Email Marketing For Therapists
Have you heard that email is a potent marketing tool, but you’ve held yourself back through lack of knowledge, overwhelm, or fear that you will “bug” those you email?
Do you currently send emails to your network but worry you’re not doing it right?
Then I’m glad you’re here!
In this blog, you’ll learn why email marketing is crucial to potential therapists and how to build your therapist email list, create engaging content, maintain professionalism and compliance, and optimize the process to maximize your impact and results.
You’ll also learn how to harness the power of automation to streamline your therapist email marketing with ease.
But first, why should you use email marketing at all?
Therapist Email Marketing Benefits: Why You Should Email Your Tribe
Email marketing should be standard practice for therapists. It’s powerful and cheap, potentially creating loyal and invested clients who are thrilled to hear from you. Sending regular emails can positively and powerfully transform your therapy practice.
Practice emails fulfill a multitude of important roles, including:
- A first point of contact
- Keeping you top-of-mind with potential and current clients
- Welcoming clients to your practice
- Following up
- Sharing news
- Engaging, educating, and empowering your readers
- Underscoring your experience and expertise
- Building rapport and trust
- Converting readers into clients
With targeted email campaigns, you can also segment your readers based on specific interests or demographics, allowing you to craft and send personalized content that resonates deeply and increases engagement.
Then, there are the analytical benefits. By examining open rates, click-through rates, and other metrics, you can gain valuable feedback on the success of your content and can make data-driven improvements to optimize future campaigns.
But to achieve this, you need an understanding of what an impactful email requires. Your words must interest, woo, and persuade. With this in mind, let’s discuss how to produce stand-out emails that are eagerly opened and drive practice growth.
Engaging content: How to create relevant and compelling emails
Create engaging content and watch your practice transform! Here’s how…
A well-planned email strategy
A well-planned email strategy offers value, builds relationships, and inspires action. While you may initially feel overwhelmed, your confidence and results will sharpen with practice. Below are the essential component parts of a successful email.
For the reader, your email should always be valuable, insightful, and actionable. But in the wish to help, it’s important to remember that your emails will always have a marketing bend. You are not a volunteer therapy service, after all, and this is a business strategy.
Think about what you wish to achieve before you write your email or craft your subject line. Establish your call to action first. Then begin. Once established, mold your email accordingly.
Hook their interest
As a therapist, you intimately understand the challenges your clients face. Think about the common phrases your clients use, the frustrations they experience, and the benefits they receive from therapy. Use this knowledge to hook their interest.
Got an idea in mind? Great!
To hook a reader…
- Ask a question
- Tell a story
- Make a promise (and always fulfill it)
- Remind the reader of their problem and offer a solution
- Be engaging (the fastest way to turn a reader off is to bore or disengage them)
To understand hooks more deeply, read the article, How to write an email hook that keeps ’em reading to the very end.
Always deliver what you promise in the subject line
If your subject line says you will share the top five ways to beat depression, you had better share the top five ways to beat depression! Otherwise, your readers will feel cheated, damaging your reputation. Never use clickbait!
Tip: If you can provide advice that gets results —particularly at home and rapidly — do so.
Offer value every time
Share what you know. Don’t hold back. When a reader gains benefit, their trust in you will grow. They’ll become more likely to book a consultation with you.
Remember, your readers are (primarily) lay people. Opt for a professional, conversational style rather than a formal academic manner.
Use an easy-to-read font with sufficient white space and a professional appearance
Therapist email marketing is, as we said earlier, a business strategy. The point is to get results — easy-to-read font, sufficient white space, and professional design support this aim.
Remember, you are not writing a university paper. Formal paragraphs should give way to shorter text. Images can be used. Sufficient white space encourages comprehensibility.
You want to make it as easy for a reader to consume your content as possible.
Add your call to action
Your email should always include a call to action or CTA. It should fulfill the reason you wrote the email: to drive a particular response.
Because this topic is essential, we’ll dive deeper in a moment.
Include the sender’s name
People want to connect with a real person rather than a business. Sign emails with the sender’s name. If you’re the sole practitioner in your practice, that will be your name.
Add your therapist email signature
A therapist email signature can be helpful or a wasted opportunity.
