Over the years, most practitioners have dabbled in practice newsletters as an internal marketing tool. Done rightly, they educate and engage your existing patients as well as continuing to position you as a trusted expert in your community. They can also be a great way to highlight new or complementary products and services that patients may be unaware you provide. A few years ago, email newsletters became very popular as they reduced the cost significantly (no printing, stuffing, and postage!).
However, even with email, you were still left with a significant problem. How did you know whether it was working? Was anyone reading it? Was anyone acting on it? Was it aiding in referrals? Was it offering a good return on investment? The only data you could collect was through actual interaction with your clinic in the form of booked appointments, phone calls, and emails.
The good news is that has all changed. The next generation of online e-newsletters offers some new features that take this form of marketing from “somewhat effective” to “downright mandatory!” One of our favorites at HPd is a service called MailChimp, although there are others popping up all the time. MailChimp is great because it is free to use (up to 1000 contacts), and they go out of their way to make it easy to use, even for the most un-tech-savvy practitioner out there.
The new feature that makes this service indispensable is their tracking and reporting system. This add-on service tells you not only how many people opened your e-newsletter and clicked on each link embedded in it, but WHO clicked them! While I let the enormity of that statement sink in, let me paint you a picture of how amazing this could be.
You log on to your account for the monthly e-newsletter you sent out Tuesday morning (which you know is the best time statistically for opening %) You are excited about this newsletter; it went out to 500 people and has links to two articles you wrote on ADD and hormone balancing, a video testimonial, and information about your upcoming evening education event and your product of the month.
You check the statistics. 170 people (34%) opened the email, 102 clicked on the ADD article, 73 on the hormone article, 22 (4%) watched the video, 45 clicked on the event, and 67 on the product of the month. You decide to go deeper and see which patients clicked on what. With this complete picture, you now have data that can drive your other marketing ventures to be exponentially more effective. You can now answer the following questions with confidence.
- What should be the topic of my next evening event?
- Who should we invite with a personal phone call?
- Which patients might appreciate a follow up call from my office?
- Should I order more stock of my product of the month?
- Which patients might like to know about a recent success story with ADD?
- How can I refine my external marketing to be more impactful?
Are you seeing the implications for your practice to gather this kind of data? The information in the newsletter itself is objectively valuable to your patients, but the data collected as a result is really where the value of this tool lies for any practitioner serious about growing their practice.
For those of you ready to get started now, MailChimp has amazing training videos to help you or your office manager become an expert in the art of making beautiful, engaging e-newletters. They are available at www.mailchimp.com/support/videos. For those of you who would love to do this but do not have time or feel overwhelmed by technology, we recommend using a company like Revive Communication, who specialize in helping holistic practitioners “bring their message to life” using innovative social media and e-newsletter tools. www.revivecommunication.com/getting-started.
Holistic Practice Development helps practitioners to grow healthy, sustainable practices, regardless of demographic or economic environment. Dr. Andrew Colyer and James Maskell have a combined 30 years of experience in the health care industry and would love to help you grow your practice. For your free practice strategy session, please visit: http://www.HolisticPracticeDevelopment.com