Email marketing is one of the most effective patient acquisition tools chiropractors have at their disposal.
Nothing else lets you instantly communicate with thousands of current, former, and soon-to-be patients.
If used correctly, this instant and infinitely scalable mode of communication can greatly increase the number of patients that walk through your door each week.
It's the one thing that has the power to change your business overnight ‒ and it's basically free.
This comprehensive guide will take you through every aspect of email marketing for a chiropractor. By the end of this guide, you'll know exactly why chiropractors should use email marketing, how to use email to get more new patients and encourage old patients to return.
Let’s get into it…
Before you dive headfirst into an email marketing campaign, you need to understand why email marketing is so effective. The next few sections should make that abundantly clear.
As chiropractic is a science-based form of healthcare, no chiropractic email marketing guide would be complete without some raw data that proves how important email marketing is for your business.
Sending regular emails to your patients will strengthen the relationship you have with them. They can also damage the relationship though, which is why you have to be careful about what you send.
To ensure you’re strengthening relationships instead of weakening them, don't think of emails as advertisements you periodically send to your patients' inboxes. Instead, think of them a continuation of the conversation that started in the office.
When you talk to patients in your office, you generally talk to your patients about their health problems. If their back hurts, you might recommend a back adjustment. If their blood pressure is high, you might tell them about a supplement that lowers blood pressure.
By thinking of the emails you send as an extension of this conversation, you will strengthen the relationships you have with your patients ‒ which will lead to increased patient retention down the road.
A good promotional email will send people to your website. These people will be more interested in your content than the average reader, as they're already subscribed to your email newsletter.
Readers who come to your website via a link in an email will spend more time reading and interacting with your website than readers who come in from a search result and aren't familiar with you. And because many of the people on your email list are already patients, they know you personally ‒ giving them even more reason to trust and be interested in the content on your website.
So, how does all of this help your SEO?
Simple ‒ it improves your time spent on-page metrics.
Google's number one ranking factor is relevance. The order of the Google search results is based on which content the Google search algorithm thinks will be most helpful to the person searching.
One of the ways Google gauges content relevancy is by measuring how long readers typically spend on a page.
Because the readers from your email list will probably spend more time reading your website content, sending emails to people will help you rank higher in the search results.
Sending emails to patients and prospects can also boost your social engagement in a number of ways:
Email marketing also makes it easier to "re-convert" patients who haven't made an appointment recently.
Many of your former patients will only see a chiropractor when they're in pain. Some of these people might be interested in regular care ‒ they just don't know how beneficial it can be.
If you send these colder prospects a regular stream of content that explains the benefits of chiropractic care, a portion will read them and end up calling for an appointment.
And even if they aren't swayed into becoming regular patients, your name popping into their inbox every week or month makes it more likely they call you instead of a competitor the next time their back or neck starts aching.
Alright, I think you get it. Email marketing brings in patients.
So... how do you actually do it?
Is there some sort of special email secret that only marketers have access to?
Well, not really. Being a good email marketer does require certain skill sets ‒ copywriting, for example ‒ but the steps and logic involved in content marketing can be broken down into understandable chunks.
The first step in a successful marketing plan should always be to create a strategy. You should never attempt to market any kind of product or service without thinking about and planning out what you're going to do.
This is especially true of email marketing. Your email list is one of the most valuable parts of your business. It's an instantaneous line of communication with everyone who has ever come to your office for treatment.
Because the emails you send will have a lasting impact on your patients' perception of you and your brand, you need to be extremely careful about what you say and how you say it.
The only requirement for a marketing email is that it contains text (and maybe an image or video). The rest is up to you (or your copywriter).
There are a few styles of email that work particularly well in the chiropractic industry.
Sending educational content about chiropractic care is probably the best way to retain current patients and convert new ones.
One of the biggest issues I see docs struggle with is effectively conveying to patients how important regular chiropractic care is. Many people see chiropractors as someone to call when they're in pain ‒ they don't realize that coming when they're not in pain can still provide health benefits.
As for the specific kind of educational content, you can write about a whole host of different things:
Holding regular promotions is an excellent way to get patients in the door ‒ but they're only effective if your patients know about them. Sending out an email about the promotion might be the only way you can reach the majority of your customer base.
