We are living in a world where there are more tools and online services than ever before. Marketing Automation for Optometry is a technology which allows you to schedule your marketing activities and communications in advance, and in response to your customers actions as they interact with your business. For years, marketing automation was available primarily to corporations and the enterprise market due to the significant subscription costs with major players such as Marketo, Adobe Marketing Cloud, and Salesforce.com.
Gradually, CRM and Email marketing providers caught on to this which brings us to today’s announcement that MailChimp is offering Marketing Automation FREE. It’s an obvious move to boost usage of their service, but it’s interesting that they offered it as a premium service for some time before abandoning the paid-model in in favour of bringing it to the masses.
Great! Another new tool and technology, and with it comes another learning curve for you and your practice.
Is marketing automation a good thing? The name implies some kind of robotic mechanism the surely must be an impersonal way to interact with your patients. In fact, you now have access to data-driven marketing methods which allow you to personalize your messages, and deliver timely follow-ups in ways that you would need dedicated teams to do manually. It allows you to communicate with your patients more often on topics that are relevant to them, such as health awareness, style topics, and seasonal offers.
Automating your patient journey sounds like a nice idea: efficient, personalised, and timely communications. In reality, it is entirely reliant on your source of data which is the Practice Management System – which means that you need to take steps to maintain correctly formatted fields for things like addresses, emails, and SMS. Most practices are not yet utilising emails as a form of regular patient communication, so you will need to find a way to capture these over time to be able to utilise the full value of a Marketing Automation system.
If you have ever sent out a patient newsletter via a an email marketing service, you are likely familiar with the pains of editing and manipulating multiple list formats, exporting, then importing your data trying to ensure that all the opt-out preferences are being respected. This is the current shortcoming of the many cloud-based marketing service providers is that there is no integration to your particular Practice Management System (PMS). Integrations and API-based services are now commonplace, but it will take some time for PMS providers to develop open connections.
We have developed PMS connectors which enable you to set up automated patient workflows, and benefit from marketing technology to keep patients engaged over time. Our Dynamic Patient Recall system offers Practice Marketing Automation solutions with integrated Email and SMS templates, including an automated Print & Post service. Give us a call to discuss compatibility with your PMS today.
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