You know that email newsletter your mom sends out each Christmas? Yeah, the one filled with crummy Microsoft Word clip art (may it rest in peace), a banal list of little Becky’s latest soccer triumphs, updates on your brother’s spring wedding plans (can you say allergies?), and pictures of the family dog dressed up like a bee for Halloween (cute, but no). Your patients deserve better, so I’m here to kick your newsletter game up a notch (or nine). A clinic email newsletter—that fabulous piece of bottom-line boosting email marketing—will rock your patients’ inboxes, but only if you do it correctly. Here’s how to create a kick-butt email newsletter:

Knock Out Patient Dropout: 8 Ways to Increase Retention and Revenue - Regular BannerKnock Out Patient Dropout: 8 Ways to Increase Retention and Revenue - Small Banner

Bend it Like Beckham

You don’t need to be a pro soccer player to put together a great newsletter, but you will need to be focused on a goal: Your content strategy (which should be about more than just improving your open rate). Figure out what you want your newsletter to say and do—like generate leads, obtain emails, or increase web traffic—and then make sure all your content aligns with that strategy. Keep in mind that a narrow focus will allow you to be more specific—and efficient—with your email newsletter content.

Hunt and Gather

Don’t worry; you can still shop at the grocery store. I’m talking about choosing your content. If you plan to send out a newsletter fairly often—like once a week—then you’ll have to be a bit more proactive in hunting for your content. But if you’re on a once-a-month schedule, you can take your time collecting (i.e., gathering) content all month long.

But don’t just pick any ’ol pieces of content. The articles you select should relate to your speciality, a monthly theme, or something seasonal and timely. Don’t go crazy with the amount of content you cram into your newsletter, either. Three to five articles should be plenty (you may want to highlight the one with the best or most relevant content as that issue’s “feature story”). And rather than including the entire body of each article within the email itself, try to tease your readers with just a few sentences from each article; then, insert a link to the full article underneath each excerpt.

Bait Your Hook

Keep the worms in the bucket. All you need to get your clients’ attention—hook, line, and sinker—is a click-worthy subject line. (Because if you wouldn’t want to read the email based on the subject line, why would anyone else?) So, generally speaking, keep it short, sweet, and to-the-point. And while you’re at it, avoid spam triggers, especially certain punctuation and symbols. Basically, if it’s something you’d see in place of an expletive in the Sunday comics, leave it out of your subject line.

But even the best subject line can’t reel ’em in all the way if you haven’t thought about email form and function. Your newsletter needs to read well on multiple devices and in multiple browsers (yes, some folks out there still use Internet Explorer), so design is just as crucial as content. To cast the widest net possible, you’ll need to create a template that works on all types of computers, mobile devices, and web browsers.

Edit Twice; Send Once

You’ve probably heard of the saying “measure twice; cut once,” right? Well, this little nugget of wisdom applies to writing as well. You’re not building cabinets, but you are building your brand, so it’s important that you edit your newsletter for all those little errors you think aren’t there. Get your red pen ready and prepare yourself to proofread. Once you believe your grammar and formatting are on point, edit again—preferably several times, and with several different sets of eyes. Have your PTA read it, have your front office staff read it—heck, even have your mom read it. Just be sure it’s really ready to leave the nest, because once you hit “Send,” there’s no going back.


You’ve got a great start here, but to ensure your email newsletter inspires the results you’re looking for, you must test for success. Email marketing doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all approach. Your clinic’s patients are yours alone—and subject lines, design, and content that work for one region or speciality might not work in your specific situation. Dig in to your marketing email program—track, analyze, and modify—to make sure it actually functions for your practice (and doesn’t go the way of Mom’s annoying holiday spiel).

