A Fresh Take on an Old Service: Why Emails are our 'New' Favorite Thing!
Like in any good relationship, communication is king. Learn from experts on how to structure a communication campaign for your prospective patient, and how to make this process simple and streamlined.
Featured Speaker - Dr. Nathan Morris, Md
Nathan and I want to nurture relationships with you, our listeners. So we solution created Good Medicine On the Go virtual events, a spin-off of our podcast. And we decided for 2021, our event calendar would focus on our season one mini-course content because remember, we write our seasons like mini-courses. And season one, in case you haven’t listened to that, was all about how to integrate nutrigenomics into your practice, especially if you’re new to nutrigenomics. And the number one request from providers is they want to work with an expert on their patient cases.
Dr. Nathan Morris, co-creator of the PureGenomics platform, is going to lead practitioners through several basic SNPs used in the application, and take a step-by-step approach through actual case studies submitted by our audience. The first event is Wednesday, May 19th.
Learning a complex topic such as nutrigenomics and using a genetic interpretation tool can be intimidating, and it can be hard to know where to begin.
In this virtual event series, Dr. Nathan Morris, MD will simplify genetics by walking you through patient history + genetics case studies so you can feel confident applying a genetic report to your clinical decision-making.
Kara Ware: (00:00)
This is Good Medicine On the Go.
Nathan Morris: (00:10)
Kara, you know when you’re texting with someone and the little dots come up, and you wait and you wait and never get an answer or an end to that conversation? And then you never hear from them again, even if it felt like the relationship was moving forward. It just feels wrong.
Kara Ware: (00:26)
Nathan, what you are describing is now called ghosting.
Nathan Morris: (00:31)
That is not what we want. And no one likes to indicate interest, and that’s our customer, and then receive the silent treatment. And we don’t want to leave our prospects “ghosted.”
Kara Ware: (00:43)
And plus, we have redefined marketing all along, right? Moving away from sales and into relationship building. So in this episode, we really need to continue. How do we nurture these new relationships? How do we not ghost our prospective clients?
Kara Ware: (00:59)
And so hopefully, in today’s episode, we’ll help any provider who is uncomfortable with marketing themselves feel better about promoting your business in a constructive way.
Nathan Morris: (01:09)
Yeah. Nothing wrong with being humble. But when it comes to marketing, we have to do more than say, “Hi. I hope you can visit me some time,” and then give them nothing. Today, we will show you how to continue that conversation and not come off as self-obsessed [censored 00:01:22].
Kara Ware: (01:27)
Hello, and welcome. I’m Kara Ware, a national board-certified health coach, and business advisor.
Nathan Morris: (01:34)
And I’m Nathan Morris, a medical doctor who is also certified in functional medicine.
Nathan Morris: (01:39)
I love the fact that our seasons are like mini-courses. In essence, if we follow each step we have highlighted so far, we have created an effective marketing plan. And I will have to admit, Kara, that that is what I’ve been doing, is I revamped my own marketing.
Nathan Morris: (01:53)
So what are the steps so far? Well, we’ve identified number one, the right person, which is our niche and our avatar. Number two, we’ve talked about the right message, which is a compelling message for our ads, which had us decide the right media. Then, we discussed where that ad leads to, which is a landing page, and the value and events that the landing page offers specific to that avatar that you offer in exchange for their email.
Kara Ware: (02:18)
Yeah, exactly. And when we capture their email, we have succeeded in the prospect saying, “Yes. Hey, that’s me. I’m interested.” You broke the inertia. You grabbed their attention. Your compelling message worked, right? You captured their email. You overcame the hardest phase of marketing.
Nathan Morris: (02:37)
They now somewhat know who you are. And in this phase, you want them to get to like you, but not just like you, but also see you as a trusted guy. How do we do this? Like all relationships, it’s about nurturing and bringing value. Luckily, we have a great way to do this, and it’s the email drip campaign.
Kara Ware: (02:59
So in today’s episode, let’s define what is an email drip campaign? Where do these email drips live and how the heck do we plan and write these emails? Okay, Nathan, let’s take time to define an email drip campaign.
