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Medical Industry Email Marketing: Benchmarks and Best Practices

As a medical practice leader or marketing manager it could be easy to take something as mundane as email marketing for granted. Your clinic or spa’s email marketing may be running smoothly, but how would you know? Read on, or watch the video, for six simple tests you can run to gauge how well your email marketing stacks up against industry benchmarks and best practices.

As 2019 begins the news outlets are wild with speculation of an impending recession. But smart medical practices won’t wait for the threat of an economic downturn to optimize marketing performance and return.

Why Every Medical Practice Should Use Email Marketing

A successful email list growth strategy will attract both interested prospects and past patients. Both are familiar with your brand, both are interested in your services, and both are giving you permission to educate, entertain or marketing to them in the future. There are even more reasons you might want to get your email marketing right:

Email builds “salience” for you brand.

Emails keeps your brand in front of patients and prospects, creating awareness and building the memory structures that will help patients recall you when they need your services.

Email opens a dialogue with patients and prospects.

While your website waits for visitors, email pushes your information and special offers to subscribers.  It keeps you in touch with the people who can keep you in business.

Email is interactive.

Not only can you open the conversation, you can keep the interaction going with links from your email to your site.  You can also use email to promote immediate event registration, purchases, client surveys, and registration-required offers.

Email performance is easy to measure.

Tracking the response rate of recipients on your email subscriber list is easy with just a bit of planning beforehand.  You can even use email to test which offers and information inspire robust responses and which are largely ignored.

Email is fast.

The most successful long-term campaigns are delivered on a regular schedule to build customer expectations. But when big news breaks we can help you conceive, design, and deliver email marketing from scratch in just hours.

Email is targeted.

By following best practices when you build your subscriber list, it will be stocked with names of past customers and prospects who have a serious interest in your business.

Email is easily shared.

Your subscribers are just a click away from forwarding your message to friends and colleagues who may be interested in the products and services you offer.

Email is affordable.

Etna Interactive offers affordable, customized email marketing packages.  Unlike direct mail marketing that gets more expensive with every new distribution (and every increase in postage rates), email marketing becomes more cost effective as your subscriber base grows.

For all these reasons and more, you’re likely already engaged in email, but is your clinic using it well?

For part 2 of our email marketing series, head over to our latest blog post for tips on how to grow your email subscriber list.

Email Marketing Self-Assessment for Medical Practices

There are six simple tests that you can run to determine whether your email marketing is on track or off the rails.

  • Subscriber growth online
  • Subscriber growth in-office
  • Brand alignment
  • Mobile responsiveness
  • Average open rate
  • Average click through rate

We’ve made it easy to run these six tests. Use the form below to download our email marketing self-assessment form.

Video Transcription

Welcome back and happy 2019! I’m Ryan Miller with Etna Interactive. We’re here today to talk about the medical industry’s email marketing benchmark and best practices. This is a short video, specifically engineered or designed for practice leaders and marketing managers who are asking the question, “Are we doing as well as we could with our email marketing?”

Now, if you’re watching the news, it’s January 2019, and there’s all kinds of speculation about a potential economic downturn. If it happens, I think all of us are going to want a way to reach into a list of people who know us and love our practices and to market to them effectively — and email is one of the best things out there.

So, what we need to ask ourselves is: it’s the start of the year, it’s one of the best times to assess how well we’re doing in the different areas of our marketing. Should we be investing more energy or more dollars in email marketing in 2019?

Well, we’ve designed 6 simple tests that you can do to assess how you’re doing with your email marketing, and it’s a kind of self-assessment, if you will.

How fast is your list growing?

So, here’s the first of those things. We want to ultimately look at how fast you’re growing the list because the beauty of email marketing is every new subscriber that you add actually makes it less expensive to run email. If you think about it, the cost per recipient gets smaller and smaller and smaller the bigger that your list grows.

There’s two ways that we can look at it:

  1. We want to grow subscribers off of your website.
  2. We also want to grow subscribers that you see inside of your clinic, and both prospects and patients should be on your list.

The two numbers that we’re looking for here are these:

  • Do you gain one subscriber for every 100 site visitors?
  • Do you gain one subscriber for every 10 patient encounters?

You can easily look at those two numbers — look at the number of people who saw your website last month and the number of patients you saw last month, and compare them to the number of new subscribers on your list, and gauge pretty quickly whether you might need to invest additional time and energy into how well your site encourages people to join your list, how well you’re using online marketing to drive people to subscribe, and whether or not you might need to make some operational changes to encourage more of the patients you see to subscribe to your newsletter as well.

How do you look?

The next thing that we want to take a look at is how the newsletter appears because, well, appearance matters, and it can actually influence performance in two particular ways:

  • Are your emails an identifiable reflection of your brand?
  • Are your emails mobile responsive?

Now, why is this? Because likely as many as 3 in every 4 of the people who are reading your email are doing so on their mobile devices. So, if you, and this is a really simple one, if you send yourself your last email newsletter (you may have deleted it without paying attention) and open it on your own mobile device, ask yourself:

  • Does this look and feel like us?
  • Is it recognizably coming from us and our brand?
  • Is it easy to read without pinching, panning, and zooming?

All of those things are going to be important to assess whether or not you’re hitting the mark in the appearance category.

Are you beating the benchmarks?

The last thing, and this is probably the biggest one, this is sort of the meat and potatoes of email marketing. The two big numbers that we consider when we’re evaluating email marketing campaign performance: our open rates and click-through.

  • Is your average open rate 20% or better?
  • Does your click-through average 10% or better?

If you don’t know where to go for these things, you can log into the administrative panel on Constant Contact or Mailchimp or whatever platform you use and look at the performance of your last few campaigns. If you’re falling below 20/10, it’s very likely that you’re going to need to rework your strategy, rework your subject lines, rework the appearance and the format of your email to drive for these optimal performance figures.

At the end of the day, the question that we want you as a leader to ask yourself is, “How is email marketing performing for our clinic?” If you didn’t pass any (or all) of those tests, it’s time for you to invest at the start of this year so you have a stronger 2019 and can end the year with a large flourishing email marketing campaign.

Of course, if you need help, we’re always here. You can email me directly at or give us a call — a member of our team would love to talk to you at (866) 374-3762.

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