Why No One Is Reading Your Newsletter: 6 Rookie Email Marketing Mistakes

Social media may be the new kid on the block, but email marketing is still one of the most effective strategies in your arsenal. In spite of what you may have heard, email is still very well alive and kicking. In fact, people send and receive 269 billion emails every day, and experts estimate that the number will hit 319.6 billion in the next five years.

But, that’s not all: the average deliverability rate for email is 98%. In other words, unlike social media where prospects may or may not see your posts, an email will reach the vast majority of your recipients. More than that, customized emails have a 75% higher open rate than generic messages.

Let’s consider for a second that you were aware of the benefits of email marketing and included it in your strategy to grow your physical therapy clinic. You’ve seen others implement email marketing with great success and you decided to give it a try. But, in spite of your best efforts, you don’t see any significant results. Prospects are barely opening and reading your newsletter yet alone converting.

What’s the problem?

Is the data overhyped? Are you missing something? Should you be more aggressive?

Well, the problem may be that your emails have no real value to your audience. Perhaps you are giving your best to personalize your message and present prospects with unique offers, but if you are making some of these rookie mistakes, then they will send your emails to the spam folder without a second thought.

Here are some of the possible reasons prospective patients are ignoring your newsletter.

Your Emails Are Very Vague

What’s the purpose of the email you just sent? What actions do you want your prospects to take after reading? Did you make it evident to them?

One of the main reasons people are not converting is because they have no idea what they should be doing after reading your email. Whether it’s the subject line or the content, your message is extremely vague, and your prospects may see it just as informative communication rather than a call to action.

Let your audience know what they should be doing after reading your email. Do you want them to share an article you just posted on your blog or rate your services? Ask them to do so! Are you just sharing an update and don’t expect any answer from them? Let them know that too. Whatever you do, make sure that your call-to-action is always clear and concise.

Pay close attention to your subject line too. If it’s too bland or ambiguous, prospects won’t bother to open your email. Make the subject line catchy, straightforward, and informative and give your audience a reason to open it.

Avoid writing in all capital letters or misleading your prospects with false or exaggerated claims. For example, if your subject line reads “New Revolutionary Procedures Now at our PT Clinic” and you’re in fact talking about established services that patients are already familiar with, they’ll call it a bluff and unsubscribe.

Your Email Copy Looks like a Giant Block of Text

You have a lot of information to share with your prospects and want to educate them about the best practices and treatments they could get for their specific ailments. Resist the urge of going overboard with the content and make sure that the information you send to your patients is engaging, concise, and to the point.

Here’s the thing: as excited as you may be about the new piece of equipment you purchased for your PT clinic, your prospects don’t want to read an entire report about how it works and what it can do. Just provide them with the basics and let them learn on their own the benefits of receiving treatment at your physical therapy clinic.

Here are a few tips that could help you keep your messages brief:

  • Eliminate the fluff, such as qualifier words like "I was hoping," "if you could," "when you have some time." They add no real value to the message, so you should get rid of them.
  • Don’t beat about around the bush for too long. Be clear and direct.
  • Use simple words. Sure, it may be difficult to do so when some of the conditions and procedures sound like an alien language, but try not to make your copy sound overly complicated. Use short sentences and simple words to keep the reader engaged.
  • If you must write a lot, pay close attention to formatting. Make the content look structured by using bullet points, numbers, lists, and writing short paragraphs. White space can also prevent your email from resembling a short novel.

You’re Overly Aggressive

Bad manners are frowned upon in almost every circumstance, but that especially stands true when it comes to email marketing.

For example, writing something like “send me your feedback today” is direct and concise, but do you believe your prospects would respond to such an aggressive tone? Of course, not! Even if you’re not communicating with your audience in person, that doesn’t mean that basic etiquette doesn’t apply anymore.

Therefore, make sure to always include a greeting and a sign-off in the email body. Don’t write in all capital letters because it feels as if you’re yelling at your audience. Also, check and double check your content for bad grammar, typos or any errors that may make you look unprofessional.

