74 Times. The number of times the average person checks their email EVERY DAY. (Wall Street Journal)
Yep, that’s 74 times opportunity is knocking, or rather, checking its email.
Are your communications getting the open, engagement and ultimately the healthcare consumer loyalty you long for?
The opportunity is WIDE open for you to inform, engage, and educate your healthcare consumers in their health and create a brand they can trust in your organization through email.
In my last blog post, we discussed 9 Tips for Better Email Subject Lines. Now that you are putting those tips into practice, let’s explore strategies for keeping your healthcare consumers coming back for more – more knowledge, more engagement from your trusted organization.
8 Strategies for Better Email Engagement
1. Send your email from a real person. Yes, a real live person’s name, not your hospital or company. Research has shown that email opens & click-throughs are much higher from a person they know such as “April Davis” rather than from just an organization they have a connection to (“Influence Health”). Do your patients have a relationship with the Nurse Practitioner at your facility? Send it from her. Is your Nutritionist teaching another healthy cooking class? You know what to do.
2. Have one clear Call to Action (CTA) button per email. Make it engaging, predominant, and near the beginning of the email.
When developing your CTA, think through what you ultimately want to persuade the reader to do – book an appointment, attend an event, or simply consider new recipes for adding more vegetables into their diet? Create the rest of the email content around that CTA and give them an EASY button to download more information.
3. Add alt. text to any of your images or CTA button. Many browsers and email clients suppress images by default so you want to be sure you have a back-up plan to catch reader attention if your image doesn’t load. Try including text that would compel them to click the image so that it loads and they can view it.
4. Think mobile first. Mobile optimize. 56% of opened emails were on a mobile device. (Litmus, October 2016) And this number continues to grow every year. Most marketing automation or email distribution technologies provide tools to preview what your email would look like on multiple difference devices so you can make adjustments before you send to the masses.
5. Proactively opt-in subscribers. Whether in-person during office visit check-ins, on your website, or within your patient portal, ask your healthcare consumers to agree to receive information from you.
6. Give ‘em some space. Just because someone checks their email several or even 74 times a day doesn’t mean they want to hear from your organization that regularly. In fact, 69% of U.S. email users unsubscribe from a business or nonprofit email because they believe they are receiving too many emails from them. (Chadwick Martin Bailey) Show your healthcare consumers that you VALUE their time & email storage and send weekly to bi-weekly, relevant emails.
7. Timing counts. Most email opens occur within an hour of when it’s received, so time your emails for when your audience is likely to open them. (SmartInsights)
- Sending a health newsletter? Educational emails have better open rates after lunch (noon-4pm) & Mondays/Tuesdays.
- Sending an actionable message – one that encourages your recipient to book an appointment or sign up for a class? Send early morning (6-8am) or later in the evening (8pm-midnight) when people have more time/flexibility to read emails more carefully. (Forbes)
8. Test it, Ya’ll, Test. Research and best practices are great guidelines but of course using analytics and A/B testing to find what resonates best with your audiences is how to continually refine your way to email success.
Keep an eye out for my next post that will dive deeper into the importance of personalization in your emails.
Want to learn more about enhancing your digital marketing? Request a free Healthcare Marketing Assessment.