When crafting a promotional email, make sure the tone is more casual and conversational than it is salesy. Remember, you should view your emails as an extension of the conversation that started in your office. You wouldn't get in a patient's face and start yelling at them to attend your upcoming local event ‒ so don't pull the textual equivalent of that when you send out an email about it.
Many chiropractic centers host fun events that bring in patients and non-patients alike.
The primary goals of these events are patient retention and new patient acquisition. Sending an email inviting your followers to these events will help you achieve these goals.
If the event also involves a promotion, using email is a great way to tell your list about the promotion and increase the number of people who attend the event.
A less complex but still enormously valuable component of email marketing is the appointment reminder.
While getting people to book appointments is crucial for your practice to succeed, ensuring they come to those appointments is just as important. Reminding people about their appointments via email is an easy way to make sure they actually come ‒ and that you get paid.
Appointment reminders also give patients a chance to cancel appointments they won't be able to make. This allows you to clear the space in your schedule and potentially book someone else in that time slot.
Before you begin writing, you need to define your audience. The best way to do this is to answer questions about them:
As a chiropractor, you're going to have a pretty wide range of demographics on your email list. Everyone feels pain, which means everyone might be interested in chiropractic care. This makes it difficult to profile your audience into a single demographic.
To keep things simple, I recommend focusing on the one thing your audience has in common ‒ they all feel pain, and they want that pain to go away.
By focusing on this universal characteristic, you'll be able to write email copy that is compelling and effective amongst everyone on your email list ‒ no matter their age, gender, or hobby preferences.
Writing marketing emails is a form of copywriting. And copywriting is hard.
It's hard because people don't want to part with their money. They want to keep their money.
It's the job of the copywriter to convince the reader that whatever is being offered is more valuable than the amount of money it costs.
Some copywriting experts will tell you the exact words to use when you write your emails. I don't want to do that.
The best copy is copy written in your own unique voice. This is especially true of chiropractic email copy, as you meet with patients face-to-face and speak to them individually. They'll get a sense of who you are and what your personality is like, and your emails should reflect that.
Using your own voice doesn't mean you can toss basic copywriting tenets out the window though. There are some essential things you always need to keep in mind when writing email copy.
Professional copywriters use all kinds of different tactics. They use different structures, different word choice, different tones... every writer has their own unique style.
There's one rule that every single copywriter in the world follows religiously though.
Writing without this rule in mind will guarantee that your copy doesn't persuade or convert.
Are you ready? Here's the rule...
Always explain the benefits.
Many amateur copywriters get caught up in describing how awesome the features are... and forget all about telling the reader about how those features benefit them.
Remembering to talk about benefits is incredibly important. Most people only care about themselves and their loved ones. This isn't selfish or callous, it's just human nature.
Because everyone cares about themselves, your email copy needs to explain how chiropractic care benefits them. If the copy doesn't make them think about themselves, all hope is lost.
Here's an example.
Let's say you were sending an educational email about neck subluxations. It can be far too easy to forget about the reader and get unnecessarily technical with your words.
To see what I mean, compare the following sentences:
Both statements are accurate, but the second one has much more relevance to chiropractic patients than the first.
Patients don't care about fixing their subluxated neck ‒ they care about getting rid of their neck pain. Many won't know what the term "subluxated" even means. They do know what neck pain feels like though.
Do you see the difference?
Fixing a subluxated neck is a feature of chiropractic care. It's one of the services chiropractors offer, but it doesn't directly convey how it helps the patient.
Getting rid of neck pain is a benefit of chiropractic care. It's something that directly helps the patient solve a problem. In this instance, that problem is neck pain.
Don't get me wrong, talking about features is important. It's essential, actually. Without them, you'll have a hard time explaining what chiropractors actually do.
But you need to explain how those features benefit the patient. If you don't do that, your email marketing campaign will be far less effective than it could be.
The answer to this is the feature-benefit method of copywriting. Whenever you list a feature, you follow it up with the benefit it provides.
Here's our previous example in the feature-benefit form:
"By fixing a subluxation in your neck, I can get rid of your neck pain."
Fixing the subluxation is the feature ‒ it's literally what a chiropractor does. The result of this feature is getting rid of neck pain. This is the benefit.
Remembering to list features and benefits is the most impactful way to improve your email marketing chops. If you ignore all of the other advice in this copywriting guide, you would still benefit from following the advice in this section.
