5 reasons people don't open your emails

By Richard H. Madow, DDS, and David M. Madow, DDS, DrBicuspid.com contributing writers

February 23, 2015 -- It's a great idea to stay in close touch with your patients and prospective patients. One of the best ways to do that is a regular email campaign -- sending informative content to your people on a very regular basis.

Unfortunately, you've probably discovered that not as many people are opening your emails, reading them, and interacting with you as you thought.

So today we will share with you the four likely reasons your emails are not getting opened! We have learned much of this from the "school of hard knocks," so please pay careful attention -- that way you won't have to make all of the mistakes we made!

Here we go.

1. Your subject line sucks

OK, we said it. If your subject line sucks, your emails will not get opened, no matter how good the message on the inside might be.

Madow Brothers
Richard H. Madow, DDS, and David M. Madow, DDS.

Keep your subject short (try for 40 or fewer characters). That way it will not get truncated!

Don't make your subject "salesy." Avoid words such as free, help, discount, and reminder. These come off as sales messages, plus they trigger spam filters!

Personalizing the subject (using the recipient's name) really helps!

And most of all -- don't make your subject line boring! Remember, you are competing with the 50 other emails your patient just received! We like to make our subjects cryptic. Don't spill the beans!

For example, if you are sending some info on periodontal disease, which subject line do you think will get more opens from your people?

  • Periodontal Disease Update
  • Blood on Your Toothbrush?

Want to tell your patients about the oral-systemic link? Which subject line will pique their interest?

  • New Study Published in ADA Journal
  • Can a Dentist Save Your Life?

Kind of a no-brainer!

2. You are not paying attention to the preview text

Many email recipients will get a small preview of the content of your message. If the first few words of your message are boring, you're cooked. Please be aware of this and treat it as importantly as you do the subject!

3. Your "From" address needs to be personalized

Do you think your recipients would prefer to open an email from "Main Street Family Dentistry" or "Madge at Main St. Family Dentistry"? Yes, it does make a huge difference! Many large companies use this method -- because it works!

4. Your timing is off

“We have experimented and tested different times that we send our e-letters.”

When should you send your emails? Is first thing in the morning better than afternoon or evening? We have experimented and tested different times that we send our e-letters. We have zeroed in on first thing in the morning. That seems to be best for business-to-business.

Since you will be sending to your patients and prospective patients, the timing is likely different. One study showed that the greatest email opens to a consumer list occurs after 12 noon and is actually the highest between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. After dinner also works well with consumers! You should test all of these times to see what works best. Also, send your e-letter later in the week as many people seem to be swamped on Monday and Tuesday.

5. You have worn out your welcome

In our business (The Madow Brothers) we send e-letters every day (Monday through Friday). But remember, you are a dentist or a team member working in a dental practice and communicating with your patients, who are consumers. It is a totally different ball game. We recommend one to two times per month for you to get a nice email out to your list. Doing it more often than that could lead to what we call "list fatigue."

Conclusion

Email marketing and communication is a tricky art. If you are not paying attention to some of the most important factors, you could likely be losing your audience. And remember -- you need your audience (your patients) for your practice to thrive.

In 1989, Richard H. Madow, DDS, and David M. Madow, DDS, founded The Madow Brothers with the goal of helping their fellow dentists achieve success and happiness in their practices. For more information about their e-letters, audio series, New Patient Mail marketing program, Dental Powerhouse group, their live presentations (including "How To Love Dentistry, Have Fun, and Prosper," "The Ultimate Dental Boot Camp," and especially "TBSE"), and more, check them out at www.madow.com.

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of DrBicuspid.com, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

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Last Updated hh 2/20/2015 3:23:09 PM