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Winchester Hospital has close ties to its community and regularly holds events to bring interested people together and provide them with valuable health information. The hospital typically used direct mail to reach out to its audience and encourage event attendance. Although direct mail is a costly tactic, Winchester routinely received the desired results due to the specific target group of each campaign. As the hospital was in the process of planning its “Women’s Health Matters” event, the marketing team wanted to explore whether email marketing could be used as an alternative, less expensive approach to boost attendance.
Winchester Hospital partnered with Bridgeline Digital to craft a targeted email marketing campaign. Bridgeline was tasked with creating the email that would encourage the contact list to engage with Winchester and also drive registration for the “Women’s Health Matters” event.
To generate awareness for the event, Bridgeline planned to send two emails to the full list of 1,925 contacts. The first email was sent two weeks prior to the event. The email included event information and a call to action where recipients could reserve their spot.
The second email was scheduled to be sent one week prior to the event. The call to action in this email directed recipients to the hospital’s event calendar where they could sign up. By directing recipients to the event calendar, Bridgeline intended to engage those who either couldn’t attend or weren’t interested in this particular event with upcoming events at the hospital.
The initial pre-show email received a 14% open rate and 2.68% of recipients clicked a link, which is average for most email campaigns. The unsubscribe rate was on the lower end at only 0.26%. As a result of the first email blast, 5% of those who opened the email registered for “Women’s Health Matters.” When the time came to send the second email, the event had almost reached full capacity. Winchester decided not to have Bridgeline send the second email to avoid overfilling the event. Based on the results of the first email, Bridgeline amended the email marketing strategy to include a post-show email. The goal of the post-show email was to expand engagement with event attendees and grab the attention of those who didn’t attend. Both groups were provided a link to the event calendar to encourage future event attendance. Additionally, event attendees were encouraged to complete an event feedback survey.
“Women’s Health Matters” was a success, and 70% of those who signed up through the email blast attended the event. Email marketing proved to be a successful method for Winchester Hospital to communicate event details to its audience and generate attendance. The post-show email to attendees produced outstanding results for Winchester. The percentages of opens and clicks were exceptionally high at 50% and 61% respectively. Additionally, 76% of people who opened the email filled out the event survey and zero attendees unsubscribed. The survey achieved an amazing rate of participation as well. 100% of recipients who clicked the survey link filled out the entire survey.
The email to non-attendees was also a success. The open rate increased from 14% to 19% and the percentage of clicks increased from 2.68% to 3.12%. The email received slightly more unsubscribes, which can be expected when the same list is emailed more than once. However, the unsubscribe rate remained low at only 0.53%.
These results exceeded the client’s expectations. Winchester Hospital has seen the benefits email marketing can bring them and will continue to use it as a communication and engagement tool for their community.