E-mail marketing is the most cost-effective and quantifiable way to market your company’s products and services. If used correctly and effectively, permission-based e-mail marketing can easily become your number one customer acquisition and retention tool. Following are the top five reasons why patient care facilities should send an e-mail newsletter.
What exactly does that mean? You have a newsletter subscription list of 500 people and you want to mail them on a monthly or weekly basis. How much is that going to cost you? Postage alone will cost you at least $205.
Just to give you an idea, Constant Contact charges approximately $25 a month to e-mail up to 500 subscribers.
You send an e-mail to an individual. Period. There is nothing (except maybe a spam filter) to get in the way of your communication.
When you send out a direct mail piece, can you guarantee that it will end up in the hands or on the desk of the intended person? No, especially if you have an extremely diligent gatekeeper.
Example: When my father was in patient care, I screened all his mail. If I did not think he needed to see it, he did not see it.
I really feel that this should be the one and only reason for using an e-mail newsletter versus any other type of marketing technique but some people need more.
With an e-mail newsletter, you can tell:
- When someone opens the e-mail
- What links they clicked on
- How many times they have opened the e-mail, and
- Who has not received the newsletter with the bounce report.
Try getting that kind of feedback from any ad you have ever placed or any mailing you have ever done. You can’t. It would be impossible.
My favorite part of creating an e-mail newsletter program for a new client is sharing the first open-rate and click-through-rate reports with them. They are always amazed. Quite honestly, they have never seen anything like it. Measurable results are a beautiful thing to anyone even remotely interested in their marketing return on investment.
Get new customers
Simply put, your e-mail newsletter keeps prospective customers/clients/patients in the loop until they are ready to buy. When someone shows an interest in what product or service you are providing, you can communicate with them on a regular basis – share your expertise, customer testimonials, specials and information products.
All the while, you are establishing credibility, reinforcing familiarity and creating a relationship. When I get calls from my AskElizabeth.net e-mail newsletter subscribers, they almost always say “Elizabeth, I feel like I already know you!” The truth is, they do. I share stories and pictures for that exact reason. I want people to feel like they know me.
People like to do business with those that they know, like and trust. What better way to get someone to “know” you than to communicate with them on a regular basis.
Keep existing customers
We all know the statistics on the cost of getting new customers versus keeping existing customers. It costs 8 to 10 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an existing customer.
In O&P patient care, the patients you have to worry about losing are the easy patients. The ones you fit successfully without a whole lot of trouble. They did not have any real issues you had to contend with – no big problems to solve. They go home, go about their daily lives and then all of a sudden someone else comes along, does a better job of marketing to them and they are gone. They went to XYZ O&P faster than you can say Medicare DMAC.
Well, customer satisfaction research indicates that when customers have a problem and you fix it, they are actually going to be even more satisfied than if they never had a problem in the first place.
Regular communication with your existing customers shows that you care about them and want to continue to improve your relationship with them.
True story of how an e-mail newsletter could have benefited practitioner X who shared this story with me several years ago.
A prosthetic patient came in to say goodbye and thank practitioner X for his years of care. The patient was going to XYZ O&P because he had received a mailing from XYZ highlighting a fancy new life-like skin.
Practitioner X convinced the patient to stay by explaining that any prosthetist has access to that particular product but in relating the story to me, he was furious. “How could he do that to me? I have taken care of him for years!” he ranted. “Doesn’t he know that I can get the same skin?”
What was my answer?
“That guy did you a favor. He could have just left and not said anything at all and you never would have had the opportunity to win him back. When was the last time you let your patients know what products and services, especially the newsworthy ones, you provide?”
An e-mail newsletter makes it easy for you to keep your existing customers updated on all the new products and services you provide. It also provides an opportunity for you to remind them of all your other products and services. Do they think you are just the “AFO guy” because that is how they know you? They may have no idea that you provide prostheses or custom knee orthoses. Tell them. It can make the difference between keeping a patient and not keeping a patient.