How to write an effective healthcare email newsletter
by Chloe Bowen Chief of Staff
According to the 2019 Adobe Email Usage Study, Americans spend more than 3 hours a day checking work email and more than two hours a day checking personal email. The return on investment (ROI) for email marketing is currently $42 for every dollar spent, which is up from $38 in 2018.
It therefore behooves the medical field to jump on the email marketing bandwagon. In this article, we will explain the benefits you will get from personalized email marketing, how you can write an effective healthcare email newsletter, and why you should use Paubox Marketing to do it.
SEE ALSO: HIPAA Definition of Marketing Explained
The power of the email marketing newsletter
Newsletters about your healthcare practice are effective because they:
- Keep you top of mind for your patients
- Actively engage patients and remind them to consider their health needs
- Offer you an opportunity to share best health practices and advice
- Allow patients to easily forward information about your practice to friends and family
Email newsletters offer a direct channel to patients and prospective patients, giving you the opportunity to educate, inform and of course, promote your practice.
Types of healthcare email newsletters
There are various types of content that you can include in your email newsletters which serve different purposes. Here are the main categories that your newsletter may fit into.
An educational email newsletter
Educational email newsletters offer an opportunity for you to update patients on current health trends that have hit the news, seasonal health related items and even more pointed information on specific health concerns or threats in your area of expertise.
During the ongoing coronavirus outbreak for example, a number of Paubox customers have been emailing their patients to share the most up-to-date recommendations from the CDC or WHO.
The goal of an educational email is not to sell, but rather to educate your patients. However, receiving useful and informative updates from you helps brand you as an expert and keeps you top of mind.
A roundup of your recent blog posts
If you maintain a blog for your practice, you want to make sure your patients know when you post new content.
A great way to spread the word is with an email newsletter containing a roundup of recent stories or articles you have published.
An informational email newsletter
Informational email newsletters are sent on an ad hoc basis, when there is something worth updating your patients about, such as announcing a new practitioner, unveiling a new location, or updating people on changes to your policies and procedures.
Many Paubox customers have begun to offer telemedicine where possible while much of the country is under stay at home orders due to the coronavirus pandemic. They are able to leverage Paubox Marketing to keep their patients up to date on changes to their practices.
SEE ALSO: Top 5 Telehealth Software Services
A promotional email newsletter
With a promotional newsletter, you can showcase new products and services available at your practice, offer coupons, discounts, referral codes or other deals.
This type of email works best with elective procedures, and/or procedures that patients receive multiple times, such as acupuncture, BOTOX injections, or dental cleanings.
Healthcare email newsletter best practices
No matter what type of email newsletter you send, there are some best practices you should keep in mind.
Make it personal
Personalized email marketing can be very powerful. Individualized messages perform up to three times better than generic blast emails. By tailoring your messaging to a specific patient, you can obtain 5 to 8 times more ROI for your marketing spend.
Paubox Marketing allows you to include protected health information (PHI) in your email newsletters, which means you can send the right information to the right patients at the right time.
The simplest thing to do is include the recipient’s name in an email newsletter greeting (“Dear Sarah” vs. “Dear Patient”), but Paubox Marketing allows you to include any information that you want in your marketing in a HIPAA compliant manner.
Deliver email newsletters directly to recipients’ inboxes
Most HIPAA compliant email solutions require patients to log into a secure web portal and create an account and password before they can read a message from their doctor. This is a bad user experience even for email that patients have asked for, such as test results.
If recipients have to go through that rigamarole to read marketing emails, they will be very unlikely to bother.
Luckily Paubox Marketing leverages patented technology which allows people to read your HIPAA compliant email newsletters directly in their inboxes with no additional steps.
Use a pithy subject line
Make your newsletter subject line a punchy phrase that communicates the theme of your newsletter.
A subject line such as “Newsletter No. 12” probably won’t have your patients itching to read more. “Increase Your Fertility With These 12 Steps” is a much better subject line.
The title is the first thing that your recipients will read, so entice them to open your email to find out more.
Give recipients a clear, quick out
Per the CAN-SPAM Act, email marketing must contain clear instructions on how to easily unsubscribe from future emails, and you must remove people who opt out from your email distribution list promptly.
Paubox Marketing takes care of both of these requirements so you don’t have to think about it. All marketing emails contain an unsubscribe button in the footer. If someone clicks it, he or she is removed from your distribution list immediately.
Include your physical address in marketing email
Also per the CAN-SPAM Act, email marketing must contain your physical address. Paubox Marketing includes this automatically in the footer of every email you send.
Ensure that your emails are mobile-friendly
Many people read their emails via tablets or smartphones, so your marketing campaign should be optimized to work on all devices.
Again, Paubox Marketing takes care of this for you. All email promotions use responsive design to optimize the visual experience no matter what device your recipients are using to view your messages.
Send a test email to yourself
Paubox Marketing allows you to send yourself a test email to ensure that your email newsletter looks the way you want it to before you send it to your recipients.
Do not inundate subscribers with messages
Once you have your email newsletter plan ready to go, you may be raring to start emailing your patients.
However, be careful not to bombard patients with marketing messages, as this can irritate them and lead them to unsubscribe.
Instead take a measured approach and only send newsletters that contain useful or actionable content.
Achieving success with healthcare email newsletters
These guidelines are only the start. As with the majority of digital marketing efforts, achieving success through email marketing is a long-term process.
It requires a blend of astute planning and analysis of data and reader feedback to improve your campaigns. But the only way to excel at this is by being out there and emailing to your prospective audience!