Email is the preferred means of business communication among boomers, Gen-Xers, and Millennials, Marketingsherpa reports. It is also one of the most effective ways to engage potential patients and build a brand. McKinsey Insights reports that email is 40 times more effective at winning over new customers than Facebook and Twitter. However, most digital brands tend to give up on email marketing because it takes time and a number of trials to master.

Here are a few considerations for cosmetic surgery practice brands that want to succeed with email marketing.

1. Set the Right Expectations
It is important to let readers know what to expect from your emails and also to establish trust between you and your reader. Be up-front so readers are not confused or frustrated when they actually open your email. Put another way: Don't bait and switch.

2. Sweeten the Pot
Include incentives such as personalized information or a discount for maximum appeal.

3. Use Smart Subject Lines
Weak subject lines can drown engagement potential, so you lose your edge before you have had a chance to begin. Spammy-sounding subject lines or clichéd and boring headlines should be avoided. Craft the subject line to elicit a positive emotional response from your readers. If they are impressed with your subject line, chances are they will read further.

4. Plan your Email Content
As with any kind of digital strategy, you need to have a content plan in place for your email marketing. Again it all boils down to your ideal patient. Your content should highlight the positives of your practice while also clearly illustrating how it can address a challenge or fulfill a need of the target reader base. Ideas for great content include educational articles on various aspects of cosmetic surgery, latest industry updates or trends, and personalized offers/discounts specific to patient preferences.

5. Personalize your Message
Consumers expect personalization at every stage of interaction with your cosmetic brand. Fully 74 percent of marketers say targeted personalization can boost customer engagement, according to Campaign Monitor. Customize your messages based on patient demographics (age, preferences, gender, expectations, etc.). Instead of second guessing or assuming what your readers expect, ask them directly for feedback on what kind of information they would like to read, address their concerns, or inquire about what kind of services/products and offers appeal to them. Use this feedback to plan the right kind of message for the ideal reader.

6. Write with a Clear, Consistent Voice
Maintain consistency in your email messages with respect to the voice you use, the time of delivery, as well as design elements. Doing this helps in building a sense of familiarity and expected routine. Couple it with quality content and readers will start responding more positively to your messages.

7. Go Responsive in Design
TechCrunch notes that the number of new Internet users is growing at less than 10 percent per year, but the number of new smartphone subscribers is growing at a 20 percent+ rate. Google already uses mobile optimization in its ranking mix. Optimizing your email marketing for consumption on mobile devices can effectively drive open and click-through rates and also help lower the number of patients who opt out of your email marketing. Use a responsive design with a simple layout and avoid mobile-unfriendly elements such as Adobe Flash.

Naren Arulrajah is President and CEO of Ekwa Marketing, a complete Internet marketing company which focuses on SEO, social media, marketing education and the online reputations of Dermatologists and Plastic Surgeons. With a team of 140+ full time marketers, helps doctors who know where they want to go get there by dominating their market and growing their business significantly year after year. If you have questions about marketing your practice online, call 855-598-3320 to speak one-on-one with Naren.