Should Email Be A Cornerstone Of Your Diagnostic Imaging Marketing Strategy?
Is your diagnostic imaging marketing plan not producing the results you want? We all get emails in our inbox, but sending out emails isn’t so easy, especially for an imaging center. There are plenty of resources out there that detail how to sell products through email, but not many that are specific to the medical field, much less email marketing for an imaging center.
But don’t be discouraged, email can certainly be an effective marketing method for imaging centers. Whether you’re currently sending out emails, or not, this article will explain exactly what you should write about, who you should send to, and much more.
Remember, even though email can be an effective marketing option, it should be one of many tools in your marketing toolbox. Your diagnostic imaging center reputation should have a management plan to keep your audience, patients and physicians alike, interested in doing business with you.
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Email Marketing to Physicians for Referrals: Do it Right and You’ll Easily Get More Patients
Healthcare providers are obviously people you want on your side. If you have a designated Physician Liaison they have likely delved into this to some degree. However, marketing to physicians for referrals is a tricky business. Monetarily, it seems providers offices wouldn’t have much to gain by sending patients to any particular imaging center since it doesn’t directly impact their bottom line. Upon closer inspection, however, it’s clear that when patients are happy with an imaging center, and their doctor, everyone benefits.
It’s up to you to show providers not only that you are interested in their referrals, but that you are taking stock in their practice and the well-being of their patients. Your center’s diagnostic marketing emails to physicians should reflect this.
Provide value in every email you send
Like most of us, doctors don’t have time or patience for emails that are generic and salesy. People want to open emails that are chock full of useful information that is specific to the problems they are facing. This is important to keep in mind when incorporating emails into your diagnostic imaging marketing plan for gaining new referrals. Here are a few ways you can provide valuable information in your emails to referring providers.
Help them help their patients. Anything from scheduling advice to training tips on staff and patient interactions, to the delivery of test results can be good information. Do some research to find what your specific providers would find most valuable.
Help them help their practice. With healthcare, there are always new medications on the market and treatment options being developed. Help doctors stay up to date with recent research and popular topics related to their specialty.
Pro Tip 1: Don’t include a request in your emails. Instead, include key information about your imaging facility to help providers see the value and quality care your radiology center offers.
Pro Tip 2: Do your research. Take the time to learn as much as you can about each provider you’re reaching out to. It’s also important to research their specialty to better understand what value you can provide. For example, you might find articles that are of particular interest to Orthopedic Surgeons.
Pro Tip 3: Personalize and segment your emails. 77% of email marketing ROI came from segmented, targeted, and triggered campaigns in 2015. And it makes perfect sense. Nothing throws a wrench in your diagnostic marketing efforts like a generic email, so make sure you tailor everything you send.
Get More Patients Through Radiology Email Marketing
Your diagnostic email marketing strategy is incomplete until you are sending effective emails to your existing patients. You may wonder how sending emails to current patients will help you get more patients coming in the door. The answer is community awareness.
When people read about something interesting, have a great experience, or save a ton of money, they tend to tell their friend, family, and coworkers about it. Here are a few ways to encourage your patients to spread the word.
Remind them how much money they saved. Find out how much the local hospital charges for the same exam and let patients know how much they would have spent elsewhere.
Send patients interesting and actionable health information. There are countless article topics that people may find interesting. Find some articles that really help people understand their health, risk factors, and symptoms.
Ask patients to like your imaging center on social media. If you’re confident that a patient was happy with their experience (you can find out with a satisfaction survey) there’s no harm in asking them to like or follow you. Just make sure you’re providing useful information on your social media sites to keep your followers engaged.
Pro Tip 1: Personalize and segment your patient emails. What is true for provider emails, is also true for patients. Generic emails are always a no-go in diagnostic imaging marketing.
Pro Tip 2: Track your results. The goal is to increase patient volume. If you don’t track your results, you will never know what emails are engaging and how many new patients are coming into your imaging center due to your efforts. Track your open and click rate for each email and be sure to ask new patients where they heard about your radiology center.
Pro Tip 3: Make sure you’re staying HIPPA compliant and that patients you email have agreed to be emailed. Of course in your email marketing for your imaging center, maintaining HIPPA compliance is a must. You may want to utilize an email opt-in selection on your patient registration forms so you know who to send emails to.
Email marketing to patients is an effective way to build a following and empower your patients to take an active role in their health care choices. Well informed and empowered patients also are more likely to schedule follow up exams when their doctor recommends them.
Build and Nurture Relationships With Emails
Email is not only a great marketing tool, it can also help you nurture your existing relationships with physicians and patients. Maintaining and increasing patient retention should always be a top priority and paying attention to what your patient need and want is key.
Keep people in the know by using emails to send out:
- Appointment reminders and follow up reminders
- Updates about new additionals or processes at your imaging center
- Invitations to any events your radiology group is sponsoring or hosting in the community such as free health screenings.
If you’re already sending out emails to patients and physicians, and you are not getting the response you expect, it could be that your emails are not being received due to spam filters. In other cases, it may be that your emails are not being opened because your subject lines need some work. If you’re seeing low open rates, especially with your email marketing to physicians for referrals, you should address the issue before implementing new strategies.
Admittedly, marketing to physicians for referrals isn’t easy, even if you are an experienced email marketer. But, the rewards are well worth spending the time to craft your messages carefully.
Always strive to give more than you ask in return and to respect the time and wishes of everyone you send to.
Analyzing your results regularly will help guide your future efforts. It’s crucial to know your open and click rate on each email so you can fine-tune your approach to marketing your imaging center. A/B or Split Testing is a great way to test out various content or subject lines to find what is most popular among your readers. Most email marketing services such as MailChimp offer an easy way to set up an A/B test.
Email is an effective approach to diagnostic imaging marketing if you do it right
Sending out emails without a clearly defined strategy is like cooking for dinner guests without a recipe. It might start out great, but once you get going you’re bound to run into some problems. And serving a burnt casserole at your party is not so impressive.
With some research, individual consideration, and careful planning, you will find that email is a very useful tool for gaining new business and nurturing existing relationships.
Taking a step back to assess what your patients and referring physicians really want and need from you will help you effectively incorporate email into your diagnostic imaging marketing plan with a solid path.
How would you like to market your center to referring physicians with Medical Practice Growth Tips and Doctor to Doctor articles?