Are you looking for ways to boost engagement in your email marketing campaigns? Email marketing is a great way to reach out to prospective residents as well as their families. It also helps you launch effective communication to nurture colder leads that are not move-in ready. According to the Entrepreneur.com, email is 40 times more effective than both Facebook and Twitter.
However, achieving engagement with email marketing is one of the biggest challenges marketers face. An email inbox is a fragile place. Most people toss emails without stopping to view the content. Some emails don’t even make it out of the spam folder.
Today, we’ll be discussing the most effective steps you need to take to achieve email marketing engagement from start to finish.
What’s Email Engagement?
Email engagement is a measure of how people interact with your emails. This can be measured by checking the open rate, click rate or conversion rate.
Tracking the email engagement of your assisted living facility can inform future decisions on email design and content transmitted to potential clients.
How you measure email engagement depends on the following factors:
- Customer actions that are more valuable to you
- Email metrics that need improvement
- The long-term impact you get from every email campaign
So, how can you drive engagement using email marketing to your assisted living facility?
Build Your Email List
Building a strong email list starts with identifying where your prospective residents engage with you. You can ask a prospective resident for their email address when they fill out a contact form on your website. You can also do this when they tour your assisted living facility.
It’s important to let them know what they are signing up for. Setting expectations before people decide to subscribe to your emails ensures you attract a receptive audience.
Create an engaging welcome email once they sign up. Welcome emails have higher open rates-91.43%.
But how do you send the right welcome email?
Just saying a simple “Thank you for subscribing” in your email can help you forge a connection early and improve the chances that they will engage with your assisted living facility when you send a follow-up email. You should also include a list of things your subscribers can expect from you going forward. This could be your blog posts, FAQs, eBooks or any other relevant content.
If you haven’t started using Facebook to build your email list, you could be missing out on a great opportunity.
The first method is by creating a campaign that targets an audience more likely to be interested in signing up. This way, when people see your ad and click to go to your site, they will land on a page optimized for collecting email subscribers. The only caveat with this method is that actual conversion takes place outside Facebook. You could end up losing potential subscribers who are not ready to leave the Facebook platform.
Facebook lead ads provide a more direct way for potential residents to garner email subscribers. Leads come in from Facebook and drop into your email marketing campaign.
Segment Your Email List
Seniors have a variety of medical needs that could range from dementia to physical impairment. Segmenting your email lists to fit these different personas ensures you relate content to their needs.
For example, if a potential resident converted on your web page about your hearing impairment services, you need to send them content that relates to this.
Below are two effective email segmentation strategies you should use in your email marketing strategy.
The most popular way of segmenting email lists is by using demographic data. This information includes gender, age, occupation as well as income level. The best way to segment your email list based on demographic data is by using website forms. A good email marketing platform will allow you to customize the sign-up questions or you can just use a plugin to design opt-in forms.
By website behavior
You can also keep track of website behavior to learn more about your potential residents. For instance, Mailchimp allows you to segment emails based on pages visited, pages not visited, videos watched and how long they watched them.
By geographic data
Location can influence a potential resident’s decision to pick your assisted living facility. Geolocation comes in handy if you have assisted living facilities in different cities because it helps you provide helpful details for each location.
Furthermore, you can use geographical segmentation to send time-based to subscribers in different time zones. It also works when sending location-specific content.
Personalize the Email
Personalizing your emails adds value and boosts open rates. Research shows that a personalized email has a 17.6% open rate compared to generic emails that only get an open rate of 11.4%. Statistics aside, you’ll reach your target audience more effectively if you address them personally.
Build client personas
Personalization goes beyond just mentioning their first name in your emails. Once you’ve learned everything you can about your subscribers and segmented your list, build client personas. This also helps you to narrow down your target audience using set criteria to craft marketing messages that address their unique needs and pain points.
Create email triggers
Email triggers are designed to pop up the moment someone signs up. Your subscribers will receive targeted emails that appeal to their interests. Set up behavioral email autoresponders to send follow-up emails when a subscriber has not logged in for days.
Create Dynamic Email Content
Dynamic content involves personalizing specific parts of your email content to resonate with the client personas you created. Your emails will display different content to different people. This ensures that you’re able to display content that relates to their specific needs.
Personalize your brand
Instead of using your company name in the “From” field, use your name or a team member’s name. This helps subscribers to put a face behind the name of your assisted living facility.
