How to Choose the Best Social Media Platform for Your Medical Spa

Before you start promoting your cosmetic clinic or medical spa on social media, it's important to determine which social media platforms you’re going to use, how they’re likely to perform, and how much time it’s going to take to get results. Just “doing it” is going to lead to wasted time and effort that produces mediocre results.

How to Choose the Best Social Media for Your Business

To make an informed decision on where you should focus your social media marketing effort, start by thinking through what you’re trying accomplish and match that with what your resources and time commitment will allow. A focused effort is going to drive much better results than a spray-and-prey approach.

Let’s think through a few things..

1: What social media platform are your patients using?

Share of U.S. Adults Using Social Media, Including Facebook, Is Mostly Unchanged Since 2018. Source: Pew Research Center, Washington, D.C. (2019)

Share of U.S. Adults Using Social Media, Including Facebook, Is Mostly Unchanged Since 2018. Source: Pew Research Center, Washington, D.C. (2019)

For most clinics you you likely won't want to bother with social media apps like Snapchat or Reddit because very few patients in the age group that you’re going to be targeting that use those platforms. Instead, you'll want to focus on the apps they do use—primarily Facebook and YouTube.

Note: For most clinic’s, the majority of the patients you’re looking for are going to be on Facebook and Youtube, but those also can be the most expensive since the competition is fierce.

2. Where are competing clinics and medspas focusing their attention?

If your competitors are having success with a specific social media app, you may also do well there. Conversely, if your competitors are neglecting a specific app, there may be an opportunity for you to capitalize on that neglected market.

It doesn’t take much effort to track down what your competitors are doing. Most companies display links to their social media profiles on their websites, so it should be easy to collect data on where your competitors are focusing their social media efforts. It's also good to actually visit their social media profiles and make sure they're maintained; a rarely used social media profile shouldn't be considered an active effort.

3: What is the reach into your desired patient population?

For the most part, succeeding on social media requires that you have followers or subscribers, with a few exceptions: YouTube videos, Twitter Tweets, LinkedIn Articles, and Pinterest Pins are indexed by Google, meaning people can discover that content through a general Google search.

Profile pages/channels are indexed by Google for all of the social media apps we're looking at in this article, including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and even Reddit. It’s an easy way to pick up a backlink so you should default to having well designed and professional looking profile pages on every social network, even if you don’t use them much.

Resource: https://workhorse.design can help you out here if you need design help that knows the industry and they won’t cost you agency prices.

Note: individual posts on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram are not indexed by Google, so the only way to get those posts in front of an audience is to either publish it for your network or get others to share it to their networks.

Additionally, the algorithms these platforms use can have a major impact on whether or not your posts are seen, even by people who follow you. For example, Facebook made a change to its algorithm in early 2018 to prioritize posts from friends and family, and as a result, organic reach on the platform severely declined for many brands.

The result: Facebook doesn’t work as well for organic distribution to a wider network.

4: Does the social distribution fit the content you’re creating for your clinic?

Instagram and Pinterest are focused on image content. YouTube is focused on video content. If you mostly produce text-based content and use stock images, you’re dead in the water there.

Unless you plan to add designers or videographers to your payroll to create these assets for your social media efforts—or plan to learn how to do these things yourself—you'll be better served to concentrate on text-focused sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn.

Resource: LinkedIn is a surprisingly good venue for medical spas, if you do it right. We have a course on the training academy that teaches you exactly how to build your influence on LinkedIn.

5: Should you use paid advertising?

Low organic reach isn't necessarily a barrier if you're willing to spend money on ads. Each social media app offers advertising opportunities, though some are more detailed than others.

For example, apps like Facebook and LinkedIn have deep data-sets that let you target potential patients in a very specific audience. Popular YouTube channels often offer sponsorship opportunities but often don’t work well for a specific geography.

In most cases you’ll be paying extra to get in front of people who will never become a patient.

Question: Is anyone else tired of the endless stream of “we get you patients on Facebook” pitches by “medical spa consultants”

6: How much time should you devote to social media?

One mistake that many businesses make when they're getting started with social media marketing is trying to continually update every social media app. The problem: Keeping multiple social media accounts updated is a lot of work, and unmaintained profiles can reflect poorly on your clinic.

The more realistic approach is to focus on one or two platforms—no more than you realistically have time to keep updated, and to point your other profiles at these maintained accounts. This will give you more time and attention to really grow your audiences on those channels and actually engage with the people who follow and interact with your business.

For example: You may create a profile on Pinterest, but just include a message that says that you spend most of your time connecting with people on Facebook and warmly asks them to follow you there.


Recommended Resources:

How To Make More Money With Fewer Patients

If you want to make more money with less patients, then this is for you...

Most clinics are missing out on massive profits because they operate on an "Á La Carte" basis. 

They're primarily selling one-off treatments, when they could be selling full treatment packages and continuity programs that deliver the best results while making them the most money....

... Of course everyone wants to sell more complete packages and get pre-payment for them, but getting patients to understand the value of combination treatment can seem like an uphill battle. 

I get it!

I struggled selling treatments Á La Carte for years. Patients are usually interested in only ONE treatment (because that's all they've had heard of) and think that’s what they need to get great results.... 

I actually thought I was doing them a favor by not "bugging them" with other options and simply gave them what they want. 

Boy, was I wrong...

The thing is, what patients want, and what they need are often completely different things! 

The challenge is getting patients to want what they need

One of the most effective ways to overcome this hurdle is through the art of Cosmetic Ju-Jutsu

Allow me to explain... 

Let’s first establish what the word “Ju-Jutsu” means: 

""Jū" can be translated to mean "gentle, soft, supple, flexible, pliable, or yielding". "Jutsu" can be translated to mean "art" or "technique" and represents manipulating the opponent's force against themselves rather than confronting it with one's own force.” (taken from Wikipedia)

Ju-Jutsu is widely considered one of the most effective martial arts because it doesn’t rely on brute strength, and instead leverages the opponents existingforces in your favour. 

Cosmetic Ju-Jutsu works just the same... the only difference is that you're using your opponent's (the patient’s) own force to help them, not harm them. 

You see, behind every patient who comes into your clinic is a certain force, or intent, that has motivated them to take action...

