Best Practices for Sending and Formatting Emails
More than half of the world’s population owns email addresses and checks emails twice a day. The world’s usage of emails is only expected to increase to 4.3 billion by 2023.
There are a variety of reasons for the usage of emailing services in the medical and healthcare industry, all with lowering costs and expanding the reach. Electronic mailing can be used as a tool for medical CRM, communicating with physicians, appointment regulations and enhancing interpersonal relationships, among many others. At this point, using emailing only seems logical.
Some marketers, witnessing the continuous advancement in the technology, ignorantly think email marketing to be dead. But you cannot deny the power of email marketing. In 2019, the combined revenue of all the segments of email marketing totals to $3.9 billion. And according to recent studies, it is only expected to grow to $7.3 billion by 2023 year-end. It doesn’t take a math genius to figure out the significance of those numbers.
Not only is it profitable, but it’s also cost-effective. Campaign Monitors determined that a spend of every $1 on email marketing produces $38 ROI. The ideal scenario now is to attract the most relevant audience and yield the best results, all the while avoiding the dreaded spam folder. For this exact reason, some medical CRM systems like MDprospects, offer specialized email marketing. Despite all that, some email sending practices, regardless of the investment they usurp, fail miserably.
To encourage physicians’ and patients’ engagement and communication, we have shortlisted the best email sending practices that will guarantee efficiency, patient satisfaction, and breakage of perceived barriers.
Best Practices for Sending Emails
1. Hook with Subject Line
The importance of the subject line cannot be stressed enough. The subject line is the first to convince the reader whether your email is worth opening or not. After knowing this critical fact, you should focus more on creating a value-packed headline.
Create an attractive subject line that makes the reader want to click. Your subject line should be brief, to the point, teasing. And do not forget keeping them short and sweet. What your subject line shouldn’t be is cryptic or too general. The best practice for creating the most effective subject line includes but is not limited to the following:
- The patient’s name
- Sentence length of 30 to 50 characters and 6 to 10 words
- Action Verbs
- A value proposition, matching the content of your email
- A colorful emoji or two
Even when you are sending your weekly healthcare newsletter or information about preventing a particular disease to a large number of your patients, personalization can still take place.
Since the first line of the email also shows up in the preview of most email platforms, it only makes more sense that the first line should connect and follow up on the subject line. You can also use subject line templates, create two options, and then run an A/B test on both. Record the results from the trials and use the data to refine your messages over time.
2. Personalize Your Emails
Concerning the point above, when you are making the list of patient email addresses, you should get the name of your patients at the same time. For instance, when health care providers have their patients fill out the paperwork, they typically include a portion of email addresses.
The Medical CRMs like MDprospects has the capability to store all this massive data of email address and name, among many other things. With that data, they can send personalized emails to each one of your patients, addressing them with their name, developing trust, and interpersonal relationships.
When sending an email with more sensitive information, such as the result of a test or reminder for an appointment, etc., personalizing emails can generate great patient loyalty. It shows them that you care.
Personalized emails have the highest open rate, especially when they are sent using the names of the recipient. One more thing to note here is that while getting personal is a good idea to personalize any email, using endearments like “Dear” can have the opposite effect too.
3. Creative Content
Everyone is always busy these days. No one has time or patience to go through a lengthy email. The delete button, on the other hand, takes only a second to hit.
With that in mind, your email should be short, precise, and value-packed. If your goal is to drive traffic to your website, then don’t write 800-word long essays. Also, make sure your emails are readable and created with a lay-mans perspective in view. Messages that are hazy, fuzzy, too difficult to read or understand do not get the news across to the writers. You can run an A/B test on the content of your email also.
One of the best email send practices includes writing emails in a conversational tone. After all, it isn’t a message on a billboard but a direct physician-patient conversation. Asking questions also helps generate a response, while at the same time, keeps the conversational tone alive. Including health information in the form of infographics, PDF files, videos, or word files can also help stimulate easy understanding.
4. Schedule Smart
No one likes knocking on their door at 3:00 am by sellers. The same holds for email marketing. When you plan the right time to send your email, you can drive the best results. There is no one right time, but you can choose one based on your patient profile data available to you. Regardless, here is some useful info about the best time to send your marketing emails:
- 6:00 am: Open rates have been reportedly highest early in the morning.
- 7:00 – 10:00 pm: Response rates have been the best right after people get off from work.
- Avoid Mondays, the middle of the day, and weekends.
- Plan email content in advance: Creating an email marketing calendar will help you stay up to date with the trends.
The thing to remember here is the difference in time zone and the uniqueness of your reader profile. For instance, medical professionals usually work through weekends, so the marketers targeting this particular segmentation will do well by marketing distributing on Saturday and Sunday. Though as a general rule of thumb, it is prudent to avoid Mondays and Fridays, due to the busy nature of the days.
5. Make It Easy to Share and Subscribe
You have to make sure to simplify this crucial step. Studies have shown that emails have a high subscription rate. Here are some tips to convince people to share your emails:
- Add prominent “share” or “subscribe” buttons to help readers navigate through the mail quickly.
- Offer vouchers, promo codes, or giveaways to new subscribers.
- You can make a direct request for a share.
- Adding social links or buttons will lead to your social media channels or your website to get more eyes on your content, all the while giving away for your patients to interact better with you.
6. Adding Alt Text to Buttons and Images
Adding Alt text is a smart and logical step that, sadly, most marketers skip. When the receivers have blocked the images by default, adding alt text can help you get your message across. In contrast to this, what happens when alt text isn’t attached? The readers see large blank boxes with no purpose of them being there. You can use a combination of Alt text hyperlinked with your landing page to still get the equally responsive result as you would have with an image.
After you’ve carefully curated your marketing emails, it is always prudent to test-send it to yourself first to make sure that:
- There are no typos.
- All the links you’ve connected work.
- The images you’ve included show up.
- There is nothing in-your-face wrong with the email.
- The HTML version is as good as the plain text version.
Worst Practices for Sending Emails
Even if you haven’t intended to, your email can very well end up in the spam folder. Several reasons contribute to this fact:
- Bought email lists: spamming due to purchased email lists can have you banned from your email provider.
- Weak content creation, such as all-uppercase subject line or irrelevant content, also contributes to spamming.
- You are signing people up without them openly and willingly opting for the subscription.
- You are not providing people with the option to un-subscribe.
- You are not adding your physical address, preferably in the footer, in the email.
Click-bait Subject Line
Subject lines that confuse the recipient or are unrelated to the content within the emails are considered click-baits. Click-Baits almost always end up in the spam folder. The good news is that it’s easily avoidable. Follow the guides mentioned above while creating your subject line.
Sending to old email lists
Using the old email list that you found from 10 years ago is a one-way ticket to the spam folder, all the while gaining hefty fines along the way. Even when you think the content would interest the old list, it is better to avoid using it. Double opting is perfect for making sure your listing is clean and comprises of patients that want to receive information and updates from you; this double opting increases the target audience’s relevancy.
The best email send practices can consist of many metrics and exhausting variables. But the core of it all is to deliver value. If done right, you can drive huge profits from your email CRM. Make sure to test, re-test, double test, and analyze every step. With these email-sending practices in mind and a strong CRM software like MDprospects, go forth and win the competition.
To learn more about email marketing and how MDprospects can help, schedule a demo today, or contact us using the form below.