Boost Business Success: Automated Workflows for Health Pros

July 14, 2023

It’s a common dilemma for health and wellness solopreneurs everywhere: how do you meaningfully build your business when so much of your time is spent in the trenches working directly with clients? What is a solopreneur or practice owner supposed to do when they don’t have a marketing team but they still want to free up time to focus on scaling their success? Marketing automation can be a big help. 

Marketing automation uses software to create workflows for some of the most time-consuming manual tasks, like lead generation and social media management. Built-in automated workflows are particularly useful when it comes to boosting your email marketing efforts without demanding more of your time. 

What is Email Marketing Automation?

Email marketing automation software allows wellness professionals to take a more hands-off approach to email communications with prospects and clients. As a user of this software, you can set up a series of pre-designed emails that are then automatically sent to individuals based on their behaviors or preferences. You define the triggers that initiate automatic send of your email sequences – like subscribing to your newsletter, purchasing one of your signature programs, or even a client’s birthday. Then you trust the email marketing automation software to take care of the rest.

How Solopreneurs Can Harness the Power of Automated Workflows in Email

Automated workflows let you nurture relationships with your clients or prospects in a personalized, scalable way without requiring you to build emails from scratch every time. You simply set it up and let the automation take over.

  • Segment your email audience based on their interests or demographics, and send targeted emails that resonate with their specific needs. 
  • Create multiple touch points to support different client journeys – from prospects you want to convert on your offers to long-term clients you want to stay in touch with. 
  • Deliver timely, relevant content that helps you stay top of mind, build trust, and engage your audience.

In order to take advantage of automated workflows in email you need a marketing automation platform. What is a marketing automation platform? It’s basically a centralized hub for executing your campaigns. MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, and ConvertKit are all examples of popular email marketing automation software.

A personal touch: crafting memorable birthday wishes

When it comes to email marketing you shouldn’t always be selling. It’s a good practice to insert emails into your marketing automation workflows that are intended to build goodwill and brand affinity. For example, acknowledging your clients’ birthdays can provide a personal touchpoint that deepens engagement. 

This is an excellent opportunity to let your personality stand out and break through the same-old messages flooding your clients’ inboxes. Get creative and lean into strong copywriting to make your brand more sticky. 

  • Take inspiration from the B2C brands that send you emails regularly. Create a swipe file to store novel approaches and borrow from them when you’re crafting your own copy and graphics. Notice how the copy in the email below from FitBit cleverly plays off the idea of steps and offers interesting brand-consistent tips. 
Fitbit celebration email
An example of an email from Fitbit. Source
  • You don’t have to set up your marketing automation workflow to send your email on the exact day of a client’s birthday. In fact, given how crowded inboxes can get with birthday wishes, this tactic could help you stand out from the crowd. 

Note how the Hulu example below acknowledges that the recipient’s birthday is coming soon. You could also trigger the email to send out the day after with a mea culpa message about missing their special day. Pair a clever copywriting approach and a free “gift” or discount code to sweeten the deal. Offering a free gift doesn’t need to cost you much – for example, a holistic nutritionist could offer up a free birthday cake recipe that doesn’t rely on refined sugar. 

Hulu birthday wish
An example of Hulu’s birthday wish email. Source.
  • Your creativity doesn’t need to end with birthdays. Extend your reach to other milestones, like sending longer-term clients an “I Appreciate You” or “Congrats on Your Progress” email on their 6-month or 1-year anniversary of working with you.

Seamless onboarding: elevate client experiences 

Using automated workflows in your onboarding keeps clients on track while you take care of other business priorities. It’s a smart way to set clear expectations for what to expect along with specific steps they need to take and when. It also saves a bunch of admin time, while also reducing the potential for errors or missed steps. 

  • Set up triggers to send email sequences or notifications at specific intervals (like once a week) or based on predefined actions (like filling out an intake form). This not only keeps the experience smooth, it ensures clients don’t miss important steps in your process. 
  • Use emails to make sure your clients sign the necessary consent forms and waivers. You can set up marketing automation workflows to enforce completion of the necessary legal documents, triggering reminders when clients forget to fill out forms or preventing completion of other tasks until they do. This helps you manage risk and stay in compliance.
  • Make every client feel supported and understood from the beginning of their relationship with you. Today’s consumers want a personalized touch – in fact, 73% of customers expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations. You can create a high-touch onboarding experience by segmenting clients based on their interests and preferences, including factors like goals, health concerns, life stage, location, and more. 

Journeying together: milestone support

While every client is unique, those on similar journeys do share certain treatment milestones. Using automated workflows can help you provide encouragement along the way by sending milestone-based emails to each client. Bonus: showing up for clients regularly with encouraging words and tips can help keep them motivated and feeling inspired by your support. 

