I’ll get straight to the point.
This article is going to share a step-by-step walkthrough of how you can implement a very simple upgrade campaign that has been responsible for driving millions of dollars of sales for our members.
There’s nothing being held back.
It’s the full beans.
I’ll share every step, every template and all the follow-along instructions for you.
All I ask in return is that:
- You bear with me as I first need to explain WHY this works before I share HOW it works (important).
- You actually implement it, please.
Deal? Well, let’s jump in.
A Quick Yet Important Metaphor
Your phone buzzes.
You look down and you have a text message from your friend, Michelle.
You now have a decision to make.
- If you reply NO, then you have to break some bad news
- If you reply YES, then you’ve just made a commitment
- And if you ignore it, then, well that’s just awkward.
They have made a big ask up-front … and you have to make one of three choices that all have a consequence.
Yet, let’s explore another situation…
Your phone buzzes, once again.
Surprise, surprise, you look down and it’s Michelle.
The text message reads:
You now have the same 3 options; you can say yes, you can say no or you can ignore the message – but this time, answering yes is the simplest thing to do.
It feels like the natural choice. It’s the path to the least resistance.
What follows is that your friend calls you, you have a quick conversation and then she asks you if you’d be able to help her out and look after the kids the following weekend including that they’re super well-behaved, she’ll bring their iPad and they’ll be fed in advance.
You’re much more inclined to say yes, right?
It was the exact same ask but Michelle changed the way that she asked you. Instead of going directly for the ‘ask’ – she asked you to commit to a micro-commitment (a phone call) and then asked you as a second action.
Why Is This Important?
Well, it teaches us a big lesson when it comes to running any form of upgrade campaign.
That’s because, most industry ‘upgrade’ campaigns introduce new technology and then ask the patient to call to schedule an appointment.
They go directly for the jugular. They offer marriage on the first date.
It means that the path to the least resistance for the patient is to take no action at all, unless they’re completely pre-sold that they’re ready to upgrade. Even if a patient is semi-interested, this approach means that it’s easier for them to take no action.
Yet if you change the initial ask to invite the patient to make a micro-commitment towards engaging with you, such as responding to an email or replying to a text message, then the initial response will be much greater.
You essentially cast a wider net.
The more you can minimize the commitment, the more people will respond.
This is the thinking/strategy behind this small yet powerful upgrade campaign that has worked like the gangbusters for many of our members.
Now you understand the methodology, let’s jump into the actual campaign.
The 47-Word Upgrade Email [How Does It Work?]
This may be good news, or it may be bad news …
… but this campaign is incredibly simple, but it requires WORK.
It consists of 4 key steps:
- You need to pull a list of patients that are 3+ years that you have email addresses for (I’ll explain why they should be 3+ years shortly)
- You then email them a very simple and personal-looking email that encourages them to reply if they’re open to learning more about a trial of new technology (note the word ‘open’ rather than ‘want/ready’)
- You then have an inbox full of patients that are eager for more information that you can personally engage with on a one-to-one level and an opportunity to schedule them to try some new technology
- You can then fit patients with something new, send them on a trial for 14 days before returning to complete a feedback questionnaire, with many of them naturally wanting to keep the devices and upgrade.
It gives patients a purposefully long test-drive to have them acclimate to how much better the new technology is to their previous devices, and gives you the best opportunity of the patient wanting to keep the devices.
Best of all, it once again minimizes the commitment for a patient to be part of this by not positioning this as a ‘try before you buy’ – it instead is asking for their help.
Let’s go through each step.
#1 – Segmenting Your Database To Find The Ideal Patients
This is nice and simple.
You have to pull a report from your system and segment patients that are:
- 3+ years since purchasing technology
- That you have email addresses for
You may be wondering why we’re going for 3+ rather than 4+ like most traditional upgrade campaigns? The answer is simple, it’s due to the low level of commitment.
This very soft upgrade ask goes under-the-radar which means that it may attract some 3+ patients that are open to exploring something new but it would not bruise your database or damage any future upgrade efforts to your other patients.
#2 – Choosing An Email System To Use
Naturally, you do not want to send these emails individually.
The only exception to the above would be if you have less than 20 patients that meet the criteria. In this instance, I would recommend sending individually, as it wouldn’t take long and the email would be more likely to be responded to, as it will be more personal.
But in most cases, sending individual emails would not be a good use of time or resources.
That’s why you should instead opt to use an email system that allows you to send an email to multiple people at the same time.
This may be built into your OMS system, but if not, then there are a bunch of systems that you can use.
For Inner Circle members, we use a tool called Campaign Monitor (https://www.campaignmonitor.com/) – it’s one of the best we’ve found for deliverability (ensuring your emails actually land in your recipients’ inboxes and not in their junk folders) and usability.
You simply need to sign up for an account. There are free options on some and the more premium versions that offer you all tools are available for less than $10.00 per month depending on the size of your database.
#3 – Preparing Your Email System (Campaign Monitor)
For this example, we’ll go through Campaign Monitor to show you how to set up the email.
Once you have created your account, you will want to log in and select “Lists & Subscribers” on the top navigation bar. Once you’re on this page, you’ll then want to click the green “Create a New List” button on the right-hand side.
You’ll be asked to give your list a name that is only for your reference. It can be something like “3+ Year Patients for Ask Campaign.”
You will then be asked to “Add Subscribers.”
You have two options – you can copy & paste them into the drag & drop field, or you can click to upload a spreadsheet into the system.
Once you have uploaded your list, the system will then want to match them up to the appropriate fields.
For example, you will want to ensure the first names of your patients match the “First Name” field, and the email addresses match the “Email Address” field.
Once this has been completed, your list will be uploaded to the system and you’ll be ready to work on your email.
