- Posted by Nigel Edelshain
- On March 2, 2015
- Email marketing
Getting an e-newsletter off the ground is hard work, but keeping it in the air once you’ve launched it is the real trick.
The Wright Flyer was the most important aviation success in history, but it only stayed airborne for twelve seconds. Building a great email list and getting your subscribers engaged is one of the best ways to achieve your goals and build your brand, so creating compelling content should be a top priority, lest your open and unsubscribe rates trend in the wrong directions.
So how can you ensure that your shiny new hospital e-newsletter has the endurance of a modern jet that can help carry your marketing plan from Point A to Point B? We’ve compiled six ways you can make your e-newsletter more compelling so you can turn prospective patients into real ones—and then keep them around.
Set a goal
Just like any other marketing initiative, your e-newsletter should have a plan and a goal (or goals). Remember how valuable an opt-in email list is and make sure that every message you send is helping you achieve your goal. If you’re trying to drive measurable results like new patients or referalls, keep a close eye on your analytics so you can see where people are coming from. If you’re promoting a particular service line, make sure everyone in the department is on board with your plan.
Establish a routine
Spend two minutes on Google and you’ll find a hundred different contradictory articles telling you the best time of day or day of the week to send your emails, but the truth is that none of those recommendations are right for your mailing list. There’s nothing wrong with them as long as your treat them as just recommendations.
Most email marketing tools have built-in features that recommend a time of day based on your particular set of subscribers and other key factors. You can use those times as a baseline to test and determine the best schedule for your mailing list. Once you’ve decided how often you’re going to send emails and established a regular schedule, make sure you stick to it so your readers always know when to expect your newsletter.
Spend time on the template
The content is the most important part of your e-newsletter, but presentation matters too. Don’t despair if you don’t have a web programmer in house—most email marketing tools come with free templates that you can modify for your own use. Just be sure that any templates you design or use are mobile friendly because more than 50% of emails are opened on smartphones and tablets.
Learn what your readers want
These days, there are some pretty powerful tools at your disposal if you want to see what users are looking for. You’ve probably already searched for keywords you think might perform well and used Google Analytics to see what works for your website or blog, but you can do the same thing with your e-newsletter. Tailoring content to fill whatever niche or niches your community needs is a surefire way to find satisfied readers.
Don’t just recycle content
Reusing content across a range of mediums is one of the fundamental practices of content marketing, but your e-newsletter needs to be more than just a compendium of blog excerpts and “read more” links. Mix in some new content and write new excerpts for old content to drive traffic to your blog or website and keep people coming back for more.
Give readers an incentive
Unless you’ve got a big marketing team working for you, you probably don’t have the means to produce entirely new articles for every issue of your newsletter, but there are plenty of other ways to differentiate your newsletter from your blog. Offer readers sneak peaks at upcoming content before it goes live, or plan monthly insider content so you don’t have to do it every day or every week. You can even include a mailbag feature and answer a reader question in every issue.
Like a blog, an e-newsletter offers endless opportunities to get creative. Use A/B tests liberally to see what works or doesn’t work with your target audience. The game’s all about adjustments these days, but each one will carry your marketing plan just a little bit higher. If you’re looking for even more ways to improve your emails, make sure you check our 11 tips for making your email more compelling.