How to Use Social Media to Grow Your Weight Loss Practice E-Mail List
— By Karol Clark, MSN, RN
If you are not growing your e-mail list, you are missing out on an opportunity to help your weight loss practice flourish. Social media is a great way to reach those that need your services and products the most as well as add them to your e-mail list for ongoing engagement.
While most weight loss practitioners recognize the positive impact social media can have on their practice, many underestimate the value of their e-mail list. When used properly, your social media channels and your e-mail list can hold the key to ongoing patient engagement, better patient outcomes, more referrals and higher revenue. For lack of a better phrase, it can be a real game changer!
It’s not uncommon to feel uncertain about how to grow your e-mail list and harness its power. However, if you apply the tools and strategies outlined in this blog, you can leverage your social media activities to grow your e-mail list. Also included are tips for what to do with your growing e-mail list for better engagement and sales.
Ways to Grow Your E-Mail List with Social Media
Social media efforts can be frustrating since the rules seem to change frequently and it is often difficult to turn ‘likes’ into new patients. With persistent creativity and content that connects, your efforts are more likely to be rewarded. Five effective ways to do this include:
1. Create a Free ‘Exactly What I Want and Need’ Complimentary Resource Related to Your Services and promote it to Current and Prospective Patients: Think about a common pain point your patients have — something they ask you and your team about frequently. Or, something they don’t ask but you know they need. Then create a free resource for them as a downloadable document, video, app, short e-book, graphic or the like. In exchange for this value, they give you their e-mail address and you send the resource to them after they ‘opt-in’ to receive it. This is their way of raising their hand to say that they want what you have to offer. You create the resource, you promote it on social media with a link to a landing page, they enter their e-mail, and you deliver the resource. With the technology available today, this can be automated so current and prospective patients can access it anytime.
A couple of complimentary resource examples include:
- 6 Low-Carb Holiday Recipes Your Entire Family Will Love
- 5 Healthy 5 Ingredient Family Meals You Can Prepare & Freeze Ahead of Time for Delicious Meals on Busy Days
- How to Lose Weight on a Budget
- How to Control 4 Hormones that Cause Weight Gain in Women & Men
- Your Guide to Staying on Track with Your Weight Loss Plan When Traveling
- Your Guide to Weight Loss Surgery Without Insurance
2. Add a Call-to-Action (CTA) to Your Social Media Posts and Pages: This strategy is very simple and yet often forgotten. On nearly all social media platforms, you can include a call to action that can turn your followers into subscribers. Your profile should have one sentence about what you do, who you help, and how they can sign up to gain access to your free valuable information (leverage what you created in strategy #1), or a mini online weight loss course you offer, your weight tracking app or whatever you and your team create.
3. Record a Webinar and Promote it on Social Media: Your current and prospective patients enjoy learning and shopping online in the comfort of their home — especially now. And, it has never been as easy as it is today to create a webinar that includes information about the services and products you offer and post it for people to find and view. Offer it live or as ‘evergreen’ content and have interested participants sign up to view it.
4. Host a Giveaway, Contest or Challenge: While a bit more time consuming, hosting a giveaway, contest or challenge can be a great way to add people to your e-mail list and get promoted to others via shares and word of mouth. Your offer could be free products, half off a service, or even a new piece of technology like a wearable tracking device or scale.
5. Make Sharing Easy and Tag Others When Possible: Make sure your posts are public/sharable and ASK people to share what you are promoting with others that can benefit from what you are offering or on their own social media page. Have your team do the same. If you have a blog, make sure your website has enabled a way for people to share it on their social media directly from your blog.
No matter what you are promoting, be sure to create an enticing graphic that will draw attention to what you are offering. Also, make sure your branding (colors, logo, website) is always included.
Two Other Effective Ways to Grow Your E-Mail List
1. Include an Opt-In Form on Your Mobile Friendly Website Homepage (or Well-Timed Pop-Up): Your website should include a way for people to opt-in (give you their information) in exchange for something they value. This can be as a form or as a well-timed pop-up or slide in from the side. These do not have to be annoying — just compelling enough for them to act. Something that has grown in popularity is direct messaging on social media or texting integration on your website.
2. Host a Blog, YouTube Series or Podcast and Include a CTA or Opt-In Form when Possible: While more time consuming, having a consistent blog, videos or video series, or podcast can be a great way to reach out to your current and potential patients. It gives them something to look forward to and keeps you top of mind or ‘in their ears’ (especially with video or audio) during their commute, getting ready in the morning or taking a walk. It also gives you personalized content to promote on social media — increasing the likelihood of growing your e-mail list and enhancing your SEO with links back to your website.
What to Do with Your Growing E-Mail List
1. Listen, Listen, Listen: You will get your best ideas when you listen closely to what your patients are saying — exactly what they need, what frustrations they have, what weight loss services or products they are purchasing from somewhere else, and what they like the most about your services and products.
2. Monitor Your Metrics: Monitor your social media metrics, but move beyond the vanity statistics such as likes and followers. Track what is driving traffic to your website and where new e-mail subscribers are finding you as well as what interested them most to give you their e-mail in the first place.
3. Segment Your E-Mail List: There are ways to easily segment your e-mail list at the time of opt-in so you know exactly what made them raise their hand. This provides you with an opportunity to understand their pain points and further target what interests them most. For example, if you offer medical and surgical weight loss, when segmented, you can send specific messages to each segment of your list and then at times, send a ‘blast’ e-mail that reaches everyone.
4. Be Relevant & Consistent: If you are always listening to your patients, it is easier to remain relevant to their wants and needs. In addition, you will want to be consistent so they can count on (and look forward) to what you communicate and offer next. You remain on their mind when they are ready to move forward or re-engage with what you offer.
5. Always Include a CTA: Everyone needs to know how to take the next step in order to access the services and products you offer. Be sure to provide the ‘next step’ so they can ask questions, share their information and/or make a purchase on the spot.
It’s time to make the most of your social media efforts and change bystanders into active participants in your program. These strategies and tips will help this become your reality.