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How To Grow Your Acupuncture Practice Using Email Marketing

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The following is an actual transcript. We do our best to make sure the transcript is as accurate as possible, however, it may contain spelling or grammatical errors.

Hello folks, Jeffrey Grossman here from Acupuncture MediaWorks. And thank you so much once again, to the American Acupuncture Council for inviting me back here to put on a, another short training for you guys. I really appreciate the fact that they are doing this and that they’ve been doing this weekly consistently for months, because these times are really tough. Many practitioners are struggling. Many practitioners are really frustrated and to be able to provide you with some tools, some insights, some tips, and some strategies to help you grow your practice and understand what it is that you can do should be doing and what you could be doing to grow and to attract patients and to be in communication with the patients that you already have. So thank you AAC for inviting me here and thank you for showing up and being part of this learning experience.

So you can further your knowledge and your time in order to, uh, keep your practice alive and prosperous. One of the things that I understand is I’ve been helping acupunctures since 2002, to grow their practice and to build a business and to provide them with patient education and specific communication tools. And what I’ve come to learn is that both acupunctures really, really shy away from marketing and business tools to grow their practice, especially when it comes to email marketing email is one of those things that makes every practitioner want to run the other way and not even consider using in their practice. But it’s one of those things that I really feel is imperative to integrate into your practice in the first place. It is a consistent way for you to engage your patients and your prospects. And it can completely change the way you connect with patients while growing your practice.

Especially in this day and age with these kinds of uncertain times that are happening around us. Many of you might not be in practice right now. Some of you might be having a slow practice or even struggling your practice. But one of the things that is tried and true that can absolutely break through this monotony breakthrough. This anxiety is email because let me ask you this. How many times a day do you check your email? One, two, three, five. For me, it’s about five to a hundred times a day. Well, not, not really, but I still do check my email quite a bit because it is the way that I connect to the world and the people around me. And then there are studies out there that’s good. Just that 89% of Americans check their email at least once a day. And on average, most there are some people that spend about five hours a day, checking their email five hours a day, checking email.

So there’s a lot of time devoted to checking email every day. So it’s important to use email marketing in your practice because patients will be absolutely checking their email. And it’s a great way for you to pop into their inbox and say hello, and to check in with them and to just connect and to let them know that you’re here and what you have to offer and how you are available for them. So today we’re going to talk about a few ways to help integrate email into your practice and how you can avoid the spam folder specific emails that you could and should be sending out to your patients regularly. And a few other tips and ideas on how to properly integrate email marketing into your practice. And I really want to urge you that don’t be scared about emails. Don’t think that email is a sleazy approach to business, or that it’s not cool to email your patients because people will read your email if you are doing it correctly.

And if you are providing quality content, because if I ask you another question and that would be, how many times have you saved an email or forwarded an email that felt compelling to you? Because there’s really good information in there, whether it was a recipe or a self-help ideas and techniques and things like that. I know I have many, many times. So I want you to realize the fact that email is and should be part of your every day marketing activities that you participate in in order to stay in top of mind awareness with your patients and in order to keep patients in care and engaged and active and to constantly check in and communicate with them. So a couple of things I want to talk about is the first thing I want to share with you is how to avoid the spam folder. And the fact of the matter is that most acupuncturists are not doing email marketing at all.

And if so, they’re most likely doing it a little incorrectly. So if you follow these essential tips, it it’ll minimize your chances of falling into the spam folder. First thing to do is make sure that you use a compelling headline. This is your only chance to get people to open your email, still make you more compelling and clickable. So you want to avoid sounding like a commercial. You want to use words like you and your in the subject line. And it’s a wonderful way to use, to get people engaged from the get go. And don’t make your subject line too long because there’s a lot of email systems out there that, uh, are, are being looked at on mobile devices, because most people, these days are using their phones to read their emails. And a lot of times when you have a subject line that is too long, it doesn’t properly render on a mobile device and people are not getting the full message in there.

