The key to a healthy email list isn’t a tool or platform; it’s your strategy behind it.
Since 2013 I have been consulting with independent physicians, clinic owners, and doctors looking to build an online business. If you’ve ever considered it, you’ve heard you need to build your email list. Every book you read, podcast you listen to, and coach you hire tells you your email list is your online business’s main asset.
And although you despise receiving email (you actually don’t but that’s for another essay), you go ahead and start one.
Unfortunately most doctors do it wrong.
When someone gives you their email, they’re telling you they want to hear from you.
Here’s how you should do it, step by step:
Step 1: Create an onboarding sequence.
By far, the email with the highest open rates you will ever send is the first email you send someone.
Yet most first time entrepreneurs waste it by sending the generic email provided by their email platform. What you should do is personalize this email, and create a sequence of at least 3, and up to 7 emails welcoming this new subscriber to your list, educating them about your field or specialty, and getting them used to seeing you in their inbox.
Every modern ESP can do this. If yours can’t it’s time to find a new one!
Step 2: Earn the permission to sell.
The most common mistake physicians make with their email list is email only when they want / need something from their subscribers.
If all you email about are promotions, discounts, specials, and new services, you’re not providing any value. On the contrary, you’re asking for something. That’s why so many people unsubscribe every time you send an email.
Instead, provide your subscribers with valuable information at least once per week.
Step 3: But make it clear you run a business!
The other extreme of the spectrum is no better… If you send value-packed emails every week and never ask for a sale, you’ll be put in your client’s friendzone.
And if you recall your high school and college years, nobody likes being in the friendzone!
It’s difficult to come up with an exact formula but I aim to make an offer at least every 4–5 emails. It can be a bit more frequent during launches or promotions but don’t let more than 2 months go by without making an offer.