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6 tips to destroy your healthcare email marketing campaign

In the business world, email remains a fact of life.  Meeting requests, product specs, design documents, contracts, introductions all happen via email — at least in my world.  In the world of my 21 year old daughter — email is too slow.  She checks her email every couple of weeks when someone tells her they sent and email.  Her world is social media.  The two worlds are very different and cater to different types of messages.  And it is important to know what fits well in the world of email marketing when you are pulling together an email campaign.  Telling you what fits well in email marketing would be too easy.  So today we are going to look at what not to do in the world of email.

1.  Use a service provider who doesn’t let you send from your domain

Your domain is a big part of your brand.  Brand recognition in the Inbox is going to provide for better open rates and less spam complaints.  Getting someone to opt in to your email campaign is a big step.  Don’t blow it by sending an email from some 3rd party system that doesn’t allow you to use your own domain name.  The example below shows this plain and clear.

MDP-1-20130211-1

Now if I ever did subscribe to this email campaign, I don’t remember it.  And I’m never going to open an email from an email address that starts with Hello@ except when I can use it as an example in a blog post about what not to do.

2.  Don’t segment your lists

The fastest and surest way to a spam folder is to assume every email address you have collected wants to receive every email communication you decide to send out.  If your email click through rates are below 1%, you definitely have some segmenting to do.

3.  Don’t use personalization

If generic unsegmented email blasts are the quickest way to a spam folder, personalized emails are the quickest way to an inbox.  Using personalized data such as First Name, Last Name, and location can help tremendously with increasing your deliverability and open rates.  Not using them, will help your message be ignored.

4.  Send only an HTML version of your email

We actually prefer to send very short text emails in many of our campaigns.  Our studies show that emails which are short, clear and concise receive a far better click through rate than well designed HTML emails.  Many of our email campaigns appear just as you would draft the emails you send each day.  We believe this has a much more natural feel to the recipient.  What never has a natural feel, is an HTML only email that doesn’t display on a mobile device and requires viewing images to understand the email.

5.  Limit your reporting options by choosing the wrong email partner

Email marketing is still the single best method to keep visitors coming back to your site.  Unfortunately many email service providers stop their analytics at the point the user clicks a link in the email.  This oversight in implementation results in a large loss of analytics data.  In any email campaign you don’t only want to know how many people clicked a link in your email but you want data tying each email campaign together at the subscriber level to see if certain users click more emails than others and what actions these users take on your site.  This data helps you determine who your best brand advocates are and which subscribers on your email list are the most likely to become patients.  When looking for an email partner, choose one that allows data integration with your website along with automated lead scoring and lead nurturing.

6.  Assume that since your email campaign isn’t working email is dead

Last month in an Inbound Advisor review, we looked at an email campaign we inherited with a new client.  Each month the campaign went out the approximately 1,200 subscribers and each month the site would receive 1 to 2 clicks from the campaign.  These are terrible numbers for an email campaign.  These poor results had created an “I don’t care, it doesn’t work anyway” attitude surrounding the campaign.  So each month the campaign was sent out with less and less attention towards how to make it perform.  You can imagine the diminishing returns.  We have the campaign results to prove that if your target audience has email addresses, email is a great platform for marketing your services.  And if your campaign isn’t performing, you likely are guilty of one of these 6 tips to destroy your campaign.  Did I miss anything?  Let me know in the comments.

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About Marc
Marc Ohmann is president of Digital Solutions, Inc in Minneapolis. Digital Solutions is the company behind the MDWebPro blog and tool set. Marc was a computer science and engineering student at the University of Minnesota in 1999 when he started Digital Solutions. Marc, now a husband and father of 3, greatly enjoys the clients and creativity he is involved in each day through Digital Solutions. Follow Marc on Twitter @marcohmann and @MDWebPro and also on Google Plus

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