- The boring: It’s the block of information at the end of your email that provides your logo, name, email address, phone number, and website.
- The strategic: It’s designed to boost attention and connection. For example, social media links are shared to increase engagement.
- The super-strategic: It’s prime real estate that’s crafted to capture and compel. It is human nature to gravitate toward faces and to color. Incorporate your photo and a pop of pigment into your therapist email signature. Have you got a favorite article or tweet? Link to it here. Your CTA can appear here as well.
Incorporate a P.S.
Many people skip to the postscript. Yes, just like they read the last page of a thriller first. Those who don’t will also regularly read your P.S. Make yours stand out.
Ideas to whet your appetite:
- Include a testimonial
- Provide valuable information
- Create a cliffhanger for your following email (and then fulfill this promise)
- Mention your CTA
Note: When you email your tribe, you must include an option to unsubscribe. This is often included at the bottom of the email, below your P.S.
Email Optimization: Subject Lines, CTAs, Design, and More
Subject lines make or break your open rates. This single, short line of text determines your success. CTAs are the primary purpose of therapist email marketing: don’t omit them. Design helps a reader flow from start to finish, eating up your words — it puts their minds at rest, instilling trust and authority. Putting the time and effort into these three elements is time and effort well spent.
The subject line
Choosing great subject lines is an integral part of a well-planned email approach. It’s so important we want to focus on it more.
Your first aim is to secure a reader’s attention. Amidst the clutter of a heavily populated inbox, you must attract eyeballs and inspire the click. This is done via the subject line, the virtual teaser text that sits to the sender’s right.
Remember, dozens — even hundreds — of daily emails compete for your readers’ attention. Your subject line should yell look at me! To do this:
- Step into your potential readers’ shoes (and shine)
- Offer an irresistible reason why they should give you their valuable time
- Answer the foundational marketing acronym, WIIFM – What’s In It For Me (how will a reader benefit from reading your email)
Some additional factors that boost the attractiveness and conversion of a subject line include:
- Value and relevance
- Being needs-driven
- Crafting a subject line that provokes curiosity or pulls at the heartstrings
- Use of words like your and re. These tell your readers the email is for them
- Add the word quick to let someone know the read won’t take long (if it’s true)
- If you have the first names of your readers, use them. Nothing appeals more to us humans than the sound of our own name. Even in writing!
A quality email platform allows you to pit one subject line against another. This can be set up as an automatic test. A certain percentage of your therapist email list receives one subject line and the same percentage another. Once an open rate winner is declared, the remainder of the therapist mailing list is sent to the winning subject line.
Tip: Do not marry one type of subject line. Also, don’t always use first names or the word “your” or provoke sadness. A same-same approach will bore and dilute your impact.
You’ll find numerous free online inspiring tools if you struggle with creating compelling subject lines. Check out www.SubjectLine.com.
CTAs that trigger action
Your email should empower and connect but remember you are in business. You should include a call to action to trigger a specific desired response.
Let’s look at some hypothetical examples of depression …
- Want to encourage bookings? Try: “Want relief from depression? Book your consultation today.” Provide a hyperlink connected to your booking page.
- Want to encourage the consumption of a related blog post? Try: “Find relief from the negative thoughts that plague depression in my article, [name of the article with hyperlink].”
- Would you love to sell copies of your book? “In my bestselling book, How To Quiet Depression Naturally, I share the top 3 ways to stop yourself obsessing over negative thoughts.”
Note: The CTA should be chosen at the beginning of the email creation process. It should directly relate to the email content.
Design for an impact
We’ve discussed compelling subject lines that grab attention and inspire readers to click and CTAs that trigger action. But what about the design elements that enhance the impact of your emails?
Think about the emails you love to receive and those that turn you off. There’s a good chance they follow these rules. So should you.
Clear and visually appealing layout
Design your email with a clean, organized layout that’s easy to read and navigate. Use headings, subheadings, and bullet points to break up content and make it scannable (many of your readers will scan your content, emails included). Incorporate sufficient white space to enhance readability.
You consistently reinforce your brand identity and maintain a professional appearance by including your logo, brand colors, and fonts throughout your emails. Please don’t overdo it. The aim is consistency, not overwhelm.
