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Email Marketing for Healthcare: Beyond Appointment Reminders

by | March 24, 2023

Healthcare is often a long-term relationship, not an impulse buy. Email marketing for healthcare can be both approachable and meaningful.
Email Marketing for Healthcare illustration

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Email marketing for healthcare is a powerful tool to both boost and maintain your roster of patients. For any company, email gets proven results in marketing campaigns, but the benefits go a step further in healthcare.

Email outreach keeps your practice top of mind for current patients while giving prospective patients what they need to know to choose your practice. It can even make it easier to streamline office tasks. 

Because patients often remain loyal over several years — or even decades — these initial healthcare marketing strategies efforts can produce impressive returns over time.

Believe the Results

A healthcare provider and a young patient review information on a tablet computer.

Email stands out in a portfolio of healthcare marketing efforts. Around 47% percent of healthcare advertisers say email marketing is their most successful tool for building relationships with patients. It ranks even higher than traditional advertising. 

Patients and consumers echo this as well. 60% say they’re more likely to request services after receiving marketing emails, compared to 12.5% who view an ad on social media. 

From an ROI perspective, it’s also cost-effective: for every $1 you contribute, experts estimate you get about $42.

Consider the overall advantages healthcare email marketing campaigns offer:

  • Build and maintain patient communication
  • Share practice and health-related information
  • Automate scheduling and send appointment reminders
  • Engage prospective patients 
  • Continue building a relationship with your long-time patients

Beyond dollars and cents, email helps you build trust in the patient experience, which leads to long-term relationships and word-of-mouth referrals.

How to Build a Healthcare Email Campaign 

A woman poses with a blood drive sign.

After you’ve picked an email platform and built a list of prospective patients, it’s time to think about your next campaign. To get the best results, here are a few things to keep in mind.

1. Set Goals for the Campaign

What do you want your email marketing campaign to achieve? Are you interested in building patient relationships? Recruiting more prospective patients to the practice? Streamlining your appointment reminders and scheduling? Maybe all of the above. 

Setting these goals makes it easier to design campaigns to achieve them. Get goal-setting inspo by reviewing your clinic’s annual calendar. Consider which procedures are most requested and which office processes could use a little streamlining.

2. Authenticity is for Trust and Function

The healthcare industry isn’t known for inspiring fuzzy feelings. An email marketing campaign is a great way to build those connections with new and current patients. It’s simple to personalize an email campaign: use a person’s name, send them a happy birthday email or thank you messages to long-term patients. 

Aside from the warm and fuzzies, remember email campaigns can make both the patient’s and practitioner’s lives easier. Appointment reminders or important clinic information helps patients know what to expect. If you focus on sending patients important information through scheduled emails rather than random single-message blasts, it also helps streamline the functions of your practice.

3. Get the Email Addresses

Seems obvious, but to send an email, you need an email address. Patients are always filling out forms online and in person, so take advantage! Gather current and new patient emails through:

  • In-office paperwork or new patient forms
  • Online appointment bookings and requests
  • Website pop-ups

You can also set up a lead generation form on your website with a link from your email campaign. Generally, when prospective patients provide their contact information, they receive something in exchange, such as an electronic guide or the results of an online health assessment.

4.  Build Additional Content Streams

Drive email sign-ups and web traffic by creating additional content for patients to consume. This could be through an online blog, a webinar, or discount services.

Blogging in particular can be helpful in drawing higher engagement. Especially in healthcare industries like dentistry, which some patients fear, a blog can help put a face and personality to a practice. Email marketing efforts from these healthcare providers help drive traffic to these content streams.

How to Design a Healthcare Marketing Email 

A young woman in front of a pink email background

Let’s say you’ve designed a detailed email marketing strategy. Your goals are set. You’ve chosen your technology platforms. Now, what do you write? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Personalize email subject lines. Want to increase your email open rates by 50%? Make sure the subject line of your email campaigns is personal. Use a patient’s name and be specific about who the email is from and what it’s for. 
  • Separate your email streams. To ensure the right email campaigns are sent to the right patients, separate your email streams. Email campaign platforms can help you do this. Why is it so important? Email open rates jump to 91% when recipients receive emails targeted just for them. For instance, new patient sign-ups will want a welcome email, but it might feel strange being sent to a long-term patient. 
  • Include some incentives. Want to snag email subscribers at the right time? Include some incentives. Whether that’s discount medical services or an invitation to a healthcare event, patients are more likely to sign-up for your emails if they’re getting something valuable in return. 
  • Slip in some extra content. In your email copy, make sure the patient has something else to click on. An effective call to action results in higher email engagement. This is a great opportunity to encourage them to visit your blog, sign up for an event, or schedule their next appointment. 

An Effective Healthcare Email 

A close-up of a woman smiling during a dental exam

Below we’ve included an example of a marketing email for healthcare clients. Notice how it uses the suggestions above. 

Dear Patty Dental, 

I hope this email finds you in good health and spirits! This email is a reminder that you have an upcoming dental appointment at Great Grins on [insert date and time]. We value your dental health and are looking forward to seeing you soon.

At Great Grins, we strive to provide the best dental care possible to our patients, and we know you share our commitment to maintaining excellent dental hygiene. We encourage you to visit our blog THE GRIN FILES, which features interviews with our dental technicians and informative articles on dental health. See some of our recent blog posts:

  • ‘To Floss or Not to Floss!’ a Q&A with our dental technician, Jane Teefers
  • Snack Attack! Healthy snack idea to keep teeth healthy and strong

If you have any questions or concerns before your appointment, please do not hesitate to contact us at 555-555-5555. Our friendly staff is always happy to help and will be more than willing to address any concerns you may have. 

We appreciate your trust in Great Grins, and we look forward to seeing you soon Thank you for being a valued patient!


Great Grins Dental Office

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