Case Studies

Best Practices for Turning Prospects Into Patients through Email Nurturing Campaigns

by | Aug 23, 2017 | Case Studies

Two service line-specific campaigns, launched in collaboration with True North Custom, are helping Presence Health boost patient volume and build stronger relationships by leveraging its message of compassionate care.

In one of our many case studies designed to help prospects convert patients, we explore the background of Presence Health. After a rebranding and a refocus on its core mission, the team at Presence Health decided digital marketing campaigns (specifically an email nurturing campaign strategy) was the best tool to quickly and effectively communicate their messages of “health through relationships” and “compassionate care.” Read about Presence Health's marketing strategies and best practices for turning prospects into patients.

Presence Health is the largest Catholic health system in Illinois. Headquartered in Chicago, the system has 12 hospitals, more than 150 outpatient facilities, 27 senior care locations and numerous doctors’ offices located in both urban and rural areas throughout the state. This robust network serves ethnically, economically, and culturally diverse markets, and its hospitals have long histories in their communities.

Best Practices for Turning Prospects into Patients

The system’s corporate leadership had targeted the orthopedics and primary care service lines for growth. A primary goal for the orthopedics campaign was to promote 72-hour express appointments as well as free 15-minute injury screenings, while the primary care campaign was designed to raise awareness of Presence Health’s community-focused care and build brand recognition in a highly competitive market.

True North worked with Presence Health’s marketing and customer relationship management teams to craft unique nurturing campaigns for each service line, using a series of emails deployed weekly, that offer readers a variety of content and calls to action:

  • Drip emails are sent once per week for a total of 11 weeks and feature full-length, soft-sell articles and infographics. Calls to action drive readers to online forms where they can request the free injury screenings and express appointments or to online find-a-doctor registries.
  • Trigger emails are deployed at strategic points throughout the campaign cycle. The goal of these emails, which are sent to users who have clicked a call to action in a previous email, is to keep readers engaged with the brand by signing up for Presence Health’s monthly e-newsletter.
  • A win-back email is also deployed at a strategic point in the campaign cycle, targeting readers who haven’t opened any previous drip emails and re-engaging them to keep them in the lead nurturing cycle.


These nurturing campaigns are ongoing, with new users entering the cycle as Presence Health updates its email lists. Thus far, both campaigns have revealed that, by keeping interested readers engaged, both open and click-to-open rates continually improve and lead to greater involvement with the Presence Health brand.

The primary care campaign deploys to email addresses collected from online health risk assessments and from people who called Presence Health looking for a physician. The best performing drip email, “4 Numbers You Need to Know,” reached an open rate of 26 percent. Overall, the email nurturing campaign has averaged a 20 percent open rate and a 14.81 percent click-to-open rate


  • Open Rate (Best Performing Drip Email) 26% 26%
  • Open Rate (Overall Campaign Average) 20% 20%
  • Click-to-Open Rate (Primary Care Campaign Average) 14.8% 14.8%

The orthopedic campaign reaches readers who completed an online joint pain assessment. The best-performing email in that campaign, “When You Need a Doctor’s Help for Joint Pain,” reached an open rate of 42 percent. The campaign’s win-back email had a click-to-open rate of 13.3 percent — showing that readers want to continue receiving information even if they aren’t interacting — and overall, the campaign has averaged a 14.2 percent click-to-open rate.

  • Open Rate (Best Performing Drip Email) 42% 42%
  • Open Rate (Win-Back Email) 13.3% 13.3%
  • Click-to-Open Rate (Orthopedics Campaign Average) 14.2% 14.2%

True North continues to work with Presence Health to refine and grow its lists so open and click-to-open rates continue to improve.

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