Alert Solutions Blog

3 Ways Social Media Can Help Your Medical Practice

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Jan 26, 2017 @ 11:01 AM

Medical practice managers and their providers are seeing the value of an active social media presence. For the healthcare industry as a whole, social media has become a powerful tool that brings many benefits.

From marketing to communication, profiles on mediums like Facebook and Twitter expand reach beyond a website alone.

Here are three ways social media can help your medical practice in 2017:

1. Engage Patients with Helpful and Relevant Content 
Patient engagement can be enriched by using social media.  Sharing medical resources and research findings can better educate patients to make more informed decisions with their health.  Thought-leadership is demonstrated by sharing new content from reputable sources.

2. Attract New Patients to Your Medical Practicemedicalsocialmedia.png
Social media is a powerful healthcare marketing tool that can attract new patients for full appointment schedules.  Ratings and reviews are shown directly on your Facebook profile for potential patients to see.  Although the cost of attracting new patients is higher than retaining existing patients, social media is a great way to do so.

3. Improve Patient Communication
Social media is a great opportunity to improve patient communication - just be cautious.  No patient-specific health information may be communicated.  Responsiveness is essential for improving patient communication on social media; Reply to timeline posts or direct messages in a timely manner to let patient’s know you’re paying attention.

Did you know?  90% of millennials said they would trust health information shared by others in their social media networks.

In addition to social media, a multi-channel patient communication strategy is ideal for every medical practice.

Download our Guide to Patient Communication to read more tips and tricks.

Download the Patient Communication Best Practice Guide!

Topics: Marketing Trends, Medical, patient communication, social media marketing, patient engagement

Multi-Channel Marketing Works! Here’s 3 Reasons Why

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Jul 14, 2016 @ 10:07 AM

Multi-channel marketing helps businesses interact with their audiences through a variety of different communication channels.  These can be direct methods such as email and SMS text messaging, or indirect like tradeshow exhibits and blog articles.

Although it can be challenging to manage, as well as more time consuming & costly, multi-channel marketing helps organizations deliver consistent branding across a much wider range all at once.

Here are three reasons why multi-channel marketing just works:

Reason #1: Your Target Audience Expects It
Google and IPSOS reported that 90% of consumers surveyed toggle between different communication channels on the same day – such as computers, smartphones and TV.  This fact means your target audience is more receptive to multi-channel marketing, as well as reaching them where they are at any particular time.

Reason #2: Tmultichannelmarketing.pnghere’s an Increase in Relevance
The beauty of multi-channel marketing is that it helps organizations to send the right message, to the right person, at the right time.  This relevance factor drives more engagement, improved response rates and more conversions.

Reason #3: Higher Return on Investment (ROI)
According to SAS, multi-channel customers spend three to four times more than single-channel customers do. Why is this?  Multi-channel marketing produces results.  With timely, consistent and relevant marketing content, you give your audience more options to do business with you.

To learn even more, download our Multi-Channel Marketing Best Practice Guide.

Want to Do More with Less? Learn How Here

Topics: multi-channel messaging, marketing relevance, Marketing Trends

SMS Text Messaging Versus Voice Calls: Study Looks at Preferred Communication Channels

Posted by Cassie Breen on Thu, Mar 06, 2014 @ 14:03 PM

Mobile phones have changed the way many consumers communicate today.  While voice calls are still utilized, many are finding the convenience of SMS text messaging has won them over as their preferred communication method.

A recent article explains what one study found when asking people how they prefer to stay in touch.  The Nuance-commissioned study from Research Now found that SMS text messaging is still the dominant medium, thanks to its speed and convenience.  Other results of the study included:multichanneltwitter resized 600

  • 57% are contacted via SMS text more than any other form of communication.

  • 62% of consumers would most likely switch to a voice-to-text messaging system from a traditional voicemail system.

  • 66% prefer to receive news from a close friend through a text-based message rather than by voicemail.

