Every email marketer, whether physician or small business owner, has had the same experience. After following all the best email practices they still aren’t hearing back from those potential clients. There is a good chance the problem is those emails aren’t reaching their intended recipients. That is why we want to help plastic surgeons with their email marketing to make sure it’s delivered.
It is estimated that at least 20% of permission based emails are bounced, blocked, or returned to sender. There are some reasons for this that is difficult to avoid. Email servers sometimes become overloaded and return email for later attempts. Some Internet Service Providers have strict rules concerning unsolicited email. Unfortunately, Yahoo and Hotmail often interpret those rules in ways that land your solicited email up in the spam folder.
Ways to Make Sure that Email Gets Delivered
Develop a Good Online Reputation
When it comes to email marketing, reputation is everything. Suppose a patient leaves a comment on your web site with a complaint and you handle it poorly. One unhappy patient can then post negative comments about you on MD reviews sites, forums, tweets, Facebook, and a host of other places.
Before you know it, one negative has circulated to gain the appearance of a host of negatives. As a result a potential patient somewhere, sees those multiplied negatives and chooses to ignore your emails. With you being aware of this, you send them a new email and they report it as spam to their ISP.
TIP: What can you do? The first thing to do is to sign up for our free review tool. Most bad reviews can be overcome with a bit of work on your part. Actively engage prospects (especially those who have made negative comments) and ask what you can do better. The main thing is to be proactive about your online reputation.
Minimize Spam Complaints
There are many reasons email can be flagged as spam. Some of these include:
- Unrecognizable or misleading information in the from and subject line
- Frequency – too many emails in a short period of time
- No unsubscribe link
- Suspicious content: huge fonts, aggressive language, unprofessional tone
The main line of defense to being spammed is having a completely permission based email list. Also, be sure and clearly identify your practice and name; use a clear subject line, send relevant and well designed messages; and set clear expectations for how often emails will be sent. Never promise someone they will receive one email a month and send five a week!
Keep a Clean House
An email list filled with bad or closed email accounts will damage deliverability with many ISPs. Some may even block all emails from you. Here is a check list for cleaning up your email list:
- Remove all bounced accounts and all who request to be unsubscribed
- Identify and correct typos in your list
- Make sure there are no typos in domain names and extensions
- Contact list members if their information is outdated
Test, Test, Test
Always send a proof of every email to yourself and several other staff members. This “seed list” will uncover most of the problems mentioned above. HTML emails are great but can appear quite different when viewed by different email clients. Just as with your web site, emails should be tested with as many clients as possible (Outlook, Gmail, AOL, etc…).
Think of this as protecting your investment. Just as you have preventive maintenance done on your copier, spend a little time every month tuning up your email list. The difference will be well worth the time.