Include a photo of yourself and do something that feels personal such as celebrating their achievements. This could be birthdays, anniversaries or even milestones. A milestone could be their relationship with you such as the years spent being your subscribers.
Make the Subject Line Count
A good subject line can make all the difference when it comes to a successful email marketing campaign. The best subject lines are short and descriptive enough to entice readers to explore your message further.
How do you write a catchy email subject line?
Keep it short and sweet
Try to keep your subject lines down to about 50 characters as well as no more than just five words. This ensures that your subject lines fit the limited space for characters on mobile screens. Furthermore, your subscribers will see your entire message and act faster.
Convey a sense of urgency
Use words such as “breaking” and “urgent” to encourage your subscribers to open your emails soon. Also, words like “alert” or “important” give readers a sense of time sensitivity.
Sound more active
Verbs make your subject lines to convey a sense of action to your subscribers. They also imply a call to action and this boosts conversions. For instance, if you have video content for your potential residents, your subject line could read:
“Watch this video and let me know what you think.”
Use invitations and announcements
Words like “You’re invited” or “Announcement” have a huge impact on open rates. Be sure to use these words when you have a white paper or webinar to entice readers.
Ask a question
Asking your subscribers a question in the subject line creates instant dialogue. I recommend that you keep these questions open-ended so that your reader doesn’t start with a flat out “no.”
Nail email content
After writing a subject line that convinces your subscribers to click on your email, it’s time to get your content right. The first step is to determine the value that your email offers to readers. More importantly, what do you want them to do after opening your email?
If you provide relevant and visually-appealing content, you’ll drive higher engagement. Now let’s look at how you create great content for your subscribers.
Create a polished email design
An uncluttered email design encourages subscribers to read through an entire email. Your email needs to have a theme and personality through the colors you use. Similarly, attractively placing content and images can engage your potential residents.
Include interactive elements
Features such as videos, polls, games, GIFs, and quizzes are the hottest interactive design trends at the moment. You get to entertain your target audience and drive conversions. Use them to add some spunk to a dull inbox and boost engagement.
Have a prominent CTA
Having a clear CTA in your email is crucial for increasing engagement as well as driving customer behavior. It’s important to make it eye-catching and creative enough to urge them to click through to your assisted living website.
Let graphics tell the story too
No one wants to sift through a text-heavy email if a picture could convey the same message. Add relevant images and graphics in your emails to make it more appealing.
Make the Email Mobile-Friendly
The fact is, 66% of emails are read on tablets and smartphones. You need to ensure that your emails are appealing on mobile devices. Email service tools such as Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact, and Mailchimp helps you create emails that have a mobile-responsive design.
To make your emails more friendly on mobile devices, use a single column template to simplify your design and highlight important content. Highlight your key message with larger fonts to capture your reader’s attention.
Optimize the Timing
The time you send an email will determine if the client will be receptive or not. 58% of adults check their emails first thing in the morning as it is perceived they are fresh.
Always send emails within the morning time frame to allow your audience to read and respond to them promptly. Schedule emails based on your subscriber’s time zones.
A/B Test Every Element
A/B testing allows you to formulate and test out different ideas on how to generate email engagement. This helps you to produce concrete answers on which email marketing strategies prove most useful to your assisted living facility.
When testing different elements, it’s always wise to start with the subject lines. After all, if your subscribers don’t get to open your emails, then all other factors won’t matter. Next, test out the form field, CTAs, and email content.
But how do you A/B test your emails?
Create two slightly different emails and send them to just a small subset of contacts. This way, you’ll be able to see what email subscribers prefer and the ones that drive the best results. Send the top performer to the bulk of your mailing list to improve interaction with your email content.
Avoid being flagged as Spam
To stay out of the spam folder, avoid purchased lists. Ensure you’re building a list of subscribers and only emailing those who have opted-in for your campaign. Pay attention to these tips to make sure you avoid the spam folder.
- Be compliant with the CAN-SPAM act
- Utilize spam filters before sending your emails
- Avoid executable attachments such as .zip and .exe
- Utilize png, pdf, gif, jpg formats to send attachments
- Send your emails through a reputable email service provider
- Avoid frequent changes on the From field names
Automate Your Emails
Manually managing an email campaign involves staying on top of updating your contact information and scheduling emails. All this can be a nightmare as your list of subscribers keeps growing.
