information patients would want to know. It could include information about health topics trending in society, such as the Measles outbreak, or weight loss using diabetic drugs like Ozempic, or tips to help keep kids off drugs, etc.

You should also include information about new treatment options you offer, or new technology you are using in your practice.

Keeping your current patients informed makes them feel appreciated and valued.
And patients who feel appreciated and valued are less likely to see a different provider.
This is email marketing to your "current patients" list.
And it is very helpful for patient retention!

But there is another email list you need:

Second, is your "Potential New Patients" list.

How do you generate an email list of patients you haven't seen yet?

There are two ways.

One way is to create a FREE email newsletter about health-related topics.
You can advertise this free email newsletter which people can receive by giving you their email address.

You could send postcard ads to all residents within a certain mile radius of your office offering them a free email newsletter.

You can run organic social media posts about your free email newsletter asking people to sign up.
You can run paid social media ads about your free email newsletter.

As people sign up, you are generating a "Potential New Patients" email list.

Another way is to post helpful health information online. This could be information about trending topics as mentioned above.
As people read your posted content, they become familiar with you.
When they learn important information from your posts, they learn to trust you.

They then see you as an expert in your subspecialty.

Included with your posted free content is a link to sign up for your free email newsletter.

As they become more familiar with you and come to know, like, and trust you, they are much more likely to sign up for your free email newsletter.

In addition, they will be much more likely to make an appointment with you if the need for treatment or evaluation of an issue arises.

This is your "Potential New Patients" email list.

Those are the two email lists you need to create and grow.

Obviously, the content you market to each list is totally different.

That's why you need two email lists.

Email marketing has several attractive features:

1. You control the list.

2. You can send your marketing message whenever you choose.

3. There is NO cost associated with messaging your audience.

4. There are no restrictions on subject matter in emails. For example, Facebook’s ad policies will not allow you to post before and after weight loss photos in your posts. So, if you are a physician who specializes in helping overweight patients lose weight, Facebook marketing is of limited value. However, there are no restrictions on your emails. You can post before and after photos in your email marketing.

Email marketing is very important to your practice.

Make sure you are not overlooking one of the best marketing platforms you have.

Email marketing does not negate the need for other marketing strategies and efforts, but it should be a major focus of your marketing strategy!

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Ben Holt, M.D.

CEO , Healthcare Provider Marketing

Dr. Holt is the CEO of Healthcare Provider Marketing.  He is passionate about both healthcare and marketing.  His goal is to help healthcare providers maximize their revenue through new marketing and business strategies.