It’s your job as a treatment provider to redirect this force in the most efficient manner possible in order to lead them to the best possible outcome....

For me, I always want to schedule in new patients for a paid, one hour skin analysis and consultation where I can educate them and present a complete treatment package.

Here’s an example of how I do this: 

Recently I had a 60 year old lady come in because her friend who was in my office looked great. This lady wanted filler because that’s what her friend had, not knowing the full details of her friend's complete treatment program.

In the past I would simply say this:

“Oh, you need about 3 syringes of filler in your cheeks and marionette lines, let's go ahead and book that. We can even do it today if you want.” 

This would have resulted in a quick $1800 sale for 3 syringes. Instant gratification for her and a quick sale for me, but a lost opportunity to make a bigger sale and get a better outcome.

Here’s what I say now: 

You’re right - you absolutely need filler, and I could even get you booked in right now, but I’d be doing you a disservice because you’d be missing out on much better results....

The best thing to do here is to schedule a full hour where we can sit down and really go over your skin in detail. I have a special camera that show's you the 8 different skin aging factors, and we can also talk about all the exciting treatment technologies available to make you look your absolute best. 

By the end, you’ll be an expert on taking care of your skin and if you’re open to it, we can even put together a special treatment program customized just for you. 

The cost of this appointment is $95 right now, but we’ll turn that investment into a $100 certificate that you can put towards treatment. The only reason I charge $95 is it means you’ll actually show up. Does that seem fair?”

Patients usually laugh at the last part because they appreciate the honesty of why I’m charging for the appointment, and then about 80% agree to move forward. 

Not surprisingly, instead of purchasing 3 syringes of filler, this lady ended up purchasing a complete package that included 4 syringes of filler, Botox for her forehead lines, a series of 3 BBL treatments and a home care package.

This same scenario plays itself out on a daily basis and it’s transformed my practice. 

Whenever I see a new patient, I’m always thinking, "how can I get this patient to see the value of a paid, one hour consult? How can I get them to prepay for this appointment and make it seem like it was their idea?

It’s important to never correct or disagree with the patient because that would be confronting them with your own force instead of redirecting theirs.

If you ever make a patient feel stupid, misinformed, or pressured, their guard will go up and you will lose.

This is the art of Cosmetic Ju-Jutsu. It takes practice because it requires the ability to read the patient and adjust your approach accordingly, but it’s absolutely worth the effort of learning.

So next time you’re tempted to blame your marketplace for not “getting it”, consider this strategy and see if you can get more patients to see the light. 

- Peter Ursel MD

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Peter Ursel MD


Dr Peter Ursel has been treating leg vein patients in Lindsay Ontario for over 20 years. He was initially a family and emergency physician and early in his career discovered that there was a need in his area for outpatient vein treatments. At the time, there was no formal training available. After extensive research and over many years, Doctor Ursel assembled the finest treatments available and brought them to Lindsay.

How To Use Your Patients To Grow Your Medical Practice

The best marketing for your clinic is when your patients do it for you.

Word of mouth takes many forms, but it's increasingly being handled online through social networks and search engines. Patients are now researching you online before they call. They look at your reviews. They run searches with your name and "complaints", "malpractice", "lawsuits", "reviews". If you're going to compete, you have to be in the game.

To do that, you're going to need the right tools, which I'm going to show you, but you have to be convinced that they're important to buy and use or you'll just stay with what you know, so I'm going to dive in to why you need them first.

You've got a marketing problem that you didn't have before.

It wasn't long ago when you just needed to be found, and ranking high in searches drove traffic and filled your treatment rooms.

No longer.

Consumers of all types have subtly changed their decision behaviors online and are weighing buying cues much differently than just two years ago. Reviews are seen by prospects as increasingly important in their buying decisions.

That changes the playing field. (Don't believe me? Just keep reading.)

When asked, 90% of people read reviews before visiting a local business. 85% of those people relate that they trust those online reviews as much as they would a family member or trusted friend.

But it goes beyond simply making the first call to your front desk. Consumers spend 31% more money with businesses that have higher reviews than their competitors. It has nothing to do with price, the quality of service, or other metrics. It's the perception in the consumers mind that higher rated businesses are more trustworthy than those with few or negative reviews. There's a simple reason for that I'm sure you're aware of; a review is how the consumer 'felt' about the business after everything else was taken in to consideration; price, value, responsiveness... The star matrix is really a metric of satisfaction at the end result.

Just today I was looking to arrange three business lunches in the coming week. In every case it was the number of reviews and the star totals that made the decision for me.

Here was my thinking:

  • Few reviews? It's too risky; there are safer choices.
  • Lower star rating? Patrons weren't satisfied. Who want's to eat there?
  • Negative reviews by themselves? Tricky... some people are jerks so an occasional bad review is unavoidable, but it's too risky. I'll go somewhere else.
  • Negative reviews with responses? A few negatives is okay. I can trust the positive reviews more and - especially if the business has responded to the reviews - I think they take their reputation seriously. It makes me more confident that they don't want negative reviews and they work harder than others to avoid them.
  • Lot's of reviews (even a few negatives) and a 4+ star rating? That's the place.

And the above is especially true for your clinic.

Think about what you would do if you were deciding between two clinics – both with 4 stars – where one clinic has 5 reviews and the other has 25.

You'll choose the one with 25 every time, and that's costing you patients if you're the clinic with only 5.
 

Do reviews really drive new patients?

Here are the results of a survey we sent out to members showing the importance and value of enlisting patients in your growth strategy. The recipients were selected from a cross-section of members to try and hit all types of clinics; dermatologists, plastic surgeons, medical spas and cosmetic clinics.

Question: What is your most effective marketing?

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Yep. Number 1 and 2 - word of mouth referrals and internet searches - both fit squarely around your online patient reviews. Everything else is a very distant third.

