Emailing Patients: How often is too often?

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Ask CatherineEmailing Patients: How often is too often?

This Week’s Q&A Topic: Emailing Patients: How often is too often? 

This Week’s Question:

Dear Catherine,

We have an email list of over 6,000 names in our patient database.
My staff collected them from our current patients, from events we’ve done
through the years, and from requests for information we get on our Website.

We send out promotional emails periodically when our vendors have something
to promote. And we send a quarterly e-newsletter but it takes a lot of my
time to write and then my staff adds to it so I’m not sure it’s worth the trouble
for the little result we get.

We need an email plan to reach out more often but I don’t want to bombard my
patients so how often should we send out our email messages?

– Dr. F

Catherine’s Answer:

Dear Dr. F,

Email marketing is all about building trust and relationships.

So the frequency depends on the relationship you’ve built with your cosmetic
patients. Do they want to hear from you? You can easily tell that by reviewing
the statistics 
available from your email carrier. In particular you want to track:

–   How many emails you sent out

–   How many got opened

–   How many responses you got

–   How many opt-outs or complaints you got

–   The revenues produced

Latest Email Stats:

The latest email stats report the average email open rate is only 19.9%.Emailing Patients: How often is too often?
That means the other 79.1% of your patients are NOT opening your email – yikes!

It’s also important to know that 98% of the responses will come in within 48 hours
of you sending out the message so this is a very impulsive medium that has a short life span.

And, of those who open your email, the response rate could be 1-2% ONLY IF
the message is interesting, entertaining, or compelling enough.  Compelling
means you are giving them a reason to call you now.

And here’s something important to remember, even though your patients may NOT
be responding, they could be watching what you’re up to so you are staying top of
mind so when they are ready for cosmetic procedures, they call you.

It’s all about content.

Here’s the bottom line. As long as the message is of value to the patient, they want
to hear from you. I personally would keep them short and sweet, interesting and
compelling. Here are elements that work the best:

–  Introducing a new cosmetic procedure along with an introductory offer to try it

–  What’s new in your office with you, the staff, your family, your pets–personal stuff

–  Invitation to your upcoming events

–  Videos of you in the news or explaining a rejuvenation procedure

–  Cosmetic Patient Stories with Before/After photosEmailing Patients: How often is too often?

How often is too often? 

In my own 16 years of experience sending hundreds
of thousands of patient emails for cosmetic practices
all over the United States, every two
weeks seems to be the sweet spot…for now.

Less than that is too long and you’re not developing a relationship with
your patients and more often can look like a nuisance to your patients
especially if it’s just a barrage of discounts. 

What’s your email strategy?
How often do YOU send out cosmetic patient emails?