Maintaining your lists

Your email list is a hot commodity that deserves a dedicated staff member to manage. Every time a patient comes into the clinic, make sure someone checks the chart to be sure you have the accurate contact information, address, as well as email address. Whenever possible, a personal email is preferable to a work or professional email that tends to change more often. A personal email address is more permanent. Growing your list is important, but debriding it to get rid of the non-responders is equally important to have a healthy list to work with.

A list packed with email addresses that are no longer taking action (opening or clicking) on your emails is not effective. These people may be just clogging up your good list and serve no real purpose as part of your overall marketing plan. Think of it this way: why waste time and money to send mail to someone who will probably never make a purchase, click on your website, visit your clinic, or refer a friend?

Disinterested subscribers may also complain rather than acting on an unsubscribe option, which can count as a strike against you with your service provider. If your e-blasts keep missing subscribers’ inboxes, many service providers like Gmail and Yahoo may classify your mail as spam or junk.

To grow your list, consider offering incentives for your current subscribers to get their friends to sign-up, such as a discount on a future purchase or a free skincare gift for referring a friend. If your list is segmented, you can create different campaigns for different segments to target each of their specific needs, interests and topics they care about.

Add some sizzle to your email marketing campaign

If you are using an outdated method of sending e-blasts manually — through AOL or Yahoo for example — it is time to take your email marketing to the next level.

[pull_quote align=”right” ]Images are a vital component in an email campaign, but you also need to have enough text to make it interesting to read and click through.[/pull_quote] Upgrade your template with a fresh, new look that mirrors your website, Facebook page and all other practice materials. Make changes to the layout, colour scheme, and add some new links and Call to Action buttons. Save examples of e-blasts in your inbox that compelled you to read them and think about what you liked about these to get ideas.

Images are a vital component in an email campaign, but you also need to have enough text to make it interesting to read and click through. A good e-blast should be constructed to be effective, even if the recipient is not able to see any of the images used. A common mistake is to create a pretty looking ad in Photoshop without adding text. A header image should be relatively narrow (in terms of height), and readers should be able to read your lead-in text without having to scroll down.

The subject line is what convinces recipients to open the email. Then, if the intro text and first paragraph is meaningful to them, the reader will be far more likely to click to download images. However, some percentage of users still won’t download the images and prefer to just read the entire email without images enabled. Compelling subject lines should hint as to the contents of the e-blast in a friendly, engaging and interesting way. The most important factor is the quality of the content of your e-blasts. To increase subscribers and click through rates, and decrease unsubscribes, keep the value and quality of the content of your e-blasts high. If your e-blast is providing useful information and something they cannot get anywhere else, you are more likely to keep your subscriber list intact.

Mobile marketing applies to e-blasts as well. A mobile-friendly design is well worth investing in as more people now view e-blasts on smaller technology. With technology continuing to progress, the majority of your readers may be opening messages on cell phones, laptops, or tablets. It may cost a bit more up front to set up, but your pay-off will be more recipients responding and clicking through.

E-blasts are a good way to increase your traction on social media platforms. Make sure your emails are social media-friendly. Most programmes allow you to post your emails to your Facebook page and Twitter feeds, and you can add ‘like’ buttons to your emails with one click. Run a campaign to your email subscribers, asking them to follow all your social media outlets. You can even include your latest social media posts in your emails to create more interest.