Email marketing campaigns can be one of the most effective ways for your healthcare staffing agency to reach a new audience and increase the loyalty of your existing customers. Email is still the most popular way to communicate with hospitals and healthcare professional staff. That said, the competition to get your email read is fierce. This post is part of a series discussing 10 web marketing tips your healthcare staffing agency should do right now.
Email newsletters are unique because they are typically content-heavy and most often predictable in style, content and formatting. This means that taking the time to truly read the content of an email requires a reasonable time commitment. Just think about the number of emails you have sitting in your inbox begging for your attention every day. Which ones do you read? Which ones do you automatically delete?
Here are some tips for making sure your healthcare staffing company’s email marketing campaign is a success.
- Good design. At this point, hopefully you know that everything you put in front of your customers should properly represent your brand. Your emails are no exception. When competing for attention, good design goes a long way. Standard templates are a good start but are very overused. A custom desined email template that matches your brand can be done quickly and inexpensively.
- Quality content. Keep your email content short, personal and relevant. Give your readers what they want and talk to them like you would if they were right there in front of you.
- Good subject line. A good subject line can make all the difference with your open rate. It can be the one thing that makes the recipient open or instantly delete your email. Your subject line should be simple, relevant and interesting. You also need to consider what it looks like in different email clients.
- Allow subscribers on your website. Potential subscribers should be allowed to sign up for your email list on your website. You should make this sign up ability prominent on your site and have this form feed directly into your contact database.
- Drip campaigns. Drip campaigns allow you to automatically send information to subscribers on a schedule with much less effort. For example, our system, ePromoter – allows you to have welcome emails sent automatically when someone subscribes to your email list. From there, emails can be sent with relevant information on a schedule of your choosing.
- Call To Action (CTA). Create at least one solid CTA. A CTA is an action you want a reader to take – "Sign Up!" "Buy Now!" "Click to Subscribe" are all sample CTA's.
- Create an online version. Be sure you have an online version of your email and that your recipients can easily get to this version with one click in your email. Make this link prominent so they can go here first if they choose.
- Segment your list. Good email software systems allow you to segment your lists by any number of criteria – location, name, client type, staff type, etc. Segmenting lists allows you to manage a single list while sending different messages out to relevant groups.
- Test, test, test. Test different messsages on different recipients. By segmenting your list, you can change up your message, subject line, CTA, etc. This will allow you to see the effectiveness of different messages. You also want to test your emails before they go out. Always send yourself a sample email to see if the message sounds good and if everything looks ok. Test your email in different email clients – Outlook, Yahoo, GMail, iPhone, etc. This will ensure the greatest receptivity of your message.
- Track your data. If you're not tracking the data from your campaigns then there isn't much of a point in sending them. Standard email campaign software allows you to track opens, clicks, forwards, unsubscribers, spam, etc. Without understanding what people are doing with your emails you really are just spamming them.
- Buy a list. Under no circumstances should you ever buy a list. Ever. Seriously. It's always bad news and anyone in the business of selling lists is always shady. These lists will get your domain put on a blacklist and you will have a terrible time coming off of it. You should only send emails to people that have given you specific permission to email them.
- Send to old addresses. If you haven't sent a message to an email address in more than 1 year it's a good idea to test that email to see if it's still active. If it's been more than 2 – 3 years throw it out and start over.
- Avoid canned spam compliance. The Can-Spam Act requires that all messages contain the sender’s valid physical postal address. Don't forget this step. Aside from the legal obligation, putting your contact address in your emails is the best way to show subscribers that you have a legitimate identity. Just put it in your footer and be done.
- Over contact. Constantly contacting people with messages is a great way to get people to unsubscribe. How often is too often? It really depends on your content and your business. Many business simply send out a quarterly newsletter. Businesses with special offers or frequent relevant messages try to send monthly. E commerce businesses often times send out emails weekly. It all depends on your audience. For most healthcare staffing agencies, sending emails more than every two weeks is unnecessary. If you do want to send this frequently, especially if it's for something like communicating jobs, make the sign up for this email very specific and consider having it be separate from your regular email campaigns.
- Use a noreply@. These are your customers and you are communicating with them. Not leaving them an instant way to reply or communicate with you is a bad idea. Make sure the emails you send come from a real email address that someone in your company is responsible for checking.
- Send from outlook. If you're sending one on one communication or even to a small group (less than 20) it's ok to use a standard email client like Outlook, GMail, Yahoo, etc. However, if you're regularly sending to larger groups through one of these standard email clients there is a good chance you're already on a domain blacklist and don't know it. Using a standard email software program like ePromoter is the best way to send email blasts to multiple recipients.
- Use spammy language. There's a fine line between a good call to action and "spammy language." Phrases like "Act Now" and "Offer Ends Today" are good examples of spam language. Just look at some of the language you get in the spam emails you receive and make sure you avoid sounding this way. Our email system – ePromter – will actually screen your content before you send it and highlight words and phrases you should consider avoiding for this very reason.
- Include attachments. There's no reason to be sending an attachment out in mass like this. It's almost guaranteed to get your email sent to the spam folder or at the least – cause it to bounce. If you do want your readers to actually get something, make it available online through a link in the email.
- Forget plain text. Always send a plain text version of your email. Many email clients will strip out all of your images and dramatically rearrange your HTML. The best thing to do is to always ensure a plain text version of your mail goes out at the same time.
- Forget mobile. The email client on the iPhone is the 5th most popular email client. More popular even than GMail. So remember that when creating and testing your emails. How do they look on a smart phone?
Running an effective email marketing campaign includes everything from good design to tracking your data. If done right, email marketing will dramatically grow your business and put you in front of new customers. If done wrong it can get your entire domain blacklisted and actually cost you customers.
Almost every healthcare staffing company we speak with tells us they send out regular email campaigns. Unfortunately, very few of them follow any of the tips above. By following these few simple rules your staffing agency will be ahead of the game. If you're looking for an effective email marketing tool for your healthcare staffing company or would like to find out more about running a successful email campaign, contact Staffing Robot today.
Next post – Conducting Effective Competitive Analysis on the Web
One of the great things about the web is that it provides you with almost all the information you need to learn about your competition. From finding their customers, sales strategies, pricing and key words, almost all the data you're looking for is available online. The key is knowing where to find it. In our next post we will provide some interesting tips on how to conduct effective competitive analysis on the web.