You’ve Got Mail: How to Grow your Patient Email List

For Physicians, patient care doesn’t end with the treatment of symptoms; it extends to educating patients about their diagnosis, existing conditions, and preventative measures. With fully booked schedules it can be challenging to find an extra few minutes to provide educational information. However, by building your practice’s email list, you can provide this additional-yet important information immediately after their office visit. Simple actions can be taken to develop your practices email list like requesting this information on new patient forms or enabling a clear call to action on your practice’s website like a signup form. Obtaining email addresses from potential patients that are seeking information is also a great way to nurture a relationship with them and eventually convert them to booking the first consultation with you. 

Go for the Ask

The easiest way to obtain patient email addresses will be by asking, but this only works if they’ve already come into your office and filled out the necessary documentation. The more significant task will be getting non-patients that reach your website through organic search, paid digital ads, or referrals to provide their email address when prompted. While a well-designed pop-up form is a compelling call to action, it doesn’t necessarily mean a high percentage of site visitors will sign up. This is where the functionality of your website and the quality of the content on it weighs heavily. If your audience arrives at your page seeking information on a particular topic and you don’t have sufficient information published on it or its hard to find, the user will most likely exit the site without filling out the signup form. Some features to optimize on your site are quick loading pages, easy to read and locate navigation buttons, and clear call to actions. These features, paired with relevant content like blog posts, informational videos, and articles, will increase the rate of your email signups. Email sign up forms are not typically used in the healthcare industry but are a tool that is widely used and can be cross-functional. 

Give Something Get Something

Another strategy that has proven to provide quicker results will be using content marketing by providing valuable content in exchange for the targeted audience’s contact information. This strategy can be broken down into three steps: Define, content creation, and attracting. 

You first need to define precisely who your ideal patients are and conduct research on information that they might be interested in. For example, if your primary care physician specializing in diabetic patients, you could find what topics people with the condition are talking about in online peer support groups. For instance, they might be looking for tips on how to adapt cultural dishes to a diabetic diet or looking for simple exercise tips for people with high BMIs. 

The next step would be taking the topics relevant to your audience and creating a piece of free content that they would want. This could be a free webinar, a checklist, or a quick tips sheet. For instance, referencing our previous example, you could create a recipe book for diabetic Hispanic dishes or Southern food recipes. Another content piece could be a page sheet that breaks down the effects of uncontrolled diabetes. The materials created will be provided to interested people in exchange for their contact information. This allows you to build a relationship with the qualified lead and become their go-to source for healthcare information. 

The final step will be to attract your targeted audience to your content. This can be done in several ways, but the most cost-effective for content marketing would be through organic social posts or paid social media ads. For instance, you can go live on Instagram and Facebook, discussing the importance of managing diabetes. At the end of your video, you could offer the downloadable recipe book or diabetic-friendly grocery checklist in exchange for their email address. Paid social ads could also be used to provide downloadable content and would produce quicker results. 

Whichever route is chosen, building a practice’s email list is not only crucial for efforts towards providing after visit care information but also educating your patient base or targeted audience with educational content on topics that are relevant to their health. 

Next Steps

The strategies discussed are time-consuming yet straightforward and will prove to be a great asset in generating new patient leads. Now would be a good time to think of whom within your practice could be tasked with the responsibility of growing your email list. Set up some time with them and take the first step in defining your ideal patient. 

Don’t forget to read my previous blog post Autopilot with Marketing Automation.