2 Fantastic Examples of Email Marketing for Hospitals

Melanie Balke
February 7, 2024

In many ways, a healthcare email marketing strategy is the same across the board.

You’ll generally focus on education and engagement over conversion. Moreover, when you do focus on conversions, you’ll often be offering additional services. It’s a wildly different strategy from run-of-the-mill e-commerce marketing.

And — in many ways — healthcare email marketing is more intimidating.

Fortunately, I’m here to help!

I’ve written many helpful articles before. I’ve helped dentists and doctors expand their reach through email marketing. Now, I want to focus on hospitals.

The Goals of a Healthcare Email Marketing Strategy

The National Cancer Institute. Overlaid text reads, “Your Goals: Where Email Marketing Helps Healthcare Organizations.”

Let’s start where every email marketing campaign should begin: the goal.

Like any business, you have goals to meet. Maybe you need more new patients. Perhaps you’re promoting an upcoming awareness event. Or — if you’re just entering the crowded healthcare industry — you may be trying to gain a foothold.

Summarily, you’ll be writing a plethora of email marketing campaigns, each of which will have its own goals and challenges. It seems daunting, but it’s surprisingly simple once you know the basics.

Basic Metric Goals

All email campaigns have metric goals. These numbers are the backbone of your marketing strategy. You can claim up and down that you don’t care about metrics, but we all know that’s a lie! Those impersonal numbers are as important to healthcare providers as they are to e-commerce marketing teams. However, you’ll usually look for different key performance metrics (also known as “KPIs”).

Few healthcare marketing emails will have high monetary conversion. That’s okay!

Most healthcare institutions should be measuring different metrics, anyhow. Instead of focusing on the revenue generated by your email marketing campaigns, consider these metrics:

  • Brand Awareness: This tells you how “popular” your healthcare practice is. Think of it as your digital advertising reputation. You want high brand awareness and a positive, trustworthy reputation.
  • Click-Through-Rate (CTR): How often do subscribers visit your email’s links? A high CTR means your marketing strategy is giving you a competitive advantage. Conversely, a low CTR means you’ll need to rethink your marketing efforts. More often than not, those low figures are an early sign of a disconnect between your marketing team and your target audience.
  • Engagement: How well does your content engage patients? An engaged contact list shows support with high click-through and open rates. Aim to be in constant contact with both new and prospective patients. This will boost your engagement rates and promote healthy relationships with your valued patients.
  • Spread and Reach: Is your content getting shared? We all know email isn’t social media, but it’s the perfect vessel to promote those social media channels. Cross-reference your channels within your emails to craft a cohesive omnichannel marketing strategy. In doing so, you improve the customer experience and add value to every marketing email.

Using Email Marketing to Educate Patients

Of course, the numbers are far from your only concern.

Most healthcare email campaigns have an educational spin. They may reference an existing blog article or allude to popular awareness campaigns. You’ve probably seen examples of common informational healthcare marketing emails.

One of the easiest ways to add informative content to your healthcare email marketing strategy is to look at the calendar. Countless “holidays” aim to raise awareness about the existence, prevention, and treatment of countless diseases. Most of us probably know the big ones. October is breast cancer awareness month; February is dedicated to heart health.

There are “smaller” observances, too. The first Tuesday of May is reserved for asthma awareness. April is officially Parkinson’s Awareness Month. There’s even an organ and tissue donor recognition day on February 14!

Timely Reminders and Healthcare Email Marketing

Similarly, the widespread availability and convenience of email make it the perfect vessel for appointment reminders. (Likewise, both current and future patients can receive an appointment confirmation email prior to the date of their visit.) In fact, these timely heads-up notices may be the most common use for patients’ email addresses.

It’s impossible to know how many emails healthcare organizations send in this category, but I can confidently say the answer is somewhere in the “wow, that’s a lot” range.

Few things are as personally important as these targeted emails. They’re the epitome of relevant content and likely one of the many reasons that healthcare email marketing has a 23.46% average open rate.

Updates and Communication

Finally, take the concept of appointment confirmation emails a step further.

Make that email marketing for healthcare more interactive. Make it a truly two-way marketing channel and eschew the formality of an impersonal no-reply email address.