Reviews are a primary traffic driver and trust builder:

  • Reviews are free. Advertising that is completely free of cost is a rare commodity. Reviews let your patients build links to your site and drive new traffic.
  • They're authentic: New prospects want to know what your existing patients think of you. Reviews let them communicate that in an authentic voice that prospects relate to.
  • They build trust: 92% of Americans trust word-of-mouth more than any other form of marketing – even if they don't personally know the person... and online reviews are more trustworthy than testimonials on your site that you have complete control over.
  • Improves your search rankings: Google ranks websites according to their perceived authority and their ability to provide valuable content. Customer reviews can help tell search engines that your brand is established, and when more people online are discussing your firm, Google will rank your site higher in search engine results. It also helps to add links to customer reviews on your site, because Google rewards sites that contain links to other authoritative websites.
  • Lowers your bounce rate: Customer reviews help your business stand out and make visitors to your website more interested in your product or service because of the value others have had. The impact on your site’s bounce rate can be meaningful and can help to trigger higher rankings as bounce rate is arguably one of the ranking factors involved in search results.
  • Previews your star ranking: Many sites that feature star rating systems will show a preview when someone does a search for your brand. This means that a person will not need to click on their page to see that your company was rated favorably, as the star level and the first few sentences will show up on the search results page. Google will sort search engine results based on the number of reviews received, giving you an advantage and an SEO boost. Your good reputation will then precede you, increasing the likelihood that a person will click through and choose you above your competitors.

Reviews are interesting in another way as well; they tell you what's important to your patients and they identify weak spots in your systems that you can address.
 

Do reviews really increase your revenue?

From the same survey, we also asked clinics how much revenue  each new patient added in just the first month. The lifetime value of each patient is dependent upon the clinic type (nonsurgical / surgical) but can be expected to be a multiple of this number.

Question: How much is a new patient worth to your clinic in the first month?

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It's interesting that there's a gap here in the middle, but once I thought about it it made a lot of sense; the clinics we surveyed were fairly well divided between "medical" and "spas"... So if you're a cosmetic medical practice you're far more likely to be on the right of this graph with each new patient spending North of $2000 the first month.

Question: How many new patients does your typical client refer each year?

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Okay, this is were we start to see some hope of shifting the results here to the right if you're getting on board with patient reviews and those reviews are working for you. If you're able to shift that 3 patients a year to just 4, that would equate with roughly a 20% greater delta in your yearly growth and a corresponding increase in revenue and profits. Just a small increase in the coefficient can have a dramatic effect in the end result over time.

That's what we're looking to try and do.
 

What should I do?

The short answer to "what should I do?" is - Do something. Anything. But don't do nothing.

How much less is your clinic worth to someone who wants to buy it if your reviews are negative? How much harder is it to recruit staff? How many patients are you losing that you don't know about.? Simply put, your online reviews are your brand, and an indication of patient trust and satisfaction. Reviews are what people are saying about you to others (which is what your brand is), and you can't just ignore your brand and reputation if you want to have a successful clinic or valuable asset. 

You have 3 options; you can ignore it, you can do it manually, or you can do it automatically.
 

Option 1 - Ignore my online reviews

You can't ignore it... Well, actually I guess you can. After all this is what most clinics do. They bitch and moan about someone leaving a negative review since they know it hurts their reputation, but they take no proactive actions to increase or control those reviews.)They simply float along with the status quo and hope nothing happens.

Here's what ignoring it means:

  • Your competition may not ignore it, which means that they're either taking your existing market share, or they're putting you further behind while you're not even showing up to compete.
  • You're reputation is uninsured: Something really damaging can happen which you won't be able to respond to.
  • You're missing out on every new patient that might have been brought in. You're missing sales, word of mouth, and compounding growth. This is really where you're killing yourself long term.

Pros & Cons: The only pro to this is that it's free, but the cons are legion. If you're ignoring your reputation and new business you're damaging your clinic. Go stub your toe in penance.
 

Option 2 - Do it manaully

Yes, you can do this manually but don't be fooled that it's not a lot of work. It is, but up until now this was the best way that you could address this need and what most clinics have tried to do in some form.

Here's a simple framework of what you should be doing right now at your front desk.

  • Implement operational systems at your front desk check out procedure that is followed for every single patient. (See the Ultimate Clinic Operations Blueprint)
  • Every happy patient should be asked to please leave a testimonial or review on their Facebook page or on your Google Business Listing. You should ask if they would be willing to use their phone to do it right now. (You may want to add a small discount or free product gift if they're willing to do this.)
  • You should contact Tea & Muffins Design to have some postcards made where patients can fill out a testimonial right there that you can use.
  • You should send an email or postcard reminder soon after each appointment. (You'll want to keep track of who has already left reviews or you'll irritate your happy patients with redundant emails.)
  • You should set up a number of Google Alerts to try and monitor when reviews go up so that you can respond to them.

Pros & Cons: We'll, at least you're doing something but this is time intensive and a real pain in the ass to try and manage after the first week. The opportunity cost is huge in the time invested and the "just-one-more-thing-to-try-and-manage" costs.

And there's another problem with this. Even if you're proactive and constantly ask your patients to leave reviews, they don't. 

Have you ever left a review? You have to be really motivated and it's much easier just to do nothing once you're out of the clinic.

But where there's a problem there's also an opportunity.
 

Option 2 - Do it automatically

To be an automated solution you need to have software that is both drop-dead simple to use, and gives you complete control on both Facebook and Google.

It also needs to be easy to incorporate it in to your operations, and use easy workflows; texting review requests, reputation management, notifications, tracking, permissions, and even additional patient interactions.

Here's what this software should do:

  • Needs to be really simple to use: No more than entering a name and phone number. Needs to be used during check-out when patients are most willing to leave you a positive review AND any time thereafter.
  • Needs to be simple for the patient. Needs to work via simple text message, not an app or download.
  • Needs automatic monitoring of my reviews: I want to be notified of every review and be able to respond  in one place, not login to every review site.
  • Needs accounts for each team member: I want track everyone inside the system, and their reviews.
  • Send external texts: I want to be able to send text messages to my patients as followup, reminders, or just to inform them about an offer we have coming up.
  • Let's patients and prospects text me: I want prospects to be able to text me directly from my Google review page or Facebook.
  • Simple... Did I say that already?

Since we're aware that this is a growing need for our Members we took a look at the front-runners in this space. Here are 3 of the top business review software providers to take a look at with their user satisfaction ratings supplied by G2 Crowd.
 

Highest Rated Reputation & Review Management Software

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Highest Rated Ease Of Use Reputation & Review Management Software

Ratings from  G2 Crowd

Ratings from G2 Crowd


As shown above, Podium is the clear winner among business review management software providers both in total user satisfaction and usability - which is critical.

so we contacted Podium and asked them to help us provide their software at a discount for our Members (you).

