10 Common Email Mistakes
Email is one of the most effective communication channels for businesses. In fact, it’s currently estimated that the average Internet user sends and receives 115 emails per day, creating a ton of opportunity to improve your patient communications; however, it is important to ensure your email is getting their attention among the hundreds of emails they interact with.
If your practice is emailing current and prospective patients, be sure to avoid these 10 common email mistakes:
1. Forgetting an Opt-Out – Not everyone wants to be on your email subscriber list. Give patients the opportunity to opt-out of future emails with an unsubscribe link. Not only is an opt-out required by the FTC, but it also allows patients to respectfully decline your email, rather than reporting you as SPAM, which negatively impacts your email reputation.
2. Poor Timing – Are you accidentally sending patients appointment reminders after their appointment has passed? Or, are your birthday messages unintentionally belated? Be sure the emails you send are timely and relevant to your patients.
3. Sending Spam – Only email patients or prospects who have willingly subscribed to your emails. If you’re buying email lists and sending marketing messages to users who didn’t willingly subscribe, you may end up harming your email reputation. Try asking patients how they prefer to be contacted on new patient forms, and provide an email opt-in.
4. An Awful Subject Line – When you email patients, you’re competing with every other message in their inbox. Therefore, you need to immediately establish its purpose. According to HubSpot, 64% of email recipients open email based on the subject line alone. If your subject line doesn’t spark interest or curiosity, then your email may be sent straight to the trash. Also, make sure your email line is relevant to the subject of your email; you don’t want to mislead subscribers with irrelevant information in the subject line.
5. You Aren’t Providing Value – Email should always provide a value to your patients and build upon your relationship. Whether you’re sending a “Happy Birthday” message or an appointment reminder, make sure your patient finds the email worth reading.
6. An Overwhelming Message – Much like you, your patients are busy and don’t want to spend hours sifting through their inbox. Be sure you send concise information that is easy to comprehend.
7. Grammatical Errors – Small errors and misspellings can ruin your credibility and cause patients to think you’re negligent and hurried. Take the time to thoroughly proof all of your emails before hitting the “send” button.
8. An Outdated Subscriber List – As you gain and lose patients, you have to remember to update your email list. You want to be sure you aren’t sending mail to old patients who are no longer interested in your services, as they’re likely to report your email as spam. Keep in mind that 30% of subscribers change their email addresses annually, so updating your list is critical.
9. An Unappealing Design – Plain text emails no longer capture readers’ attention. To stay competitive and relevant you have to add interest to your emails with images and design elements to better engage your patients. Also, before sending your email to patients, make sure your design elements render correctly in different mail applications (i.e. Yahoo! mail, Gmail, Outlook, etc.).
10. Forgetting to Include Contact Information – Emails that are intended to generate new patient appointments or confirm existing appointments must include your contact information in the body of the email. Be sure you’re providing patients with the email address you want them to respond to, your phone number, and a link to your website.
Email has become an instrumental way for practices to effectively communicate with their patients, and it is important to remember the basic elements needed to make your email perform its best. Research indicates that for every $1 spent on email marketing, the average business sees an ROI of $40, and 44% of email recipients make at least one purchase annually triggered by a promotional email.
With statistics so promising, email marketing is surely a good investment for your practice, provided you avoid these common mistakes.