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How to build and send a HIPAA compliant newsletter in only 2 minutes

How to build and send a HIPAA compliant newsletter in only 2 minutes

Building an effective HIPAA compliant newsletter feels like it should be hard work, but it’s actually rather easy when you have a clear structure in mind. And my recommended format is also reader-friendly.

Email marketing can be a real chore. Trust me, I’ve been dealing with email newsletters since around 2008 and have literally seen millions of them. I’ve spent countless hours scrutinizing tens of thousands of subject lines and tracking hundreds of thousands of clicks.

And because I have plenty to say about how to craft email newsletters, I decided to share my less is more approach here. This was inspired by a question at the recent Paubox social mixer – The future of SEO content.



Why email newsletters are a powerful tool for healthcare professionals

HIPAA compliant email marketing can help your practice grow, but it also helps patients. Email communication is a powerful tool in your efforts to promote treatment adherence. Along with drip campaigns, email newsletters are a firm but gentle way to remind patients to stay on track. 

If your recipients are fellow healthcare professionals, email marketing keeps you top-of-mind and offers opportunities to educate and entertain. 

Lastly, email newsletters and drip campaigns are vital in client retention and offer the highest ROI of any marketing channel


What content makes for effective email newsletters?

Two elements make for effective email newsletters, and they’re obvious when you think about it.


1. Value

Each communication should offer the reader something of value. Give your recipient food for thought. Or teach them something. Or simply share something interesting. Adding value in your newsletter keeps your audience engaged and opening your emails. 


2. Expectation

Subscribers signed up to receive your newsletters with a certain expectation and a degree of trust. Don’t betray that trust by inundating them with irrelevant or hard-sell content. 


Set a goal for your newsletter

There’s one more topic to cover before we get to the structure of the email newsletter – the goal. Each email should have a goal like, read a blog post, or schedule an appointment.

Then, a call-to-action that helps the reader achieve that goal should be up top in the “above-the-fold” section of the newsletters. Usually, this is a link or button. Once you know your primary goal, everything else falls into place. 


A reason to click

To help convince the reader to click that link or button, give them a reason to take action. And that’s where the value comes in. If your readers know they’ll get something interesting or useful, they’re more likely to move forward. 

That doesn’t mean offering special deals or free gifts. Instead, it refers to the quality of your service or how informative your content is.


How to structure your email newsletter

If you set up a clear structure, it can take you 2 minutes to build your newsletter. A minute or two to proofread, and in 5 minutes, you’ll be sending your HIPAA compliant newsletter to readers. 


Keep it short and simple

The longer your newsletters, the fewer people will read them. If you pack your email marketing full of detailed content, you’ll effectively teach your audience that opening your emails is something to avoid. Readers will spend seconds on your emails, so don’t spend hours writing them. 

It’s perfectly acceptable to send an email newsletter with a scant two or three sentences. In fact, it’s respectful of your audience’s time.


The subject line

Don’t use a generic, repeated subject line. Each newsletter should have a unique subject line that explains in about 10 words what the reader will learn if they open the newsletter. 


The lower two thirds

The lower the content, the fewer people will read it. Below the fold – the lower two-thirds of your email newsletter – will only be seen by about 20% of those who open your email. Use that space for extra content that might still interest your readers but isn’t crucial for them to see. 

This newsletter design pattern works well and consistently retains a good open rate because it’s always got something for everyone. It also allows for topical content and newsy items without feeling overwhelming for readers. 


Don’t overdo it with the design

An effective email newsletter needs some visual interest but doesn’t need to be over-designed. Save the design skills for special announcements or in crafting a templated design. Consistency is key when keeping patients and partners engaged, so prioritize a design pattern that’s easy to templatize and plug in new content quickly. 


See how to build a HIPAA compliant newsletter in 2 minutes

The reason it’s possible to create a newsletter so quickly is that:

  1. I used a pre-planned, simple structure
  2. I knew what I wanted to say

Sure, there was a bit of copy-pasting, but if you composed the text from scratch, it might have added a minute or two more. Similarly, had the email been cloned from an existing template, it could have been completed even quicker. 



With a templated, simple structure, you can stay consistent with your email strategy without taking up a lot of time. 


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