A research by the Data & Marketing Association (DMA) shows that 100% of healthcare companies use email marketing.

Obviously, this not without good reason.

Email marketing is a cheap way to reach your target audience. You can easily segment your audience on important information. This allows you to send ultra-targeted, personal messages.

No wonder why health entrepreneurs report email marketing is their most profitable marketing-channel.’

But what if your results are lacking?

Chances are you’re making common email marketing mistakes. I’ve made a list of 11 critical mistakes I see health companies make in their email marketing efforts.

1. Bad subject lines
A subject line should entice someone to open an email. If it doesn’t do that? Your email marketing efforts are wasted. Realize that developing the skill to write great headlines takes time. It’s an art form. Here are some tips to write great headlines that will boost your open rates:

  • Invoke curiosity
  • Think about benefits (What’s in it for them?)
  • Keep your headlines short
  • Address someone by their first name (but don’t do it in every email!)
  • Make them feel special
  • Don’t bait someone with a headline that’s misleading. It will cause distrust.

2. A bland, unengaging welcome email
Ah, the oh-so-important—but often overlooked—welcome email. The moment you got someone to subscribe to your list is extremely important. This person showed interest in your business. You’re allowed to contact them at any time.

So, now’s your chance to make a great first impression.

Time to roll out the red carpet!

Unfortunately, lots of healthcare companies don’t cease the moment. They fall into the trap of thinking a basic, dull “Thank you for signup up and showing interest in our business/practice” is enough.

Big mistake.

A welcome email is one of the first moments a potential client gets in contact with your business. It sets the stage for your future relationship. Plus, chances are this person is still taking other companies into consideration. Not only that.

A welcome email has the highest open rate. The highest click rate. But—most importantly— it has the potential to generate a whopping 320% more revenue than other promotional emails.

Are you reconsidering the importance of your welcome email yet?

Give your welcome email lots of attention. Make it memorable. It will pay-off. Here are few tips:

  • Give a warm “thank you”
  • Ask a subscriber to whitelist you
  • Set expectations for your future relationship
  • Tell them important details about your business
  • Offer a special deal or discount
  • Have a clear call to action

3.Writing too clinically
Many health entrepreneurs have a habit of writing too clinically—meaning the tone of voice in their emails is dry, informal and lacking in emotion. Now, make no mistake. Showing that you’re a professional in your industry is important. It builds trust. But when you’re overdoing it? Your emails will go over your audience head and cause a disconnect.

The lesson to be learned here is humans connect with other humans. Not robots. That’s why you should humanize your emails. Here are a few tips to help you do that:

  • Avoid using too much jargon
  • Imagine talking to a good friend when you’re writing an email
  • Don’t be afraid to show a little personality or use humor
  • Make sure your sentences are not too long: Use The Flesch-Kincaid Reading Score to determine your emails readability

4. Talking about product-features instead of benefits.
Many healthcare companies make this crucial mistake. They talk a lot about their product features. The problem with this? A potential client doesn’t care about features. They care about benefits.

Communicate how your product or service solves their problem and makes their life better. There’s ta little trick you can use to come up with your product-benefits. Put the words “so you can” after the features of your product. Then fill in what comes next.

5. Not optimizing emails for mobile
More than half the people read their emails on their smartphone. Yet, many healthcare companies overlook the importance of optimizing emails for mobile.

When a potential client receives an email on their phone they can’t read? It will turn them off quickly. So, before you send out your emails make sure they look good on mobile devices.

6. Not giving email marketing a high enough priority
Sometimes it’s hard to give email marketing a high enough priority. Maybe because it’s just ONE of the marketing channels you’re using. Or maybe you’re scaling your business. Whatever the reason, you’re leaving BIG MONEY on the table.

7. Not considering the customer journey
Sending a potential client information that’s not relevant is a sure way to turn them off. An example: what would you do if someone immediately starts pushing their product.

Without ANY kind of rapport?


Always take the customer journey into consideration. These are the 5 stages of the customer journey:

  • Awareness
  • Familiarity
  • Consideration
  • Purchase
  • Loyalty

Map your customer’s journey and segment your list accordingly. Also, consider making an editorial calendar. Plan your content ahead and make your communications relevant to your list. Give the right person the right content at the right time.

8. Not enough focus on customer loyalty
You might know that attracting new clients is more expensive than keeping your current ones happy. But did you know it can be anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive? Usually, the problem is the desire to attract new clients. It can make you have tunnel-vision.

Email marketing can be used to build customer-loyalty perfectly. A couple of things you should consider doing:

  • Show your loyal clients they’re valued: “Thank you” are powerful words.
  • Give your loyal clients special perks
  • Think about ways you can go the extra mile for your loyal clients. A birthday email is a great example.

9. Not doing enough A/B testing
It’s David Ogilvy who said it best: “Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving.” Sometimes A/B testing can be put on the backburner. Maybe because you have a hectic schedule. Or because you simply don’t know what to test.

The thing is A/B testing is an essential part of any winning email strategy. Here are the golden rules of A/B testing:

  • Make sure you’re testing only one thing at a time. Have a hypothesis.
  • Make sure you have enough data for the results to be meaningful
  • Make sure you know what metric is the best measure of success

Here are a few A/B tests you should consider doing:

  • Test longer emails vs shorter emails
  • Test different call-to-actions
  • Test the number of links you put in your emails
  • Test the design of your email

10. Not tracking important data
E-mail marketing gives you plenty of data to work with. Sometimes it’s hard to decide what to track. The thing is the most important metrics ALWAYS remain the same. Here’s what you should be tracking AT THE VERY LEAST:

  • Open rate
  • Clickthrough rate
  • Conversion rate
  • Bounce rate
  • List growth rate
  • Email sharing/forwarding rate
  • Overall ROI

11. Not having a clearly defined, long-term strategy

No battle is won without a great strategy. Yet, lots of health companies make decisions based on assumptions or wishful thinking. Sometimes they have a strategy in place—but it’s only aimed towards short-term results.

It’s a huge missed opportunity.

Developing a strategy starts with setting goals that tie into your overall business goals. Your list and past results will then form the foundation of your strategy. It will also determine what tactics you should use to support your strategy. Use industry-benchmarks to measure your campaign against.

Look, developing a clearly defined, long-term strategy will take some time. But it will pay off BIG TIME. You’ll set up expectations for long-term success. And you’ll get closer to achieving the holy grail of email marketing: Getting the right content. In front of the right people. At the right time. In a FRACTION of the time: 

Need help with your email marketing? I can help you manage your email marketing campaigns.

Reach out to me by filling in my contact form.

– Timothy, Health and Fitness Email Copywriter