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Smart Phones Have Transformed the Way We Communicate
If you haven’t already noticed by now, smart phones and tablets are drastically changing the way that we interact with the world. Currently, 9 out of 10 new phones being sold is a smart phone, and if you happen to one of the minority that doesn’t have one at the moment, chances are likely within the next 12 months your contract will expire, and the next phone get will likely be a smart phone.
Taking note of this fact and capitalizing on it can change the way you communicate with your patients, and if it’s focused on carefully, can actually improve your web presence and improve the business of your practice.
When It Comes to Physical Therapy Newsletters, a Typical Viewer is a Smart Phone User
To illustrate how important communication with your patients is, try and picture an average smart phone user:
Rachel is in her mid-thirties and she has owned a smart phone for 8 months. She uses it every day for things like changing her Facebook status and to Tweet about the movie she saw the evening before. She will check the weather, text her friends, watch a funny YouTube clip, read her e-mails and take a photograph, all while she drops off the kids to school, picks up a latte, walks to the office, and buys her lunch.
There is so much information on Rachel’s smart phone fighting for her attention. In fact, there is so much competition that nothing wins her undivided attention for long. So if you want your message to grab her attention, you need to use smart tactics.
The rules have dramatically changed and you need to know them in order to win and get someone like Rachel to visit your practice. Here are some winning tactics to help you to do that:
Winning Tactic Number One:
Come Up With a Strong or Catchy Pre-header
When Rachel receives your e-mail on her smart phone, her eyes will quickly scan her inbox and she is going to see three things right away. The first is who the email is from (you), the second is the subject line and the third thing she is going to see is your pre-header. The pre-header is the first few lines of your e-mail, and it’s this section that will determine whether or not Rachel is going to open your e-mail or not. In fact, if it doesn’t grab her attention or interest her, she might even decide to delete it without opening it.
Your goal is to get Rachel to open your e-mail based on what she reads in your pre-header. To achieve this, you need to come up with something catchy and interesting. It doesn’t have to be cute or too clever for its own good, but it should be inviting. It should make Rachel want to open up the e-mail to see what else you have to say.
Winning Tactic Number Two:
Make Sure it Looks good on Rachel’s Smart Phone
Your e-mails are not going to look the same on everybody’s smart phone. In fact when Rachel opens up the e-mail, she might find that the image in your e-mail has not loaded properly, or you have used a double columned newsletter format that is difficult to navigate on her phone because it has been shrunk to fit on to her screen. Perhaps you put three links in your email and they have stacked one on top of the other, making the middle one impossible to open. This can be frustrating to someone like Rachel.
You don’t want Rachel to encounter any of these problems, so the best way to avoid them is to check what your e-mail will look like on a variety of mobile devices beforehand. Your web site designer or offline consultant will know how to do this, and will provide demo versions for different mobile devices. This will ensure that your e-mails are understandable, readable and clickable, no matter what screen Rachel uses.
Winning Tactic Number Three:
Make it Short, Sweet and Easy to Share
Rachel never stops. She is always on the go. This means she won’t have time to read your e-mail if it is the same length as War and Peace. You need to keep your e-mails short and sweet. The best way to do this is have a tightly focussed call to action in the e-mail that makes it easy for Rachel to respond to. Briefly state a bit about your practice and how you can be of service to Rachel if she happens to have an injury or has been experiencing any nagging pain that she’d like to get checked out.
Remember, Rachel, like so many of your other potential patients, is part of a highly connected network of people who are all within a click of her phone. She might even be one of those who is addicted to Facebook and Twitter and posts regularly, which can be of a great benefit to your practice.
By reaching Rachel with your mobile marketing campaign, you can reach all of her friends and family too, but only if you know how to play the game and employ the tactics revealed here. Hone in on your e-mail marketing skills, target smart phone users, and you’ll be sure to bring in more business to your private practice.
Winning Tactic Number Four:
Make it Transactional
Think about how you can use email to complete something that will improve your customer service. Here’s how we approach it. The E-rehab.com Physical Therapy Newsletter System is designed to help educate and improve the customer experience. Newsletter 1 is a welcome message with links to downloads and patient education. Newsletter 2 is a thank you message and addresses some of the most common concerns patients have with billing and scheduling. Newsletter 3 can be a survey to gather customer feedback. Newsletter 4 and beyond helps our clients stay in touch with their customers/patients.
Make sure you take advantage of rich media as well. For example, provide them with a high-quality video that enables social shares, offers great interactivity, and the make sure the message can be re-purposed across multiple marketing platforms like G+, Facebook and Twitter.
[note_box]The popularity of smart phones and tablets means that we rarely read our e-mails on our desktop or laptop computers anymore. Instead, e-mails are usually read right at our fingertips due to the convenience of a smart phone.[/note_box]