  • How to Take Over the Internet: 5 Simple Strategies to Win More Patients Image

    webinarFeb 27, 2015

    How to Take Over the Internet: 5 Simple Strategies to Win More Patients

    Nowadays, everyone is looking for a way to “go viral” online. But with all that go-big-or-go-home hype, it’s easy to get intimidated—and that leaves many small business owners wondering if they have the time, resources, or wherewithal to even make a dent in the Internet, let alone break it.  Don’t get stuck in the muck and mire of cliché goals; you don’t have to hit a million views to make a big impact online. As a private …

  • D’Oh! 3 Major Physical Therapy Marketing Fails Image

    articleSep 18, 2017 | 8 min. read

    D’Oh! 3 Major Physical Therapy Marketing Fails

    Homer Simpson introduced the catchphrase “d’oh!” on the long-running cartoon sitcom, The Simpsons, in 1989. It’s arguably one of the most recognizable catchphrases in American pop culture. So much so, in fact, that the Oxford Dictionary of English added the word in 2001. Defined as an informal exclamation “used to comment on a foolish or stupid action, especially one's own,” “d’oh” is the most fitting—and safe for work—reaction to committing a major fail. “D’oh” is even more …

  • articleSep 4, 2013 | 4 min. read

    Four Metrics Critical to Your Blog

    So you’ve started blogging , and that’s fantastic. It’s a great way to get your message out to the masses—whether it be how fantastic your services are, the latest in industry developments, or preferably, a well-balanced mix of both. But just like everything else in your business, it’s important to track your return on investment so you know just how much time you should be devoting to researching, writing, and responding. Now, there’s a ton of super …

  • The 3 Immutable Laws of Direct Access Marketing Image

    articleOct 15, 2014 | 8 min. read

    The 3 Immutable Laws of Direct Access Marketing

    It took expensive membership dues, countless lobbying and volunteer hours, and 25 years, but we finally did it: Direct access to physical therapy services is now available in all 50 states in at least one form or another. It wasn’t easy, so it’s important to take a few moments to celebrate our achievements and raise a glass to all of the passionate physical therapists and physical therapy advocates out there who made it happen. Okay, time’s up—and …

  • articleOct 17, 2013 | 4 min. read

    Writing Your Clinic's First Email Newsletter

    Matt is WebPT’s email marketing specialist. His monthly column covers all things email marketing and how it can help your clinic. Now that you’ve established that email marketing makes sense for your clinic , you’ve picked an email marketing service , and you have a stream of your patients’ email addresses coming in , it’s time to put together your first newsletter. But what should you include? In this month’s blog, I’m going to walk you through …

  • articleAug 17, 2011 | 8 min. read

    How to WOW Your Website Visitors: Copywriting Recommendations for Your Home & About Us Pages

    How many visitors view your website each month?  Analytical data from our clients tells us it’s in the hundreds of visitors …even more of you drive traffic with search engine optimization and/or pay-per-click ads. It just makes sense that you put some time into your website copy .  Copywriting is meant to persuade someone to take an action.  It’s not written words simply to educate someone.  When writing home page copy, you need to refer to the …

  • It Only Takes 3 Simple Steps: The Physical Therapist’s Guide to SEO Strategy Image

    articleMar 16, 2015 | 5 min. read

    It Only Takes 3 Simple Steps: The Physical Therapist’s Guide to SEO Strategy

    Let's face it: As the owner of a physical therapy practice, you probably have a shortage of hours in your day. You're not interested in learning the finer points of Facebook advertising. You don't care about the ins and the outs of crafting the perfect email drip campaign. And you're not even slightly amused by the cute black-and-white animal names in Google's zoo of algorithm changes (lookin' at you Panda, Penguin, and Pigeon ). And unless you’ve …

  • Blogging 101: Intro to Content Creation for PTs Image

    articleMar 10, 2015 | 9 min. read

    Blogging 101: Intro to Content Creation for PTs

    If you type “blog” into a Microsoft Word 2004 document, the system automatically underscores the word with one of those grimace-inducing red squiggles. And while 2004 was a long time ago by technological standards—yes, I readily admit it’s high time I updated my word processing software—I know I’m not the only one who feels like the era of Livestrong bracelets and flip phones was not so long ago. But alas, times have changed: These days, everybody’s rocking …

  • articleSep 13, 2013 | 7 min. read

    6 Common Rehab Therapy Marketing Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

    So, you’ve got a marketing plan , you’ve honed your content-creation skills , and you’re ready to get down to business—or, to be more accurate, you’re ready to get down to marketing your business. As with any new endeavor, you’ll probably experience a few bumps along the road to building a successful marketing campaign—and that’s okay. After all, some of the world’s best innovations came about through trial and error. But while mistakes often present you with …

Achieve greatness in practice with the ultimate EMR for PTs, OTs, and SLPs.