If you aren’t investing in your e-newsletter it might be time to consider doing so. An e-newsletter is a tool that not only allows you to engage with your current patients, but also provides an opportunity to reel in new patients.
Providing your patients with a periodic e-newsletter is a great way to provide updates on the different things happening at your practice. They can also assist in increasing your website traffic and traffic to your social media sites.
Get the Most Out of Email Marketing
1. Determine Your Frequency
Let’s address that timing question now. Should you send it once per month, twice per month, once per week, or once per quarter? Unfortunately, there’s no single right answer. This is entirely up to you, and the answer can vary with every organization. But as far as suggestions go, try sending a newsletter at least once a month. Once every two weeks will also keep you top of mind, without annoying your supporters. Keep track of your open, click, and bounce rates to see what schedule works best for you.
Another factor that will affect your email frequency is whether you’ve set particular expectations with your supporters. If you want people to sign up for a regular newsletter, it might be helpful to establish up front how often they can expect a message from you. Once you’ve established your frequency, stick to it. If you decide to change it at anytime down the road, make sure to communicate that to your subscribers. This way, they won’t be confused if they notice any changes.
2. Test Your Optimal Mailing Time
According to MailChimp, a leading email marketing service, more emails are sent (and opened) during the weekdays than on the weekends. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday seem to have the highest open rate. Also, more subscribers tend to open email after 12 PM, with peak hours being 2-5 PM. Be sure to test delivery dates and times to chisel out the best sending schedule for your organization.
3. Send a Personalized Email Immediately after Sign-Up
MailChimp also finds that subscribers are most engaged immediately after they sign up. After they subscribe to your newsletter, be sure to send them an email to begin the relationship right away. Acknowledge them and thank them for signing up before their interest has a chance to wane. Strengthen their loyalty from the get-go by personalizing your message. While it’s easy to send the generic “Thank you for joining our mailing list,” an email with more personality can go a long way in deepening your patients’ connection to your mission. It demonstrates your effort to send a meaningful message specific to a patient’s needs and history.
4. Include Social Share/Follow Buttons
After analyzing a handful of organizations, M+R associates found that email subscribers may donate up to two or three times more online revenue through non-email channels (through search, social media, or the nonprofit’s website). Even if patients aren’t donating by directly clicking through your email, it can act as a gateway to other avenues in which donors would like to be engaged. Make sure to include social share buttons and action items in your newsletter, such as clear links to your social pages, blog, and website. Other effective CTAs for your newsletter are buttons that more directly engage readers with you cause.
Don’t underestimate the power of your newsletter. If you send it out consistently, it can be a powerful content marketing tool that keeps your patients engaged with your practice. Test, test, and test some more to find the best delivery schedule that works for you and your unique supporters. With some tailoring, e-newsletters can be huge assets to your organization!