- Posted by Nigel Edelshain
- On February 5, 2016
- Email marketing
Email marketing is consistently shown to have a better ROI than any other digital marketing medium, but most marketers aren’t making the most of it, especially in the healthcare space.
Emails can be ineffective for a number of reasons. A new report from GetResponse combines analysis of 700 million emails with survey responses from nearly 2,000 marketers to see what’s working and what could be improved. Here are problems that are particularly prevalent in healthcare—and what you can do to correct them.
Problem: Only 9 percent of health and wellness marketers use responsive design in emails.
Healthcare lags behind almost every other industry in responsive email design. Even if people open your emails, click and conversion rates will suffer if they’re not designed for every device.
Text, graphics and calls to action that look great on a desktop or laptop probably look small on a tablet and miniscule on a phone, and if viewers bother pinching or double tapping to zoom, they’re forced to scroll side-to-side to see what you have to say. Many of them will just delete the message or look for the unsubscribe link.
Solution: Build responsive templates.
Half of all emails are opened on smartphones. Another sixth are opened on tablets. Only one third are opened on a computer. Responsive design in the inbox is just as vital as it is on the web.
via Marketing Land
Any major email service provider will have the ability to build responsive templates. If you have custom templates that were designed before responsive took over, the time to update them is now. Even plain text is better than an unresponsive email.
Problem: 24 percent of marketers don’t manage email lists.
An email campaign can only be as strong as its list. Businesses that aren’t actively working to grow their lists are actively limiting the success of their email marketing.
Solution: Optimize the ways you build your lists.
Building a good opt-in email list is a lot of work, but it can pay off many times over in the form of patient visits, event signups, web traffic, and more. Hospitals need to prioritize email subscriptions on all digital channels.
Use personas to ensure that your content speaks to your ideal readers. No one wants to sign up for emails they don’t find interesting or useful.
2. Social media
Organic content on social media reaches only a small percentage of your total followers. Turning Facebook fans or Twitter followers into email subscribers lets you reach them more efficiently and effectively.
3. Calls to action
Give your subscription form the prominent location it deserves on every page of your website. It should be featured on your home page but also on other pages because many people who find your website through a search engine or social media will bypass the home page entirely.
Problem: 50 percent of healthcare marketers send everyone the same emails.
Email targeting is another area where healthcare lags behind; 58 percent of marketers in other industries implement it in some form. Without targeting, you’re forced to send emails to your entire list whether everyone will be interested or not—a surefire way to decrease open rate and increase unsubscribes.
Solution: Track targeting data.
Data beyond names and email addresses lets you segment your list and show people more relevant emails. Sometimes asking for this information is easy—like on an event registration form—while other times it can be determined based on how or where people signed up—like a blog post about heart health or one about packing healthy school lunches.
Problem: 41 percent of marketers don’t optimize emails.
Every email list is different. What works for another hospital won’t necessarily work for your audience. Without optimizing the emails you’re sending, it’s impossible to know if they’re performing as well as they could.
Solution: Run tests to increase engagement.
The best way to improve your emails is to test what you’re sending. Not just once or twice, but continually. You can test almost anything, but here are a few of the most important elements to optimize.
1. Subject lines
Subjects are the most obvious element to test and can have by far the biggest impact on open rates. They need to sell but not oversell—too far in either direction can lead to poor results.
2. Offers and calls to action
Something as simple as changing the color of your call to action can affect click-through rates. Avoid using images that won’t show up in many email clients, and try testing different offers to see what your recipients really want.
How often should you send emails? The health and wellness industry average is 6.8 emails per month, but you can test this by segmenting your list and comparing click-through rates with unsubscribe rates. If the unsubscribe rate doesn’t increase disproportionately in the higher-frequency segment, you might see better results by emailing all of your subscribers more often.