In the age of social media and clogged inboxes, it’s easy to assume that email marketing has gone the way of the dodo, but we’re here to tell you that it’s here to stay. Sure, social media is effective, and live video is so “in” right now, but we would argue that an effective email marketing strategy is still one of the most important tools at your disposal. The beauty of email is that it allows you to market directly to people who want to hear from you; they’ve already told you they’re interested in your services, and the rest is up to you.
Those clogged inboxes we just talked about? They do require a strong email marketing strategy; one that gets you noticed. Because what good is an email if it gets lost in the inbox clutter, sent to the spam folder, or worse – opened and forgotten.
That’s where we come in with some of our favourite email marketing best practices, tips and tricks for crafting ‘can’t-wait-to-open-and-read’ campaigns.
Make it easy to subscribe.
Arguably the most important element of your email marketing strategy? Your list. The moment a patient—or prospective patient—agrees to receive e-mail correspondence from you is the moment you can get to work building a lasting relationship. Always make it as easy as possible to sign up; make sure you have a visible newsletter sign-up form on your website, include an opportunity to sign-up on your patient intake forms, and encourage subscriptions on your social media channels.
Email marketing is an extension of your brand, so make sure to stay true to your brand colours and standards. Your campaigns should be as visually stunning as your social media feeds or print marketing, for example, and vice versa.
It’s all in the subject line.
Your marketing emails are competing with dozens of others as soon as they reach that inbox. The best way to immediately stand out? Clear, clickable subject lines. Keep them short—preferably fewer than 50 characters so they don’t get cut off—and create a sense of urgency and excitement. If it’s appropriate, don’t be afraid to get playful, infuse a little humour, and even use emojis to grab attention!
Keep it simple.
People like short, concise emails better than long ones, so keep messaging simple, and use images and graphics whenever possible. If your email calls for length, like in a monthly newsletter that includes news and promotions, make sure you break the content up into multiple sections or paragraphs to make skimming easier.
Keep mobile users in mind.
The majority of emails are now opened on mobile devices. It is consistent and undeniable. , Therefore, it’s more important than ever to design emails with mobile users in mind; neglecting them means your user base will be significantly affected. Use a responsive email template that automatically adjusts to the size of the device being used, reduce image file sizes to make up for slower download speeds on mobile devices, and make sure buttons and links are easily clickable. Pay attention to which mobile devices and email providers your subscribers most commonly use and place heavier importance on making emails look perfect on those platforms.
Include a clear call-to-action.
Many readers will scan your email without reading all the copy (even though you worked so hard to write it!), but if you have a clear call-to-action that’s easy to spot, your campaign will still be successful. Make it easy for your recipients to take an action that benefits them, and you. Try calls-to-action like “RSVP today”, “Schedule your free consultation”, or “Book your treatment”.
Know CAN-SPAM regulations.
The CAN-SPAM Act is a law that sets the rules for commercial e-mail, and you should know these rules well before developing your email marketing strategy. Some important highlights? Give recipients a clear and obvious way to unsubscribe, include your physical postal address in every email you send, and use accurate “From” “To” and “Reply to” routing information that accurately reflects who you are. Always, always, always, make sure everyone on your subscriber list has given consent (preferably written) to be on your email list.
As with all things, it’s important to measure the success of your email marketing initiatives. The most important numbers? Open rates, click-through rates, website visits, and leads. Open rates, click-through rates, and website visits are almost always available through your email marketing service provider (ex. MailChimp, Constant Contact, Campaign Monitor, etc). Website visits and leads (also known as conversions) from your email campaigns can be viewed in Google Analytics. All in all, keep your measuring simple and to the point. Monitor numbers over years, quarters, and months, and if you have the time and interest, A/B test often to get relevant insight specific to your following.
At Victory Media, we offer comprehensive email marketing services. If you’re looking for advice or assistance, contact us today. Oh, and while you’re here, why don’t you sign up for our newsletter (see what we did there?).