Add a relevant, attractive image that supports your content and captures your readers’ attention.
Call to action buttons
Opt for CTA buttons that stand out from the rest of your email. Make it clear and concise, and compel readers to take action.
Social media icons
Readers can effortlessly connect with you on various platforms by including links to your social media profiles. This helps you to expand your own online marketing presence and foster engagement beyond email.
Most of your readers will read from a mobile device. Ensure that your emails are laid out responsively and adapt well to screens of different sizes.
Where possible, personalize your emails. You might address your recipients by their first names, speak to a specific problem, or talk about a location, event, or local knowledge they know well.
You can set up behavioral triggers based on actions taken by recipients on your website or in previous emails. This can include abandoned booking reminders, re-engagement emails, or follow-ups based on specific actions.
Personalized touches make readers feel “seen” and more valued.
Okay, you’ve got your subject lines, CTAs, and design elements down; what else moves the email needle in the right direction?
Plan, write, edit, polish
In the hustle and bustle of life, it can be tempting to throw words at a digital page and hit send. But as your email reflects your practice, they are a perceived barometer of your care. Again, plan what you wish to say before you begin to write.
Decide on the topic: If you are struggling with themes, Dr. Julie Hanks, LCSW, shares 52 blog post prompts here. These can act as a topical focus
- Determine your CTA
- Create an attention-grabbing subject line (reassess your subject line after creating your email to see if it can be improved)
- Be strategic
- Write without distraction
- Edit as it’s as important as writing. Remove fluff, redundancy, and errors; shorten wherever you can
- Polish. An email that flows effortlessly will whisk the reader from opening to closing. This is a powerful way to engage and woo current and potential clients
- Be brave, push send!
Don’t wait until you are a polished writer before braving email marketing for therapists. As you continually practice, your skills will improve. Once you’ve produced the best email you can, push send.
Tip 1: People love stories. Weave tales, de-identified examples, and experiences into your emails.
Tip 2: Share your personality within your piece.
Email regularly and consistently
Building a relationship takes time and effort. You must regularly connect for people to take you seriously and feel you care for them. It’s a little like dating.
Choose a day or days of the week to send emails and commit. Then, track, analyze, and adapt as required.
Maintain Professionalism, Privacy, and Compliance
As a therapist, standards are high in everything you do, including email and marketing strategies for your practice. You must maintain ethical and legal standards, privacy, and compliance. How do you do this in an email context?
Maintain ethical and legal standards
As with all aspects of practice, you must strictly maintain ethical and legal standards in email marketing. Here are some key considerations to ensure you uphold these standards.
Consent and confidentiality
Obtain explicit consent from clients before adding them to your therapist email list. Clearly communicate the purpose of the emails. In practice, this can occur via information and a tick box on your intake form. On your therapist email database or website, information can be listed with the opt-in form.
Always provide an option to opt-out or to “unsubscribe.” Yes, you must include an unsubscribe button with every email with commercial content — including automated emails. If someone in practice asks to be removed, do so promptly. This is non-negotiable, or you’ll be in breach of CAN-SPAM laws.
What does CAN-SPAM specifically say?
“If the message contains only commercial content, its primary purpose is commercial, and it must comply with the requirements of CAN-SPAM.”
Also, respect client confidentiality by refraining from disclosing sensitive information via email.
As a health professional, you and other healthcare providers must have a HIPAA-compliant email host. You are subject to these regulations to protect patient health information. Ensure that your marketing for therapist email adheres to HIPAA guidelines, including encryption, secure storage, and limited access to client data.
Maintain professional boundaries
Maintain professional boundaries in your email communications just as you would face-to-face. Avoid sharing personal opinions or engaging in casual conversations that may blur the therapist-client relationship. Stick to providing valuable content, educational resources, or updates related mental health services or to therapy.
Adhere to the ethical guidelines established by your professional association or licensing board guidelines when crafting your email content. Avoiding false claims or engaging in unethical marketing practices, whether through online advertising, in person, or by email, is naturally necessary.
Measuring Success: Tracking Your Key Metrics for Effectiveness
Successful email marketing for therapists needs a strong foundation. One built on tracking, data analysis, and continual improvement.