Implementing email automation helps increase engagement and still provides a personalized experience for your potential residents. Automated emails ensure that you send one-to-one messages in real-time.
You can send a simple welcome series to dip your toe into email automation. This allows you to acknowledge new subscribers and introduce them to your offerings.
After you’ve set up your workflows and feel ready to start sending automated emails, consider the best time to deploy your emails based on the content and triggering event.
MailChimp’s automation allows you to create targeted emails based on a specific date, contact’s activity, or event. Its automation builder boasts powerful segmenting, design, and scheduling tools that help you send email campaigns automatically.
On the other hand, AWeber lets you send out automated follow-up emails based on your client’s activity. This email service provider also gives you the option to design email marketing flow charts where interactions happen according to email opens, link clicks, site visits as well as user actions.
Constant Contact also boasts great automation features that let you set up autoresponders and personalized emails. You can automatically send welcome emails, anniversary and annual birthday emails. You’ll also be able to send out an automated email series that nurtures leads.
Understand the Five Stages of Email Marketing
Digital Marketer designed the email marketing machine that involves five stages to help businesses generate revenue using an optimized email system. Every step used to send out an email to your potential client is dependent on another step.
These stages include:
Indoctrination involves teaching and introducing to your potential client to what your facility is all about. When you have clearly outlined your business focus and prospects in an indoctrination email, then you need to only send it once.
Let the indoctrination email make the potential client want to know more about your facility, what you offer and how it is different from others. Also, provide a way the client will reach out to you if they’re interested in your services.
Engagement emails focus on giving offers to prospects to convert them into actual clients. These offers may include a free download report or tool from the website.
After a successful indoctrination email, offer the potential customers a scheduled tour of your facility. This will often lead to an increase in conversion rates.
At this stage, the emails are meant to acquire more revenue for your business. Ascension emails are sent to current customers where you persuade them to seek more services by bringing new members who require the services of an assisted living facility.
Offers or premium services are also suggested to the clients once they have converted. You can always change the context of your engagement and ascension emails until you get a positive response.
The main goal of a segmentation email is to increase your potential resident’s attention. Ensure they show interest in the services you offer at your facility. After you earn their attention, seclude them to emails that are in their best interest which will lead to more receptive clients.
A segmented email will assist in knowing what more a client is interested in. The introduction of the new service may lead to positive feedback in sales and overall revenue in your facility.
Customers get to a point where they stop looking at their emails. Re-engagement emails restore customer engagement. It may seem like overreaching but addressing their concerns will have great benefits in the long run.
How Should You Measure Email Engagement?
It’s important to measure your email marketing performance over time. Now, let’s explore the key email metrics you should focus on.
Clickthrough rate is the percentage of email subscribers who clicked any link provided in the email. It helps you assess the performance of each email you send.
To calculate the clickthrough rate, divide the number of total clicks by the number of delivered emails and multiply that number by 100 to get a percentage. A clickthrough rate provides direct insight into the number of subscribers engaging with your content.
Conversion rate is the percentage of recipients who clicked on a link and completed the desired action, this could be filling a lead generation form or contacting your facility for an appointment.
The conversion rate is calculated by dividing the number of people who completed the desired action by total emails delivered and multiplying the result by 100. Conversion rates show you the success of your newsletters in generating prospects.
Email sharing rate
Email sharing or forward rate is the percentage of subscribers who forwarded your email to a friend or social media. To calculate it, divide the number of clicks on a share button by the total number of delivered emails and multiply the outcome by 100.
The email sharing metric may not seem very significant but it helps you determine how you get new contacts. When it comes to engagement, your sharing rates helps you discover the articles that get most shares to plan future campaigns.
Overall ROI involves the total returns you get for your email campaign. You divide total revenue by the total amount invested then you multiply this by 100. This metric helps you determine the value of email marketing to your online marketing efforts.
Improve Your Email Marketing Strategy Today!
When done correctly, email marketing helps you to connect with your potential residents on a personal level. Follow the above steps to maintain positive relationships with current resident family members through relevant messages.
You will also communicate the value your assisted living facility offers and engage seniors considering to make the move.
Rocket Pilots has a wealth of experience in creating strong email programs for assisted living facilities. If you’re looking to tap into the power of email marketing and drive engagement, contact us today!