When you’re busy running a practice and taking care of patients, it can be difficult to target your marketing efforts to specific groups of patients. That’s where automated marketing comes in.
Marketing automation allows you to send out regular email messages to your current and potential patients without having to manually send out all of the emails yourself. It can certainly be a time-saver when you’re too busy to market to your patients the way you would like to.
What is Automated Marketing?
Automated marketing allows you to use web-based services to create a regular schedule of messages to be sent to your patients. There are many different aspects of marketing where automation can help, but it can be particularly helpful if you are interested in email marketing.
With email marketing automation services, you can create a design template for your messages so that all you have to do is drop in the text you want. You can add in your practice’s branding elements and calls to action that would remain constant throughout the email series. You can then import your email contacts and separate them into lists if needed.
Email marketing services allow you to set up your messages ahead of time, so that they will all be sent out exactly when you want them to. You don’t have to worry about setting up a bunch of emails and sending them out one by one at the exact time you want them to go out. Everything happens automatically based on the specifications you set up. You can set up your messages when you have time, rather than interrupting your busy day to take care of it. With the right services, email marketing can even be HIPAA-compliant.
Another bonus of email marketing services is that you can get data on the messages you send out. You can see how many people opened the emails you sent out and how many clicked on links in your emails. This can give you an idea of how well your messaging is working.
Automated email marketing services are useful if you want to start offering a newsletter or series of health tips to your patients. These services usually let you create a signup form, which can then be added to your website. Patients that use the form to sign up will automatically be added to your email list.
Most of your patients will probably be interested in general health tips, but some may want more specific information about the procedures they are considering. Marketing automation can help you send out messages specifically tailored to those patients.
Creating a Procedure-Specific Email Series
With a targeted campaign, you can send more procedure or pathology-specific messages to patients who opt in. You can probably use the same email template you create for the newsletter campaign, changing the calls to action based on the purpose of the message.
Let’s say that you have an orthopaedic practice, and a patient is potentially interested in a possible hip replacement but needs more information. The patient would either read content about hip pain or hip replacements on your website or blog. You could add a signup form to those pages so that the patient would have the opportunity to subscribe for a guided experience on hip replacements.
The patient would fill out the form and would then receive a series of messages about the hip replacement process. Your messages might include a walkthrough of when a hip replacement is necessary, what makes a patient a good candidate for hip replacement, how a hip replacement works, and an idea of the type of recovery that hip patients go through.
Once the patient has received all of the messages in your targeted campaign, you could set it up so that the recipient would automatically be added to your ongoing general health campaign. This way, those contacts won’t go dormant.
Each message should include your branding and your picture along with a written description of the topic. At the end of each message, you should give the patient the option to book an appointment, learn more about you, or see a video to learn more.
Email marketing systems allow you to set up these campaigns so that each time a person signs up for your procedure-specific email list, they receive each message in the series at strategically-timed intervals. Although you should regularly check in on your campaign to see how it’s performing, you shouldn’t need to do much more than that after the initial setup.
Automated email marketing doesn’t have to be generic. If patients have an interest in receiving more specific information, marketing automation is a great way to reach out to those patients and improve your marketing efforts.