As a practitioner, therapist or instructor, it’s more than likely that you’ll finish your education without ever receiving any formal marketing training. Even those who took business courses during their undergrad years probably didn’t delve into specific marketing strategies, such as email segmentation and automation. This is one of the contributing factors as to why healthcare and fitness businesses are notoriously behind the curve when it comes to not only attracting new clients, but also retaining them for wellness-based services post-discharge.
In the age of multidisciplinary clinics where clients favour a whole-body approach to wellbeing and fitness, your success could be defined not only by outcome measure data but also by the lifetime value of your average client. It’s becoming increasingly crucial for clinics and studios alike to step up their marketing and engagement game in the name of bringing more clients through the door and gaining their loyalty for the long haul. Email marketing can be a big help on both fronts but it’s going to take more than a few good newsletter ideas.
Don’t view email marketing as selling
The minute you start to consider what you’re doing as “selling,” your whole approach to email marketing changes.
It’s important to remember that you are a trained professional with the ability to improve your clients quality of life. Whilst your clients are consumers of healthcare and fitness services, you don’t want to come across as if you’re selling; you’re offering people an opportunity to improve their general health and wellbeing and supporting your face-to-face services with supplementary information via email marketing.
As with any form of marketing—social media, blogs, paid search, or community outreach—consistency is key. We live in an age of information overload, and if your business is not consistently delivering subtle reminders about your services, people can quickly forget about you – think about how we landed in your mailbox and got you on our blog with this relevant article.
The easiest way to achieve this is by creating a set schedule for emails. There’s no hard-and-fast rule for how frequently you should email your marketing list. As with anything marketing related, it’ll be down to continual testing to find your ideal blend but it’s important to stay consistent. Some businesses send weekly emails; others opt for fewer.
Know your audience and cater your emails to their needs
One of the golden rules for any business owner or marketer is to “know your audience”. Any email you create should reflect your brand, tying back to your value proposition and giving your clients a good feel for your business personality. For this reason, it’s essential to ensure that whoever manages your email marketing truly understands both your culture and goals.
Segment your list whenever possible
Chances are, your full email list includes many readers, all with diverse interests who have booked a range of services. A particular piece of content might be incredibly valuable to some readers—and not at all relevant to others. This is why marketers segment their email recipients as early as possible. Most email marketing providers allow you to tag people who click on specific links, and you can then take that information and use it to develop more targeted sends in the future.
For example, let’s say you own a Physiotherapy clinic, and you send an article about common neck pains as a result of home-working in your monthly newsletter, which you send to your entire list. You can tag readers who click on that article—which places them in a bucket or group called “neck pain.” In the future, when you run an exclusive event about Physiotherapy services, you can send a targeted series of invite emails only to that group.
Use a clear call to action (CTA)
Most people who send out emails have heard of the term “call to action.” But in case you haven’t, a CTA is simply a line of text, a button, or any other piece of content that prompts the reader to take action. For example, it could be a button that says, “Book a free assessment”; or it could be a link to watch a video that will draw potential clients to your services.
We recommend using multiple CTAs throughout the email, rather than using only one at the very end. Many people skim through emails, and a single CTA could be easily missed at first glance.
Match your CTA strategy to your end goal
Some newsletters are broken into unique service departments, each of which might have its own news or articles to share. So, in many cases, each section warrants a separate CTA. However, if the point of your email is to sell a single event such as an assessment, or discounted product or service, you’ll want a single CTA—but you’ll want to intersperse it throughout the email (perhaps in different formats), so people don’t miss it.
For example, a monthly newsletter at a multidisciplinary clinic might comprise content from four separate departments, each of which invites you to purchase something different. However, a targeted email for the aforementioned neck pain clinic would try to enrol participants in that specific event. So, the sender would want to encourage readers to sign up in a variety of ways, such as:
Reserve your spot today. [button]
Schedule a consultation to address your home working woes! [linked text within the body of the email]
Book and save £25! [link in the middle of the email]
Match your CTA to the type of recipient
If you’re promoting the same event to different groups of people, be sure to tailor your CTA to each type of recipient. For example, if you’re promoting a free assessment, your CTA for a patient who has received treatment from you for one or more injuries in the past will be different than your CTA for a potential new patient whose email address you collected at a local community event.
You might say “We miss you! Come back and see us for a free assessment” for a loyal patient, but “Sign up for a free assessment and start running stronger today” to the runner you met at the community event. It’s also important to note that a CTA is only half the story: “Once someone follows the call to action, it’s all about personalised follow-up.” For example, if someone clicks to book a complimentary assessment —and your front desk takes three days to call and schedule the appointment—you could lose that person’s interest.
To counter this, you’ll want to leverage the power of your Connect online bookings. Connect makes it easy to create new reduced cost services or special offers which can be directly linked to your CTAs in outreach campaigns.
Understand the nuances of a good email
Depending on your end goal, you’ll need to adapt your tone of voice to capture reader attention and drive appropriate action to conversion. You won’t approach an email the same way you would tackle a blog post. When someone clicks a blog, they expect to read long-form content but when opening an email, they expect short-form – keep this in mind or you’ll fall into the TLDR bracket.
Choose your subject lines carefully
Speaking of writing, a good subject line can ensure that readers actually open your email in the first place. Many of us suffer from “inbox fatigue,” and a boring or uninspired headline might cause us to delete the email without even a cursory glance inside. An intriguing email headline can make all the difference. Consider the difference between these two headlines:
Back Pain Prevention Clinic
Halloween is coming… don’t be spooked by back pain!
Now ask yourself, which one would you click?
Think beyond written content
Keep in mind that your email content isn’t limited to the written word. Some businesses find that video resonates best with their audience. The key is identifying the type of message you want to deliver, and then determining which medium—text, video, illustration, etc.—is the best-suited to communicate what you want to say.
Ideally, all of your emails will be personalised (i.e., address individuals by name), and you’ll send them during a time when your potential clients are most likely to check email.
Have an end goal for every email—and it doesn’t always have to be about driving revenue
Depending on how frequently you send emails, you might get on people’s nerves if you keep badgering them to come in for services. Remember, a fundamental part to growing any business is establishing meaningful relationships built through mutual trust. And fostering a lasting relationship means providing value beyond the time that clients spend at your business.
If you write a blog post that you think your readers will appreciate—think, “5 Easy Ways to Prevent Common Running Injuries” if you work with runners—don’t be shy about blasting it out to your email list (at least the ones you’ve tagged as runners!). You can also share happy news—like the addition of new team members or announce new services.
We all know how important blogging is to keep your website fresh in Google’s eyes, so if there’s something you want to communicate via email, explore the idea of writing a blog post about it instead—and then sending the post out to your email list.
Tracking your efforts
By now, you should have a good understanding of how to write an engaging marketing email for your healthcare of fitness business however what’s the point of putting in the hours if you can’t track the output? By utilising the Mailchimp and Google Tag Manager integrations in TM3 Connect, you’ll have the tools to track the efforts of your email CTAs through to successful online bookings. This means you’ll be able to attribute the revenue generated through your email marketing efforts directly to each campaign.