Your email provider platform should enable you to track data and patterns in your email responses. It should answer questions like…
- What day and time are most emails opened?
- By whom?
- Who are your most active subscribers, and who are the non-responders?
- Do emails sent at certain times or on certain days convert better?
- What subject lines gain more traction?
- Which topics are better received?
- Which emails result in greater conversions?
But what statistics are good?
According to an article on HubSpot, the mental health and fitness field has:
- Average open rate of 41.2% (the percentage of recipients who open an email out of the total number of emails delivered)
- Average email click-through rate of 6.9% (the percentage of recipients who click on a link within an email out of the total number of recipients who received the email)
- Average email bounce rate of 0.31% (the percentage of emails that are not delivered successfully to recipients’ inboxes)
- Average unsubscribe rate of 0.36% (the percentage of recipients who choose to unsubscribe from receiving further emails from you)
While industry standards provide a goalpost, especially when starting out, knowing your statistics is more important. By comparing past results with current and future results, you can determine how to improve your unique statistics and success. Tracking, analyzing, and adapting will help you to improve incrementally.
Tip: If you’re unsure what an email provider platform is, read our article, 8 Simple Steps To Starting Your Private Practice Newsletter Today.
Efficiency with Automation: Streamlining email communication
Wonderfully, you can use automation to streamline your email communication. Yes, you can set your systems up so messages are sent on autopilot with little or no work.
Here are 3 ways to leverage automation to streamline your email marketing efforts.
Welcome email sequences
Set up automated welcome email sequences to greet new subscribers or clients. This helps create a positive first impression and establishes a connection with your target audience right from the get-go.
For example, offer an opt-in on your website. Visitors can subscribe and receive a prewritten set of emails over a predetermined time. Once set up, this is an entirely hands-off process.
Or you could set up a prewritten email sequence to welcome new clients to your practice. It might let them know what to expect and provide tips, resources, and advice. Decide on a trigger date, like when they book or at their first consultation. Enter their details on that date — with consent — and the email platform will do the rest.
Use automation to create drip campaigns that deliver targeted emails over a specified period. This allows you to nurture leads, educate subscribers, or guide prospective clients through a specific sales funnel without manual intervention.
The welcome sequences above — the “prewritten set of emails over a predetermined time” — exemplify a drip campaign.
You can automate re-engagement campaigns for inactive subscribers who haven’t interacted with your emails. By sending targeted and compelling content, you can reignite their interest and bring them back into the fold.
Incorporating automation into your email marketing strategy enables you to communicate more effectively and regularly without much time and effort. The result is improved engagement and higher conversion rates, ultimately contributing to greater practice success.
List Growth: Strategies for Building and Segmenting Your Email List
It’s time to raise the bar once you’ve set up your emails and automation. Growing your list — the number of people subscribed to receive your emails — puts you in touch with a broader audience, some of whom will decide to become clients.
How do you grow your list strategically?
Here are 4 key strategies.
Opt-in forms and lead magnets
Place opt-in forms in prominent places on your website and blog and encourage your visitors to subscribe.
What is an opt-in form?
It’s a form where people can voluntarily enter their contact information — typically their first name and email address — to subscribe to receive your emails or updates.
Why would someone voluntarily give you their details?
Because they want something you’re offering, so, offer value!
Consider the information your ideal clients want and need, their biggest challenge or bugbear. Then, create a “lead magnet” to answer it. This magnet might be a free e-book, guide, or exclusive content. Offer it in exchange for their first name and email address. This encourages people to join your list and helps you target those who are interested in what you offer and have shown genuine interest in your insight and expertise.
For example, we know that you must know your ideal client as a therapist. This foundational knowledge is required to build a successful private practice for you and to turbocharge your results.
Segmentation based on interests and preferences
Segmenting your email list allows you to deliver more personalized and relevant content to specific groups of subscribers.
Gather information about your tribe’s interests, preferences, or buying behavior. This can be done in a variety of ways. Through opt-in forms, surveys, or lead magnets that specifically speak to a problem (I.e., “10 ways to support your teen who’s struggling with social anxiety”).
