For most nutrition private practices, success and growth are measured by an increase in clients. With the majority of revenue coming from client-facing services, it’s important that your marketing efforts are aimed at gaining new clientele. Email marketing campaigns play a strategic role in your marketing plan. When done strategically, an effective email campaign can help you convert a prospective client into a paying customer.
Essentially, your email campaign is designed to peak the interest of your prospective client, tell them more about the services you’re offering and push them to move forward and buy (or book a session).
Effective email marketing tips for private practice
1. Build a real connection with prospective clients
When it comes to sales, the truth is: prospective clients likely won’t “buy,” on the first engagement. It takes a little bit of time, and consistent “touch-points,” for a prospective client to feel like they trust you. Every email provides an opportunity for you to build on that relationship. Aim to be authentic and relatable. Over time, and through these series of touch-points, prospective leads can be nurtured into becoming a paying customer.
Typically, setting up a “trigger email,” campaign is used when a client (or prospective client) first signs up. They can receive a series of automated emails to help walk them through the early stages of a service or program. Keep these emails personalized, so any client that receives it still feels like they are connecting with you (as opposed to a clerical-type email).
Examples of trigger emails used in nutritional care:
- Welcome emails for prospective clients — walk them through your services, offerings and what they can gain by signing up to work with you.
- Onboarding emails for new clients
- Introduction to a program or challenge for a new service
2. Provide a drip of valuable information over time
Prospective clients often feel deterred from “buying,” when they feel overwhelmed or faced with too many options. A strategic email campaign will allow you to gently drip valuable content and/or resources to your leads, in a way that is easy to absorb. Not only will you be building a relationship with readers, but you’ll slowly be able to:
- Demonstrate that working with you is a valuable service: you’re an expert, with extensive know-how that is going to help them reach their goals
- Eliminate any barriers holding them back from taking the next steps in working together
A “drip email campaign” refers specifically to a series of automated emails that you have scheduled out to run over time. For example, when you add a prospective client to an email list (ie. welcome email) you can schedule them to receive several emails in the first 1-2 weeks of joining and then dripping off to receiving an email every week (or even once a month) — so that you stay top of mind for them. It’s quite possible that someone is not ready to make nutritional changes this month, but maybe in a month or two they’ll be able to take those next steps. When they are ready to take those steps, your business will come to their mind.
3. Add in a call-to-action, convert that prospective lead into a paying client
A “call-to-action,” is a button that you include in your email, asking a lead to take the next step. Every email campaign should have an end-goal in mind: what action do you eventually want your leads to take? Is is to sign up to work with you, or to purchase a new service you’re offering? Thinking this through with each campaign will help you craft the right message, tailored for your client, and nurture them to take the next steps.
Some call-to-action examples used in nutritional care:
- Book your free discovery call
- Sign up now
- Purchase now
- Book your session
- Join our group
- Get your copy today
4. Create varying campaigns over time
Many successful email marketing campaigns use both “event trigger” campaigns along with “drip-email” campaigns. Using a combination of email campaign types helps to appeal to prospective clients on multiple levels.
Keep in mind: one of the number one reasons people hit “unsubscribe,” from their mailing list is from receiving too many emails. So receiving multiple emails a day will likely backfire and lead to a lost lead.
Some campaigns you may want to consider for your private practice:
- Welcome or on-boarding emails
- Ideas, tips + motivational words
- Guidelines or educational resources tailored to your ideal client
- Latest information + nutrition news
- Newest blog posts
- Upcoming programs, webinars, challenges, services
- Holiday-specific giveaways or offerings
- New recipes or meal plans
5. Establish an ongoing email marketing campaign
Many of your email campaigns will likely run for a limited time, or have a set event end date (ie. if you’re marketing a webinar, program or challenge). Maintain a connection with leads from these segments by adding them to an additional ongoing email campaign. In nutrition private practice, a monthly newsletter is a common way to continue nurturing relationships with both prospective and existing clients.
If you’re already creating content for your blog, ebooks, cookbook or social media, save time by leveraging this content to create your newsletter. Creating valuable content can be time consuming, so use this content smartly by editing it to be used across your marketing channels, including email campaigns.
6. Interpret your email campaign data
You don’t have to be a marketing analyst to be able to interpret some important information from your email campaigns. Looking at key data will give you insights into how effective your campaign was, and help you make adjustments in the future. Making tweaks to the subject line, preview text, email content and button text are all things to test over time.
Some important data to look at post-campaign:
- View rate – Of the emails that were successfully delivered, how many of them were viewed by recipients? Most email programs have a “preview pane” that allows their users to filter out and delete unwanted messages. Did yours pass the “view” test?
- Opened – Of the users who received and previewed your email, how many actually opened it? This reflects how well your subject line performed, and is something to compare to other campaigns over time. A more engaging subject line (and preview text) will peak the interest of a reader and prompt them to open your email. You can have the BEST OFFER to give away, but if a client doesn’t open the email, they’ll never know about it!
- Clicked – as we mentioned earlier, the goal of every email is to help a client take the next step, indicated by your call-to-action. The click rate will show you how many people opened the email and clicked on your Call-to-action button. This is a good indicator that the email and offering appealed to them. If they clicked but didn’t purchase (or sign-up), you can strategically reach out to them and see if you can nurture them to take the next step.
- Unsubscribed – this data will tell you who hit that “unsubscribe,” button after opening the email. It’s normal to have a few unsubscribes, but if you’re seeing a spike in that number (compared to other campaigns), it’s likely that you need to make some adjustments to your campaigns moving forward. The most common reason for unsubscribes? Receive too many emails, or emails that are irrelevant for what they were initially interested in. Adding segments to your mailing list will allow you to fine-tune who you send email campaigns to.
- Conversion rate – this data shows you how many people opened the email, clicked your call-to-action and then actually purchased or signed up for your service. Essentially, you converted them into a paying client. This is the ultimate goal for every campaign, and tracking which of your email campaigns have the best conversion rates will serve as powerful guides for your future campaigns.