They agreed.

So, Podium partnered with Medical Spa MD to provide a special offer exclusively to our members which includes both a full Podium account, discounted fees, and special training for your staff in our Training Academy.

Here's a quick video I made to show you how simple it is to send a review request to your patient while they're checking out!

This is exactly how your front desk staff would use Podium when a patient is checking out, or your staff would use it from their cell phone right in the treatment room.

"Hey, would you mind me texting you a review request to give us some feedback?"

Damn that is nice!
 

Here's Podium explaining more about their software.


And about their messaging feature which allows patients who see you online to text you questions, a much easier action to take than calling and talking to someone.

Because reviews are increasingly critical for every business there are startups that are building solutions to fill the need - including using patient reviews to fill your appointment calendar, increase patient satisfaction and compound your patient referrals and word of mouth marketing.  


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Get this special offer from Podium 

Medical Spa MD Members receive a special, full service Podium account that includes: no setup fee (save $300), a 10% discount forever (save $330/year) and on-demand patient review marketing training for your entire staff ($597 value). 

This offer is not available anywhere else

How To Reuse Your Clinic's Patient Reviews As Content

 Focus on how to be social, not how to do social.

“A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is.” – Scott Cook, Founder, Intuit

You've spent a lot of time investing in getting your patients to leave some sort of review or comment. So, the question is, could you repurpose those reviews?

Read More

3 Local Marketing Hacks For Cosmetic Medical Practices To Leapfrog The Competition

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Turning your local reputation into sales results is a complicated effort that every medical spa, laser clinic, plastic surgeon and dermatologist is continually trying to solve.

Many of the traditional ways no longer work. Yellow pages are dead. Newspapers have fewer readers. Tired 'discount local flyers' are less effective. Everything is turning to the mobile web. According to Pew Research, 72% of US adults use a smart phone, and the percentage of your patients are going to be higher than that. And they're using those little computers in their hand to research and find businesses on-demand - "best local lunch restaurants", "great roofing company near me", or "lowest Botox treatments near me".

Google refers to these times when people are asking for on-demand information related to purchases as "micro-moments" and they are quickly becoming the norm of many consumers. If you're not optimizing your online presence to take advantage of these moments and get yourself in front of potential patients you're missing all of those sales since you're not even in the game.

With the current tools available and the way people interact with them you should no longer be taking a spray-and-pray approach, trying to get in front of everyone. Instead, look at your metrics and see exactly where your sweet-spot is by age, types of treatments, and margins. Then examine they're buying patterns. It's probable that before you're selling the most expensive and profitable treatments that patients are exhibiting certain buying 'tendencies' that you can address. Uncover what those pathways are and then market those entry treatments to that narrow market segment. For example you may see that your most expensive laser treatments are sold to patients aged 40-45 who first came in initially for Restylane or Juvederm. Rather than market the laser first, you should really be targeting them with low cost lip augmentation or fillers.

What are marketing "Micro Moments"?

A post on Think With Google highlights some key opportunities for capturing customer mindshare during micro-moments, including:

  • Identify the top mobile searches in your area. As mentioned previously, mobile device usage is on the rise. More and more consumers are conducting searches on the go and those searches result in increased foot traffic and increased sales. In fact, 50 percent of mobile searches result in an in-store visit within 24 hours with 18 percent of those visits ending in a sale within a day. Knowing what those top mobile searches are can help ensure that your business is the one capturing those customers.
  • Know the frequently asked questions related to your business. If you know what consumers are asking about your business you can create content tailored specifically to answer those questions. For example, if you were a dentist you might want to optimize for questions like “how often should I floss?” or “do I need braces?” Helping to educate your community about issues important to them can help you build trust.
  • Know how customers find your business. Finally, it’s important to find out how customers are getting to your business. Map your customer journey and identify specific moments where customers might have questions. Doing so can help inform your local marketing strategy to ensure your messaging helps push them from consideration to purchase.

Now that you have a better understanding of how micro-moments affect your business, let’s touch on how you can use these moments to get new patients in your front door.

1. Hyper-Targeting

Look for opportunities to personalize your message when you're putting yourself in front of someone. It's now easy to collect mountains of information about customers and potential customers. You can use that info to personalize calls-to-action to make them more appealing. According to HubSpot, personalized CTAs converted 42 percent better than CTAs that aren’t personalized. The personalization need not be as targeted as someone's first and last name.... no. Social media platforms allow you to segment audience quite well, so you can address a message to 30-35 year old women to 'Soccer Mom', or 'Empty Nester" for those 50-55. Just use something clever that your target identifies will immediately.

2. Optimize Directories

One way to ensure that your business is there when your customers need you the most is optimizing your directories for local SEO. Doing so will give your business a better chance to show up in Google’s Map Pack and near the top of local search engine results pages. There are a number of simple things businesses can do to optimize for local search, but for whatever reason, they neglect to do so. They include:

  1. Claiming all relevant business directories
  2. Consistent contact info across all listings and on your site
  3. Upload high-res photos to increase attractiveness of your listing
  4. Use your blog to drive links back to your site
  5. Collect and manage online reviews

3. Build Out Extensive Online Patient Reviews

Online reviews are search engine gold. They build your search rankings, add to your credibility, and are trusted much more than what you say about yourself. A vast majority of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from family and friends. Finally, they can help your business get chosen because online reviews have a strong influence on purchase decisions.

If online reviews are so valuable, why do many clinics ignore them? If you don’t have the right processes or tools in place, collecting online reviews can be difficult. In the past, the process was long and cumbersome, so many customers didn’t follow through with leaving a review even though they were willing to do so.

The key for a successful online review program is to make it as easy as possible. You can do this by focusing on which review sites customers already use and then delivering invites via your customers’ preferred communications channel. Doing those two things should result in a significant uptick in your invitation conversions.

Take a look at the Podium offer for Medical Spa MD Members to see how this should be working for your clinic. 

Note: There are a number of other competitor systems other than Podium that you might want to review, but Podium is the only one that is currently a Medical Spa MD Select Partner.

Improving Your Systems Will Increase Your Clinic's Revenue?

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Yes, improving your operations will increase the total revenue of your medical practice.

