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I’ve talked to a number of practices who have been concerned and wanted help growing their Facebook “Likes.”  As important as having an effective Facebook presence is, I typically reply with a question, “How much focus have you spent on building a healthy email list?”

Email is a fantastic means to further your referral relationships with existing patients and grow your LASIK volume from leads.  To give you some context on how powerful email is versus Facebook, I sent 1 email out last week for a client and he obtained 5 new LASIK consults.

All from 1 email.

I’m going to be talking today on why Facebook’s reach is dwindling and give you 4 effective ways to start growing your email list today.

Why Your Reach On Facebook Is Slowly Declining

Facebook exists to make money.  Understandably.  It’s a business that has 1.11 billion users who don’t pay a dime.  It has to make money somehow.

However, they’re growing their revenue at the expense of business owners like ourselves.  Facebook has recently admitted that you will have to pay to get your status updates into the newsfeed of people who have already “Liked” your page!  Dropping your organic reach to only 1 – 2% of your fan base.

So if your page has 500 “Likes,” only 5 people will see your update.

I’ll get into other posts on tactics on how to grow your Facebook presence despite this detrimental change, but the point of today’s post is to focus growing your email list.

The Real Reasons You Should Build Your Email List

According to the Pew Research Center, 92% of adults use email.  No matter how many social media outlets or blogs have come along, email has stood the test as the most used and trusted source for people today.   Here are just a few reasons you should build your email list:

1.  You can reach out to them as often as you’d like.

Within reason of course.  Email is not the same as Twitter.  If you email your list 5 times in one day, you’re going to see some complaints.  But if you’re providing value and quality offers, twice a month or even once per week isn’t out of the question.

2.  Your message is seen. 

Emails come into the user’s inbox and are found.  No worrying about Facebook not showing your message to some.  Granted, to get users to open your email you must have a captivating subject line.  Also we’ve seen higher email open rates changing the “From” field to your name opposed to your practice name.  Example, “From:  Dr. John Smith” vs. “Smith Eye Care.”

3.  You can make them personal.

As you learned in my post on The Right Way And The Wrong Way To Email LASIK Leads, you can reach out to your list on a large scale but make it feel like a one-to-one personal email.  Which results in higher conversions.  That’s not as feasible via Facebook or any other social media outlet.

4 Effective Ways To Start Growing Your Email List Today

I’m going to give you some actionable items that you can use right away to begin capturing more emails and using them to grow your LASIK volume.

1.  Capture emails on your website

Create offers that are called “Lead Generation Tools,” to cast a wider net of new leads giving you their email address.  Some examples of lead generation tools are:

  • Free PDF / White Paper (Example, “Enter your email for the free guide on The Top 5 Foods That May Help You Improve Your Vision Naturally.“)
  • LASIK Self-Evaluation  (This has worked the best for us, as this really “masks” itself as not being a marketing piece)
  • Sign Up For a LIVE Webinar (This brand new webinar strategy has been working really, really well for us.  Bringing in a lot of new leads and interest)

Of course, this is what we at Patient Pipeline really focus on.  Growing your email list with lead generation tools then turning those new leads into patients with autoresponder emails.

We have doctors in small markets like Columbia, MO consistently brining in 25 – 30 new leads per month or Manhattan at over 60 per month.  We are area-exclusive, but if you’d like to see if Patient Pipeline would work for you, just click here.

2.  Collect emails in-person

Ask existing patients to provide their email if you don’t already have it and update your database.  Be sure you’re labeling them as what type of patient they are (cataract vs LASIK, etc.) to ensure you’re sending them the correct message and offers.

3.  Grow your email list over the phone

If someone calls in just to price shop, train your staff to offer the caller a free guide on “The Top 7 Questions You MUST Have Answered BEFORE Choosing A LASIK Surgeon.

Have your staff ask for their email before they go and let them know they’ll zip the guide right over.  This simple strategy grows your email list from cold inbound calls.  Also, the callers may be influenced to choose you because of the free guide.

4.  Growing your email list with outside advertising

If you’re running any outside advertising such as radio or newspaper ads, create a secondary offer to have leads visit your website to pick up their free report.  You can use the same report as above.  This will attract those who do more research prior to choosing a doctor and will dramatically increase your ROI on these advertising efforts.

 

Use the above tactics to focus on growing your email list and you will create steady stream of new LASIK leads into your chair.

 

To your practice,

Nick Sideris

PS – I am not insinuating that you should completely abandon your Facebook efforts.  An effective Facebook strategy is still very important and I’ll show you why in later posts.  However, no matter what social media fad comes and goes, always focus on growing your email list.

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