With all of the advances in social media over the last couple of years, e-mail still remains one of the best uses of your marketing time and resources. As we noted in Put your Email List to Work for Plastic Surgery Sales there are a few simple reasons for this.
Email Marketing is a wise investment because it …
- Is inexpensive
- Provides extraordinary conversion rates
- Produces measurable and profitable returns based on the amount of time and effort required
Experienced e-mail marketers have also learned that the best email lists are the ones they built themselves. We emphasized that principle in Plastic Surgery E-mail Marketing Simplified.
Another way to get a good list is to build one yourself. That means placing opt-in options on every newsletter, blog and web page you have. Names on this list will have a much longer shelf life because these are people who have already read something by you.
A key factor for success with plastic surgeons and email marketing is remembering to ask permission. There are a number of reasons you should take the time to create solid opt-in pathways for people to join your email list.
- The relationships you build with people who opt-in will be stronger and more long lasting. Spamming never wins friends.
- You will stop wasting your time and resources on people who aren’t really prospects to become clients.
- You will stay on the right side of the government. The best practice is to abide by the CAN-SPAM Act with diligence.
It’s not always the Biggest List That Wins!
Medical professionals who get the best results with e-mail marketing understand it isn’t all about building the biggest list. When you seek permission to add people to your email lists you will get …
Improved Deliveries – People who ask to hear from you are much more likely to provide accurate information.
Improved Response Rate – People who sign up for your email list generally have a real interest in your services. They are more likely to open and respond to your emails and less likely to add you to blocked lists. All of this equates with greater conversions.
Increased Brand Identity – Because you aren’t labeled as a spammer, opt-in subscribers come to expect to see your information in their inbox. And, if you only send them quality information you build goodwill and position yourself as a trusted authority.
So How Do you get Permission?
The quick answer is, ask. Ask visitors to your site to opt-in to receive communication from you. Make that call to action easy to find and comply with. There are three levels of opt-ins:
Basic – A visitor fills out a form on your site and provides an email address.
Confirmed Opt-in – After providing an email address, a thank-you confirmation email is sent with a link for them to confirm or unsubscribe.
Double Opt-in – A visitor provides an email address and you send them an email with a link that must be clicked before they are actually added to your list.
The Bottom Line
MarketingSherpa did a survey in 2008 in which over 60% of respondents said they would be more likely to opt-in to an email list if they could be sure their information would not be shared with anyone else.
84% of respondents surveyed by Epsilon and ROI Research said they actually liked getting email from companies they had registered with through a double opt-in system. Even when they didn’t always read the information they wanted to keep receiving more.
The bottom line is that the people added to your email list through permission based means are more likely to contact you for further information. This makes email still the best Return on Investment you can find in Internet Inbound Marketing.