Even as other forms of digital communication have grown to become more mainstream and immediate, I still love email.
It’s efficient and versatile, and just about everyone still uses it.
I use email for a variety of purposes including personal communications, education and learning, professional communications, and even marketing. If done right, email can convey emotion and professionalism while still providing plenty of opportunities to connect and engage with your recipients.
Marketing with email can be a slippery slope, however. It can as easily build a business as it can negatively affect its brand. If not done correctly, email marketing can take the form of “spam,” or the unsolicited mass distribution of a sales pitch or marketing message.
When done correctly, however, email marketing can build one’s reputation and market appeal by offering genuine, unique information that is relevant to recipients – and in a manner that isn’t obnoxious or invasive.
This application is just the right fit for clinical rehab therapy practices. By and large, you offer services to a fairly homogeneous group of customers (patients), all of whom can benefit from scheduled updates, education and information regarding their health.
Email as a marketing tool for private practice physical, occupational and speech therapists is efficient, cost-effective, and convenient for both the creator and the recipient of the marketing message.
Below are a few tips for how to craft an effective email marketing campaign for any type of private practice.
Allow Patients to Opt-In
Add “Email Address” to your patient intake form, along with a check box to “opt-in” to your email newsletter. This is a quick way to build your distribution list and is a good point of conversation with patients as they become familiar will all of the services offered by your practice.
The likelihood of patients opting in is much higher in a personal setting such as a healthcare practice than it is on a website.
Share Unique Content
Within your emails, write and share original content published by clinic practitioners (such as those posted on your clinic’s blog) so that your audience can begin to understand that your expertise is both broad and multi-dimensional. Such content not only allows audiences to better understand the nature of your services and the conditions you treat. It also helps them get to know your practitioners by both name and personality, making it easier for them to reach out if/when they have questions.
Promote Community Engagement
Use your email campaign to promote upcoming events at your practice. But, don’t stop there.
Notify your distribution list of community events and sponsorships that your practice is involved with. This can help to increase attendance at these events, but most importantly it communicates the message to your audience that you are active in the community and on the local radar.
Provide Links to Your Website … and Others
Think of your email as a gateway to your website and to other information that helps readers get to know your better. As such, include plenty of links back to your website (or major directory/social sites, such as Google or Facebook) where recipients can find additional news and get to know you better.
Also, don’t hesitate to provide links to resources outside of those offered only by your practice, as well. This builds credibility and adds value to the newsletter as it can be a means of educating your audience about information that can help them.
Don’t think of your email newsletter communication as a one-way effort. Find ways to connect with and engage your audience now and in the future.
For more immediate engagement, include links that allow recipients to ask questions or easily schedule appointments and assessments/screenings. Also, include online directory and social media links that encourage readers to follow your profiles and/or leave reviews.
Hundreds of other ideas exist for building an effective email campaign. The sky seems the limit as I know of no other industry where building a “community” around your business is as conducive as it is in healthcare.
Your patients most likely love – or at the very least, need – what you have to offer. By communicating with them on a regular basis through a simple and cost-effective email campaign, you are providing yourself with an easy way to strengthen your relationship with them while offering them value that your competitors may lack.