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How to Engage Optometry Patients Through Email Marketing

Chances are if you’re thinking about your marketing strategy, you’ve thought about email marketing. It’s also pretty likely you’ve been on the receiving end of some pretty spammy marketing emails. There are definitely ways to do email marketing wrong, but there are also ways to do email marketing right in order to reach and engage your patients better.

Why to Make Emails Part of Your Marketing Strategy

Email marketing is still very relevant today. In fact, email marketing has one of the highest returns on investment with a potential return of $32 return for every $1 spent. It’s no surprise considering 99% of consumers check their email every day. Stats like open rate, click-through rate, and customer retention remain consistently high through the use of email marketing, with no signs of slowing down.

Emails allow you to reconnect with your patients, making it a great way to keep in touch with patients and increase patient retention. It’s more effective than trying to convert cold leads through any medium. The future of email is bright and 46.5% of marketers believe that the ROI of email will continue to grow, something that can’t be said for many other platforms. Email has become a part of people’s daily lives, so naturally, it should be a part of your marketing too.

How to Write Emails that Get Opened

Email is a powerful marketing tool, but only if you use it correctly. There are a few general principles to follow when creating emails for your patients that hold true regardless of the subject matter.

Subject Lines

Subject lines are what your patients see before they ever open your emails. It doesn’t matter how amazing your email content is if the subject line doesn’t drive them to open the email in the first place. Always make sure your subject lines spark interest and leave your patients wanting to know more. Some quick ways to create subject lines that increase email open rates by up to 206% include:

  • Statistics or numbers
  • Exclusive offers or discounts
  • Real-life case studies, results, advice, or endorsements
  • Emojis


Everyone loves hearing their own name and the same holds true for emails. Personalization makes emails from mailing lists feel like they were sent individually to your patients. Email personalization can be done easily through most email software, just make sure your email database also includes first and last names. The extra step is well worth it, with personalized emails having 29% higher open rates and 41% higher click through rates.

Call to Action

Make your emails clear, concise, and focused on one call to action. What’s the point of the email and what action do you want your patients to take? That’s your call to action. Your call to action should be clear to your patients from the subject line to the body of the email. There should be one link guiding your patients to contact you or learn more depending on the message. Formatting your emails this way will guide your patients to take the steps you want them to, whether that’s booking an exam, buying contact lenses, or attending an event.


It’s standard practice and the law to include an unsubscribe button in your emails. Make sure that the link to unsubscribe is easy to find to avoid being marked as spam. There are comprehensive regulations in Canada and the United States regarding what is and is not allowed in email marketing. In Canada, this legislation is called CASL and in the United States, it’s known as CAN-SPAM.

How to Choose an Email Software & Use It Well

Email software is the place to start if you’re considering email marketing. Choose one that allows you to import your patient database easily. The right fit for you will depend on what patient management software you use and what features you’re looking for, but some of the top options include:

In addition to simplifying the email process with templates, email software will allow you to track analytics more easily.


The key to any good marketing campaign, regardless of the medium, is reviewing your analytics. Measuring your analytics gives you the ability to know which methods work well and which don’t. It’s the best way to measure return on investment and to decide the best use for your marketing dollars. Some standard metrics for email marketing and the average rate for the medical and healthcare industry include:

A/B Testing

As part of reviewing your analytics, always A/B test to effectively measure the best way to reach your patients. A/B testing is essentially changing one aspect of your email and measuring which gets better results. For example, you might choose two different subject lines and measure which had a better open rate. A/B testing is the best way to see what your patients respond to, allowing you to communicate to them in the best way possible.

If you’re interested in learning more about what email marketing can do for your practice, our experts are ready to talk your ear off. Book a call with us and get to know the power of email from our digital marketing veterans.

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Johnny Wenzel
Johnny Wenzel / Manager Of Marketing Science

Johnny's team is responsible for using pay-per-click advertising, email automation, and other various lead generation tactics to help grow small- to medium-sized businesses. He is passionate about fuelling his clients' dreams through profitable marketing. Out of the office, you can find him making music, playing basketball, or spending time with his wife and son.

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