You’ve now created a more intimate experience, something akin to a small doctor’s office, wherein everyone — both new and existing patients — can openly communicate with their healthcare professionals. You’ve turned otherwise cold healthcare email marketing campaigns into open forums for prospective patients.

(You can also automate the process. Like an automated birthday email, triggered email campaigns respond to different “flags.” For example, a response may trigger if the email platform’s software detects a question about heart health. It’s a somewhat complex setup, but this form of email automation is nearly self-sufficient once implemented. When paired with patient data, it becomes a veritable source of conversational marketing!)

2 Examples of Successful Healthcare Email Marketing Campaigns

A relief of doctors in an operating theater, courtesy of the National Gallery of Art. “Examples: Master Your Email Campaigns.”

I know that was a lot to read, but it was necessary!

These seemingly trivial facts form the foundation of every email campaign. Moreover, that knowledge is essential to understanding healthcare email campaigns. Like other perennial services — such as gym memberships or financial services — healthcare marketing relies on less tangible goals. It’s certainly nice to earn money directly from your emails, but it won’t be a common occurrence.

Instead, email marketing for hospitals (and the healthcare industry as a whole) relies on acquiring new patients, building relationships, gaining trust, and promoting positive life choices. Your healthcare email template should look nothing like a B2C company’s.

All of which is to say it’s time to crack open some examples of healthcare email marketing! (Yippee!)

1. Educating Prospective Patients

An email from Loma Linda Health provides information about nerve pain. The email includes tips to prevent nerve pain and multiple prompts to learn more.

My first example is from California’s Loma Linda University Health. It’s your quintessential healthcare email marketing campaign — an informative drip email with a clear message. It barely needs a subject line; the purpose is that transparent!

At this point, there’s no need to acquire email addresses. We already know our patients. However, we also know that they haven’t engaged with Loma Linda University’s Neuropathic Therapy Center. This slice of the subscriber list is the campaign’s target group.

And they’re encouraged to schedule that first visit with heaps of health-related information. In a way, this is a bite-sized lead magnet campaign. Current patients meeting the campaign’s criteria are encouraged to evaluate their health status and get medical assistance. Then, website visitors are met with a sign-up form or appointment scheduling process on the appropriate landing page.

It’s the perfect, simplified marketing email. And don’t miss the inclusion of Loma Linda Health’s contact information and social media links!

2. The Incentivized Welcome Email

Many healthcare providers also work alongside an educational institution. (Think: VCU Health or UCLA Health.) In these situations, a new subscriber’s contact details may not be strictly related to their status as potential clients. Such is the case with my next example, courtesy of Mayo Clinic.

A Mayo Clinic email offers a discount code for new subscribers.

Again, readers are met with a simple email and message. They’ve already filled out that signup form. Now, the goal is to maintain communication.

It’s hard to offer any sort of discount in most healthcare settings. Health insurance portability is a bit of a headache on its own; don’t add email-based incentives to the mix. Fortunately, medical literature is an easily discounted resource.

This certainly isn’t a common strategy, though. It mostly appeals to healthcare practitioners rather than new patients. However, it’s a strong opening tactic for new subscribers within that profitable, relevant group.

Let the Pros Handle Your Healthcare Email Marketing Campaign

Overlapping leaves. “Skip the Hassle: Let the Pros Handle Your Email Marketing.”

These are just two examples of amazing, successful email marketing for hospitals. Think of all the material you can produce and how it could set you apart in today’s highly competitive healthcare industry.

Whether you’re a tiny healthcare practice or a massive collective of healthcare providers, you deserve the best. You deserve top-notch email automation that wows your subscribers. You should be pouncing on new patients’ email addresses and sending personalized emails to your contact list.

Of course, that’s easier said than done! There’s so much happening within every healthcare organization. It’s hard to find time to write email subject lines — much less entire email campaigns!

That’s why I founded The Email Marketers.

My team of hand-picked marketing pros knows what it takes to take full advantage of this lucrative marketing channel. Your audience’s satisfaction is our priority, and we’ll craft content that captivates your contact list. More importantly, we do that so you don’t have to; you get more free time while we handle your appointment reminders.

So, consider this a call to action!

Schedule a free strategy session to learn more.