Patient newsletters work. In fact, sending a monthly newsletter to your patient email list is one of the most effective ways to engage your patients and stay top-of-mind. It’s also a great way to encourage visits to your practice website.
Do you currently send patient newsletters to your dental patients? If so, you know how hard it can be to write interesting articles that will capture their attention. If not, you should be.
We’re going to outline the most vital components of an effective dental practice newsletter based on our years of experience creating newsletters for clients.
Great Dental Websites Need Great Dental Newsletters
Next to having a great dental website, a great patient newsletter is one of the best tools for marketing your practice.
Here are the 8 essentials of a great dental newsletter:
1. Compelling Subject Line
A patient newsletter won’t do you any good if your patients don’t open it. Thus, creating a compelling subject line is imperative to the newsletter’s success. Just remember, your email is competing with the countless emails next to it in your recipient’s inbox.
What would make them click on yours?
2. Short Articles
With so much information just a quick click away, attention spans are shorter than ever. Short, bite-sized articles will be more appealing to your patients and keep them from clicking away from your newsletter to find something more exciting. We aim for articles of about 150 words. With short attention spans, you can’t afford any fluff!
Readability, a concept we recently explored in this blog post, means considering your target audience and writing content that is accessible to them. Pay attention to sentence length, paragraph length, and word choice.
4. Includes Eye-Catching Photos
Including a great photo with each article grabs the reader’s attention and helps you better communicate your message. There are a variety of free and paid stock photo services you can use to find good photos.
Caution: you cannot use someone else’s copyrighted material. This means you either need to use your own original photo, download a free stock photo, or purchase a stock photo. If you copy a photo from a Google Image search, you could encounter legal ramifications and hefty fines.
5. Published on Your Website
Integrating your patient newsletter with your dental website allows you to direct more traffic to your site and it adds interesting content that prospective patients will enjoy. Remember- sending qualified traffic to your practice website signals to the search engines that your website is one of authority, which will ultimately help your rankings.
Be sure to share your newsletter on your social media accounts and make the emails easy to forward so your patients can pass along their favorites to friends. This is how your newsletter will stimulate referrals.
It’s a good idea to print copies to keep at the front desk so your patients can peruse while they wait. Also, send them via snail mail to patients for whom you do not have an email address.
Make newsletters a part of your dental practice marketing routine. Just like brushing and flossing regularly, the cumulative effect is more significant. Many dentists make the mistake of only sending a newsletter when their numbers are down, but this ends up contributing to a stressful “roller coaster” practice. Sending a patient newsletter consistently every month will yield the best results.
If you find you don’t have the time to research, write, and promote a newsletter each month, seek the help of a trusted member of your office staff or consider hiring a dental marketing company that can take care of newsletters for you.
Ready to step up your practice newsletters? Download our free list of 101 Dental Newsletter Topic Ideas to help you get started!