Does medical email marketing work?

When we look at a lead source or a clinic that attracts a lead into a practice, email marketing is often the last thing the lead will consume before booking a consultation. It’s a natural journey that progresses to email marketing from awareness (when they find out about their options) with paid traffic, let’s say, or when they come to the website. The lead might complete a lead magnet, so they give you a little information, and then off the back of that lead magnet, they’ve given you their email, and then email marketing begins.

Good email marketing is a well-written, well-sequenced and automated activity

Email marketing then starts to send you pre-programmed setup emails to determined schedules automatically. You can identify what the best send schedules are, and we track and optimize that weekly. You can choose what subject lines you should use because you can write a beautiful email, but if somebody doesn’t open it, then that’s a kind of pointless activity. Optimizing an email follow-up sequence to the point where people actually open them and ultimately book a consultation.

Email marketing is a powerful component of an effective marketing system

Email marketing, if done right with the right strategy built into your complete marketing funnel, can work beautifully. The key thing you want to look out for in email marketing is to make sure you have your emails set up to follow up with anybody who’s inquired and interested but not followed through with the consultation. You want to have a follow-up sequence that goes after those people.

You want to, in that follow-up sequence, not be shy. You want to remind people that they had a need and got busy because life can get in the way. Most often, it’s busyness that gets in between people not taking the next step, not disinterest. Most people think, “Oh, they’re not interested. I’m not going to bother them.” That’s a pervasive barrier that clinics put in the way, but it’s not true. It would help if you injected humour, stories, and reality around, “Life is short. You’ve said that you have an interest in this, and your whole life and world awaits you on the other side of eye surgery.”

Email marketing, done in that way, is a wonderful marketing tool and we encourage you to include it in your toolkit.

(NOTE: Want to see how your practice marketing measures up against the best in class? Take this 5-minute quiz to see how you stack up in the 9 areas of practice marketing and get specific tips and advice on how you can improve your weak points and better leverage your strengths).

Why do doctors and surgeons have concerns about email marketing?

One of the most significant objections that we get when promoting our marketing ideas is that doctors and surgeons have some serious concerns about email marketing. They’re often confusing it with the kind of spam email they get in their emails that they never look at and think is a bother. Often that email is laden with sales messages and is banal. It has an array of links, a bunch of exclamation marks, and hype. They don’t want to be “that guy”. They don’t want to be that person that sends out that kind of email and we don’t want to be that person either.

How to not be a SPAMMER, but email valuable content to prospects instead?

So, what do you do instead? How can you get the benefits of email marketing, which are significant, while not coming across as a sleazy salesperson who’d like nothing better than to flood your email box with useless material?

Well, you’ve got to think about emails in a different way. In the old days, when advertisements used to be the thing, we knew that somebody needed 13 exposures to the same advertisement before they took even one action, which is like a phone call, or mailing away for something, or going into a store.

13 exposures! That’s a lot of exposure. If you’ve got 13 exposures of your message, you’d probably tire of it at about five or six. But in reality, other people are not tired of your message because they’ve got loads and loads of other messages that they’re integrating and absorbing. So they’re looking to cut through the clutter and look for the messages that matter.

We want you to reframe the whole email as something that adds value rather than something selling something. Life-altering, good content is valuable to the person whether they buy from you or not, whether they take that next step or not. That’s what will make your email stand out and get that person reading it and compelled by it.

Why do you need to go further than sending 1 or 2 emails?

We don’t expect a sale or a conversion after the first or second or third email. Instead, we might expect it on the 13th email because we know that repeated exposure generates familiarity, and familiarity is what creates trust. When people trust you, they take action. So if you haven’t followed up for all those times, you’re going to miss out on that immensely valuable conversion, which often accounts for between 20-30% of the kind of conversions that we see coming to you, that wouldn’t come from email.

About the author


LiveseySolar’s mission is to double the size of 150 cataract and refractive surgery practices. Using our proven marketing frameworks and deep market knowledge, our customers can predictably and sustainably grow their practices so that they can enjoy a healthy balance between both worlds – a successful private practice and a happy life.

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Meet our Founders

We’re passionate about helping leaders of high-quality, growth-minded practice owners double their practice revenue

Rod Solar

Founder & Scalable Business Advisor

Rod Solar is a co-founder of LiveseySolar and a Scalable Business Advisor / fCMO for our customers. Rod mentors and coaches CEOs/Founders and their leadership teams to triple their sales, double their profit, and achieve their “ideal exit”.

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LiveseySolar completely transformed the way we were approaching this… We’ve gone from having just the dream of having a practice to having a practice up and running with people making inquiries and booking for procedures… It’s extremely pleasing. We feel lucky we connected with LiveseySolar.

— Dr Matthew Russell, MBChB, FRANZCO, specialist ophthalmic surgeon and founder of VSON and OKKO

Laura Livesey

Founder & CEO

Laura Livesey is the co-founder & CEO of LiveseySolar. She has developed powerful refractive surgery marketing systems that increase patient volumes and profits for doctors, clinics, and hospitals, since 1997.

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Rod and Laura know as much about marketing surgery to patients as I know about performing it. They are an expert in the field of laser eye surgery marketing. They know this industry inside out. I believe that they could help many companies in a variety of areas including marketing materials, sales training and marketing support for doctors.

— Prof. Dan Reinstein, MD MA FRSC DABO, founder of the London Vision Clinic, UK