Another way to ensure prospects will read your newsletter is to avoid any of these triggering words and phrases:

  • Dear Friend
  • Free offer / Free application
  • No obligation
  • No risk / Risk-free
  • Order now
  • Money-back guarantee 

Not Getting Your Patients’ Permission before Emailing Them

Not only that emailing your patients without having their permission to do so is rude, but it can also get you in legal trouble. Most countries have very strict rules against spam and are quick to sanction those who ignore them or employ dirty tactics to promote themselves.

Unless your prospects explicitly agreed to receive marketing or informative messages from you via email, then don’t include them on your email list.

Instead, make sure your PT clinic’s site provides visitors with plenty of opportunities to subscribe to your newsletter. Place opt-in forms in visible places, such as:

  • Below a blog post
  • In the sidebar
  • On exit-intent popups
  • In the header area

Most importantly, give prospective patients a reason to subscribe to your newsletter. Create high-quality content that informs, educates, and adds value to their lives. Offer an incentive, such as a free eBook or a physical therapy exercises guide to make it worth their time. Don’t try to cut corners and use only appropriate strategies to build your email list.

You’re Not Using Email Segmentation

One of the most common mistakes that could be killing your email marketing conversion rates is broadcasting the same message to everyone and at the same frequency. Sure, writing an email about your latest offer and sending it to your entire email list is easy and efficient, but is it effective?

As mentioned before, personalized emails have higher conversion rates than generic ones, so you should put in the effort to customize your messages.

That’s where email segmentation could come in handy.

Go beyond the basic demographic data, such as age, location, and education and look at other possible factors that may influence conversion rate. Here are a few examples:

  • Past purchases – if prospects have already used your services, then they may be interested in complementary treatments that may help with their problems;
  • Purchase interest – if prospects have been browsing your website or reading your content regularly, but haven’t converted yet, maybe they need an incentive to do so. Target them with emails that offer them a discount or another type of perk.
  • Buying frequency – reward loyal patients with customized offers, discounts, and free content.

Segmenting your email list enables you to serve individual interests better. Some patients may want to read about the newest procedures performed at your PT clinic while others reserve their right to search for it on your website when they think they need it

You’re Ignoring Your Data

How can you fix and update your email marketing strategy if you don’t know what delivers results and what doesn’t? It’s similar to trying to fix a car without knowing what the problem is.

Put some of the tips we’ve mentioned in this article into practice, but then test their effectiveness and see what improvements you could make to increase the performance of your strategy. Here are some basic metrics that you should look into regularly:

  • Open Rate

Your open rate is perhaps one of the most important metric that you should track. It shows how well you’ve managed to engage your patients and build a meaningful relationship with them. If the numbers are low, it means your audience doesn’t even bother to open your emails and deletes them upon receipt.

Take a close look at your newsletter. Are you making any of the mistakes mentioned above? Are you providing real value? Figure out what’s wrong and fix the problem.

  • Click-Through-Rate (CTR)

If your CTR is low, then it may mean that your messages aren’t relevant to your audience’s needs. Take a look at your copy – is it engaging enough? Do you have a clear call to action? Are you using segmentation to personalize your newsletter?

  • Unsubscribe Rate

If your unsubscribe rate is high, then you should probably examine your entire strategy and identify the mistakes that are pushing prospects away.

For example, if they unsubscribe from an autoresponder email, then maybe you failed to communicate your intent. If they unsubscribe after emails that update them on your latest offers, then your patients may feel that you’re too pushy and spam them with offers, in which case you should consider segmentation.


If you had high hopes for your email marketing strategy only to see it flop soon after you’ve implemented it, then you may be making one of these rookie mistakes. Examine your strategy carefully and try to identify the weak points and the opportunities.

If you still have a difficult time keeping prospects and patients engaged, then let the experts at PatientSites.com give you a helping hand. We can create monthly newsletters that are 100% unique, personalized, and ready to deliver results.

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