Imagine a practitioner working with clients to heal their gut health. Let’s call her Sandy. After the initial assessment and treatment plan development, some milestones along each client’s healing journey would include the following: 

  1. Dietary modifications. This milestone is significant to healing. It will also be difficult for many clients as it involves eliminating trigger foods they may love and incorporating new gut-nourishing foods they aren’t sure what to do with at mealtime.
    Sandy can incorporate a weekly email in her automated workflows, each highlighting a gut-friendly food and explaining why it’s so beneficial to healing. This serves as a gentle nudge to keep persevering. Additionally, including a recipe that incorporates the recommended food can help give her clients new ideas on how to eat more of it. (Hint: in Practice Better, sending an encouraging email in the middle of a program can help clients stay on track.)  
  2. Restoring the balance of beneficial bacteria. Some clients may have difficulty remembering to take daily supplements, like probiotics, that help with gut microbiome restoration. Adding an email to her automated workflows reminding clients how important the supplements are to healing faster may help to improve protocol compliance.  
  3. Symptom improvement. If healing is progressing, Sandy’s clients should start to experience fewer nuisance symptoms, like gas, bloating, and constipation. This is progress to be celebrated!
    Adding check-in emails to her automated workflows that reinforce what healing can feel like and offer encouragement that small signs add up to big progress can help to motivate them through motivation slumps. 
  4. Maintenance. A healed gut doesn’t signify the end of the journey. Sandy’s clients need solid long-term strategies for not falling back into old patterns that may undo all their hard work.

Even if they are done having 1:1 sessions with her, Sandy can use automated workflows to drip out emails monthly that share tips for maintaining optimal long-term gut health. Since it’s an automated send, she doesn’t have to spend lots of admin time on this drip campaign. It’s a smart and stress-free deposit in the brand affinity bank that will likely pay off in repeat business, referrals, and email list growth.

Reminders: boost renewals with timely notices

If your clients routinely neglect to renew their supplements or schedule follow-up appointments, there’s a good chance it’s not intentional. The average American admits they are putting off around 14 things on their to-do list. Workflow automation is an easy way for you to give them a quick nudge while continuing to build trust in your relationship. 

Using small business email marketing to automatically send timely reminders can be an effective way to avoid long stretches between appointments that can lead to motivation issues creeping in. It’s also in your clients’ best interests to ensure continuity in their supplements so they can see results faster. Note that although some online dispensary services have a reminder option built in, clients may need to be told that they have to opt-in to receive those reminders. 

Navigating Workflow Automation Considerations and Best Practices

Whether you’re a solopreneur or working with a group, here are some best practices to keep in mind when implementing email workflow automation. 

  • Define clear objectives. As with any strategy, make sure you start by outlining what you want to achieve. Trying to get every client off to a strong start with personalized onboarding is very different from attempting to re-engage prospects who have gone quiet. Documenting your goals will help you design workflows and create content that drives the right outcomes.
  • Practice good contact management. Record and organize your contacts efficiently. Avoid having duplicate records for the same client in multiple workflows so they don’t get spammed with too many messages from you.
  • Segment your audience. Segment your audience based on relevant criteria such as demographics, health concerns, preferences, or engagement levels. This lets you deliver more personalized content to different segments, which can increase open rates and lower unsubscribes.
  • Send with purpose. Focus on creating high-quality, relevant email content to feed your workflow automations. Tailor the messaging to the specific audience segment and the stage they are at in the client journey. Provide value, solve their pain points, and address their needs to keep them engaged.
  • Stay in compliance. Don’t send emails without consent from subscribers and make sure they have an easy way to unsubscribe in every email. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the privacy regulations of the different countries you market into, including CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act) in the United States, CASL (Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation) in Canada, and GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in the European Union. For more comprehensive information on compliance in small business email marketing you can refer to this blog post
  • Monitor your stats. Regularly measure the performance of your email workflows. By tracking key metrics like delivery rates, open rates, and click-through rates you’ll be able to see how effective your emails are and identify areas for improvement so you can continually optimize the overall performance of your automated workflows.

Integrating Your Email Software With Practice Better

You can integrate your email software with Practice Better using Zapier – a web-based service that lets you connect different apps to enable automated workflows between them without the need for code or complex integrations. Zapier acts like a safe bridge between different web apps that allows them to communicate and share data seamlessly. 

For example, with the Zapier and Practice Better integration you can create a “Zap” (aka: a connection) that adds a new client to your mailing list in ActiveCampaign or MailChimp when they enroll in a program. 

The Freedom to Focus Where it Matters Most

Anyone who has attempted to manage email communication manually knows how quickly it can gobble up your time and erode your efficiency, especially as the number of recipients on your list continues to grow. Between segmentation, personalization, and tracking, the complexity of email communication is growing. Adopting automated workflows is increasingly beneficial for solopreneurs who want to spend less time on admin and more time focusing on scaling their practices.

Practice Better is the complete practice management platform for nutritionists, dietitians, and wellness professionals. Streamline your practice and begin your 14-day free trial today.

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