Nathan Morris: (03:03)
So an email drip campaign is sometimes called automated marketing. And drip marketing is a communication strategy that sends or drips a pre-written automated set of messages to customers or prospects over time. It’s not that difficult.
Kara Ware: (03:20)
It’s in the name.
Nathan Morris: (03:21)
It’s in the name.
Kara Ware: (03:23)
I love when things are so obvious. So now let’s define the purpose of the drip campaign.
Nathan Morris: (03:36)
Yeah. This is really to nurture the leads that you’ve captured and turn them into customers and then ultimately into raving fans. They know who you are. Now, we want to get them to know you better and like and trust you. And we’re finally going to talk about making them an offer and initiate conversions.
Kara Ware: (03:54)
Okay. Email drips are how we’re going to nurture our prospective patients. But where do these email drips live? And to break this down further, we’re going to hear from Whitney Kolterman, the marketing director of the Kalish Institute, to help us define and start to implement this important piece of our marketing plan.
Nathan Morris: (04:15)
So when we talk about email drips, the container that those email drips live in is really important. You don’t want to have a patient list that you’re grabbing and using a CSV file and loading up into your email each time you want a CRM package, which is a consumer relations management software.
Nathan Morris: (04:35)
And I wanted to speak to that a little bit because we talk about email drips, but we haven’t really talked about where do those live and what is the best thing for the practitioner that’s starting out, that’s going to start these email drips, what would be their best choice, or what are you all using at Kalish Institute?
Whitney Kolterman: (04:53)
That’s a great question and a really great place to start. I think that looking at this through the perspective of, okay, you have all this data. Where is the data going to live so that you can use and leverage that data in different ways, both in your email campaigns and otherwise?
Whitney Kolterman: (05:09)
And so the CRM is essentially just a big database. It’s a tool that people use to organize the data that they collect on their specific … usually your audience, your people. So it’s your name, your address, your email. And then most sophisticated CRM systems will also be able to tag those specific people with certain attributes. For example, they took a specific action, et cetera.
Whitney Kolterman: (05:40)
There are very huge enterprise-level systems out there that the typical practitioner doesn’t need a really huge and robust enterprise-level system in order to have a successful drip campaign. Some systems like MailChimp, for example, or Hootsuite is another one that I love, or we use Keep at the Kalish Institute. There’s also ActiveCampaign or Flodesk.
Nathan Morris: (06:09)
That was great. So now, for affordability, I love MailChimp, and it has really evolved into a CRM that can do a lot of things. And this may be a great place for a lot of practitioners to start with.
Nathan Morris: (06:20)
Now, a more focused system for my office is Influx MD, which is a HIPAA-compliant solution really made for practitioners and will move prospective patients to different drips based on where they are in the process. I can even send out campaigns based on a diagnosis that I’ve made in my EHR. So it sees what I diagnose, and then it can send a video about, “Hey, this is what we’ll be doing.” So I continue offering relevant value to my established patients, which I think is the coolest thing in the world.
Nathan Morris: (06:48)
And so after their initial visit, I’m now converting them from a patient to a raving fan. So these nurturing campaigns are only limited by my imagination. Now, this particular solution is $250 per month. But for me, it’s worth it. If you think about it, that’s less than one hour of patient care, and I can reach any and all of my prospects and established patients with the service Influx MD provides me.
Nathan Morris: (07:16)
Okay. I’m ready to write some emails. Kara, can I go stampeding toward Google docs now?
Kara Ware: (07:22)
You know what I’m going to say, Nathan.
Nathan Morris: (07:23)
You don’t have to say it. [inaudible 00:07:26].
Kara Ware: (07:26)
I’m such a party pooper [crosstalk 00:07:27].
Nathan Morris: (07:27)
Kara Ware: (07:31)
Oh, okay. Whoa. We need to plan and organize this. I feel like I’m so repetitive when we have our business planning meetings. So the first thought in my mind, when I want us to play on first, is, “How many do we need of these emails anyways?”
Nathan Morris: (07:49)
Well, remember our friend and marketing expert, Allan Dib?
