Create, Maintain and Grow Your E-mail List
Newsletter marketing is a smart investment for growing your professional practice. But if a newsletter is sent out and nobody reads it, it does nothing to build your practice. The key to an impactful newsletter is to make sure it is read by the right people—which means you first have to send it to the right people. The following tips for creating, growing and maintaining your e-mail list—along with cautions about what NOT to do—will guide you in getting your newsletter into the right hands (or the right in-boxes!).
What Not to Do
It might sound counterintuitive, but resist the temptation to buy an e-mail list. Besides costing you money, purchasing a list is only going to give you a stack of e-mail addresses belonging to people with no connection to your practice who have not agreed to receive e-mail from you. It’s an easy way to wind up in a lot of spam boxes. You will reap much bigger rewards if you put in the effort to create and grow your own list organically.
Create Your List
Start with those you know. Your current clients or patients are most likely to be your prospective readers. They are already engaged with your practice and are likely willing to hear from you. Create a list of these contacts, and send an e-mail announcing your upcoming newsletter—and be sure to include a big “subscribe” button!
Include subscribe buttons...everywhere. There are so many ways that you communicate with potential readers on a daily basis. By including a subscribe button everywhere, you can convert these contacts into dedicated newsletter readers. Include subscribe buttons in your e-mail signature, on your social media platforms and on every page of your Web site.
Grow Your List
Find subscribers in real life (IRL). When you meet people IRL, consider them to be prospective readers of your newsletter. New clients that call in or vendors at trade shows also might be potential readers. Be sure to ask for an e-mail address, or direct them to your Web site, where they can sign up for your newsletter.
Sweeten the deal. To hook new readers, you can offer incentives for subscribing to the newsletter—then your content will keep them coming back for more! Examples include discounts, loyalty programs, free PDFs or enter-to-win prizes.
Maintain Your List
Check the bouncebacks. Each time you send out a newsletter, it’s important to spend some time afterward on list maintenance. You will always have bouncebacks, some due to incorrect e-mail addresses. It might seem to be of little importance, but these bouncebacks affect your open and click-through rates, and you want your data to be as accurate as possible.
Reengage past readers. About once a year, send an e-mail to former readers encouraging them to resubscribe to your newsletter. You can offer a limited-time discount for those that subscribe now, or simply request that they update their profile and contact information in order to receive useful news from your office.
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