Email Marketing is highly underutilized as a marketing strategy in Optometry practices. Maybe because Optometrists haven’t wanted to “bother” their patients with emails, but that philosophy needs to change as it is just way too valuable not to take advantage of it.
Email marketing can be a powerful tool when used properly. Today’s patient is different so your email strategy should be different as well. They are looking to be engaged, uplifted and encouraged. They want quick information, not long, wordy email templates. They engage with images of high fashion eyewear and sunglasses as well as large print indicating serious discounts like 50% off and buy one get one free.
Why do we like email marketing so much? Well, the most important reason is that the audience is your audience. They are your current patient base, so they already know and love you. They are not upset to get an email from you and the open rates are exceptionally better than less personal businesses like retail. It’s a great way to talk to your patients and remind them of your practice and promotions.
But is it worth the effort and cost? Yes, in fact, email generates $38 for every $1 spent, which is an astounding 3,800% ROI, making it one of the most effective options available, according to Hubspot.
So How Does an Optometry Practice Make the Best Use of Email Marketing?
- Plan an email marketing strategy including dates and number of emails per year.
- Train your reception to ask every patient for their email address and for consent to send emails.
- Choose a delivery platform or vehicle such as Mailchimp or see if your current patient software system has an email option (shameless plug for one of our clients, Visual Eyes who has Visual Connect for email marketing)
- Plan promotional activity that will truly incentivize and attract your target audience
- Talk about what is new at the practice like new brands, products or services. This is a great opportunity to drive people to your new e-store.
- Use amazing, professional images. Do not try to take a photo with your smartphone and upload it into your email template as it will often look pixelated and blurred. Use stock photos you either need to purchase or ones supplied by the frame and sunglass manufacturers.
- Build-in calls to action. Do not send out an email without a plan of what you want it to accomplish. The most common CTA is “Book An Appointment”. Give people a clear action. Place large buttons with that CTA in prominent areas within the email.
- Get a graphic designer to design your email so it looks professional and polished.
- Use a clean email list. If you have used an email delivery platform it will track any unsubscribes so it’s important to pull the latest export of your patient list and merge it into the same email platform so it adds any new patients but recognizes those who have unsubscribed.
- Have some fun with your audience. Create some contests, giveaways and when the pandemic ends, some events they will be glad to attend.
Here’s an example of a great email created for one of our clients. Simple, clean messaging, clear call to action.
Ok…Our Turn to Do a Giveaway.
First, we just did a 20-minute TED-style talk on the power of email marketing. Go here to view the on-demand recording.
Second, we are offering a FREE 30-minute email marketing strategy session with one of our email marketing experts so you can get some amazing ideas and start to build a plan. Book that session here at [email protected].
We love to help Optometrists learn the power of digital marketing in growing their practice. If you are interested in learning more book a FREE, no-obligation meeting with our Co-Founder, Trudi Charest. We promise you will walk away with some great insights into how your current marketing is working and what you need to do to improve.