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- Top Tips for Creating An E-newsletter For Your Patients
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Top Tips for Creating An E-newsletter For Your Patients
By: Jay A. Shorr, BA, MBM-C, CAC I-V
No one stands still in today’s world. In an age of social media and smartphones, working remotely, and international travel, the majority of the communication with your patients takes place when they’re not standing inside the walls of your practice. Their busy lives keep your practice from remaining top of mind, with daily activities and urgent “to do” lists taking a higher priority.
All of this means keeping in touch with your patients through an e-newsletter is more important than ever.
Wondering where to start? Let’s break it down:
1. Begin by selecting software that works for you. With a variety of choices available, know what you and your staff are comfortable with. Do you want something that works with your patient database and email/text message reminder software, like Solutionreach? Or are you more comfortable with a standalone product like Constant Contact? Investigate what works best for your practice.
2. Clean up your patient list before adding it into your new software system. You know the saying, “Garbage in, garbage out.” Make sure a patient doesn’t have three records, each under a different e-mail address, for instance, and you’re not inputting patients into your new email system who have already passed away or let you know they don’t want to be contacted. 3. Utilize segmented email lists. Sure, you’re able to send out certain e-newsletters to all of your patients. But there are going to be times you’d rather send along certain specials to patients you know are interested. For example, a male in his eighties most likely won’t be interested in neuromodulators, like Botox, Dysport, or Xeomin. A female in her twenties isn’t yet ready for a facelift.
4. While creating your e-newsletter’s template, make sure to include:
• Your practice logo.
• A photo of key practitioners your patients know and love.
• Your contact information, including not only your practice’s email address, but a phone number, street address and homepage as well.
• Strong photos you’re allowed to use. This includes having consents on your Before and Afters and rights to photos you didn’t take yourself.
• Strong content, including both monthly specials and educational information for your readers. What do you want your readers to do with the information? Nine times out of 10 it is to schedule an appointment or purchase a service.
• Links back to your website’s specific treatment pages, using calls to action.
• Links to your social media channels.
5. Continue building your database and email list on an ongoing basis. This can be done by including a “Forward to a friend” button in your e-newsletter, including a sign-up widget on your website’s template as well as in your staff’s email signatures, utilizing a “text to subscribe” option, and including a sign in your reception area to sign up, for example. Make sure your receptionist asks all new and potential patients for their email address by phone and confirms their current email address in your system.
6. Avoid list fatigue by sending out your e-newsletter once a month, no more than twice. Rarely will you have something so important to say that your patients want to hear from you weekly; while you may feel you’re being thorough, your patients will get tired of you filling up their inbox, causing them to unsubscribe.
7. Make sure you’re constantly cleaning up your email lists and analyzing your reports. Delete email addresses that continue to bounce through your email marketing system, as this skews result reporting. Play with subject lines, send dates and times, and link locations to see what works best for you.