How to Create an Appealing Newsletter People Will Want to Read
So you’re considering introducing a print or e-mail newsletter to your professional practice, but you wonder if it’s really worth the effort. Will anyone actually read it? You certainly don’t want to just throw another marketing piece out into the mix to clutter your readers’ digital or physical in-boxes. And you don’t want to go through the motions of creating a newsletter simply to check off a box.
As a practice professional, you want to do it well and make it effective.
These are both very good objectives. As you are well aware, for your practice newsletter to have value, it has to be something people will want to read. It has to be worth their time and effort. They have to be better off for having read it. And because you will be the one developing it, or outsourcing it to be developed by professionals, it must also be worth your time, effort and expense.
Educate, don’t self-promote
The focus of your professional practice newsletter should be your readers first, not you. This may sound counterintuitive, but it’s the only way your newsletter will be successful. It’s the only way to keep it from being ignored in a sea of marketing fodder.
Focus each article and each idea on your readers first, with educational, relevant, timely information. Of course, it’s terrific to mention developments in your practice that may be useful to your readers. These might include the introduction of a new key team member, a special seasonal promotion or an upcoming educational seminar. Such announcements will matter to your readers. Just be sure to make it about them and not about you.
If you stay reader focused, clients or patients will look forward to receiving your newsletter as a reliable source of quality content. This is essential to create a practice newsletter people will want to read.
Use clever e-mail subject lines
If you use eNewsletters, you want people to read them. This means you must devote some energy to this critical step. Just because eNewsletter subscribers opt in to receive your e-mails doesn’t mean they will continue to open—much less read—your newsletters once they arrive. Spend time coming up with subject lines that compel readers to open your e-mails. Think about subject lines that get your attention, and adopt those practices. Remember, your eNewsletter is competing for attention. A great subject line is a terrific way to get it!
Make it look great
Because it has become so easy and inexpensive to design attractive newsletters, visual appeal is more important than ever. This doesn’t mean your newsletter has to feature award-winning, avant-garde design. In fact, for both print and digital newsletters, simple is far better than complex. Aim for a layout that is visually engaging and easy to read or skim. Also, use consistent color schemes that reflect your practice’s brand.
Sometimes, professional practices make the mistake of trying to use too many different colors, fonts and design elements. Their intentions may be good, but this variety actually adds layers of confusion for the reader. Simplicity denotes clarity and ease of communication to the reader.
And don’t forget to build your newsletter with mobile capability in mind. More than 53% of e-mails are read on mobile devices, and that number is only rising. If your newsletter doesn’t format properly on a cell phone, chances are it won’t get read at all. Don’t neglect this important platform.
Give them something of value
From Alexa to Google to Siri, information is all around us. Thus, your content should be strategic. Whether your practice is an accounting firm, financial advisory firm or dental office, your newsletters should provide some value to your readers that they can use in the course of their day. Your content should be timely and based on research. It should not be something anyone can find with a quick Internet search.
Remember: You are a practice your readers believe in; therefore, they will be more likely to trust a newsletter that comes from you than something they find in a few seconds on Google.
Market your newsletter
The best way to make sure people read your newsletter is to make sure they know about it. Of course, you should allow all your patients or clients to opt in to receive your newsletter. Or, if your newsletter is for referring professionals, you should send that out as broadly as possible.
Beyond that, there are some easy and very inexpensive ways to market your newsletter. The emphasis here is easy. Add a simple “Sign up to receive our newsletter” button on your website. Also, promote your newsletter on social media. You can share articles and notify your followers when the next issue comes out. This encourages readers to look for it and encourages those who don’t yet receive it to subscribe. And it reiterates the idea that your newsletter is all about quality content.
Analyze the effectiveness of your marketing newsletter
As with any marketing content, you should assess how it’s doing. With eNewsletter analytics, you can tell if readers are, in fact, reading your newsletter. As for print newsletters, simply ask for feedback. This can be done through informal discussions in your office or even carefully planned reader surveys. If you need help asking the right questions to gauge the effectiveness of your newsletter, contact us. We’ll be happy to help.
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