When a Professional Service is not using professional business eMarketing practices
It’s easy for medical specialists to forget that the people they call their ‘patients’ all through their years of schooling are actually their ‘customers’ and do need to be retained! The other day I got a note from a medical specialist who has done some work for our family. I would think that a specialist in such a profession that provides a high-end service, would need to present themselves better than an ordinary provider.
Content and Impression Value for the Reader
The email that came had great content—useful information that anyone receiving it as a patient would appreciate. However, there were some aspects that really raised my eyebrows. This was the first email that I had ever received from his practice so my first impressions would be important. The gist of the email was to thank me (my family) for being a patient and to prompt me the reader for a referral. He suggested that I forward the email to others who may need his services. The email also used a plain-Jane email template. It looked very generic and unimpressive for such a business. So this distracted my attention to his core message. I did not realize it had a video link.
The biggest problem was that our medical provider (providing a high-end personal service, no less) had actually carbon-copied all his patients’—his customers’— email addresses on the message. You could plainly see all the other people who were receiving the email! If someone wanted to, they could take all those email addresses and begin spamming them. Or maybe something worse. This is a major privacy liability issue for the practice in question, whose business is required to maintain confidentiality!
Even if your business is NOT required by law to keep your customers’ information confidential, it’s considered bad form to practice eMarketing this way. Know your customer: I’m guessing that no matter what you are marketing, your recepients don't want their email shared. Also depending on the number of emails sent, a business can quickly become known as a spammer using this type of emarketing. Getting the IP address of your business blacklisted on the Internet is bad.
Better Practices and Better Solution
A better solution is to use a professional emarketing service that is on clean, white list and who is respected as a email service provider. This may be an separate web service such as Constant Contact or a more integrated system like SwiftPage that powers the eMarketing platform for Sage ACT, Sage CRM and SalesLogix. Knowledge about the customer in the CRM system could be used to connect more personally with the reader and build up a relationship over time.
An email newsletter is an effective method to remain 'top-of-mind" with your prospects and customers. It can not only be used for connecting with new patients (customers) but to also discover their specific desires based on the remarkable content and related information links within your message.
We’re all about improving the customer experience. We help to educate our clients about useful, proven practices to attract, retain and grow more profitable clients using eMarketing the right way and with no liability issues.
On top of that, if you are a (medical) service professional working with us, the sophistication of your eMarketing campaign would skyrocket. You would know which people on your list were opening the emails regularly, what content was most valuable and then later contact the "Hot" readers as the perfect people to request a referral.
Do you know who your biggest fans are? Are you tracking who is giving you the most referrals that turn into business? Improve your customer experience, track it as it happens, and watch your sales grow!
What practices have you seen that have had a negative or a positive influence on your decision to do businesss?