- Posted by Nigel Edelshain
- On February 23, 2015
- Email marketing
According to the Direct Marketing Association email marketing offers a roughly $40 return on investment (ROI) for every $1 spent. Compared to the $17 ROI of SEO marketing and the mere $2 ROI of banner ad marketing.
Clearly email has a lot of potential. We’ve seen hospital marketers use email to achieve many of their key goals. Email is key channel for hospital marketers but the reality is your email campaign is only as good as your email list.
7 things email can do for your hospital
Email allows you to proactively reach your goals. Google is great, Facebook is fab but neither of them allow you to take action such decisive action as sending an email to a good house email list.
Here are some things hospital marketers achieve with email:
1. Grow your hospital’s brand
Keep a high profile with key groups in your community, such as patients, donors and referring physicians. A regular content-rich email program such as an e-newsletter can keep you top-of-mind with these groups.
2. Trigger patient visits
You can use emails to drive prospective patients to your hospital. You can make potential patients aware of all the services you offer and stay visible until they need help.
3. Drive event attendance
Use email to generate in-person participation at hospital functions, from physician lectures to support groups to exercise classes. A good email is very effective at driving attendance.
4. Precipitate charitable donations
Use email for fund raising. Stay in touch with a content rich email like an e-newsletter then send action-focused emails to drive giving.
5. Save money on printing and mailing
Many patients now prefer reading your hospital newsletter on their tablet or computer. You can turn your newsletter into a digital magazine and save significant sums on printing and postage. Distribute your digital magazine by email.
6. Increase website traffic
If you send email with links back to your website or blog you will increase your traffic. Readers will click on a “read more” link and will be taken to a web page to read the corresponding story.
7. Grow your social fans
Need more Facebook fans or Twitter followers? You need to let them know. Send them an email to sign up.
But…you need a (really) good email list
Email can play a major part in helping you achieve all these goals but your email campaigns are only as good as your email list. Here are some key points to consider about your email list(s).
Building a quality house email list is now one of a digital marketer’s most important tasks. Your house list should be made up only of people that have opted-in. They should give you permission to email them.
To opt-in members of your email list will fill out a form on your website to sign up for your e-newsletter or fill out a form to attend an event. This form will ask for permission to sign them up to your email list.
Only opt-in email lists are really valuable. Renting or buying email lists is not like renting or buying ground mail lists. There are 2 big problems:
- CAN-SPAM: it’s basically not legal to email people that have not opted in to your list. There are 50 shades of gray here but if you want to be safe don’t do it.
- ROI is poor: the ROI on spamming is poor (as in 0.01% response rate poor). You will need to send huge amounts of spam email to get any return. Sending all this unsolicited email could undo your brand building efforts as many people receiving your email may object.
Keep it clean
You’re going to get better results from your email marketing if your email list is clean. According to list hygiene services provider TowerData, approximately, 20% of the addresses on lists it cleans are invalid.
If you don’t clean your email lists many of the emails you send will not go through. The more deadwood in your email list the more ISP’s will downgrade your deliverability. You may hit a “spam trap” (an email address that is set up to check for spam) and that could get you marked as a spammer.
Segments are sweet
Segmentation can substantially improve the effectiveness of your campaigns. According to data from the Lyris Annual Email Optimizer Report 39% of marketers who segmented their email list experienced higher open rates, 28% experienced lower unsubscribe rates, and 24% experienced improved delivery and greater revenue.
According to research conducted by Hubspot, segmented emails generate an 8% click-through rate while general emails generate a mere 3% click-through rate. That increase of 5 percentage points is substantial.