One of the best ways you can do is make it more efficient. Efficiency is key in any business, so your medical spa should make sure to be it for your patients and to get good reviews. Make your medical spa or aesthetic practice more efficient with software, staff training, and an operations and management overhaul for 2018. 

Software

There are different software applications you can use for your medical spa, which could make any procedures or processes faster and more efficiently. Which software applications would you need for your medical spa?

A practice management software should cover all scheduling and EHR. It should be something that will keep your records secure, and many experts suggest you should have an all-in-one type of EMR software; there are some EMR software that also includes marketing, which you should consider as well.

A cloud computing service would definitely help you store all the files you will need to protect, as an unprotected computer is vulnerable to viruses and hacking. While some EMRs have a cloud software, it would be better to have a backup from your EMR as well. You can use your Google Drive and even sign up for Dropbox.

A reputation management software seems necessary considering its impact on companies; some medical practices are even purchasing a software that would definitely help them. If you are looking for one you can check out Podium where that application would help attract more patients and get you more reviews.

Training

There are different training programs available for non-medical staff. HIPAA and customer service are the two most important things you should consider when it comes to staff training. 

You must have your staff trained with HIPAA periodically. Aside from HIPAA, find them training with marketing or management. If staff is trained with marketing, they could help with selling your products and services. When it comes to staff training, you will need to train them with customer service as well, most especially considering you are dealing with patients almost daily.

Customer service play a huge impact on reviews as well, and if in some reviews some patients have noted your bedside manner, you may need to improve on it as well.

Management

Managing staff and operations could be a lot of work. To manage your medical spa staff and your operations, you will have to identify factors that are currently causing your productivity. Learn to motivate your staff, as part of your management efforts. 

As the physician and their leader, you will need to juggle these two roles well. Always communicate with them and make sure you engage with your employees regularly. You need to find strategies to retain your employees and monitor their performance often as you can.

How 2017 Data Will Help Your Medical Spa 2018

Reviews will remain a paramount factor in Google rankings, and that holds true thanks to a study conducted by different SEO websites, Moz and Local SEO Guide. It should remain as your priority in gaining a new audience, since reputation management is also important for any business, and Google My Business is one of the methods that will help put you on the map. Your medical spa will greatly benefit from reviews, if you and your staff know how to utilize reviews well for ranking and visibility.

Google My Business

Google My Business (GMB) holds a huge weight in the ranking of you medical spa. Original, authentic, and legitimate content, such as reviews could help raise your ranking better and would give you better visibility. Google is the most used search engine, and while you have many competitors, it still is your best chance of being discovered by potential patients.

What if you do not have a Google My Business

In ‘claiming’ your GMB, you need to remember these things, one you must update all the relevant information regarding your medical spa or aesthetic practice. These include: times and days open, a link to your website and your appointment page, the exact location of your medical spa or practice based on Google maps, and photos.

Reputation management should be a necessity for all medical practices if physicians aim to be searchable and seen by prospective patients in their area. It will take time to rank in Google, especially in the first year. This is why alongside a reputation management strategy, you need a consistent SEO strategy for your medical spa or aesthetic practice, to ensure that you will remain on Google’s rankings.

It is much better to rank in Google organically, because apparently according to experts choosing to go for paid will not help as much. This is why you will need to ask for reviews from patients regularly. You can give them a piece of paper or card, you may email them (making sure that no PHI is in the email), or you may send them a text.

What if it’s a multi-practice or a part of it?

If you are in or part of a multi-practice, create pages for all locations. Make sure it’s not duplicate content, as such, indicate the different locations for other pages. For example, Aesthetic Practice New York, Aesthetic Practice Los Angeles. Make sure to have complete information across all locations.

Should I have a personal Google My Business page?

What you are referring to is a Google+. Your medical spa or aesthetic practice could have your own Google+ also, but your individual Google+ should only be meant for social media. You will need the Location Page for your Google My Business, so that it would help you be recognized when patients search your area. A Brand Page of a Google My Business acts more as a page for patients to follow and like posts for.

It is important to discover the importance of having a Google My Business. In this sense, you will be more known by patients. As part of your Local SEO strategy, be listed. Experts recommend you start ranking or focusing locally, so it could be easier for you to be recognized by new patients. Always have a consistent strategy all throughout.

The Simple Secret To Getting Awesome Patient Reviews.

how to get better patient reviews

Review marketing is the easy way to get your patients to market your clinic for you.

One of the challenges that every medspa or cosmetic clinic has is in trying to get patients to share their thoughts about your practice to their friends. Yep. Word of mouth.

Fortunately, a number of the barriers getting in the way of that have been overcome by software, and others are simply a matter of implementing the right systems.

To start with, you're going to need to get comfortable with the simple practice of asking for a review. Yeah, that's essentially the simple secret; ask. But you have to do it the right way. A recent survey found that 7 out of 10 patients said they would be willing to leave a review if asked. If it's that easy, why do we fail so badly to secure our patients help.

For most people, it comes down to the idea that it's potentially placing a burden on the patient by asking for a favor, or, that if they say no it will be embarrassing in some way. But both of those thoughts are wrongheaded.

When most people, including our patients, are asked for a "favor" they don't see it as a burden. Their perception when you ask them is that you value them and the relationship. Think about it. When someone asks you for a favor your reaction, especially if it's small, is to say yes. Additionally, the mere act of asking can strengthen the perception of the relationship and improve the patient's perception of their relationship with you.

Benjamin Franklin was a master of this.

Throughout his life Ben Franklin built a deep network of friends. However, not everyone was a fan. In his autobiography, Franklin mentions a man who vehemently opposed his candidacy for Clerk of the General Assembly of the Pennsylvania House. No matter how much ‘servile respect’ (a.k.a., kindness in today’s terms) that Franklin showed, this individual’s opinions on Franklin could not be changed. Interestingly, Franklin tried the exact opposite method, and it worked:

Having heard that he had in his library a certain very scarce and curious book, I wrote a note to him expressing my desire of perusing that book and requesting he would do me the favour of lending it to me for a few days.

“He sent it immediately – and I returned it in about a week with another note expressing strongly my sense of the favour. When we next met in the House, he spoke to me (which he had never done before), and with great civility. And he ever afterward manifested a readiness to serve me on all occasions, so that we became great friends, and our friendship continued to his death.