In regards to voicemails, although SMS text messaging was found to be most respondents’ preferred communication method, 80% were more likely to use voice calls or leave a voice message when communicating urgent news.  For more personal messages, however, SMS text messaging was still preferred as personal voice messages can potentially go unnoticed for some time.

The study found some other interesting statistics pertaining to text messaging versus voicemails, such as:

  • 79% of consumers found that receiving voicemails are more personal than texting.

  • 66% prefer to receive news from a close friend through a text-based message rather than by voicemail.

  • 85% find SMS text messaging more convenient than voicemails.

What communication channels do you prefer?  Share your thoughts on our blog!

For more SMS text messaging best practice tips and tricks, download our Guide!


Guide to SMS Text Messaging Success


Topics: SMS text messaging, voice broadcasting, SMS Best Practices, Marketing Trends

Building Brand Marketing Through Customer Rituals

Posted by Cassie Breen on Thu, Jan 02, 2014 @ 13:01 PM

Many customers go through their day-to-day by utilizing a series of habits and rituals.  As a business, it is important to become a part of these daily rituals in order to build your brand.  By placing your brand in a customer’s routine, customer loyalty will be installed.

Marsha Lindsey, CEO of the brand strategy firm Stones & Briggs explains, “Much of our daily behavior is habituated, so a business’s job is to break—or break into—customers' habits and rituals.  How businesses do that often lies in connecting with a customer's subconscious.”CustomerRoutine

Understanding a customer’s needs and daily ritual is a large part of having a successful marketing campaign.  By allowing the customer the view your brand as a part of their daily ritual and something that will make their daily routine easier, the customer’s subconscious will connect with the brand. 

Here are two examples of companies who have successfully built a brand through customers’ rituals:

1.        KFC - KFC created a container for chicken nuggets that fits into a cup holder to reach the segment of “on-the-go” customers. It's a simple way to become a part of a customer’s daily ritual.

2.       Amazon - One-click purchase is masterful in this regard because it makes purchasing undemanding and simplified.  The tougher you make it to complete a purchase the less likely customers will complete it. Amazon creates customer engagement through this simplified process which can be easily placed into a customer’s daily routine or become a ritual.

In order to create optimal brand marketing, businesses must understand their customers.  By gathering data about their customer they can create a greater brand strategy that is customized to the targeted audience.  Ensuring your brand strategy is engaging to the targeted audience is imperative in building your brand into customers’ daily rituals.

Check out more of our blogs here!

Check Out More Blog Posts!

Topics: list segmentation, marketing relevance, Marketing Trends

Integrate Direct Mail with Digital Marketing for Maximized Audience Engagement

Posted by Cassie Breen on Thu, Mar 28, 2013 @ 15:03 PM

As we have seen, direct mail marketing is struggling in a world of emerging technology and skyrocketing postage prices.  However, direct mail can still be effective and useful by overcoming key challenges with digital marketing integration.
If your business is using direct mail marketing, below are some key challenges you could face and ways that digital multi-channel messaging can help overcome them.

1.    Personalization

Mail must be made personally relevant. Tracking an online advertisement or traffic to a website will give you information so the direct mail can be better personalized.  You can also add a PURL (Personalized URL) to the piece, adding greater relevance and better tracking from the mail. This can direct the recipient to a personalized web-based landing page that can incorporate the recipient’s name, creating greater audience engagement.

2.    Actionablemarketingstrategy resized 600

Direct mail faces the challenge of being actionable.  Combining direct mail with mobile marketing technology like SMS text messaging or automated voice campaigns can help overcome this challenge.  Send a follow-up text message with a similar offer or launch a voice broadcasting campaign that can connect the recipient to a representative instantly.