So when you do do your email marketing, make sure you do a test to yourself and review it on your cell phone to see how it, uh, how the subject line and how everything else appears, um, in, um, when it renders. So a couple of sample subject lines that are really effective are using the person’s name. And Hey there, Jeff, you know, it would be, it would say Jeffrey where investing in technology and investing in you, and this is a way to announce a new arrival of a technique or, or, or some type of tool that you’re using their practice. Another subject line is keeping you healthy is our goal. How is your way to you holding up Jeffery? Are you curious about acupuncture and back pain? Are you curious about alleviating anxiety? When will we get a chance to see you again? Quick question for you, Jeffrey.

Those are a few good subject lines. When used correctly can help impart a greater opening of your emails. The subject line determines if the rest of your email is red. So it’s important for you to get it right, right from the start. The next thing to help you avoid the spam folders to format your emails correctly, avoid spelling mistakes, and make sure that you use a recognizable normal center’s name like jeffrey@gmail.com or jeffrey@acupunctureanddeliham.com. Okay. Make sure you also use a reliable email service provider like outlook or Gmail or constant contact or MailChimp, and avoid sending too many emails to the same person and don’t make your subject lines too long. The next step is to create emails that are for mobile readiness. The vast majority of people are going to be reading your emails via their mobile device. Therefore, you need to make sure that your email is written and formatted so that it is easily readable on the phone, avoid large high resolution images, because it’s going to take a while for them to render on the phone, make sure to use numbers or symbols or emojis whenever possible.

And whenever they relate to the content that you’re sending to your patients. The other thing is to keep it personal personalize your emails so that your patients pay attention and feel like they’re speaking that that you’re speaking to them. So you can use merge fields that merge their first names or merge fields that merge the specific things that are, that, that are, that are, um, um, uh, concerns for them share about yourself. Share about your life, include unique recommendations in each email by taking advantage of particular merge fields. And these merge fields are part of email software. And if you remember, and if you look at some of the emails right now, you probably get some emails that have your name in there. And what they’re doing is they’re using an automated, uh, merge field that goes through there, your contact in their database and plugs in what that merge field is looking for.

So most email programs have those kinds of things. And then the next step to help stay out of the spam folders to build trust with your subscribers. And this is one of the golden email marketing best practices take away with you do not spam with constant communications, respect the people who unsubscribe and avoid manipulative or overly emotional appeals in your email communications, and make sure that what you are doing is providing tons of value and don’t simply sell or tell, try to share and inspire and educate and enlightened patients through the content of your emails. And the beautiful thing about our medicine is, is that we have so much to share so much to talk about that there shouldn’t be any lack of topics that you could be discussing and sharing with your patients. So right now, what I want to do is I want to jump into the five types of emails that every practitioner should be sending.

So these are their texts, emails, and also newsletter emails. And you should be using both of them on a regular basis and consider creating an email content schedule where one week you send off a text email, the next week you send off a monthly newsletter, then you, maybe you follow up with a new research piece and so on. But if you don’t do that, the least you should do is as follows. And you should have these types of emails as part of your email software program, or even your EHR software. And I’m going to talk about a couple of different EHR softwares in a few minutes that do integrate email. So you should definitely have a welcome emails for your practice. Every patient should get a welcome to the family email. And this email can lay the foundation of the care that you offer. They can ask for referrals and support your new patient in a fact that they made the right decision choosing you and your clinic.

You also need to have reactivation emails, these, these emails help to reactivate the patients that have fallen out of care that you have not seen in a little while. You can message them. And, you know, you know, it’s a, it’s a quick email that says time for your checkup or time to come in to get your chia regulated. Um, and those two alone could do the trick and you should have it set up where you have a system in place in your practice that you are out there doing patient reactivation protocols, where every three, six, nine weeks you’re going back through your files and sending out emails and making phone calls to reactivate your inactive patients. Another essential email that you should be sending out regularly, our birthday and new year’s emails, and these are essential. And these could include a special offer, such as a gift or simply a happy birthday to show you care, because when you get something like that in the mail yourself, whether it is snail mail or email, it kind of puts a little warm fuzzy in your heart.

