Press the ▶️ button on the video above for five useful tips on how to start and grow a Private Practice email list.
How to start and grow a Private Practice email list. This is a lesson in how to start and grow a Private Practice email list and if you already have one, how to make it work best for you.
When I say an email list, I mean a marketing email list.
And before you recall in horror at the word ‘marketing’, let me remind you that as Clinicians, we are in the business of sales, every single day.
Every day in our clinical practice, we will have to encourage and cajole patients into doing things, such as actively participating in their rehab, or undergoing a potentially uncomfortable procedure.
We do these things because we know it’s in our patient’s best interest, and we do it will our skills of persuasion. We do it ethically, and the outcome is that we help people. I bet you’re a brilliant salesperson when it comes to health and wellbeing.
Growing your Private Practice is no different. But we just happen to give it a different label – marketing.
Why do we need to have an email marketing list?
It’s about keeping front and centre in patient and referrers minds. Whilst it’s great that we can help them when we can, our patients are only going to need to intermittently. There will be times when we’re not actively treating them.
Now you might think a patient would reach out to you the moment they experience a new problem (after all, you gave them great care, right?), but for many patients, it might not even occur to them that you look after ‘x’ problem as well as ‘y’ problem.
Worse still, if they happen to see online a shiny new physio who claims to be able to do something for their new, ‘y’ problem, they may go wandering off.
Having an email list is the best way to keep in the mind of your referrers and your patients. By sending them valuable content, answering questions and being their clinical advocate, you can ensure you grow and hold on to a great following.
You might be thinking “but Cath, I really do this on social media” – and that’s great.
You don’t own your followers on social media, and the organic reach of social media platforms shrinks year on year. Did you know, that if you post something on you Facebook (in your organic feed), it’s reach will be somewhere between just 1 and 6% of your followers. That’s because Facebook wants you to pay them advertising money.
Don’t get me wrong; social media can be a great place to grow your audience, but you don’t get to say how the algorithm works, and we’ve all be told of colleagues who’ve overnight found themselves barred from the platform of followers they had be nurturing.
Social media should do two main things for you. It should drive people to your website (to check out the cool things you do). It should also drive people to sign up to your email list.
How to get people to sign up to your email list.
Email is everywhere, and whilst the GDPR might have tamed our email habits (and thankfully the amount of email spam that we receive), we are ever more discerning about the emails we choose to sign up to receive.
Here are some classic email sign-up mistakes to avoid.
Calling it a ‘newsletter’.
“Sign up to receive our newsletter” is a signal to take an afternoon nap. Please give it an alternative name.
Not using a lead magnet to collect sign-ups.
A lead magnet is something that you can use to entice in a person to your email list. It’s often a trade of a useful piece of education content e.g.“sign up and receive my free video training on how to get into Vrschikasana” in exchange for someone handing over their email address.
Using a boring lead magnet for your email sign up.
“Get our free 10 tips on how to keep fit this winter” has less oomph than “Get our free guide on how to run a sub-four hour marathon, the very first time you run one”.
Forgetting to take care of your sign ups the moment they’ve signed up.
When you sign up for something, you’re eagerly anticipating the arrival of something. Make sure they get what they signed up for, and don’t stop there. As well as sending them your lead magnet, make sure that you send them a personalised welcome email.
Not segmenting your list.
As a Clinician, you’ll likely be wanting your email list to attract patients and potential referrers. They need different attention, because, afterall, they want different things. You need to consider this when you are designing your lead magnet, so that it appeals to the different kinds of people who will sign up.
When they do sign up, you’ll ideally have set up your email list to ‘tag’ them. For instance, if you’re an Orthopaedic Consultant, who specialises in shoulder problems, you could make a lead magnet that appeals to patients (e.g. a video about how to improve their tennis elbow recovery), and for referrers (e.g. a guide to which rotator cuff problems do, and don’t, require surgery).
If you rush into this, and don’t put list segmentation in place, you’ll find yourself in the tricky place of needing to make one-size-fits all content, which is flippin’ hard to do, and achieves very little.
Not connecting with your sign ups.
Most email marketing software systems can be set to alert you about a new sign up. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to get to know your new follower. Rather than just letting your automated emails roll out, send them a personalised email, welcoming them to your little group. Go one step further and send them a quick little video via Bonjoro. It’s a low-cost app that lets you make and send little videos via email.
Which email marketing software should you choose?
There are many email tools out there on the internet. You’ll have heard of many of them, but I’ll mention just two here.
Many offer a free version if your email list is small or you’re just getting started. Mailchimp has been around for a long time (and have a free version for up to 2,000 people on your list).
Mailchimp is easy to use, but I’m actually going to recommend you check out ConvertKit.
Mailchimp has some great features (e.g. some nice easy to use templates), but it has limited list segmentation abilities. It puts people into lists, whereas ConvertKit tags people.
That means you may have the same people appearing in several different lists within Mailchimp, and that puts the charge up, because you end up with big lists.
Take advantage of the free trials offered, but don’t procrastinate for long. If you’re unhappy with your current email marketing system, switching your list to another is relatively painless. (If you need help with this, do get in touch – email@example.com)
Next time, I’ll be talking about email marketing strategy. Get in touch for a power-hour with me, if you’d like a boost with your marketing strategy. firstname.lastname@example.org
Hang in there,