3.    Creativity

Use interactive components that would be found in digital advertisements as well. Integrate social media onto the mailing or a USB Web Key (a USB Flash drive, but without memory storage). Digital advertisements are very creative and colorful better engaging the audience; the same should go for direct mail.
Direct mail is a great way to reach potential customers outside of their inbox. Findings in a study conducted by Brand Science found that:

  • Combining direct mail with other communication channels increases campaign payback by up to 20 percent.

  • Online marketing channels, such as email, achieved the highest rates of success when integrated with direct mail.

To learn more about Alert Solutions’ platform, download our Multi-Channel Messaging Worksheet today!

Topics: multi-channel messaging, audience targeting, Marketing Trends

Email Marketing and Social Media Integration Top Priorities for 2013

Posted by Nina Russo on Thu, Dec 27, 2012 @ 11:12 AM

According to a recent article on Marketing Profs, email marketing and social media will be top spending priorities for businesses in 2013.

55.5% of businesses say they plan to increase email marketing campaign spending in 2013 and 52% plan to boost social media spending.

Email Marketing Campaigns
Email is still evolving despite continuing claims that email marketing is dead or dying. Below are a few suggestions on how to keep you email marketing campaigns relevant as other technologies evolve.

-Mobile OptimizationEmail Marketing Campaigns
In 2013, the majority of your subscribers will open your email on a smartphone. A responsive email marketing design allows you to auto-adjust the layout, content, and text size of an email to tailor it to a specific screen size.

- Delivering Relevant Content Is Still Key
Delivering highly relevant content is critical to the success of your email marketing campaign efforts. Relevant emails are read and produce revenue. Irrelevant email marketing campaigns end up in junk folders, marked as spam, or, worse yet, lead to unsubscribes.

- Rethink How Your Email Marketing Campaigns are Structured
A triggered email marketing campaign is a critical tactic in any businesses arsenal, but in 2013, you'll need to take an extra step to make your triggers go multi-channel. An ideal triggered marketing campaign is automatically generated based on a change in a subscriber's behavior using a multi-channel messaging approach.

Social Media
Social media has been building in impact, with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn topping 1 billion, 500 million and 175 million users, respectively.

Social Media IntegrationBusinesses integrated social media into their communication plans of 2012 and reached different segments of their audiences in new ways.

Keep an eye out for increasing social media focus in 2013, particularly geared towards targeted purchasing and revenue generation. And don’t forget social media integration.

Here are a few ways you can easily integrate social media into your existing, and more development, email marketing campaign plan.

1. Put Social Media Icons In Your Email Marketing Campaigns
2. Add Facebook and Twitter Widgets in Your Blog Post
3. On Opt-In Pages, Invite People to Check Out Your Social Media Pages

Topics: Marketing Trends, social media marketing, email marketing

Email Marketing Click-Through Rates: Is there an industry average?

Posted by Nina Russo on Mon, Mar 26, 2012 @ 09:03 AM

It's not that your email marketing campaign open rate isn't important. However, with the prevalence of preview panes, the metric that businesses need to pay attention to the most is their email marketing campaign click-through rate (CTR).  And ideally, a high one.

But the question still remains, is there an average email marketing click-through rate? The answer is yes, well, sort of.The email click-through rate (CTR) is important because without it, you don't get conversions. Email Marketing Campaign Click Through Rate

However, there's no single benchmark click-through rate, because CTRs depend on many of the following factors:

1. Whether your campaigns are B2B or B2C;
2. how relevant the message is to your target audience;
3. your email marketing campaign frequency;
4. your email marketing campaign opt-in process, and;
5. your use of personalization and list segmentation.

With that being said, below are some average click through rates for email campaigns sent to a permission-based, house email marketing list:

B2B Email Marketing Newsletter Click Through Rates: 5% - 15%
If your CTRs are consistently below that level, you are probably providing content of little value to your email subscribers, or you’re providing too much content within the email -  eliminating the need for the recipient to click on and learn more.

