Effective email campaigns – making the right impression

Is your dental email campaign hitting the spot and delivering results? 9 tips for success

Perhaps one of the more surprising issues which we encounter when embarking on new marketing campaigns for dentists, is their reluctance to build an effective email marketing list and use it to stay in touch with existing patients.

So whilst there is often a lot of enthusiasm for a new website, ongoing search engine promotion and use of social media, one of the easiest “wins”, email marketing, is regularly shunned. This is a mistake for a couple of main reasons:

  • setting up and using a professional email marketing system is very cost-effective; much less than most imagine.
  • your competitors will be taking every opportunity to market to your clients. You need to be one step ahead of them and email marketing is a simple and powerful way to achieve this.

Consequently we always recommend that such a system – our tool of choice is “MailChimp” – is a key component of your web marketing tool box. The Dental Media team can assist to you to get up and running quickly and cost-effectively.

So once you are up and running, how do you make sure that your email campaigns are really hitting the spot? Here are 9 tips to help you along……

Use a clear and concise subject line

A compelling subject line is perhaps the most important element of your email. When your message lands in the user’s in-box, this is the only thing they will see and consequently it needs to hit the spot and really tempt opening. A bland subject line will likely consign your mail straight to trash. So take the time to consider this carefully and try to understand the user reaction when your mail lands – would you open it based on the subject line? Short and succinct works best and try to avoid any tacky sales pitch or scare tactic.

Use clear graphics and rationalise the text

At Dental Media we manage email campaigns for lots of dentists, many of whom send their own copy for us to collate before distribution. There is often the tendency to want to say too much i.e. lots and lots of text, which frankly just turns users off. Our first job is rationalising this down to a digestible format; a few key paragraphs, bullet points and a couple of supporting graphics. We know from our reporting statistics that the mails which work best are the ones that are visually appealing, concise and to the point. Use images and don’t overdo the text.

Ensure a clear call-to-action – (CTA)

The objective of your mail is to stimulate a response. This may be to an offer, an invite to an open evening etc. Your message needs to convey this clearly and provide a simple and prominent way to get in touch. A clear CTA is essential.

Provide an unsubscribe link to make sure your mail is compliant

Whilst on face value this may seem a little counter-productive, you must ensure that your mail-outs are legally compliant. This means that the initial subscription to your list must be authorised, typically via a “double opt-in” system and also that your mails contain an unsubscribe link.

Links to social media

Another simple one but please make sure that you mail is clearly linked to your social media channels to encourage users to join in with your conversations.

Use a mail list sign up form on your website and blog

Your email list is an extremely important web marketing resource so you need to add to it progressively. Encourage your visitors to subscribe via an opt-in form on your website and blog. To encourage this, you may consider offering a free download or similar as an incentive – perhaps an e-book on oral care for you family or a preferential rate for an initial examination?

Test it!

Like us you probably receive quite a few emails that don’t quite work correctly in your email program and which appear unprofessional. This is quite a big mistake and one which can easily be avoided by testing that your mail works in different email systems before you send it. Email systems such as MailChimp allow you to test like this before you send, so please take the time to do it.

Measure the performance

As with all dental marketing techniques, you need to know how effective your mail marketing actually is. Good systems will have a full reporting suite which will give you all sorts of insights into how your campaigns perform – how many people opened the mail, when they opened and even if they clicked on any links through to your website. This type of data will allow you to refine your campaigns for best effect.

Does your email display in an optimised form on all devices?

This is becoming an increasingly important issue. How many times have you tried to open an email on your smartphone and been confronted with lots of stretching and scrolling before you get to the content you need? More often than not you will just delete and go elsewhere. So just like your website, modern promotional emails must be designed in a “responsive” way to adjust automatically to the viewing device.

Summary

MailChimpEmails are a key part of web marketing plans for dentists and provide some quick and cost-effective wins.

If you would like to get your campaign up and running, for less than £400, the team at Dental Media will set up the following for you:

  • sign-up form on your website
  • your own account at MailChimp – a highly regarded emailing system
  • a customised, re-usable email template optimised for viewing on all devices
  • importing your email list to your MailChimp account
  • help with configuring and sending your first mail shot

We also provide ongoing management of your email campaigns as needed. Please call our team on 01332 672548 to get started.