Unlike other industries, communication in the healthcare industry is not always transactional. It is more about nurturing relationships with patients to win their loyalty and trust. Especially for a medical practice or a hospital, patient communication is of utmost priority. Rather than selling medical services to patients, healthcare organizations focus on staying in patient’s mind all for good reasons.
Today, patients have many options for treatment and diagnosis. If one provider is not reliable and viable, they move to the other. Thanks to the digital transformation, from review to health information, everything is available at the fingertips of the patient. Staying connected and establishing a strong base in patient’s good books is a challenge for healthcare providers. Hence, they are compelled to deliver value through educational conversations. The best way to achieve that is email marketing.
While other marketers use email mostly to do business, medical marketers have to think different. Medical practices must make use of email as an effective communication and engagement channel. Through providing informational content in emails, they can leave a positive impact on the patient’s mind. This will encourage the patient to trust the organization and come back for future medical assistance.
But out of all, hospitals should not forget that whatever strategy they may use to engage patients, they must never compromise on care quality.
Below is the list of best email marketing practices that can drive better patient engagement:
Set Your Benchmarks to Plan Email Campaigns
When you start with email marketing, the first thing to remember is to have a plan of your own. You just cannot blindly follow traditional practices or ideas that others are doing. After all, every business is different from the other. Moreover, its healthcare industry where your targets are not just consumers, they are patients, healthcare executives and medical practitioners. Hence, if your emails cannot deliver value, they will turn back towards your campaigns and the brand as a whole.
Therefore, the base of your email content should be to offer health-related information to patients. Rather than relying on traditional benchmarks that marketers followed a decade ago won’t work. Keeping in mind the present patient choices and healthcare trends, email marketers must design their email strategy. And for that, you need to pull historical data from the past experiences and based on a comparative analysis plan for the future. This will help you to develop email campaigns that the audience can connect with and relate to. In response, you will definitely get better responses. So, it is very important that you have your standards and benchmarks set according to which you can initiate future communications.
Send Educational-based Emails on Health Topics
We are in the digital age where information is available through multiple sources. At the tip of a click, today’s internet savvy customers have an answer to all their inquiries and apprehensions. The scenario is, even more, worrying for healthcare marketers as now they cannot bluff anything. Just to sell a product or service, healthcare businesses cannot take advantage of the patient’s fear. There are multiple providers offering the same service at different prices. If you miss, they will go to your competitor to look for what they need.
Also, based on customer reviews getting to know the efficiency of a provider is easy for patients now. Unlike patients 10-15 years ago, patients today are educated, well-informed and are in control of their healthcare decisions. Before booking a doctor’s appointment or going for an x-ray, they check online reviews and does proper research to find out who offers the best service at an affordable rate.
It is a common fact that most of the searches in the healthcare fields are about health-related problems. More than product researches, patients especially inquiries about medical issues of family members or their own on the internet. Out of all searches, the majority of them is about medical information. Hence, “any communication comprising relevant information will have more impact than the mere sales pitches or campaigns” says experts at MedicoReach. That is why it is advisable that email marketers focus on developing content that serves value to the audience who are patients.
Emails that contain educational content on topics such as wellness tips, healthy lifestyle practices, diet tips, and treatment plans get more readers. An email with selling propaganda is not the right step, to begin with. If your customer is new and you want to win their trust and build credibility, you must engage them with emails that are informational. From general health information to the latest medical innovations and treatment procedures, your email content should adhere to what patients want. That is why email marketers must focus on sending educational emails more than direct sales. It not only engages the customer but helps to build the trust factor in their mind.
Provide Easy Call-to-Action (CTA) Option
Your email campaign is incomplete with our engaging design, relevant content and a clear call-to-action button. The ultimate purpose of you sending emails to a patient or a healthcare executive is to engage and drive them to purchase. However, often healthcare marketers fail to incorporate proper CTA in the email. As a result, they may lose many of their potential customers.
Everyone doesn’t know about your brand. And when they receive an email for the first time without a CTA button, they fail to get in touch. Hence, it is necessary that your emails have visible and easy to understand the CTA button that allows the targeted audience to express their interest. Make sure that you mention your site link, telephone number, email id, and product landing pages redirect links to help them respond.
Develop Relevant Email Content Strategy to Engage Patients
Sending mass emails to all your patients is a big no. Every patient is not on the same page when it comes to treatment. With different health issues and at varying levels of treatment, patients have unique content requirements. So, if you plan for email communication with patients, you need to be wise with your content strategy. Apart from informing them about appointments, diet guide, and diagnosis and treatment plans, you can send them other useful content as complementary. It will help in increasing the engagement of the patient with your medical practice.
You can share relevant content about the current treatment or diagnosis the patient is going through. For instance, if a patient is about to undergo for chemotherapy, then sending emails that inform them about the effect and the possibilities about the therapy will be helpful. They will get the much-needed information without having to go looking for it on the Internet. You can deliver that right into their inbox.
Follow Proper Email Frequency
The biggest email mistake that marketers make is that they end up sending too many emails. Medical marketers forget that they are promoting their practice or business to patients and medical decision-makers. Nobody likes to be bombarded with back to back emails. It’s not that only a single brand communicates. Many other providers and medical practices are also trying to get the attention of the same patient as you. As a result, most of them unsubscribe from receiving email communication because of frequent emails, crowding their inbox.
The best way to engage patients with your brand or practice is to give them space. Your emails should aim to educate at the right time and not irritate. Also, if your email timing is wrong, there are chances that the customer may ignore or delete it. It means that all your effort will go in vain. Hence, make sure that your emails are not too frequent. Try to resist yourself from being a 24×7 email sender.
Author’s Bio : This article is written by Lauren Williams