Today, healthcare organizations have many opportunities to be the “holistic wellness and healthy living” partner that people now need. And email marketing creates many of these opportunities.
Through email, such organizations can engage with patients, ease their worries, and share important information about healthy living. Over the long term, they can build meaningful relationships with them, while also expanding their own revenue streams.
And email automation is the easiest and most scalable way to achieve these goals.
In this guide, we’ll explore why your healthcare organization needs automated email marketing, and how you can leverage it to benefit patients – and yourself.
Why Email Marketing Automation Is Important for Health and Wellness Organizations
#1. Patients want information
Email marketing provides an easy, smart and scalable way to communicate useful information, start a dialogue with patients, win their trust, and stay top of mind. And the best thing about it is that it can be automated to meet these objectives in a streamlined, low-cost manner.
Here’s an information-rich email from Ritual focused on food, nutrition, and healthy eating. Since it comes from a reliable source, subscribers are more likely to trust the information and buy products from the company.
#2. Email marketing converts
In one study, 60% of consumers said they made a purchase after receiving a marketing email. Clearly, email is a powerful conversion tool. If used well, someone on the verge of buying a health supplement, signing up for a Yoga class, or booking a day at a spa is more likely to complete their purchase. And email is one of the easiest ways to do so.
#3. Increased website traffic
Automated email marketing can help you gain followers on your social media pages, regular visitors to your website, and readers for your blog. In the long term, these regulars are more likely to turn to you when they need a product, service, or support.
#4. Build a stronger brand
By engaging with the audience through warm, human email communications, you can meet their needs to improve their health outcomes. Happy patients are also more likely to recommend your brand and boost its value.
Sending emails manually takes a lot of time and effort. Here’s where email automation is very valuable. Once a campaign is set up, it will run by itself, and deliver results that benefit both patients and the organization.
5 Email Marketing Automation Strategies for Medical, Health, and Wellness Organizations
#1. Segment the Audience
Segmentation ensures that those who receive healthcare marketing emails want to receive them. It also ensures that you don’t waste your efforts contacting uninterested subscribers.
Some tips to improve segmentation:
- Find commonalities such as age, location, or gender in your target audience to group subscribers
- Create smaller segments so you can create more personalized automated emails that delight recipients
- Create a segment for existing customers or patients, and engage with them regularly through newsletters, special offers, referral emails, free trials, etc.
Noom’s re-engagement email encourages users to sign up for a health course with a free trial plus discount. It also focuses on how the company can help them practice daily self care.
To improve segmentation, you can get subscriber details at the first appointment. You can also add opt-in forms on your website or social media pages. Make sure you get their opt-in to receive your marketing emails.
#2. Create Email Templates
Reusable, on-brand templates make it easy to implement repeatable, scalable email automation. Choose your preferred templates and customize them with content blocks, custom fonts, and your brand’s colors, logo, etc.
A referral email such as the one above from Boka is easy to set up with a built-in template and a small amount of text.
Some tips to get the best results from email templates:
- Always select mobile-friendly, responsive templates
- Create different templates for each email type
- Test every template by first sending it to a small audience
- Preview every template on different email clients to ensure it renders properly everywhere
#3. Set Up Triggered Automated Emails
Once your email list starts growing, it will become harder to email each subscriber manually. To get around this challenge, email automation based on triggers is ideal. For example, when a subscriber or patient signs up on your website, you can automatically send them a welcome email that includes all relevant information. In addition, you can also set triggers to send emails like:
- Appointment reminders
- Annual check-up reminders
- Prescription reminders
This personalized email reminds the recipient to refill their prescription. It includes details of the product so the customer knows exactly what the email is about.
- Event invites
- Pre-operation or post-operation information
- Free resources
- Special offers
#4. Optimize Timing and Volume
With automated emails from healthcare or wellness organizations, both timing and volume are critical. An email about post-operative care should be sent immediately after an operation so the patient can take fast action to prevent complications or side effects. Similarly, a reminder for an annual check-up must go out a few weeks before the year is up so the patient has enough time to prepare and schedule an appointment.
Most email tools make it easy to set up automated emails and optimize the send volumes, timing, and frequency. Some tools even provide a “throttle” feature so you can spread out email sends.
#5. Personalize Emails
Most people appreciate health information that’s personalized and aligned with their lifestyle, goals, or needs. It’s easy to automate and personalize such emails.
Use subscriber’s first name in the greeting or subject line. If a subscriber has purchased a product from you in the past or visited your clinic or practice, use this information to personalize each message. Based on what you know about them, you can send all kinds of personalized emails, including:
- Reminder emails
- Informative emails
- Promotional emails
- Newsletters with informative content
- Happy birthday or anniversary emails
Make sure each email includes useful content that’s relevant to that subscriber. Also pay attention to the email’s layout and structure with content blocks, a neat F-layout, and clear headings and subheadings. Craft a compelling and short subject line and include clear Call to Action (CTA) buttons. Finally, use A/B testing to test each email, and determine the “best” version to send to the larger audience.
5 Types of Emails to Automate
#1. Welcome Emails
A welcome email should go out immediately after a patient signs up to receive email marketing from you. It should welcome them to your practice and include important introductory information, such as:
- Registration process
- What they can expect on their first and follow-up visits
- How they can stay in touch with your practice
You can also include a link to your website and social media channels.
#2. Information/Educational Emails
You can easily set up automation to share different kinds of informative emails:
- Pregnancy health emails for expectant mothers (and fathers!)
- Newborn health for new parents
- IVF information for want-to-be-parents
- Geriatric care for caretakers/relatives of the elderly
- Chemotherapy information for cancer patients
- Information about activities, exercises, and healthy foods
#3. Special Promotions
Automated promotional emails can include details about limited-time sales or discounts. But be careful to always communicate the value the subscriber would receive through the promotion, instead of simply pushing your products or services. Also be careful about the words you use. Words like “free” in the subject line can land your emails in subscribers’ Spam folders.
Ritual’s promo email is simple, uncluttered, and offers all the information a subscriber may need to understand the product’s value and try it at a low cost.
Whether you send reminders to schedule appointments or to complete purchases of products left in abandoned carts, automated reminder emails are a must for healthcare organizations. In addition to reminding them to start or finish something, you can add a pixel to your website to track their movements. Then you can retarget them through ad campaigns on social media or search engines.
#5. Local Events
Is your clinic setting up a free COVID-19 vaccination camp? Inviting a heart surgeon to give a free talk on heart health? How about a session on prenatal care for expectant mothers? You can set up an automated campaign to invite the relevant audience to these events. Make sure you include a registration link or number and important information about how to sign up, last date for registration, etc.
Healthcare email marketing is all about sharing relevant and accurate information, building trust, and putting patients at ease. And with automation, you can do this at scale. Just remember to be consistent and timely, personalize emails, and always respect subscribers’ choice to unsubscribe. Also, make sure you adhere to any applicable email marketing and data privacy laws (e.g. CAN-SPAM) and industry (e.g. HIPAA).
Need help setting up an automated email marketing program for your healthcare organization? Contact the experts at Email Uplers.