”This is another instance of the truth of an old maxim I had learned, which says, ‘He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another than he whom you yourself have obliged.’”

It's a simple emotional reflex. When you do a favor for someone you become tied to their success and happiness in asmall but important way. The act of helping them just a little makes you want to help them more.

One of the hardest parts of asking for a review is not only knowing when, but how to ask for a review.

When is the best time to ask for a patient review?

Many clinics will post something on their Facebook page or just ask in an email. 

Completely useless. You may get an occasional thumbs-up on a facebook post but it does almost nothing to benefit you or your clinic.

The perfect time to get a glowing review of your clinic is just at check out, when the patient is interacting with the front desk and they're inside your clinic. It's the point in time when they're focused on the outcome, or, if it was a consultation, are looking forward to it. It's also the point where you have maximum control of both the way that you ask and what you're asking for.

The best success rate and reviews are generated using a simple system at check out that uses text messaging that you send directly to the phone in their hand.

Here's how it works.

After the treatment or consultation the clinician or technician mentions that the patient will be asked during check out if they would be willing to leave a review. It's explained that patient reviews are incredibly important to the clinic and that they're taken seriously. If the patient would be willing to leave a review, the clinician or technician will take that as a favor.

Then, during check out, the front desk asks if they can text the patient a review request. They can simply click the link, select a 'star rating' and leave a few thoughts. It happens right now, in the clinic, and will take less than 60 seconds.

Patients say yes because it's immediate, it's fast, and it's simple. 

You'll never have success just asking patients to go log in to their online social media accounts and say wonderful things about you. That doesn't work. 

The patients that are willing to go do that are the one's that are not saying nice things about you. They're the handful of patients that are angry. Those patients are really motivated.

So, in looking at how this should work we brought on Podium as a Select Partner and they've agreed to give Medical Spa MD Members both special pricing for their software, and special training for your staff on how to manage your patient review marketing.

Take just a second and see how Podium can help you drive new patients and protect your reputation.

And, if you're smart, you'll try out Podium's special offer for Members. It's a month-to-month service so there's no risk, and when you do it right (note the training you'll have access to) it's a no-brainer.


A special offer for Medical Spa MD Members from Podium.

Podium: 5 Questions To Ask Patients For More Powerful Testimonials

5-questions-patient-review-marketing.jpg

Most cosmetic clinics, and now almost every medical practice, asks for patient reviews and testimonials. Make sure they're powerful by asking the right questions.

You're asking for testimonials, and if you follow up and pester your patients you're getting them.

However, there's a problem that most clinics have. The testimonials you're getting are powerless.

Testimonials are really just very short stories, and that's how you should be treating them. But if you look at your testimonials they come across as just pablum. These milquetoast testimonials are what you're left with if you don't understand how to ask the questions that allow your patients to give you memorable and powerful endorsements, and that start's with how you ask.

We're going to pump up your testimonials but helping you ask the right questions, in the right way.

5 questions to get a powerful patient testimonial:

  1. What was your main concern about buying this treatment?
  2. What was the result of buying this treatment?
  3. What specific result did you like most about this treatment?
  4. What are 3 other benefits of this treatment?
  5. Would you recommend this treatment to your friends? If so, why?

You'll also want to follow up with : Is there anything you'd like to add?

Note: you'll change "treatment" to a specific service: Botox, Restylane, liposuction, etc. Specific is good. There's no need to shy away from saying "buy" or "bought" or "purchased". Many of the concerns that your testimonials will directly address will be about "buying", 

Also, make sure that you're ask about the objections and concerns that the patient overcame to buy. It's critical information that both elevates your testimonial and helps you identify concerns that you can address with your marketing and consultations.

Why these 5 questions work

Let's take a look at why we want to ask each of these 5 questions.

1. What was your main concern about buying this treatment.

You're going to ask this question because no matter how popular or safe a treatment ins, in the patient's mind there's always a concern. It could be money, time, pain, outcome, or almost anything. It could be all of those.

When you ask this question it brings out those concerns, and it goes further. When the patient searches her memory to think through what may have been a deal-breaker, they'll come up with a number of things that you may not have considered to be relevant before.

There is always a concern. So, when the patient brings up this concern it presents an angle that's unique, personal, and dramatic. A concern that other patients will relate to directly.

2. What was the result of buying this treatment?

You want to ask this question to show how the obstacle or concern was overcome. When a patient answers this question, she talks about why the treatment was worth it despite the concerns.

3. What specific result did you like most about this treatment?

Here's where we start digging deeper. "Specific" is the key word. If you ask a patient to focus on the benefits of the treatment they'll provide a vague 'overview' type of answer that may be nice, but it won't move anyone. That's why you want to focus on a single result that the patient liked most. This brings out the one feature and the patient will be much more explicit

4. What are 3 other benefits of this treatment?

Since you already asked about the primary benefit from the treatment, now you can go a little wider, adding color to whatever else the patient liked about her results. 

Depending upon the treatment you can substitute any number, 2 or 1, or even eliminate the number completely, but the number does make it easier for your patient to try and address the question. It let's her focus on a limited number of factors and ranks them for you in what the patient found most useful.

5. Would you recommend this treatment? If so, why?

Psychologically this question is important. When a patient makes a recommendation an they are personally tied to it, there's more at stake for them. This ties to the way that they think about their own integrity. Unless the patient feels strongly they won't be forward about recommending it, and when she does recommend it, she communicates clearly to perspective patients, "Hey! I recommend this and here are the reasons why!"

Bonus: Is there anything you'd like to add?

Most of the testimonial has already been addressed but here's where you may catch something that the patient overlooked or thought differently about. There's never any harm in picking up a few last tidbits after the first questions have got the patient thinking. Occasionally you'll find that this last answer is where you really illicit something great.

Using testimonials to discover and address patients objections

The way that we're looking at constructing testimonials brings us to the reason behind the methodology; the testimonial actually answers the buying objections. When we ask the patient, "What was the obstacle that would have prevented you from buying this treatment?",  the "obstacle" the customer brings up is going to be the concerns that we'll address in our marketing and consultations.

