8 Automated Emails You Should Always Send
Sending automated emails is one of the best strategies to stay top of mind with your therapy clients. But if you’re new to the world of email marketing, you may not know which emails to send and when.
In this post, we’ll guide you through the most important automated emails that you should always send to your clients and why. Let’s get started.
Here’s a list of best practices to follow when sending automated emails.
What is an Automated Email?
First things first, let’s discuss what an automated email is and how it works.
An automated email, also known as a behavior triggered email, is a form of email marketing. As its name suggests, this type of email is automatically sent without your direct involvement. You set it up to deploy when triggered by a certain event that you designate in advance.
An automated email is often sent as a response to your client’s behavior. For example, an automated email may be sent when your client schedules an appointment. However, you can also set up an automated email to send in connection with events, such as a client’s birthday.
You can set up automated emails weeks, months, or even years ahead of time, although I’d recommend refreshing the content from time to time.
It’s important to note that you can’t send automated emails directly through your private inbox. When sending out appointment reminders and client invoices, you can use our Theranest software. This is convenient because email is built-in to the practice management software.
However, if you’d like to send marketing emails also, you’ll need an additional email marketing service, like MailChimp or Constant Contact. These services allow you to send bulk emails, like newsletters, to your clients legally. Federal law requires that all email subscribers who receive automated marketing emails also have an easy “unsubscribe” option. Any reputable email marketing service will offer this option.
Why are Automated Emails Important?
Why should you even bother with automated emails in the first place? After all, setting up automated emails requires a considerable investment of time and creativity.
If you’re struggling with whether or not to automate your emails, check out these compelling reasons to do so:
Automated emails keep your clients engaged
When you keep in contact with your clients via email, you’ll build a relationship with them. Even if they’re not active clients, they will remember you when it’s time to seek out the services that you provide.
Automated emails make for less work
After you’ve taken the time to set up your automated emails, there’s nothing left for you to do. The email service will do the rest. Set it and forget it. However, even though automated email allows you to be hands-off, your clients will feel like you’re hands-on.
Types of Automated Emails to Send Your Therapy Clients
Now that we’ve discussed the benefits of automating your emails, let’s go over the types of automated emails you should send.
1. Welcome to the Practice
Start your therapist-client relationship out with a welcome email. In this email, introduce yourself and your practice, including your staff. This email allows you to prepare your new client for their first visit to your practice. You can take them on a virtual tour around your office, explain what to expect during their first appointment, and even get them started with the necessary paperwork.
2. Thank You
It’s always a good idea to say “thanks.” You can send a thank you email whenever the occasion presents itself. However, since we’re focusing on automated emails in this post, here are a few suggestions on when to schedule a “thank you” email:
- After a new subscriber signs up for your email list
- After each appointment
- After your client refers a new client to your service
- After your client leaves a review or testimonial
3. Upcoming Appointment Reminders
Reminder emails are the most important automated emails that you can send to your clients. Clients book an appointment and then forget about it. Don’t rely on your clients to remember their appointment– make sure that you follow up, too.
Ideally, send out two appointment reminders. Send the first email reminder a few days before the appointment and then send the final reminder the day before the appointment. This gives your client enough time to clear their schedule of any potential conflicts.
A great way to stay engaged with your therapy clients is to send periodic newsletters. For optimal engagement, send your newsletters on a predictable schedule (i.e. once a month, bi-weekly) so that your email subscribers become accustomed to receiving correspondence from you.
In your newsletter emails, share:
- Your latest blog post(s)
- What’s new in your practice
- Highlight the services that you offer
- Promote an event
- Share behind the scenes of your practice
- Interview your team
- Ask for referrals
- Update clients on mental health-related issues
- Send educational content
- Case studies and success stories
It’s important to get feedback about your practice from your clients. You can send out automated emails to learn more about your clients’ experiences with you, your staff, and your practice as a whole.
Send out surveys to clients every 6 to 12 months where you ask specific questions about your service. Try to keep your surveys short and easy to complete. Instead of requiring your clients to “reply” to your email, send a link to an online survey, like SurveyMonkey or Typeform.
6. Review and Referral Requests
Ask for referrals via automated email. Strive to send out this type of email every 6 months to keep a steady stream of referrals.
Additionally, you can ask your clients to leave reviews for your practice on Facebook, Google, Yelp, or even your own website.
7. Birthday and Anniversary
Let your clients know that you’re thinking of them. Send an automated email to commemorate a special event such as a client birthday or service treatment anniversary.
8. “Remember Me?” Emails
Last, but certainly not least, are “Remember me?” emails. These are the emails that you send periodically to check if your subscriber still wants to be on your mailing list. It’s not necessary to send this type of email to everyone on your list. You should only send these emails to the subscribers who never or rarely open your emails.
Most email marketing services score your subscribers based on their responsiveness to your emails. In general, a lower score means that the subscriber is not engaged and is “dead weight.” You can send an email directly to these low score subscribers to ask if they’d like to remain on your email marketing loop.
Why should you even go through the trouble of doing it? One big reason: “Deadweight” can affect the deliverability of your emails. If you have too many inactive subscribers on your email list who rarely open your emails, the email service provider (like Gmail or Outlook) will determine that your emails aren’t valuable. As a result, your very valid, very valuable emails won’t make it to inbox but the junk mail folder instead.
To avoid this from happening, send out this “Remember me?” email at least twice a year to your low scoring subscribers to keep you squeaky clean with the email service providers.
Before you set off to create your automated emails, be sure to check out these related resources:
- A Beginner’s Guide to Email Marketing
- How to Educate Prospective Clients on the Need for Mental Health Services
- How to Retain More of Your Therapy Clients for Longer