- Posted by Nigel Edelshain
- On April 28, 2015
- Email marketing
There are many compelling reasons to curate an email newsletter for your hospital, most of all the high ROI on email marketing and the preferences of people looking for quality information in a sea of content created just for the sake of content.
But you need to do more than just share links to your latest blog posts if you want to create an e-newsletter that your recipients will actually read or, even better, share with their friends and families. We’ve already shared 6 tips for building a compelling e-newsletter to help you get your content off the ground—and stay there. Here are 6 more tips to keep in mind as you reach cruising altitude and look to make your newest offering even better.
Add alt text to images
Did you know that 43% of Gmail users don’t see the images in your emails by default? Most companies have their email software set up to block images as well. That means that no matter how amazing the photos you choose are, nearly half (or maybe even more, depending on your particular mailing list) of your recipients will never see them unless your copy convinces them to reveal them. And since a great many calls-to-action are images, that could mean very bad things for your conversion rate.
It’s good practice to assume that most users won’t view your images. Fortunately, adding a simple HTML tag can help ensure that your emails aren’t filled with blank spaces. The alt attribute holds a text string that will only be printed on the screen when an image isn’t displayed. Descriptive text is enough for many images, but make sure you repeat the text of your CTA whenever you want users to click on an image link.
Create flexible delivery schedules
Depending on the frequency of your emails, it may be a good idea to allow subscribers to select how often they receive messages. Enabling such options allows users to receive content they want when they want it and gives them a sense of control over what’s pouring into their inbox, allowing them to adjust the faucet however they like. This is especially true if you’re sending your newsletter out more than once a week.
Don’t hide the unsubscribe (or subscribe!) link
A lot of senders try to make it difficult for users to unsubscribe, but there’s no better way to alienate subscribers for good. Make sure the link is clearly visible in the footer of your messages—and make sure there’s a subscribe link as well for people who receive a forwarded message and are interested in receiving your content for themselves.
Keep your eyes on the prize
The curated format of an e-newsletter—a tool to drive readers to your website or blog—means that you’ll have more than one call-to-action to track. You can make things a little bit easier for you and your readers by choosing one primary call-to-action to promote in each issue. That’s the one that you should focus your tracking efforts on—with the rest as “in-case-you-have-time” choices.
Don’t be overly promotional
The key to content marketing with a blog is to provide readers with useful information, and your e-newsletter shouldn’t be any different. There’s nothing wrong with trying to sell your products and offerings, but if you want users to keep opening your emails, you’ll have to give them more than a sales pitch.
More emails, more focused content
Before the Internet, you couldn’t do much to target your content. Sure, you could pick your spots to publish print advertisements or commercials, but you had no control over who actually saw or heard them. Now, though, advanced email marketing apps allow you to segment your master list into divisions so you can truly give people what they want.
That means it’s possible to build a newsletter that delivers different CTAs to current and prospective patients or to patients who are interested in different departments or services lines without a ton of extra work. Create sublists for each of your hospital’s specialties and you won’t have to worry about a cardiology patient unsubscribing because they received a series of maternity emails.