Kara Ware: (07:53)
Do you mean your nerd crush?
Nathan Morris: (07:55)
Oh, you know I do. Well, Allan recommends we send eight or nine emails to new leads. Not all at once, of course. We don’t want to spam them. And we’ll get into timing a little bit later. But over the course of the email drip, he recommends we send out at least nine emails, which just seems like a lot.
Kara Ware: (08:12)
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. I actually really liked his diagram that he explains on page 115 of his book The 1-Page Marketing Plan, which if you haven’t done so already, you should really pick up a copy. And in his diagram, he teaches us you are probably the only person to make eight contacts with this person. And at contact number nine, which is our magic number right now that we’ve attached ourselves to, more than likely your contact is ready to buy. He says you now have a 90% chance of being called, and that’s encouraging.
Nathan Morris: (08:47)
Exactly. The big mistake to avoid here is not sending enough emails to your prospective patients. Allan says most people give up too soon. I know I do. And they only send three or four, maybe four follow-up emails. And over the course of Allan’s career, he’s found that that’s just not enough. Now, for me, this seemed pushy, but it’s not according to Allan and a lot of others we have talked to.
Kara Ware: (09:08)
All of us can totally do this. And you probably already have a lot of content already written. It’s just a matter of organizing your content to create nine emails.
Nathan Morris: (09:19)
Okay. Nine emails. Got it. So I’ve done my first step. What do we need to understand next, Kara?
Kara Ware: (09:27)
Well, not all of these emails are going to be written the same way. And Whitney recommends a ratio of two to one, for example. For every three emails we write, two, let’s have them add value, and one email, should I say, have the purpose to convert them to a patient and [crosstalk 00:09:47] value. Right. Right.
Nathan Morris: (09:49)
We’re not just adding value now. And that took long enough, Kara. We’ve only been teasing around that this whole season.
Kara Ware: (09:55)
Exactly. Exactly. So, but remember our prospects, they have to get to know us, like us, trust us, and want to buy from us. And that takes time. And as we’ve been saying this whole time, jumping the gun can really backfire on us.
Nathan Morris: (10:09)
And plus, Whitney reminds us a big caveat to this ratio is that every email should include some call to action or take the next step. We never want to make it hard for prospective clients to take the next step and become patients at any point in their decision-making process. It’s just in the value add emails that focus on giving them something of value. But at the bottom of the email, we can still include a small section about you, your story, and a call to action to take the next step like, “Schedule your 15-minute welcome call now.”
Kara Ware: (10:37)
Yeah, that’s right. And then with the conversion email, we’re going to flip it. And that small section about you and how you want to partner with a patient, what you’re offering, how to work with them becomes the focus of the email.
Nathan Morris: (10:49)
Okay. So if we do the math, nine emails, a two-to-one ratio, that means we want six value-added emails and three conversion emails. If nobody’s been through elementary math, you’re welcome. Now, I want to know, is there a best way to organize the emails we’re going to write?
Kara Ware: (11:05)
Oh, Nathan. I’m so proud of you for asking that question. Are you kidding me? That’s progress. Okay.
Nathan Morris: (11:11)
I know. You’re such a good teacher, Kara.
Kara Ware: (11:12)
That’s so good.
Nathan Morris: (11:19)
Having a plan really does make everything easier, Kara, and not my strong suit, as we’ve alluded to many times. Remember my philosophy is, “Ready, fire, aim.” I really like how she coached us to first create a spreadsheet of ideas, which gives your brain a chance to start sifting through the content you already know exists for your specific avatar, as well as triggering thoughts for new patient content you can develop quickly.
Nathan Morris: (11:45)
Like Whitney says, we need to be creating these email drips for the avatar you have chosen to create this effective marketing campaign. Use blog posts from your site, webinar chunks that incite interest, or a relevant Facebook Live you’ve done to begin your sequence. You can fill in the blanks with new material as you go. And now, we know to create new material that’s answering common questions, pains of our avatar that you’re joining the conversation going on in their head.
