The digital and the mobile ages kicked off a renaissance for both one-to-one and one-to-many marketing. From social media posting to messaging apps to push notifications, there are now an array of ways for marketers, including aesthetics practices, to get consumers’ attention.
And these methods should be explored, but it turns out that the longstanding, stalwart, tried-and-true medium of digital communications is still one of the most effective. Email should be a cornerstone of practices’ marketing efforts. Let’s unpack why that is.
The vast majority of Americans like—yes, like—receiving promotional emails
When it comes to using email for consumer engagement, your practice is starting on second base. The data reveals that most Americans actually look forward to receiving emails from businesses they have opted into hearing from, including nearly half that are interested in hearing from businesses via email once per week.
That means email marketing is your game to lose. Current and potential patients are ready to hear from you, so begin your email marketing with the confidence of knowing that recipients really do want to hear what you have to say and share. And with your direct expert knowledge about a category that can be confusing for consumers, you have the power to send emails that will be eagerly anticipated, facilitate consumer education, and clear the pathway to bookings.
Email is the highest-converting digital medium
While it’s important to have a diverse media strategy that accounts for the array of digital spaces where current and potential patients congregate, email is worth special attention for one important reason: it is the highest-converting digital medium overall for small business.
One study, which focused on email conversion rates for mobile (for practices, a conversion could be an inquiry, a consultation, or a booking), revealed that email conversion rates were more than two times higher than the conversion rates for social media and 46 percent higher than for search.
While social media is excellent for engagement, and RealSelf is a critical space for facilitating aesthetic consumer engagement, education, and awareness, email is an important part of your marketing arsenal for sealing the deal with aesthetic consumers who you want to convert into paying patients.
Emails boost social sharing
We’ve alluded a few times to the fact that while email is a highly important part of your marketing mix, other channels like social media are still important and worth a thoughtful time investment.
It turns out that email punches above its weight among all of the marketing tactics you employ in that it can actually boost your social media efforts. Content platform QuickSprout reports that email subscribers are three times more likely to share content on social media than contacts who connect with your brand via other channels. Make sure that you promote your social media channels—and tease social media content—in your emails, and that you explicitly invite your email subscribers to share your content with their social networks.
Email is an effective gateway to mobile audiences
We live in the world of the Uberized consumer, and mobile is king. These intimate and ubiquitous devices are more powerful and better connected than ever. And in recent years we have crossed a critical rubicon in marketing: consumers are now comfortable not only browsing on their phones, but also with buying (and booking) on mobile.
Email marketing is a powerful access point for consumers on the go. According to a 2018 IBM report, nearly half of emails are opened on mobile devices. Make sure that your emails are making the most of mobile by offering not just content, but opportunities to connect through consultations and bookings. You should also link directly to your RealSelf profile from email (it looks great on mobile) so that current and prospective patients can easily access your reviews, consumer Q&A, and before-and-after photos.
Emails let you maximize the millennial moment
The eldest members of the world’s largest generation is maturing into their late thirties and entering many of the life stages that can precipitate consideration of cosmetic treatments, like having children and ascending in their careers.
You could be forgiven for thinking social media is the digital key to millennial consumers’ attention, but it turns out that, as one Forbes article put it, “millennials are actually obsessed with email.” Citing Adobe’s Consumer Email Survey, CNBC also reported that the millennial generation are the most prolific email checkers.
The keys to making email work for millennials will also improve your marketing to consumers of any age, in any medium: value and relevance. Offer high-value information that makes a difference to their decision making and you’ll increase your chances of high open rates, click-throughs, forwards, and conversions. By contrast, emails that feel spammy and irrelevant can net you an unsubscribe–and make it incredibly tough to win that consumer back.
Bonus: Let’s talk about platform risk
“Platform risk” refers to the danger of entrusting third-party platforms to completely mediate relationships between you and your current and potential patients. Brands and publications that enjoy wide distribution and engagement on Facebook or Instagram today could see the tables quickly turn overnight with one simple algorithm change. In fact, it’s a well-worn tale in the world of search and social media marketing.
That shouldn’t deter you from using these mediums, but it should encourage you to capture prospect information independently of third parties when you can. For your practice, that means capturing the email addresses and/or mobile phone numbers of prospects and patients who are willing to opt in. This is the reason why RealSelf recently “unmasked” patient email addresses and phone numbers in inquiries. With that change, practices have the ability to ingest consumer information and mount their own marketing effort after RealSelf has handed inquiries off. And once that prospect is part of your “owned audience,” you can amortize the effort required to capture them in the first place by messaging to them over and over again.
Just be sure to stay relevant.
Email is a critical part of inquiry management. Join our upcoming webinar to learn effective ways to deal with incoming phone and email inquiries.
TITLE: The Single Most Important Habit of a Successful Aesthetic Practice
- Maureen Ezekwugo, EVP, Customer Success
- Eva Sheie, Director, Professional Education
Join us on Wednesday, March 27 at 12 Pacific/3 Eastern.
Can’t make it? Don’t worry! Register to receive the recording.