Some practices understand the power of implementing email marketing campaigns to turn leads into patients by moving them through the sales cycle, but very few know the best bang for your buck comes from using email marketing campaigns to nurture existing patients. Practices often get so caught up in gaining new patients that they forget about existing ones. Remember, acquiring a new patient can cost five times more than retaining one.
Why is it so important?
It’s much easier and more cost-effective to sell to existing patients than it is to cultivate new leads. According to the authors of Marketing Metrics, the probability of selling to a new patient is 5-20% while the probability of selling to an existing patient is up around 60-70%. The difference in conversion is quite polarizing and simply can’t be ignored.
Of course, successful email marketing campaigns start with a strong content marketing strategy as a guide to keep you focused on what you want to accomplish. Beginning with a well-defined email marketing strategy allows you to create drip campaigns that respond to the specific needs and interests of specific patients.
Elements of a great email marketing campaign:
Always begin with the end in mind. When creating email campaigns, set expectations from the beginning and provide additional value from the start. Drip campaigns are excellent for creating useful content that establishes you as a valued thought leader in the medical field. Deepen relationships and build trust with well-planned campaigns.
1. Send a welcome email
A well-crafted welcome email should give patients two things: One – exactly what they’re looking for, two – a little something extra to act as a “thank you” for becoming a patient. Provide them with the info they need to get started then offer some sort of valuable supporting or educational content such as an ebook or white paper. If possible, you should also provide an offer or discount on future services to create a motivation for them to return to your practice.
2. Share relevant blogs
Welcome emails are also a great way to introduce new patients to your medical blog. Provide new patients with a link to a sample blog post that is relevant to them, preferably an evergreen blog. Evergreen blog posts are ones that continue to be relevant long past their publication, so traffic grows over time and the blog can be shared again and again.
3. Personalize your campaigns
Personalize and tailor campaigns to specific audiences through content segmentation. Use your email marketing platform to set rules and triggers to ensure you deliver specific content that matches your patient’s needs. This can be done by segmenting them by the procedure they received. Serving your patients with relevant content can help move them closer to another sale.
4. Don’t sell
If you want to establish long and profitable relationships with your patients, create educational drip campaigns and inform them on topics, industry news, and solutions. By providing valuable content, you’ll reinforce your relationship and greatly increase the odds that your patient will return.
5. Send feel-good emails
Feel-good emails are ones that make your patients feel appreciated and top-of-mind. They’re a great tool for building trust, rapport, and a connection with your patients. Here are a few examples:
- Anniversary Emails
- Holiday Emails
- Birthday Emails (with offers)
- Industry-Related Event Reminders
Do it “write” the first time
Remember, it’s far more cost-effective to keep an existing patient than it is to acquire a new one, so it’s important that your email campaigns are curated with utmost care. Your success relies on providing authentic, valuable content – anything less will risk creating the perception that all of your content is junk. If you don’t put the proper time and effort into creating your email campaigns, your patients won’t put time and effort into reading them, or even opening them. Your most valuable patients are the ones you already have – take advantage of the easy revenue increases that can come from that.