#4 – Crafting & Sending The Simple Email Campaign
You’re now ready to start creating your email to send to your list of patients.
You’ll want to select “Campaigns” at the top of the screen and select “Create a New Campaign.”
The next page will then ask you to name your campaign – this is an internal name for your tracking, but in the example below, it has been called “Invitation to Trial Technology [DATE].”
It then asks you for your email subject line.
An email subject line is the name that appears in your email to share what the content of this email is, or from a marketing perspective, it’s used to create curiosity and drive more people to click and open the email.
Finally, you then have “Who is Sending the Campaign?” – this is where you want to put the name and email address that the email will be sent from.
It’s recommended that you use your name or somebody in your business’s name rather than something like “The Team at ABC Hearing,” as the aim of this email is for it to look as personal as possible.
Similarly, you need to ensure the email address is the individual’s email address that is going to deal with the responses. Remember that the aim of the campaign is to ensure the patient replies to the email – so it’s important that the email address is one that is monitored.
Once this has been completed, you can then get into the fun bit…
This is creating your email to send.
The aim of this email is to be intriguing and encourage the patient to reply if they’re interested in learning more about being part of the trial.
It’s purposely vague and is all aimed at driving patients to reply for more information.
Here’s the simple email below that you can copy & paste:
Hey [firstname,fallback=], I’m/We’re looking for a small number of people to trial some new
technology and share their feedback to help us create a review article. I’m wondering if you would be interested in being involved? If so, please reply to this email and I’ll send you the details. Best regards, [Name] [Your Name/Clinic Name]
Anything highlighted in bold needs to be personalized for you.
For example, is “Hey” the intro that you would use with a patient, or is it “Hello” or “Dear” – you need to make this sound like you.
Similarly, should it be “I’m” or “We’re” – this depends on the size of your clinic.
You then have “Best regards” – once again, is this what you would say in a personal email to a patient, or should it be “Thanks” or “Speak soon” … it’s entirely your decision.
Finally, you have your name to add in and the clinic name.
Once you have personalized the email, you can copy it into the email builder.
As you can see in the example, it’s super important that this is as plain and simple as possible.
It shouldn’t include any graphics, your logo, or anything that makes this look like a big email blast that has been sent to lots of other people.
The simpler, the better.
Once this is all built and ready, you can then choose the recipients that you want to send it to by selecting the list of 3+ year patients that you previously uploaded.
Upon clicking “Next” – you’re then presented with a full summary and the option to “Schedule Delivery.”
You then want to select “Schedule for a Specific Time.”
IMPORTANT: Consider when you want to schedule this email for because you’re going to get a bunch of replies from existing patients that will need responding/communicating with. Find a date/time where you have availability to monitor your inbox and reply to the emails. Don’t schedule it on a day where you’re back to back with patients or where the people that respond will not get a reply for 24+ hours.
#5 – Turning Replies Into Schedules
Once the email is sent, you’re then going to have patients replying to the email to ask for more information. They’ll be interested and they’ll have questions.
This is an example of moving the goal posts as we originally discussed and giving patients a baby step to reply to rather than a big commitment.
The emphasis is now on you to personally deal with each patient, communicate with them, and drive them toward scheduling an appointment to be part of the trial.
The key thing that patients will be asking for is more information.
In this instance, here’s the key information that you should be sending them (but you’re encouraged to put this in your own words and ensure it feels natural like a personal conversation).
Thanks for your interest. Here’s how it would work:
We would schedule you to be fitted with some brand-new hearing technology (that the industry is getting very excited about), and you’ll be able to walk away and wear them in your everyday life for 14 days.
Upon returning them, you will be asked to complete a feedbackform to share your experience.
Your feedback will then be used to create an article on our website that is showcasing an independent review of this new technology with a number of our trusted patients sharing theiropinions.
And if you like the new technology and want to keep them, we can of course discuss this and explore your options. How does that sound?
The aim is to answer any questions that they may have and drive them toward being part of the trial.
Some patients will say YES right away … and others may need some nurturing.
This requires work and it requires you to read each patient and manage the conversation to drive them toward an appointment.
Based on the numbers that we’ve seen from running this campaign, you should be able to get around half of everybody that responds to schedule an appointment.
You’ll then be able to fit them at their appointments and send them on their way to experience the new technology. If the technology delivers, then they’ll be wow’d enough to want to keep the new devices.
#6 – Capturing Their Feedback (And Upgrades) Following The Trial
Upon your patients completing their trial and returning the devices, you then want to capture their immediate feedback.
Note: You will likely find that some of the patients will not want to give back the devices and will be interested in discussing how they can upgrade.
When the patient returns, you want to capture their feedback by giving them a simple questionnaire to complete.
Once again, this template is super simple.
You can add your logo at the top. Then, print the feedback form ready to hand to patients following their trial.
Following this campaign, you will have had a number of patients trial the new technology, share their feedback that you’ve collected, and as a bi-product (as long as the technology is good) – you’ll have had patients naturally decide they want to upgrade into the new technology.
This is how you run an upgrade campaign without running an upgrade campaign, all in exchange for a super simple email.
It’s a bi-product of great customer service and putting your patients at the forefront of your communication. Best of all, not a single one of them will feel like they’ve been sold to or marketed toward.
Your Next Steps
It’s time to get your hands dirty.
Although this is a very simple campaign, it requires work, as you’re making it very easy for the patient to initially engage with you and then doing the legwork in one-to-one communications.
The outcome is that you’ll drive more upgrade opportunities than any “new technology” mailer, and you’ll do it in a way that protects your relationship with your database and results in you proving that patients are the star of the show!
It’s probably the easiest high-performing campaign to implement … but now it’s down to you.
Co-Founder & Marketing Director
Orange & Gray