At its core, email marketing is the infrastructure that holds your pipeline together, delivering free offers while also pushing leads further down the pipeline.
Question: If you want to communicate directly with people who might be interested in the services you offer, how would you do it?
You can’t call them unless you have a number – and even then, people are pretty averse to receiving unsolicited phone calls.
The same goes for texting them, and it would be pretty off-kilter to try to connect with them on social media and send them direct messages. Not only would it not be taken well, but it would be a tremendous amount of work.
So what’s your best option? As it so happens, it’s email, an internet tool that’s been around for over two decades.
While email marketing is, in fact, the oldest form of internet marketing, it continues to be the best way to directly communicate with leads, ultimately providing a tremendous return on investment for businesses big and small.
Nevertheless, it has changed quite a bit with new technologies that allow for a tremendous amount of options, flexibility, and applications.
This means that you need to understand how to tie it into your current marketing practices to give you the ability to communicate directly with your leads, begin to build some trust, and lead them down your pipeline.
The Power of Email Automation
Ultimately, it’s automation that has allowed email marketing to continue as a powerful internet marketing tool, and it’s vital to the success of using it for your LASIK business.
If business owners and marketers were required to manually email each and every email addressee they had collected, it would be a pretty massive undertaking. But with email service providers (ESPs), you can automate pretty much everything.
For example, someone gives you their email address in exchange for an ebook or quiz that helps them understand if they’re a good fit for LASIK.
Instead of needing to sit down and write an email each time this happens, you can prewrite an email that helps nurture that lead and then tell your email platform to send this email based on a specific trigger. So, in the email exchange example, every time someone signs up for your offer, your email platform will automatically send them an email.
What’s even better is that you can use what are called merge fields, which allow you to automate the personalization of your email. So, for example, if someone gives you their first name when they give you their email address, you can add one of these merge fields to your email content, telling your ESP to pull their first name from the appropriate account and stick it into the email.
You can even add these merge fields to your subject lines, meaning what shows up in their inbox would be addressed directly to them (e.g. “Hey Joe! — Thanks for downloading our free ebook!”).
How Email Marketing Works for LASIK Practices
Email marketing, at its best, is not an independently functioning tactic.
After all, you need email addresses of leads in the first place, which requires that you’re getting traffic to your site and that you’re offering things that your leads will download in return for their email addresses.
This is the heart of creating your patient pipeline. You use something like a quiz or a free e-book to provide your audience with value before they ever reach out to you to inquire about your services. It presents you as a reliable source of information – an authority in your field – and greatly improves the chance of them reaching out to you when they have decided they want to move forward with their LASIK surgery. Even better, using email in this way can actually encourage them to move forward by addressing their immediate questions and concerns.
And yet, email marketing can be useful for so much more. You can use it to….
- Improve your customers’ experience
- Generate referrals
- Promote deals and offers
- Keep your business top of mind for your email list
All of this speaks to why email has maintained its position as one of the most powerful marketing tools available.
Ready to Integrate Email into Your Marketing Efforts?
While the premise of email marketing can seem relatively straightforward, getting it properly hooked into your other marketing efforts can be a complicated process. That, on top of the difficulty of writing conversion-focused email copy, means that getting help from the experts here at Patient Pipeline would be a huge boost to your internet marketing.
If you’re ready to get started, get in touch with us today.