1. Forgetting to Say Hello
No matter how good your e-mail header looks you still need to at least say hello before asking for something. The best way to invite people to trash your e-mail and worse yet spam you altogether is to be cold and impersonal in e-mails. If you’re using e-mail service such as Constant Contact or iContact, use a greeting that inserts the recipient’s first name.
2. Fonts that are Difficult to Read
The goal of every e-mail should be to connect and communicate. Both happen through words but what if the words are difficult to read? Errors to avoid are:
- Fonts that are too small – If many of your patients are 50 and over, small fonts may be sabotaging your e-mail efforts. Also remember that a growing percentage of e-mails are being viewed on smart phones. Therefore it makes good sense to increase your font sizes.
- Too many fonts – Combining too many different fonts creates an amateurish looking e-mail. Keep it to no more than two fonts, and then use italic and bold weights for variety.
3. Clashing Colors
Especially for the medical professional, clashing colors are distracting. The biggest color mistakes are:
- Too many colors – Use a color palette with two dominant colors and tone down the rest to make your e-mail look cohesive.
- Garish color – Stay away from colors that are overly bright or florescent. The last thing you want is for images and colors to compete with your message.
- Light text on a dark background – White on black may work for gamers and rock bands but not for professional e-mail. The most readable combination is dark text on a light ground, so stick to that whenever possible.
4. Confusing Information
You can make your e-mails instantly more inviting by avoiding a couple of formatting problems:
- No hierarchy of Information -When people glance at your email, they should immediately know which information is the most important. Use a larger, bolder and brighter main headline to make what is most important obvious. Legal information, notices, and “housekeeping” messages should use the smallest font.
- Long Paragraphs – To make your messages easy to scan, use plenty of subheadings. Write in short paragraphs, breaking up your text into easily-digestible chunks. Most e-mails should have no more than three or four paragraphs.
5. Poor Quality Images
Nothing says “an amateur designed this e-mail” like cheap clip art. Remember, people want to do business with real people, so use your own photos or stock images that are high quality and look natural. A decent digital camera and photos of your clinic and staff go a long way toward building authority and rapport.
6. Lack of Consistency
Creativity is great but for e-mails to be successful there also needs to be an element of predictability. Your well-designed e-mail header, logically place contact permission, and consistent layout ensures that your e-mail not only looks professional but is recognized in a recipient’s inbox.
7. Too Many Makeovers
Your email template may have to be tweaked from time to time and improvement is always a good thing. But once you get it looking right, resist the urge to keep changing things. The idea is for people on your e-mail list to instantly recognize your e-mail and therefore not trash it.