B2C Promotional Email Marketing Campaign Click Through Rates: 2% - 12%
Email marketing campaigns with less than a 2% CTR may be a result of over mailing or a questionable email opt-in processes.  To learn more about the double opt-in process, click here.

Emails Sent to Highly Segmented and Personalized B2B and B2C Lists: 10% - 20%
In comparison, email marketing campaigns with strong content and an unsegmented list are often in the 10%-15% range as well.

Triggered Email Marketing Campaigns: 15% - 50%
Triggered email marketing campaigns that are sent to recipients based on some behavior they showed, such as clicking on a product link, visiting a specific Web page, tend to have the highest average click through rates.

Check out this blog post for 5 easy steps you can take to improve your email marketing click-through rates today.

Topics: Marketing Trends, email marketing, email marketing best practices

Tip for 2012 Success: Preference-Based Multi-Channel Communication

Posted by Nina Russo on Thu, Dec 29, 2011 @ 12:12 PM

Permission-based communications are highly valued by organizations looking to grow and retain loyal customers.  There is a ton of research regarding the importance of knowing a consumers’ preferred method of receiving marketing communication.Preference Based Communication

Research suggests customers want brands to use an integrated multi-channel approach that engages them to share their preferences regarding offers, alerts, frequency of contact and media preferences.

Using this integrated multi-channel messaging approach, businesses can provide their audience with relevant communication at key points in the consumer's lifecycle – drastically increasing conversions and reducing opt-outs.

This multi-channel messaging strategy must be created based upon the consumer's individual preferences ... or you will lose ground in 2012!

Four Takeaways

Trust Your Customers To Tell You
Send email or voice surveys to your audience in order to gather insights on which communication channels are more relevant to them.

Offer Your Audience It All
Offer both “new” and “old” communication options your customers select to satisfy all their preferences.

Understand the Behaviors That Equal “Engagement”
Understand what range of actions that you perform drive customer engagement. Such actions can include a change for audience members to enter a contest or share their opinion.

Measure It.
Carefully track behavioral results over time. Audience members engaging and purchasing your products matter, not just how many fans you have on Facebook.

Topics: multi-channel messaging, marketing relevance, Marketing Trends

Emerging Marketing Trends for 2012 - Mobile, Social and more

Posted by Nina Russo on Tue, Dec 27, 2011 @ 09:12 AM

2011 was all about the “cloud” – emphasis on web-based software, tools and applications accessible by anyone, anywhere at any time. 

Cloud computing revolutionized the way marketers communicated with their target audiences and 2012 looks to take that to the next level.  

In this post, we’ll outline five of the top emerging marketing technologies for the New Year:

1. Mobile eCommerceEmphasis on mobile marketing technology was highly prominent in 2011.  2012 looks to expand on this trend as consumers increasingly relyon their mobile phones for many of life’s daily functions.  Businesses who strengthen their mobile marketing identity while optimizing their content for mobile devices are sure to see a return on their investment.Marketing Technology

2. Social MediaBusinesses integrated social media into their communication plans of 2011 and reached different segments of their audiences in new ways.  Keep an eye out for increasing social media focus in 2012, particularly geared towards targeted purchasing and revenue generation.

3. Data VisualizationBecause marketing relevance is crucial, businesses need a bird’s eye view of each of their prospects’ preferences at a moment’s notice.  The management of this data, as well as the means to collect and aggregate it, will be of top consideration in the New Year. 

4. Digital IntegrationBy integrating vital components, marketers and end-users alike achieve increased efficiency and productivity without the risk for miscommunication in disparate systems.  Look for an increase on the focus of this integrated technology in 2012.

5. PersonalizationIndustry competition is fierce, and marketers are reminded of the value in the old-fashioned way – highly targeted marketing campaigns followed by excellent customer service.   By individualizing the conversion process, marketers increase the likelihood of positive testimonials and referrals.

Topics: personalization, marketing relevance, Marketing Trends, mobile marketing, social media marketing

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