Kara Ware: (12:09)
That’s so good. It’s so good. And let’s remember, Allan told us if we confuse, we lose. So as we’re organizing these emails, let’s be sure that we’re boiling down our content to bite-sized pieces and relevant to what your patient wants to know. And being concise actually can make our content more valuable and just continue giving them those breadcrumbs to have more value and to work with you.
Kara Ware: (12:32)
Okay. So let’s take a moment to recap what we’ve covered so far. An email drip is a series of emails that is automatically sent to new prospects. The goal, the purpose is to build trust, rapport, be seen as a trusted guide, nurture these new relationships, and ultimately get those prospective patients to make their first appointment.
Kara Ware: (12:57)
We know that this decision-making process of building trust and rapport takes time. And that’s why Allan Dib recommends we write nine email drips. And remember the ratio of two-to-one, right? Value to sales or conversion emails. If you’re planning a nine-email campaign, that means that there are six value add emails and three sales or conversion emails. And writing value add emails is easier than we might think, right? We can recycle content that we already have, like blog posts, short videos, or even about the About section on our websites. You just have to make sure that whatever you include is seen as valuable by your avatar.
Kara Ware: (13:45)
And the sales email, this is what we’ve all been waiting for. The goal of these emails isn’t to add value, but to encourage prospects to take that next step, to partner with you and buy into your practice by making a purchase or setting up a 15-minute call.
Kara Ware: (14:05)
So next up, we are going to unpack how to write these conversion emails and also some email drip best practices right after this.
Kara Ware: (14:20)
This podcast is sponsored by the Atrium Innovations family of professional brands, offering evidence-based supplements, advancing scientific research, and providing clinical protocols and technology to empower practitioners globally. Atrium Innovations brands include Pure Encapsulations, the number one trusted and recommended brand by practitioners, Douglas Laboratories, Genestra Brands, and LivingMatrix, the fastest growing digital patient management system for functional medicine.
Kara Ware: (15:02)
Okay. Since this is the first time we’re now talking about selling to our prospective client or patient, let’s take some time to unpack this conversion email.
Nathan Morris: (15:14)
So how do we write that third email, the conversion email, in a way that will feel both natural and comfortable to those of us who are quite honestly uncomfortable with sales?
Kara Ware: (15:26)
Exactly. Exactly. That’s why we really have been redefining marketing this entire season, right? It’s not sales. It’s relationship building. And it’s true. And in this email, we must define why our business even exists. And that really boils down to two questions that we need to answer, “Why buy?,” and, “Why buy from me?”
Nathan Morris: (15:49)
So this is something I learned. In marketing terms, the reason our business exists is called our unique selling proposition, or USP, if you just need another acronym in your life. And this is what communicates the unique advantage you are providing your patients.
Kara Ware: (16:05)
Exactly. And so here’s where we put together the lessons of the season. Remember, we want to be remembered by what pain we are solving. People aren’t necessarily buying functional medicine. They’re buying pain relief and the gains that it brings into their life, back into their life, and helping them to achieve their life goals.
Nathan Morris: (16:25)
So the question is, “Why buy?” You continue with the conversation going on in your avatar’s mind by understanding their pains, and you communicate your solution by hearing them, validating them, and reassuring them, and then partnering with them to restore balance.
Kara Ware: (16:41)
Yeah. And then the tricky part, “Why buy from me?”
Nathan Morris: (16:45)
Kara Ware: (16:45)
That’s the tricky part, right? And you have to define what makes you remarkable. And that’s easily done by using testimonies and even your own story that is relatable to your avatar so that you are showing, “Hey, I’ve been in your shoes. I understand.”
Kara Ware: (17:02)
So let’s recap this important step. And really, there are three main elements to this conversion email. So one is why buy, right? That first short paragraph is acknowledging another pain may be that you didn’t use initially to grab their attention, that we did in our ads back in an earlier episode. And so that really, again, is joining that conversation in their mind in that very first paragraph.
Kara Ware: (17:28)
And then that second brief paragraph of that conversion email, again, is the solution you’re providing. How are you going to work with them? Is that the bundle, or is that a program, or is that an initial consult? How do you want to partner with your patient in order for them to feel like themselves again and get their mind back? Remember, that’s the compelling reason for them to buy from you, this solution.
