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Mission Control / Healthcare

5 Common Healthcare Email Marketing Mistakes

Avoid these pitfalls to improve ROI for your healthcare email marketing campaign.

MC Hero Healthcare

By Tina Kelly

In an age of ever-changing social platforms and new communication methods, email remains a reliable, powerful digital marketing channel that continues to connect with all demographics. In fact, a recent study found that for every $1 spent, email has an average of about $32 return on investment.

But launching a new healthcare email marketing campaign — or maintaining your evergreen email communications — takes time and money, and a few mistakes can rob you of your ROI. Here’s how to avoid common errors and improve your results along the way.

1. Emailing Too Frequently — or Not Enough

One of the biggest challenges of email marketing in healthcare is finding the right cadence. If you send too many emails, you risk overwhelming your subscribers, lowering your open and click rates, and increasing unsubscribe requests. If you send too few emails, you risk losing your subscribers’ interest and loyalty, and missing out on potential sales opportunities.

How to avoid it: Tap into the power of data and perform an A/B test of send frequency to see which cadence performs better.

2. Skipping Segmentation

Consumers want to know that you get them, their needs and what’s important to them. It’s one of the things that retail does so well. You can do that by highlighting services that make sense for where they are in life. A woman in her 30s likely has vastly different healthcare needs and interests than a man in his 80s, and your email campaigns should reflect that. Content that is tailored to the patient or caregiver can help you increase your open and click rates, boost your conversions and retention, and build trust and loyalty with your audience.

How to avoid it: Segment your patients based on their preferences, behavior and data, and tailor your content accordingly.

When emailing patients and their caregivers, it’s best to skip things like internally focused announcements and general healthcare news.

3. Sharing Low-Value Content

When it comes to emailing patients and their caregivers, it’s best to skip things like general healthcare news, internally focused announcements and other non-relevant information. Unless there’s a direct tie to how something will impact patient care or affect the communities you serve, try to stick to more specific, personalized content.

How to avoid it: Review every email through the lens of a reader. Ask yourself: “Does this content add value to the patient’s experience?” If the answer is no, it’s best to edit it out.

4. Not Tapping into Owned Assets

If your hospital or healthcare system already produces content on a regular basis, it’ll be even easier for you to reach different audiences with the right messaging. Rather than investing in a new suite of costly photography and video, you can take assets you already have — articles, videos, recipes — and compile them into an effective email campaign. From emails to print pieces to direct mail, your existing content can serve as the fuel to power a whole host of segmented campaigns.

How to avoid it: Spend some time scouring your asset library, identifying service lines and topics where you already have quality imagery, and let that influence your email creation. When budget allows, you’ll know where you need to invest in new assets.

5. Ignoring Mobile Optimization

According to HubSpot, 46 percent of all email opens now occur on mobile. This means that if your emails are not optimized for mobile devices (and don’t forget Dark Mode!), you are losing a huge portion of your potential audience and conversions. This is especially true as healthcare organizations continue to shift vital records and forms into the digital ecosphere. A frustrating mobile experience can quickly alienate potential patients.

How to avoid it: Use responsive design, concise copy and mobile-friendly images and videos for your emails. Tools like Litmus or Email on Acid allow you to test how your emails look and perform on different devices and browsers.

We Understand Email

We can help you get the most out of your healthcare email marketing campaigns.


Tina Kelly
Tina Kelly Chief Marketing Officer

Tina brings more than 10 years of experience to C/A, where she partners with companies to develop digital marketing campaigns that leverage content, encouraging audiences to consume, engage, share and convert. Tina’s experience spans industries, having led digital marketing strategy development and execution for several global and national brands, including The Children’s Place, Nationwide Insurance, Delta Faucet and many more.

Tina has presented at a number of industry conferences and events, including SXSW Interactive and Content Marketing World. Outside of work, Tina and her husband can usually be found on a sports field somewhere, cheering on their two kids.

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