Newsletter Marketing Strategies That Get Results

July 26, 2017    By Becky Sheetz ()

Newsletter Marketing Strategies That Get Results

Most professionals, such as accountants, attorneys, financial planners, dentists, physical therapists or physicians, are trying to grow their practices. If you are like many, business development is a high priority. But let me ask you one rather direct question:

What are you doing about it?

Without an ongoing way of keeping in touch with your existing client or patient base, you are missing out on an easy and direct way to grow your professional practice.

Even when you do exceptional work and are lauded by your peers, your patients or clients have choices. There is no guarantee that they will keep returning to your practice or that they’ll refer their family, friends and business associates to you. Top-earning professionals work hard to build loyalty and generate referrals because they know these efforts are essential to grow their practices.

These are just some of the reasons why newsletter marketing is so important for professional practices. For over three decades, WPI Communications has helped thousands of professionals market their practices with newsletters. This article builds on that experience and explores how almost any professional can use newsletter marketing to increase loyalty and grow.

8 Newsletter Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Practice
Here are eight professional service practice strategies for using a newsletter to grow your practice, build loyalty and generate referrals.

If, at any point, you want to find out how your practice can benefit from a high-caliber newsletter marketing program, just fire off a quick e-mail to us at info@wpicommunications.com with the subject line “Grow My Practice!” and let us know you are ready to learn more.

1.  Put your reputation first.
What is your practice’s number one asset? Your client or patient base, your team, your experience and advanced degrees—these are all important. But we would venture to say that they all pale in comparison to your single greatest asset—your firm’s reputation. That’s the sum total of so many important parts of your professional practice. How your staff talks about the firm both inside and outside of the office; what clients or patients say about you on social media review sites and in person to their friends and colleagues; and your standing among your professional colleagues all work together to comprise your reputation.

Influencers who don’t know about you can’t spread the word. In today’s highly competitive environment, getting the word out is absolutely essential.

You have to work actively to ensure that those other than your current clients, patients, referring colleagues and other centers of influence know about your stellar reputation.

Newsletter Marketing Strategy:
As we’re sure you’ll agree, your reputation is paramount. Successful leaders do all they can to protect and even enhance the reputations they’ve worked so hard to build, which is why so many professional practices turn to newsletters. A newsletter has the power to positively shape and enhance your reputation by maintaining contact with your current and lapsed contacts. With each issue, newsletters reinforce the message that your practice is the authoritative leader that they can trust.

Financially successful professionals understand that it’s not enough to be an outstanding dentist or attorney. They realize the need to consistently and tastefully reach their audience with useful and educational content. A newsletter can help reinforce your expertise in a way that matters to your audience. Regardless of whether they read every article in every newsletter or skim for highlights, your readers receive the powerful and lasting impression that, by choosing your practice, they’re choosing the best.

2. Stand out from the competition.
Financially successful practices are able to differentiate themselves from the others. Differentiators can fall into many categories, such as the quality of the staff and team, use of the latest technology, streamlined office processes, outstanding reputation in the community and more. By differentiating your practice, you’ll be a standout and able to help more people.

By differentiating your practice, you’ll be a standout and able to help more people.

Think about a brand someone you know has gotten excited about in the last week or two. Maybe someone told you about a fantastic new restaurant or their favorite spa. Chances are they didn’t say something like, “You have to try that place. It’s just like all the others.” Instead, they told you why the spa or restaurant was better than other options. What stood out about it was conveyed with enthusiasm.

If yours is a medical practice or an accounting firm, to share two examples, maybe you don’t think about getting people excited in the same way as they would about a hot new restaurant or a relaxing spa. But, still, the same principles of standing out apply.

When you offer the same services from one provider to the next, to the next, then differentiation is futile. But that’s simply not the case. Clients or patients come back to you again and again, instead of going elsewhere for a reason.

What brands or experiences impress you in a positive way? Think about why you admire those, whether it’s your favorite grocery store, where you send your children to school or where you go for medical care. Just like you and your family, your clients or patients chose to come to you for a reason. It’s up to you to keep them coming back.

Your goal should be for your patients or clients to leave your practice feeling satisfied and confident that you can and will continue to meet their needs.

Newsletter Marketing Strategy:
Newsletters are valuable tools to help professional practices outperform the competition. They do this by delivering top-quality articles that inform readers. They also demonstrate that you care enough about your readers to send them excellent, meaningful content and stay in touch.

A fundamental success principle is that winning practices are intentional about standing out from the competition. They realize that even their most loyal clients or patients have choices. They refuse to blend in. They work to ensure that their reputation comes through by showing their current and future patients or clients how they are different. Newsletters can help accomplish all those objectives!

3. Be seen as an authority.
Being perceived as an authority is a natural extension of rising above the competition. Those known as authorities are considered prominent. This has been called the information age. Paradoxically, in many ways, it’s the misinformation age. It’s easy for people to access information today, but finding reliable, credible sources presents a challenge. As a professional practice, this makes you more valuable than ever.

The professionals in your practice have extensive education and experience. While that’s absolutely critical, it’s not enough for you to simply be an expert authority in your practice area. You must communicate that you are the authority.

