Improving Patient Open Rates On Your Newsletters
Despite the appeal of new media like social networks and social bookmarking sites, email remains a core promotional channel for physical therapy clinics. Still, email is a challenge. It may get deleted, ignored or not even delivered successfully. Here are several ways you can improve open rates for your clinic's email newsletter.
First, get a baseline idea of what your current open rate is--most popular email service providers have delivery and open statistics for every email you have sent. For example, Mail Chimp has this data listed under Reports ==> Campaigns. There are similar pages available for other popular providers including Get Response, AWeber, and Constant Contact.
Here are some open rate numbers from different sources:
Constant Contact reports that "Medical Services" have an open rate of slightly more than 18 percent.
Smart insights reports "Health" services have an average open rate of 23.6 percent.
Mail Chimp says "Health and Fitness" services in their database have an open rate average of 24.27 percent. Compare these statistics to your own numbers to see how they stack up.
That gives you a very general idea of the email norms in health and medical services. There are many effective ways to improve open rates. Let’s take a closer look:
Improve Subject Lines
This is the fastest way to improve your open rates. You can do this several ways:
Ask questions. When you ask questions in the subject line, you automatically engage the subscriber's brain as they stop to consider the answer.
Add call-to-action verbiage. You may have thought a call to action should only be in the body of an email. You can also add call to action words like "time sensitive" in the subject line to increase opens.
Send a Shortie
Experiment with sending ultra short emails of only a few short sentences. It's a pattern interrupt because they don't expect it. Some marketers will even send campaigns where the entire body of the message is a single sentence. Don't be afraid to think outside the box.
Tell Me a Story
Storytelling and email marketing is a match made in heaven. Similar to the way TV stations tease upcoming newscasts, you can use the subject line to tease the story you tell in the body.
When done right, readers will be filled with curiosity to find out what happens next. You can even use this technique in your "PS" to set up the next email. Using this technique, you can carry the same storyline through a whole email sequence.
According to the Daily Egg conversion optimization blog, adding video to your email can improve open rates by as much as 20 percent. The word "video" in the subject line enjoyed better open rates than similar words like "webinar."
The World Wildlife Fund tested using the word "alert" rather than "newsletter" when sending emails informing their subscribers about specific threatened species and habitats. In fact, the "alert" emails were opened 38 percent more than the standard "newsletter" format.
Billions of Emails
Recently, the American Physical Therapy Association quoted a MailChimp analysis of the subject lines of 24 billion emails delivered on their service. The results were interesting:
Words like "breaking" or "urgent" that communicate a limited time frame boosted open rates.
Avoid the word "cancelled." For health industries, it reduced open rates considerably.
Personalization matters. Emails that communicated in a personal tone, including thanking the subscriber, enjoyed higher open rates.
Is there a single best strategy to increase email open rates for your physical therapy clinic or practice? The best strategy is to create consistently valuable and useful content for your subscribers. Then use these tips to maximize your outcome. Creating all this material can be a challenge. Our branded articles can help you maintain a steady flow of high-quality content.