So it’s important for you to remind yourself that you are a caretaker for these patients and you’re supporting them in their journey towards health and wellbeing and giving them, you know, just a little kudos or a little heads up, or a little hello or a little sweet gift during their birthday is a really sweet thing to do another type of email that you should be sending our seasonal and holiday emails. Great time to reconnect with patients include your office closures in this. And the types of emails can be little reminders to help, you know, remind your patients as to what’s going on and make, you know, to provide them with some suggestions as to what they could be doing during the holiday season, that where you might be closed. And the other type of email that if you say sending out regularly or couple times a year, is it informational research email, and this is where your expertise can really shine.

So you can use your email marketing to send patients health tips, or research updates, or strategies that they could use at home to compliment their acupuncture care, or even you can send them a little deed, you know, email about a specific benefit that acupuncture can do, and this can go a long way toward patient retention. So those are just five of the types of emails that I suggest that you should be sending to your patients. Now, for those of you that are watching this video, I have a series of free template emails that you can have, um, that I’d love to send to you that you could just copy paste and swipe. Just send me an email, a M w biz, a M w B I z@outlook.com and say, I have temple and I will leads to download those free templates that you could be using in your practice.

And you could just put them into your software, whether it’s EHR or software program and let them start running again. Does that mean email it a M w B I z@outlook.com and I’ll be sure to reach out to you shortly. So the next question is, what kind of programs do you use? Well, there are so many email options out there that this can make your head spin. So I’ve narrowed it down to a few that I think are really important. Some email programs are free. Others might cost a little bit more, but this is an important investment, not only in your practice, not only in your patient communication process, but in helping you market and grow your practice. Okay. So couple different email programs that I would recommend are MailChimp. They have a free version up to, I think, 500 or a thousand contacts. Constant contact is a really great one.

Gmail is good, but in order to be HIPAA compliant, you need to sign a HIPAA business associate agreement. They call that a BAA. And if you are using Gmail, and if you want to make sure that you’re HIPAA compliant, just Google Gmail, be AA or business associate agreement, and you’ll be able to find that form that you can fill out to help you become more HIPAA compliant. Jane app also offers email Accu simple offers, email and unified practice also offers email integration. So those are the three top billing and EHR software programs that I’m familiar with that I would highly recommend. And for various reasons, and that also integrate email. Now some of these have already predisposed emails that are already prewritten others. You can just set them up yourself, pretty straight forward, um, on that. And now a couple of ways on how to format your emails to get them open, um, you know, make the subject line a must open email, right?

This differentiates your email from an opportunity from being open or just being completely skipped over. All right, make sure your email has a clear purpose and that it’s useful. It could be a reminder about an appointment. It could be a list of tips or helpful suggestions. It could be a recommendation about how to deal with a particular problem, or it could be a promotion, but make sure your email has a clear purpose. What is this email about? Is it about welcoming patients to the clinic? Is it about sharing a insight or a research topic for somebody be clear in your email and deliver on your promise in the content that you are creating for them, make sure that your emails are personal and connection worthy. You don’t want to just throw out generic information out there, try to use merge fields that are part of your software program to make it more personal, make it more heartfelt, um, in that way and make it more of a connection that’s going, um, make sure that your emails are visually appealing.

So you can use templates that some of these software programs already have. Um, you can, you can format your email like your letterhead. You can add your logo, you can insert your map on the bottom of it. You can include pictures of you in the signature section, um, and also make sure that your email is shareable on social media, add links or share buttons that help them easily share the content of your emails. So that they’ll be more inclined to tell friends and about your services and be able to share those emails just by forwarding that to them. Don’t send emails to people who have asked you to stop and consider getting help. There’s no reason that you need to hit, you know, that you’d take a hit or miss approach to using email, get professional, help planning your auto responses or your followups or your emails or your practice building campaigns.