We should plan our testimonials to directly defuse each objection

Let's just take filler injections; Restylane, Juvederm, etc. If you talk to the average potential patient you'll hear any number of objections:

  • It's too expensive. / I'll get stuck on an expensive treatment program forever.
  • I'm afraid of needles and pain.
  • I can get it cheaper somewhere else.

Let's assume that these are the three main objections. If you're asking the questions above, what are the testimonials that you capture going to say?

  • I thought it was too expensive, but (here's why it was worth it).
  • I'm afraid of needles, but (here's what happened and why I'm not afraid now).
  • I thought about getting it cheaper somewhere else, but (here's what I found).

Each testimonial is a mirror image of each objection

You may know it's coming. You may have heard it often before and addressed it early in your marketing materials and sales copy, but new patients get a third-party perspective when they see your current patients defusing their objections in your testimonials.

A third party is always far more believable to your potential customers, and because each of these testimonials is linked directly to an objection, it systematically reduces the risk. 

How do I control the testimonial?

You may want to try and exercise control of your testimonials or give guidance to drive patients towards specific outcomes. You may want to talk about your length of time performing fillers, you education, or awards, but your patient may want to talk about price. So how do you control what your patient says?

Er... you don't.

You're part is constructing the questions. If you're doing this correctly you don't need to control the responses or the process. But that doesn't mean that you can't exert some influence on the direction that those responses take.

Start with the key objections you know you need to address

When you reach out to the patient. Ask her if cost, pain, or results were one of her big objections. If she says yes, follow up to find out the specifics. But if she says no, and mentions a completely different issue, follow up and run that objection to ground.

For example, a patient may say, "A friend had it done and it didn't look natural."

That feedback reveals an objection you hadn't considered, and it may be an objection that you haven't been addressing yet.

Examine it carefully, but you many decide that the new objection isn't worth pursuing and you can't use it. No problem. If that's your decision there will always be more patients who get the angle you're going for.

This process will extract the exact buying objections and testimonials that will help you defuse key objections. The result is that the testimonial is going to do some real grunt work for you in overcoming the fears and objections of the patients you're marketing to.

Get believable testimonials that are complex and detailed

Testimonials are among your most powerful sales and marketing tools simply because they come from patients, not you. They're told from the patients view point, about their concerns, and the results that they achieved. When a patient produces a testimonial that is rich in detail and emotion, and is believable it's done it's job.


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Here's what other clinics are saying about Podium:

“First and foremost, Podium has helped generate more reviews for our practice. That increase in reviews has steadily translated into more patients.”

— Dr. Josh Wyatt

“Within about 20 seconds we can get a review invite out to them. It couldn’t be simpler.”

— Dr. Chad Ellis

Connect with new and current patients

It can be challenging to find new patients considering the competition. Some aesthetic physicians could be offering a treatment at a lesser cost or list a popular treatment that allows patients to return to them more. It would be a bummer if one of your former patients would go to them or have a prospective one go to another. Thus you'll need to brush up on some simple marketing skills on how to retain patients or bring in new ones.

Read More

Website Optimization and How It Could Help Your Practice

Websites are a digital version of your practice’s information. You’re putting yourself out there, and of course you would want to impress potential patients. However, the content inside your website could contribute in helping you lose leads, if you are not involved in the website building process.

Here are three main blunders could drive your potential patients away to your competition.

Created a disorganized and outdated website

This is a complete turn-off for your prospective patients. Remember, patients have gone digital, and would prefer to look for their doctors on the internet. These people stay for a few seconds on pages so make their visit count. You wouldn’t want to show cluttered pages that would immediately have them searching for another doctor or repeatedly...

Read More

Simple Video Marketing Can Make You An Extra $10K A Month

Step up your practice’s marketing strategy by adopting a or improving your video marketing strategy. According to SEO Experts, Video Marketing will dominate in 2017. What would that mean for your practice?

How Video Marketing Will Save Your PracticeWell, it means two things.

One is if you have been using video marketing, good for you. You're already doing things that others aren't which is where you want to be on the marketing side.

Two is if you have no intention or have yet to implement video marketing. The challenge: Starting up and competing against fellow physicians who have adopted the strategy.

Video marketing in this age is not limited to the traditional YouTube upload where you introduce your practice or enumerate all the procedures you offer. This marketing strategy has expanded to temporary or expiring content. Snapchat and Instagram Live or Stories are two prime examples, aiding several businesses reach new customers.

It is also an effective marketing strategy because according to Boast video is available across different devices and that could be a better replacement for text.

Many social media experts claim that video also gets reaches and engagement aside from traditional SEO Techniques. According to Hubspot, over 90% deemed video marketing effective for customers to understand a business.

What kind of videos can you put out there? The videos you play in your practice is considered a marketing tool.

1. Procedural-related videos

Your menu of services could be in video form that can be presented in your practice, social media accounts, or on websites. Decide your most popular procedures and select which ones you would recommend. In addition, you can show this bit by doing it on livestream or uploading the procedure on YouTube. This shows your credibility as a physician and your ability in performing procedures.

2. FAQ or Informational videos

Give them an idea about your background, your clinic or practice’s background. Answer all frequently asked questions that all your patients ask about any procedure or your staff or clinic.

3. Review or Testimonial videos

Capture prospective patients’ attention by posting testimonials of your current patients. Reviews are helpful to ensure your reputation and credibility as a physician.

Do not limit your video marketing to only your clinic’s waiting room. Post all your available videos on social media or on your website. You can even utilize Snapchat, Instagram Stories, or Twitter Live.

Millennials Are Starting To Hit Cosmetic Medicine

Millennials are now hitting the age where they're looking for cosmetic medical care... but reaching them requires a change in the way you're getting your message out.

Reaching Out to Millennials

Social media is a key factor in engagement. It has opened doors for physicians to update patients with the latest offers in the clinic or with the newest in the health world or by simply educating them about your specialty or practice. The power of social media would help you become an influencer, allowing you to be known across different channels and even through different generations.

Moz, an SEO company, released a series of infographics about generational use and reach of social media.

See them here: https://moz.com/blog/the-generational-content-gap-three-ways-to-reach-multiple-generations

According to some experts, physicians have difficulty reaching Generation Y (millennials). While many millennials are active in social media, physicians may have to step up their game in order to reach this demographic to garner more patients in their practice. Millennials have trust issues, and as physicians who want to reach Gen Y, you may need to build up your online reputation and website. After all, they're looking at everyting online via their smart phone.

