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 a simple way of deciding upon what content to include in your email newsletter.
Length: The first thing you need to figure out is how many articles to include in your newsletter. Generally speaking, with emails, less is more as people tend to prefer easily-digestible content—so don’t go too crazy. Try to limit your newsletter to three to five articles. And ideally, you won’t include the entire article in the actual newsletter. Instead, use a small tidbit to tease the article (two to three sentences) and link to your blog or website for the rest.
The featured article: The focal point of the newsletter will be your main article. You can base your feature choice on all sorts of things. Maybe there’s a particular theme for that month that you want to highlight. Maybe it’s the start of baseball season and you want to discuss baseball-related injuries. Another option would be to analyze your audience and determine what content would resonate most with them. (For example, if the majority of your patients have lower back problems, writing about shoulder rehab might not be the best choice.)
The secondary article: If you decided to go with a themed approach for your newsletter, your secondary article should go along with the theme. Otherwise, try to use your secondary article to expand your audience. For instance, if the majority of your patients have lower back pain, but the second biggest complaint you hear is knee pain, that’s an ideal candidate for a secondary article.
Tip of the month: Your readers want to get something out of your newsletter, and tangible concepts are a great way to accomplish this. A simple tip or trick each month—like keeping a tennis ball in the freezer to roll on the inside of your foot if it’s sore—will go a long way toward making your newsletter something worth opening.
A personal message: Emails that have a personal touch perform better, so make sure you include a message to your patients. It can be about anything: a life experience, happenings at the clinic, or some new research you came across. Another possibility would be creating a monthly staff spotlight. If your clinic has multiple therapists, rotate your spotlights so your patients get to know everyone.
A call-to-action: Typically, effective emails have some kind of goal, or call-to-action. Sign up for this offer; update your account; acknowledge this funny cat picture. Whatever the objective is, your newsletter should have one, too. Perhaps your newsletter is meant to drive return visits or referrals. Maybe you just want to increase your web traffic and clicks are enough. Whatever the goal, make sure you keep it in mind and let the content guide your readers to the finish line.
With these suggestions in mind, you can sit down and brainstorm ideas on what to include in your newsletter. But don’t stop there. Ask your patients—after all, they’re your audience. Finding out what they’re interested in and what would get them to open your email is the real key.
Are you already sending an email newsletter? Let us know how you decided what to send in the comments below.