Newsletter Marketing Strategy:
Newsletters demonstrate your authority by keeping high-caliber content in front of your clients or patients. These articles remind them of the breadth and depth of your services, and reiterate that you are the professional they can trust.

Being seen as an authority is a major differentiator for professional practices that achieve this distinction. You’ll attract others of influence when your firm and your experts are influential. For your business, this can have powerful potential because influencers will bring you into the company of their audiences. They will want to send referrals to you, too.

4. Be top-of-mind for referrals.
Speaking of referrals, how do people select a professional? Various factors are involved, but there is one recurring theme: They ask someone. People are busy and have plenty on their minds. But by using a newsletter marketing program, you’ll keep your practice top-of-mind.

Newsletter Marketing Strategy:
The simple act of sending a newsletter on a regular basis increases the likelihood that people will think of you when asked to make a referral. Build on your success and keep those referrals coming by staying in front of consumers with a newsletter.

Never take a single referral for granted. Remember: You are most likely to get future referrals from a patient or client who has referred you in the past. These individuals are referral-minded. Be mindful of that, and reward them accordingly.

5. Take loyalty seriously!
Every professional practice needs a system for building loyalty and ensuring that everyone keeps coming back. Successful practices never take their client bases for granted and are mindful of showing them their appreciation. Newsletters build loyalty by showing your readers that you care about them enough to send them valuable content they can use. To build loyalty, you need a repeatable system to remind your clients or patients that you are thinking about them.

I am loyal to my accountant because the firm does good work. They aren’t the least expensive, but they understand my financial situation and their work is accurate. But I sure would appreciate hearing their gratitude for my business in the form of, for example, a client newsletter.

It’s also important to have a system to reactivate lapsed clients or patients. A one-off program like an e-mail or a postcard mailer is not a system. A system is repeatable and ongoing. By keeping in touch with them on a recurring basis, you’ll demonstrate to people that they matter to you and educate them on the importance of your services or treatments.

What’s your process for reactivating lapsed clients or patients? Do you have one?

Newsletter Marketing Strategy:
Professionals serious about growth must have a loyalty-building initiative. It’s not optional. Newsletters are the most effective, consistent and cost-effective loyalty program a practice can deliver. When you maintain meaningful contact, you’ll show readers that they matter and can educate them about why they need to continue to benefit from your expertise.

6.  Educate readers and give them something of value.
Nobody likes to be sold. For professional practices, it’s critical that you stay above the common sales and marketing fray. Your growth-building activities should focus less on what’s in it for my practice and more about what’s in it for my clients. The most successful and effective professional practice marketing focuses on education and value—not on attempting to sell readers with marketing messages. Sophisticated audiences, like your clients and patients, see through this and may be turned off by this approach.

Education is the best way to stay in touch. My financial planner sends e-cards on various holidays throughout the year. It does not hurt that he sends these, and they aren’t veiled sales pitches, but I’d much rather get content from him that I can use to make actionable decisions or stay informed about trends and developments.

Newsletter Marketing Strategy: 
Compared to sending a brochure or running an ad, newsletters offer a very different approach. They transcend typical sales and marketing techniques. Loyalty matters much more to professional practices like yours than a sales transaction.

Practice-marketing newsletters allow you to provide fresh, relevant content on trends, developments and studies in your practice area. Quality newsletters are appreciated and read because they are educational and value focused.

7.  Use an appropriate frequency.
Another way your practice can maintain its professionalism is by using an appropriate frequency. The most effective marketing programs for professional practices utilize a professional tone and an appropriate frequency. Whereas many retail brands communicate with their customers quite often—sometimes daily—your strategy should be very different.

With professional practices, the focus of content marketing is on quality, rather than quantity. We recommend that practices distribute professional newsletters monthly or quarterly, depending on the audience.

Newsletter Marketing Strategy: 
Valuable content that matters to your readers, sent with appropriate frequency by the professional practice they trust, is at the core of an effective newsletter marketing strategy. Be sure that your newsletter is sent on a consistent basis, but not so frequently that it is ignored by your readers. For professional practices, a monthly or quarterly newsletter is often the sweet spot.

From our experience over the past 32 years, we have found that professional-to-professional newsletters, which are referral generating by nature, are most effective when sent quarterly. On the other hand, consumer or patient/client newsletters work best with greater frequency—usually monthly.

8.  Make good use of your readers’ time.
To improve the chances that your newsletter is opened and read, it must be well designed and easy to digest. You’ll make the best of your readers’ time with top-quality content and a design that enables them to quickly and effectively consume the information, whether in print or electronic formats. Content of a more technical nature is best transmitted via print.

Newsletter Marketing Strategy: 
Regardless of whether your newsletters are print or e-mail, they must be easy to skim and navigate. All links and opt-in options should function seamlessly. To achieve these objectives and deliver a solid newsletter worthy of your reputation, we strongly recommend that you use a team of experts. With our decades of experience in newsletter marketing for professional service practices, we possess the track record to help you retain patients, gain referrals and otherwise grow your practice.

What will you do?
Find out for yourself just how easy and profitable newsletter marketing can be. If growth is a priority for your professional practice, what’s your strategy to get there? To start benefitting immediately, e-mail us at info@wpicommunications.com with the subject line “Grow My Practice!”

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