Truth is, email newsletters have a bit of a bad rep, and with good reason…
They’re generally awful.
Full of information you don’t need from companies you don’t care about, no wonder they end up in the trash.
So, if that’s true, then why are we touting them as one of the ‘smartest’ marketing strategies?
Well, according to email marketing specialist Nathan Littleton, that’s because they simply haven’t been done in the right way, but when they are, they can easily become one of the biggest revenue-generators for your practice.
In this article, we share Nathan’s priceless expertise on how to make email marketing work for you.
FYI, this list is by no what exhaustive, and we encourage you to listen to the podcast to get the whole shebang.
So, let’s begin by acknowledging one very important thing…
It’s All About The Long Game
Full disclosure here, the first, most important thing to know about email newsletters is that it’s all about the long game, that is, there are no quick wins.
Unlike sales emails that are designed to sell, email newsletters are all about establishing credibility and building trust, which, as you very well know doesn’t come with a click of a finger (or a button).
The whole point of them is to share your world so the recipient feels like they know, like and eventually trust you, which should, if the moment ever comes, mean that when they’re ready for your services, you’ll remain top of mind.
If you keep in mind the mantra “just because I’m ready to sell, doesn’t mean they’re ready to buy” you’ll feel more enthused about committing to email newsletters over a 6-12 month (and beyond) period.
So, as long as you’re cool with that, then all is good and we can carry on…
Buy Or Bye, That’s By-The-By
When someone intentionally visits your website, they’re looking for confirmation that you’re either the right or the wrong fit for them, which they’ll usually get after about 4-6 seconds of skimming the words and taking in the general feel of your site.
Then, they’ll do one of three things:
Buy, enquire or leave, with the majority doing the latter.
So, if you’ve got just seconds to make an impression, with someone who’s judging everything you’ve already put out there, how on earth do you ensure you don’t lose the majority of people who may well have become patients if only you had longer to convince them?
The answer is to encourage them to carry on the conversation via your newsletter.
But let’s be real here…why would anyone want news on a hearing care clinic they have just found out about?
And that’s when it gets smart…
Give An Incentive
Your website is likely to be the best place for people to subscribe to your newsletter, but there’s only one problem…
…how are you going to entice someone who doesn’t know you to subscribe?
The harsh truth is that people don’t care about your news unless there’s something in it for them, and they’re certainly not going to share their email address with you for nothing, so make sure there is something there for them.
Practically speaking this could be a useful guide for how to keep your hearing healthy, or even a percentage off coupon for a hearing assessment. The key is to ensure that what they get is valued bigger and better than their email address.
Building Up Your Newsletter List
It goes without saying that there’s no point sending a newsletter if there’s no one there to read it, which means you need to have a few things in place which encourages people to subscribe.
Of course, having a place or pop-up on your website where people can subscribe is an obvious one, but what about other methods to build your list?
You might consider:
- Asking your current patients if they’re happy with you adding them to your newsletter list, either when they first register with you, or during one of their visits
- Adding a link to your newsletter on the signature of your email
- Having a QR code in your waiting room where people can quickly and easily subscribe while they wait
- Sharing snippets of your newsletter and repurposing them as posts on your social media platforms with a link to subscribe
Even if you do just one of these things, you’re significantly increasing your chances of people subscribing.
The thing to remember is that you don’t need loads and loads of people at first – you may only start with 10 and gradually increase from there. In fact, the smaller your list at the start, the more specific you can be with your content…
…which leads us nicely onto the next point…
What To Include In Your Newsletter
OK, so now you’ve got people on your list you’re probably scratching your head over what to post?
You need to bear in mind one thing here, which is: it’s always best to write your newsletter as if you’re speaking to one person and not a collective.
Also, always think value, value, value – if I was reading this, would I get value from it?
And with that, we’ll lead you on to a nice little contradictory tip that your newsletter doesn’t always have to include your news!
Of course, if there is something genuinely newsworthy to share, such as a new office expansion or a new member of the team (human or fluffy!), then of course you want to share that with your people, but, most of the time you won’t have a lot of new stuff going on, so that’s when you need to get creative…
Here are a few content ideas for you:
- Seasonal themes and how to keep your hearing healthy through the seasons
- Fun facts
- Advice on insurance and how to optimize theirs
- Success stories/case studies from real patients
- Advice on how to tackle common hearing related problems
- Expert takes on common hearing issues and what to do about them
- Info on the latest technology
- Hacks, tips and tricks on how to get the most from your hearing aids
- Community events
- Behind the scenes stuff from your practice
- Staff stories and updates
It’s important to note here that, if you wanted to, you could get really specific with your audience and therefore your newsletter content by having some smart systems in place that send different content to different people depending on where they’re at in their hearing journey. If you wanted to know more about this, you’re welcome to take the ‘How to launch an email newsletter’ course, here.
However, you’re more likely to want to keep it simple for now, which is completely understandable and a good move to make if you’re just starting out.
What To Do Next
If you’re convinced that an email newsletter is the right route to take for your hearing care clinic, then you’re a smart cookie and we strongly encourage you to give it a go.
However, before you do, listen to the full podcast version of this article, as you’ll gain valuable insight into other important aspects of newsletter creation such as subject lines, time to send, platforms to use and how to measure whether they’re working.