Use this data to create segments and tailor your emails accordingly. This will boost engagement and conversion rates.
Referral programs and social sharing
Encourage existing subscribers to refer friends or acquaintances to join your email list. Include active social media presence and share buttons in your emails so readers can easily share your content with their peeps. This will help expand your reach and attract like-minded subscribers who will likely be interested in your expertise and services.
Collaboration and partnerships
As a therapist, you’re in close or working relationships with many other mental health professionals already. So, explore collaborations with complementary businesses or professionals.
You could co-host webinars, create joint events, produce co-branded content, and pen guest blog posts for each other’s audiences. This allows you to tap into new pools of potential subscribers and customers who align with your target market. Again, attracting your ideal clients is vital!
As you’ve just learned, there are many ways to get email marketing right. But it’s possible to get this wrong, too. Here’s how…
Common Mistakes to Avoid With Therapist Email Marketing
Before you dive into creating and growing your therapist email list, let’s discuss 6 common mistakes to avoid.
Not being HIPAA-compliant
As a therapist, you must ensure HIPAA compliance, including emails and opt-in forms.
At Brighter Vision, we can take care of this for you. Our platform:
- Maintains HIPAA compliance across all email correspondence
- Ensures HIPAA-compliant technology across all devices
- Uses Hush Secure forms to secure your web forms for handling sensitive electronic protected health information (ePHI)
- Allows you to use HIPPA-compliant emails for your own domain — for example, [email protected]
Neglecting proper segmentation
One-size-fits-all emails will rarely, if ever, resonate with your entire subscriber base. So, failing to segment your email list based on demographics, interests, or behaviors can lead to impersonal and irrelevant content. Yes, the type of content that leads to unsubscribes.
Segmenting your list and sending targeted emails helps to increase engagement and conversions rather than diminishing your subscriber numbers.
Overwhelming your subscribers with too many emails or not sending them often enough
Being in touch often is crucial. But bombarding your subscribers with excessive emails? Not a good idea. It can lead to frustration and understandably increase your opt-out rates.
On the flip side, not sending often enough diminishes rapport, trust, and impact. This, too, can lead to opt-outs.
Be mindful of how often you send emails. Always provide value with each communication. If unsure how often to email, set up a survey and ask your tribe for their preferences. Track your response rates: average open, click-through, and unsubscribe rates.
As you email, watch for patterns. Notice if the frequency makes a positive or negative difference. Use this data to guide future decisions.
Neglecting mobile optimization
The majority of your emails will be opened on mobile devices. It’s essential, then, to optimize for mobile viewing.
Neglecting to do so can lead to poor user experience, resulting in low open rates and conversions. Why should a viewer open an email that will cause an unpleasant encounter? (Your subscribers have so many choices. Please don’t give them a reason for you not to be one).
Ensure your emails are responsive and display correctly across various devices and screen sizes.
Lack of compelling subject lines and email content
Your subject lines should capture attention, be accurate, and entice the click to open. So, avoid generic or misleading subject lines that may decrease open rates or lead to unsubscribes. Clickbait is never good!
Don’t be boring or irrelevant. Once a reader has opened your email, ensure your content is engaging, concise, and valuable. You want people to learn that reading your emails is wise, interesting, and enjoyable. This will encourage them to take action in the future. That action might include booking a consultation.
Failing to track and analyze your data
As we’ve mentioned, data analysis is vital for success. Email marketing, when tracked, provides valuable statistics to help you optimize your campaigns and results over time.
Ignoring metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, or conversion rates means missing out on valuable information. Yes, the info that will boost your connection, success, and profits.
Regularly review and analyze your email metrics to identify trends, understand what works best for your audience, and make data-driven improvements.
The Email Takeaway
Email is a cheap, effective, and strategic way to boost connection, rapport, and bookings. You can transform your practice by executing a well-planned approach, choosing effective subject lines, penning and polishing your words, sticking to a regular email schedule, and tracking, analyzing, and continually adapting your email.
This approach is powerful. My recommendation?
This in-depth article provides you with everything you need. Bookmark it and use it as your guide.
Now, it’s time to get started!
Wait! You Don’t Have A Therapist Website Yet?
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