best practices

subject line tips & tricks

best practices

How to write a subject line that engages your patient audience and drives outcomes

subject line tips & tricks

Getting your patients the information they need to receive timely health education and care begins with the right outbound campaign. Email specifically is an effective channel to reach patients. However, even the most carefully crafted content becomes irrelevant if the emails are not opened. Subject lines often determine whether your email is opened or sent straight to the trash, making it very important to optimize for your audience. Cured’s subject line tips will help you skyrocket your open rates and drive patients toward taking action.

Subject Lines 101

Open rates are the primary indicator of whether your content engages your audience. In a split-second, the patients quickly scans a subject line and makes a decision to open or delete the email. This one line of text can be the difference between a high open and click-through rate and a piece of content that never reaches its audience. The subject line must relate to your consumers, promise value, and frankly, not be boring or basic. 

Writing subject lines for healthcare takes on another degree of complexity when you factor in correct compliance obligations. HIPAA regulations do not permit protected health information (PHI) in the subject line, including a patient's first name. If you plan on using personalization in your email, include them in the body of the email, not the subject line.

You now see the importance of subject lines, ready to see your campaign metrics soar? Here are our proven methods:

Writing a Subject Line that Sticks

  1. Communicate value

If your audience isn’t confident that reading your email is going to improve their life, chances are they aren’t going to open it. It is crucial to highlight the value of the email content within your subject line.

Basic Subject line example: “Annual Wellness Reminder”

Better Subject line example: “Don't Miss Your Annual Wellness Check-up! Take Control of Your Health Today.”

  1. Personalize

Tailoring your subject lines to your patients' specific needs enhances the odds of your email receiving opens and engagement. Target segmented audiences with messaging that is distinctive to their demographic. However, be sure to align with HIPAA regulations in your tactics.

Basic Subject line example: “Cardiology Services at {healthcare organization name}”

Better Subject line example: “Have you gotten your heart health screening this year?”

  1. Be Succinct

Writing wordy subject lines is an easy mistake that negatively affects open rates. We suggest keeping subject lines between 40 to 60 characters for optimized engagement. However, conducting A/B tests to determine the most effective subject line length for your specific campaigns is always a good idea.

Basic Subject line example: "Protect Your Health and Loved Ones: Don't Miss Your Annual Flu Shot for a Safer and Healthier Season Ahead!”

Better Subject line example: "Stay Flu-Free: Get Your Shot Today!"

  1. Test, Test, Test

Unfortunately, there’s no “perfect formula” for a subject line, but the best way to improve email performance is by trying new iterations constantly. A/B test different lengths, levels of personalization, tone, and even emoji combinations. Remember, every audience you target will have varying preferences, so mix up your subject lines for each segment of your patient base. 

Basic subject line example: “Men's Health Month: Importance of Taking Care of Yourself”

Creative subject line example: "Unleash Your Inner Superhero: Power Up Your Health this Men's Health Month! 🦸”

  1. Say No to Spam

Avoid using spam trigger words or phrases that may land your email in the spam folder. Words like "free," "guarantee," or excessive punctuation may raise red flags. Familiarize yourself with email deliverability best practices to improve the chances of your emails reaching the recipients' inboxes and getting read.

Bad subject line example: "Free Healthcare Screening: Take Charge of Your Well-being Today!"

Better subject line example: "Prioritize Healthcare Screening: Invest in Your Health for a Better Future"

Measuring Success with Subject Lines

Open rates are the leading indicators when tracking successful subject lines. If you begin to see a downshift in your open and click-through rates, be sure to give some of our tips and tricks a try to optimize your email engagement. 

Make sure to segment your audiences into groups that will relate to similar content. For example, you wouldn’t want to send a cardiology screening email to someone not a part of the at-risk population for this type of care. Learn more about Cured’s solutions for targeted patient segmentation here.

Writing subject lines that are personal, valuable, and interesting to your patient audience is vital to ensuring high open, click-through, and conversion rates. Although walking through these best practices may seem tedious, it will soon become second nature, and your campaign performance will thank you. Most importantly, your patient audience will receive the education and care they need in a tailored, exciting, and secure way!

Want to learn how Cured’s healthcare digital marketing platform can transform your campaign creation experience?

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