Like I said, I’ve got those emails that are ready to be sent to you. Send me an email@amwbizatoutlook.com and I’ll forward them over to you. And then the last thing can make sure is that make sure that each of your emails that you put out there has a specific call to action. What do you want your patients to do next? Do you want them to schedule an appointment? Do you want them to share with a friend? Do you want them to click a link to access a free gift? Do you want them to give you a call? What is it that you want them to do in your email? You need to have that call to action to make sure that they take those next steps. And it’s important not only to provide quality content and well-written emails, but you also need to direct them toward the next steps that you wish them to take.

All right. So I want to give you a chance, quick little word on HIPAA compliance. So make sure that your emails were main HIPAA compliant, and that means your email communications shouldn’t steer clear of any protected health information. So no photos, no, no, no link to health records or reference to particular health concerns. Okay. Also make sure that your email provider is HIPAA compliant. And this usually means that there is end to end encryption. That takes place, just ask the customer service center and they should know whether or not there’s HIPAA compliant. Maybe you need to upgrade your, your, your email provider to make that happen. And whether you’re sending a monthly newsletter, uh, an appointment reminder or research update, always make it clear, get consent, and keep the information generic. And a couple of final words with these email marketing tips, you’ll be able to connect with your clients that you want to, uh, that you want and to generate meaningful leads and connections to fortify these relationships.

Even if you’re not a good writer, or even if you don’t think you have enough to say, I can promise you that with practice, it will get much easier. And when done correctly, an acupuncture email marketing strategy can be an effective way to connect with your patients and attract more business to your practice. So once you started growing your list, it’s imperative to start sending regular emails. So start small work your way up, start with one email a week. And if you haven’t been emailed, don’t jump and just start on creating a newsletter campaign that’s automated right now. It’s just not going to work for you. So keep it simple. One message, one clear content piece, one call to action, and be prepared to the fact that it might be harder than you think. And it might take longer for you to get results and that people are going to unsubscribe to your emails.

That’s just, what’s going to happen. Don’t take it. Personally. People will ignore or not click through on anything. Again, don’t take it personally and you will see results. It’s going to take a little while to really instigate and integrate this into your practice, but I promise you that you will see results from it. You will see responses, it takes a strategy. It takes a plan and it takes time, but you’ll see light at the end of the tunnel with your email marketing. And the beautiful thing is that you build the emails and automation once and it’s relatively plug and play for every patient and prospect thereafter. Now, one more final note, I realized that I have not been the resources that you need in the last 90 days, and I’ve done three things to help you. If you’re interested in a no cost one-to-one time with me, I’ve made it available so we can connect. We can talk about email marketing. We can talk about any type of business strategies or growth or planning or what the heck you should be doing next in your practice in order to get going and get started, or even to start educating your patients.

If you’re interested in, in, in connecting with me, comment below the videos here and say yes, one to one, and I’ll reach out to you or send me a private message in Facebook. And I will reach out to you and tell you about the next steps. It’s absolutely free. There’s no cost to this. I am sincerely wanting to help you and practitioners in the profession to stay in business, to grow your practice, because I know the value of this medicine, and I know how powerful it is to change lives. And I don’t want you to have to do this alone. I don’t want you to have to figure out a way to, you know, struggle through the, the, the, the, the muck and the mire of what’s happening in today’s world. I’ve got you. I’ve been helping practitioners for awhile to help them grow their practice and to outline some strategies to take them to the next steps.

Okay. Um, so if you have any questions or any comments, please leave them below this video. Thank you so much for, um, for joining me, um, on, uh, on today’s trading. I really appreciate that. Again, don’t struggle. There are so many opportunities here with the AAC and also, um, through this website and through this Facebook group right here, that you can find the help that you need and the resources to help you grow your practice. Again, thank you so much for the American Acupuncture Council for inviting me back here to help educate and to inform you guys about particular marketing strategies to grow your practice. I know that email marketing is not the top of your list, but it is something that’s imperative to integrate into your practice. Join us joining, join us next week when Poney Chang will be here to do some further education and some inspiration, take care, have a beautiful day. Talk to you soon. Bye. Bye

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