The subject line is the most important part of the email. The average office worker receives 121 emails every single day, and I'm sure the number the general public receives isn't too far off from this.
Each email you send has to jostle for attention in this crowded field. Without an eye-catching subject line, few people will open your emails. And if they don't open your email, your expertly crafted body copy will be sent straight to the trash bin, having never seen the light of day.
There are no hard and fast rules for writing subject lines. That being said, these tips for writing eye-catching subject lines should point you in the right direction.
Personalizing your email subject lines will improve open rates.
The most common method of subjecting personalization is to use the recipient's name.
If you're scared about the immense time cost involved with personalizing each individual email, don't worry. When crafting email templates on your service provider's website, you should be able to insert tags that are automatically filled with the recipient's name when the email is sent.
A majority of emails are read on phones nowadays. Longer subject lines that show fully on larger computer screens will get cut off on smaller mobile devices. To grab the attention of mobile users, your subject line needs to be concise and to the point.
Here are a few tips for keeping subject lines as short as possible:
Starting your email subject line with an enticing action verb can help the recipient envision themselves envision themselves
For example, compare the following subject lines:
The second subject line instantly makes readers think about relieving their pain, which is far more enticing than the image of visiting a chiropractic office that the first line evokes.
This tip is subjective, and some chiropractors might feel uncomfortable incorporating emojis into their subject lines. However, the data doesn't lie ‒ using emojis in subject lines increases email open rates.
Although emojis are definitely useful, you should consider the tone of the email you're sending before adding one. Emojis are better suited to promotional emails with a light and airy tone than they are to more serious educational content.
Using numbers in your subject lines will eliminate generalities and make your message seem specific and authentic. Here are a few ways you might use numbers to increase open rates:
The text you write in the body of the email is just as important as the text in the subject line.
The best approach to writing email body content ‒ especially if you’re a beginner ‒ is to use a formula.
Here are three of the most popular email marketing formulas you can use to make your copy persuasive.
The first formula is A-I-D-A. This is one of the most widely used formulas on the planet ‒ you can’t go wrong with it.
The second formula is P-A-S. While less well-known than A-I-D-A, this formula works particularly well for chiropractic emails because everyone reading your emails has the same problem: pain.
The third formula is F-A-B.
The main skill involved in email marketing is copywriting. Understanding how to craft a compelling message that simultaneously informs and sells is truly an art ‒ and like most other art forms, it takes a professional to consistently produce good work.
I'm not saying you need to hire a professional copywriter every time you send an email. Some emails will be informal updates about changes in office policy or vacation notices. It's not important that these emails are persuasive, as there is no sales intent behind them.
I do strongly advise using one when you send out promotional emails though. Unless you're a copywriter yourself, hiring a professional will almost certainly boost your conversion rate. And when you've got a list of hundreds or thousands of potential patients, even a small increase in conversion rate could be worth thousands of dollars.
If you need a chiropractic email copywriter to help you write your practice's emails, I advise scheduling a free consultation with one of us here at Ignite Marketing. We work exclusively with chiropractors, and we'd love to talk to you about how you can get more patients in the door.
I know you’re probably excited to start sending emails. Just hold on for a bit longer ‒ you need a couple of tools before you can start.
The first tool you’ll need is an email marketing service provider. These are software tools that allow you to do a bunch of stuff that would be impossible to do on your own:
Choosing a service provider is doesn’t have to be difficult. There are a ton of options out there, all of which offer different services, pricing, and tech support. I’m not going to endorse any particular service here, but I will give you a list of the best services to choose from.
Depending on your business size and email marketing goals, different service providers will be preferable. To find out which is best for you, I recommend scheduling a free consultation with one of our email marketing experts.
Once you’ve decided on a service provider, you’ll need a list of names and email addresses to send your content to. The majority of this list will be populated by existing patients, but some will also come from lead generation efforts made on your website.
No modern chiropractic business is complete without email marketing. It provides an unparalleled opportunity to engage with current patients and potential patients alike.
While this guide should give you a good primer in email marketing, you should know that effective chiropractic email marketing is extremely difficult.
From writing compelling subject lines and body copy to setting up complex drip campaigns, building an email marketing strategy that actually works requires knowledge and experience.
If you want to get more new patients and get old patients to keep coming in, schedule a free email marketing consultation with Ignite Marketing today.