By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer
We’ve been working on redesigning and refreshing our marketing information newsletter. And since the subject of newsletter content and construction was top of mind for us, we wanted to share a few how-to tips about the process.
Not long ago we conducted a Reader Survey that was open to our 15,000+ subscribers. The responses helped guide us in having the newsletter deliver expanded content and increased professional value and reader benefit.
Circumstances change, designs become overly familiar, goals are revised and/or technology advances. Whatever the reason or need, occasionally a fresh appearance is appropriate. And when that happens, consider these pointers:
- YOUR NEWSLETTER AND YOUR BRAND: A newsletter is an instrument of continuing connection, and needs to clearly reflect your brand and branding message. A newsletter’s graphic look-and-feel is part of the brand, but so is the subject matter and even the tone of voice. Stay true to your brand. Is it time to revise, update, refresh or change?
- DIGITAL OR PRINT: Our newsletter has always been digital, sent by email to a private opt-in list of subscribers. Occasionally we see a medical marketing newsletter that is ink-on-paper, but they are increasingly rare.
A digital format—such as email, PDF file attachment or online placement—is far more common, convenient and inexpensive. Individuals who want a paper version can print it themselves or request one to be sent by mail.
Audience and purpose defines format. Talk with current and prospective readers. Digital format is typically standard, but place and purpose may point to exceptions (where the audience is not Internet connected, as a “take-one” or event handout, or where the content itself requires a printed format).
- INTERESTING, VALUABLE AND SHARE-ABLE CONTENT: It’s about helping, not selling. Have a clear editorial definition of what is appropriate, and not appropriate, to publish in your newsletter and stick with it. Include only those items that relate to the reader’s interest. Consider what makes content highly share-able. (Ask your readers.)
- PERSONAL AND PERSONABLE: Email distribution platforms normally allow a salutation that is individually personalized. You have many subscribers, but each person is reading the newsletter on a one-to-one basis. A friendly, conversational and informative tone of voice is more inviting than a formal “business report.”
- THINK MOBILE: Increasingly, email and digital communications are being received and read on the go, in a mobile format. Test how your communication presents on various smartphones and a tablets.
- KNOW EMAIL ETIQUETTE: Newsletters should be sent to individuals who want to receive them. Maintain an up-to-date “opt-in” list where you have prior permission. And always include an “unsubscribe” method for those who want to opt-out. Review the rules for keeping your healthcare marketing in the safe zone.
Healthcare delivery, society, business and audience interests all evolve in normal course. And websites and newsletters—even the best of them—need to be refreshed from time to time to keep pace and avoid appearing stale. Here’s where you can read more about Producing an Effective Healthcare Organization E-Newsletter.
We’d like to hear what you think of the newly refreshed Healthcare Success newsletter. Watch for it in your email inbox soon, and send us your feedback.