Kara Ware: (17:51)
And then, “Why buy from me?” And as I said earlier, your testimonies are your personal story. That’s relatable. And that third element, that oh so important call to action that’s very easy and achievable, right? Either that 15-minute call, maybe even emailing you or having them schedule for that introductory call or package or bundle or initial visit.
Kara Ware: (18:13)
All right. There’s so much to automated email marketing, but let’s wrap up this episode with some best practices.
Nathan Morris: (18:23)
Okay, Kara. So this is perfect because you know what drives me nuts as a consumer with an email box that is just full of crap that I don’t want and a company sending me, the same company sending me an email every single day. And I delete them for the most part. It’s really hard to grab my attention if I’m seeing the same company over and over.
Nathan Morris: (18:42)
And I tend to read emails that comes with a space of time between, with subject lines that are well done and catch my eye. So a best practice we need to talk about is timing. And this one’s important. Whitney tells us a basic rule of thumb is to send an email every four to seven days. And I tend to be a little bit more on the seven-day side for my preference. And it can feel spammy if it’s more than that.
Kara Ware: (19:05)
Exactly. Exactly. So seven days apart, and remember that two-to-one ratio. So we’re not selling too much, right? And that means a campaign will take between 36 to 63 days. That’s impressive automation when we plan ahead.
Nathan Morris: (19:20)
Yeah. Just plug and play. And [crosstalk 00:19:22].
Kara Ware: (19:21)
Nathan Morris: (19:21)
So that’s awesome. It’s an awesome thing to have a system out there that you just put your emails in and it takes care of the rest. And, right. And to clarify, you can reuse and update this campaign forever. It’s not something that you have to keep reinventing. And you can get patients plugged in where they’re at in the journey. So the email program keeps up with where they’re at. So it’s running all the time.
Kara Ware: (19:47)
And then once the email drip is over, right, these prospects, or hopefully now patients at this point, can be added to your general email list and maybe get a monthly newsletter from you. Of course, and there’s more to learn to become more sophisticated email marketers. But this is a good starting point for us.
Nathan Morris: (20:06)
And then, as we said, you can rinse and repeat for other niches that … Still, that word niches. Niche? Sorry. Anyway, still, after all these episodes, Kara, I’m still [crosstalk 00:20:16].
Kara Ware: (20:16)
That’s the more sophisticated side there.
Nathan Morris: (20:19)
Yeah. Niches, you can like … To focus on, you can just take these email drip campaigns and make them very targeted to that niche. So once you get a good nine-email campaign created, then you can modify it for your next niche. So it’s a lot of rinse and repeat here.
Kara Ware: (20:36)
And that’s how we get more of the patients we want into our practice, right? You don’t have to just pigeonhole yourself into one avatar, as we said at the very beginning of the season.
Kara Ware: (20:44)
So Whitney coached us on some more basic best practices like subject lines. A good rule of thumb is to ask a question. Remember those emotional hot buttons that we talked about in episode three when we learned how to ride a compelling message, how to join that conversation in your avatar’s mind with that subject line, and then also that preview text that we alluded to just a few minutes ago, just those one or two sentences that you can see in your inbox so you can get a feel of, “Hey, what does this email include?” And that invites the prospective patient to read.
Kara Ware: (21:18)
And then of course be human, right? Let your personality shine through. That’s going to be-
Nathan Morris: (21:23)
Kara Ware: (21:23)
Ultimately, the stickiness of functional medicine, we always say, is the relationship between you, the provider, and the patient. So they need to know you. They need to know your bedside manner. So really be authentic and be comfortable doing that, even if you’re silly and off the cuff like Nathan.
Nathan Morris: (21:40)
You said that, Kara. So today’s lesson, we took a look at what we need to do to nurture these new relationships with email drips. And we know where the email drips live, your CRM, which we’re talking about things like MailChimp or Hootsuite or Influx MD, and how we will plan ahead and organize nine emails with the ratio of two-to-one, so two value emails to one conversion email, and how to use the content you already have and use this to organize this content and keep creating and then focus on the timing of that email drip.