If you're a single physician, make your name a brand. According to Forbes, Millennials are able to connect with companies better as a brand, so try to condense your popular procedures into 140 characters on Twitter. Another alternative to wordiness is visuals. So, put your name out there and differentiate yourself from the others.

If you're running a larger clinic, you can do the same thing with your clinic's name.

Reviews will remain important. Forbes also reports that Millennials trust reviews before getting into anything. It helps them discern if the cosmetic procedure is right for them or is too expensive and the risks that follow. Ask returning patients to give you reviews so that Millennials will be able to read about your treatments and the way you and your staff handle patients as well.

Lessen advertising. Advertisements sound the alarms on a Millennial’s head. This causes their trust issues to rise, and they . Don’t target their insecurities, target their possible needs. In addition to what they would need, elaborate further as to how this procedure could be beneificial and risky it could be. In that sense, you could have them consider getting the procedure and look more into it.

So physicians, what should be your 2017 strategy?

Change it up. Don’t stay on Twitter or on Facebook all the time. Try Instagram and Snapchat. According to most SEO experts, Expired Content—posts that last for only a few hours—would keep them curious or wanting more. If you are already established on Twitter or Facebook, go on live video to introduce products and services, show your whole practice, and flaunt your practice or clinic. It allows your audience to see how the clinic looks like and your staff also runs the practice.

Content is always essential. No updates could hinder your conversion strategy. Always have relevant content on your blog and your social media channels. Churn out significant content. Remember, there is a difference between spamming your followers and posting regularly.

Ask returning patients to follow and mention you. This is important, because in this regard you can retweet or like their posts and some of your followers will be able to see that.

Educate and inform. To establish yourself further on the social media front, you will need to post educational content about cosmetic procedures. This way, your patients know what to expect and at the same time see you as their reliable sources.

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Cosmetic clinics are in constant need of design and advertising, from small tweeks to before and after images to sophisticated advertising campaings. Tea & Muffins fills a critical space that gives your clinic the flexibility and capability you need at a fixed monthly price no matter how much you use them. It's essentially a subscription service that can fundimentally change the way that you think of how you think of your design needs.

A simple one time job can be had for a flat fee of $129, and for $399 you get work that is essentially unlimited as long as you only have 2 tasks outstanding at a time.

It's a perfect solution for clinics and medical spas who want to have a read resource that knows what they're doing at a fixed price.

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Powerful Marketing For Your Medical Spa: Social Proofing

Increase conversion rates of cold sales emails through social proofing!

Social proofing is a psychological phenomenon which influences someone to think that you are great after knowing that other people think you are great. It is informational social influence where people assume or conform to other's actions in an attempt to reflect the correct behavior for a given situation.

This is useful especially when you are communicating to your potential customers for the first time, as when you are cold emailing them.

Social proof is also notable on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The more followers you have, the more trustworthy and reputable you appear to be.

Product reviews and ratings are relevant for American consumers. Statistics says that more than 70% of them look at product's site and its reviews and ratings before deciding to purchase a product.

Several techniques of social proofing can be utilized, including mentioning in your email the patrons of your product, perhaps a famous company which is also your client, a famous investor, or the person you know in common in the mail.

It shows your potential customer that others have also taken the action that your company wanted them to take, whether purchasing or subscribing. Research shows that when a famous customer is mentioned at the bottom of the email, replies in the cold email doubled.

In a study of 10,000 accounts at a German bank, it was shown that customers who came from customer referrals had 16% higher lifetime value than those who came from other acquisition sources. Social media has sparked dozens of different ways to provide this kind of social proof.

Facebook widgets that show other Facebook friends that “like” a brand, Twitter’s display of people you follow that also follow another person, and the various ways that company offer rewards for referring others to the brand are all examples of this. Perhaps you might also want to mention present customers with established positive reputations.

These influencers are seen more positively with association. A shared LinkeIn Connection may also be mentioned. It was found that when you point out a shared connection with someone in common, 25.5% of the people who received the email opted in to have a further conversation about the product compared to the 4 % who received the basic mail.

Testimonials, accompanied with corresponding faces, are one of the most persuasive forms of social proof out there. Compared to statistics, stories and real-life experiences by other people are more trustworthy and persuasive because these examples touch our hearts and mind.

Optimizing Your Clinics Email Marketing

Email marketing is a good way for businesses to engage both potential and existing customers. In 2015, email users are nearly around 2.6 billion and this is expected to exponentially increase to over 2.9 billion in the year 2019.

medical spa email marketing

Emails are very useful in the business world and as well as consumers - mainly due to its use for notification consisting of online sales.

Further, survey says that 91% of consumers check their email at least daily and 55% of companies surveyed say they generate more than 10% of sales from email.

Data from the Direct Marketing Association reveal that 66% of online consumers made transactions out of an email marketing message.

Email marketing allows you to be efficient. You can save a lot of your precious time after optimizing your autoresponder sequence or your sales funnel. Automation takes over and does most of the work for you.

But first, you have to plan about the results you want to achieve when hatching plans to grow your list. Map out how email marketing can be incorporated in your overall marketing scheme.

So, how do you improve your patient interaction through email marketing?

Start with what you write as a keyword in your subject line. A study shows that those with keywords confirm, features, upgrade, magic and raffle are likely to be reported as spam so it is best to avoid them unless you were able to built up a list that really trusts you and your brand.

Make a great first impression on your new subscriber through the welcome email or the autoresponder sequence.

When do you send them?

Try sending them on days other than Tuesday and Thursday and email your customers between the hours of 2 PM and 5 PM.

MailChimp’s Email Genome Project reveals that more mails are sent on Tuesday and Thursday than any other day of the week so you might want to test sending emails on other days so you will have less competition. This will pave the way for increased inbox space and click through rates.

People are more likely to open their email between 2 PM to 5 PM, regardless of time zone, according to the Email Genome Project.

Where do you link your email?

Try sending your email traffic to a dedicated landing page because this is usually the one that has a higher conversion rate. Also, you might want to include social share buttons in your emails as this can also generate higher click through rates.

Got other email marketing advices? Share them by posting your comments below. =)