5 Steps to Start Email Marketing in Your Optometric Practice

Keeping in contact with your patients even when they aren't in your practice is important for maintaining loyalty and filling your schedule. Email is an easy and modern way to keep in touch with your patient base, yet diving into email marketing can be intimidating if you don't know the steps to take to make it worthwhile. It's not as simple as haphazardly sending disorganized emails out to whomever you choose - there is a science behind it and best practices to follow.

Whether you're using e-mail as part of your broader digital campaign strategy or as a standalone campaign, we want to help you start strong. As marketers ourselves, we want to share with you the five steps your practice can take to get started with email marketing today. 

How to Drive Business to Your Optometric Practice with Email Marketing

Start Growing Your ListiStock-1027280138

It's going to be hard to start an email marketing strategy for your practice if you don't have any email addresses to send to. You need to make it easy for your patients and site visitors to sign up to your email list. Here are some ideas to help you grow your email list:

  • Provide a sign-up sheet in your office (offer a coupon/discount for joining the list).
  • Ask for email permission when patients sign up for the patient portal.
  • Ask your social followers to subscribe for special deals and offers.
  • Give loyalty or reward program points for joining your email list.
  • Make email an easy way for patients to communicate with your practice.
  • Offer email-only deals and promotions.
  • Provide an easy call-to-action on your website for visitors to sign up.

Choose an Email Service Provider

As you're working on growing your list, you can do some research to find an email service provider that would be right for your practice's needs. For a small business that doesn't require a large amount of email sends there are plenty of affordable, or even free options available. A few solutions we think are worth looking into for your practice are:

Send Relevant Content that Adds Value

The best way to avoid people unsubscribing from your emails is to send content that is relevant to your audience and adds value. Listen to what your audience is interested in and provide them with something they will benefit from. If your practice has been on social media for a while that could be a good place to turn to for ideas on the types of content your followers are getting the most out of. Some ideas for email content could be:

  • Promotions, deals, or new products in your dispensary.
  • Monthly/quarterly newsletter about your office or eye health tips.
  • FAQs about common eyecare issues.
  • Survey to see what information your patients are looking for.

Don't Look Like an Amateur

If it's your first time sending emails for marketing purposes, it might be a good idea to brush up on email design trends so that your emails look professional. With many email service providers, you'll get access to various templates that make the design process much easier. A few things to avoid when creating emails are:

  • Hard to ready or over the top fonts.
  • Skipping the "hello."
  • Confusing information or too much text.
  • Cheesy clip art or outdated images.
  • Non-mobile friendly emails.

Test Your Emails to Maximize Your Sends

In order to continue making improvements to your email marketing strategy, you should be testing different things to see what type of emails perform the best. Once you set up your test and send your email you need to take the time to review the results and apply what you learned in future emails. When planning a test, make sure to only change one element so your results are accurate and not swayed by more than one influencer. A few ideas for things to test in your emails are:

  • Subject line.
  • Date and time of the email sent.
  • Imagery used.
  • CTA button.
  • Body of the email content.

Check out our patient survey kit to learn more ways to create the best patient experience:

DOWNLOAD THE SURVEYS

Editor's Note: This blog was originally published on Feb 2, 2017. It has been updated on July 9, 2021.

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