Kara Ware: (22:18)
So since we’ve redefined marketing from sales or relationship building, we went over some best practices and recommendations for formatting that conversion email, right? Asking them to partner with you by answering those questions, “Why buy? Why buy from me?” and then, of course, adding in that call to action.
Kara Ware: (22:34)
And so this season, it’s making a compelling case to be patient, to invite prospects to convert to new patients. And we are honoring that decision-making and relationship-building process that honestly is really important in functional medicine. This isn’t just an impulse buy necessarily for a lot of reasons.
Nathan Morris: (22:55)
No. This is a big decision.
Kara Ware: (22:58)
Yeah, it is.
Kara Ware: (23:04)
So Nathan and I, speaking of relationship development …
Nathan Morris: (23:10)
Kara Ware: (23:11)
… we want to nurture our relationship with you, our listeners. And we would like to more deeply engage with you. And so we have been thinking, “How do we do this? How do we learn about you? How do we know what’s important to you? And how do we build more relationships with you beyond this podcast?”
Kara Ware: (23:29)
And so our solution was to create Good Medicine on the Go virtual events, a spin-off of our podcast. And we decided for 2021, our event calendar would focus on our season one mini-course content because remember, we write our shows like mini-courses, our seasons. And season one, in case you haven’t listened to that, was all about how to integrate nutrigenomics into your practice, especially if you’re new to nutrigenomics. And the number one request from providers is they want to work with an expert on their patient cases.
Kara Ware: (24:04)
And so our very first virtual event launching May 19th is the nutrigenomics case study events with Nathan. And it’s going to be through six months, May through October, once a month for 90 minutes. And it’s going to be an interactive event series, so very different than the webinar format. And you can actually submit your patient’s history and genetics for a chance to review it with Nathan and have a dialogue. And the audience will be able to ask questions and also talk with them. And really, this is how providers learn, right, are through case studies.
Nathan Morris: (24:37)
Kara Ware: (24:37)
And so check out our event calendar for this entire virtual event lineup. We really wanted to have an event series that helped you, the practitioner who is interested in nutrigenomics, feel confident to add this into your practice. So we have clinical and business application events all year long.
Nathan Morris: (24:55)
That’s great, Kara. And I can’t wait to do that. So please, guys, this is really something you ought to look at, because that clinical case, as Kara said, is so important to really make things more concrete in your mind of how to apply science and put it into this clinical setting.
Nathan Morris: (25:11)
I also want to give a shout-out to Whitney Kolterman, who’s just been amazing this season, who is the marketing director at the Kalish Institute, who gave us just such great pearls of wisdom. Be sure to check out the link to Telehealth Business Essentials Bootcamp in the show notes. She and Dan Kalish are doing a Bootcamp that begins on August the 23rd, and it’s a deep dive into all aspects of running a profitable functional medicine practice. And since this season is about marketing, they do an excellent job of helping you create a marketing strategy in the process of giving you the essentials for both telehealth and brick-and-mortar business.
Kara Ware: (25:45)
So we hope you are enjoying this season. Remember, you can go to KaraWareCoaching.com/podcast for blog posts and resource materials. And also, in the show notes, go ahead and click on that link to join our newsletter. So thank you for listening as Nathan and I reimagine the functional medicine journey.
Kara Ware: (26:07)
And I would like to thank our writing team, Kelsey Staff Strome and Paul Larkin, and our audio engineer Isadore [inaudible 00:26:15]. Remember, if you’d like to support this podcast, will you please follow us on your favorite podcast directories and tell a friend?
I am a paid advisor at Pure Encapsulations, I do not have any other conflicts of interest. All podcast productions represent the opinions of the co-hosts and do not represent the position or the opinion of the sponsors. Reference by the presenter to any specific product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, or manufacturer does not constitute or imply endorsement or recommendations by the Sponsor. The podcast is not a substitute for standard medical care. The podcast is intended for licensed health care practitioners. Practitioners are solely responsible for the care and treatment provided to their own patients.