A newsletter is an easy way to connect with patients and provides clinicians with the greatest return on investment for every dollar spent, but far too many practitioners are overlooking this powerful tool in their physical therapy business plan. Those who do employ a newsletter are often receiving less than stellar success, a condition that can be easily remedied.
The primary reason clinicians aren’t making the best use of newsletters is the time involved. Producing quality content on a regular basis can be a daunting prospect to practitioners who are already short on time. Some clinicians are creating content ahead of the official launch of their blog or social media account, but that can require 25-50 pieces of written or video content.
One perfect piece
Quality content is a key to getting those essential newsletter subscribers and even with a brand new blog or Facebook account, clinicians have the potential of getting hundreds of new subscribers with a single post if they have the right content. It provides a path to newsletters and leads that can be transitioned into long-term patients, but they need a reason to read the material.
Groove CEO and founder, Alex Trumbull, obtained more than 1,000 subscribers in 24 hours with a single post. His advice to others is to forget promotional strategies in favor of focusing on engagement and building mutually beneficial relationships. While Groove’s results aren’t typical, 100 responses is the average and demonstrates the value that one perfect piece of content can have on new patient acquisition.
Content serves a variety of purposes, from obtaining new readers and driving sales to improving website traffic. For those first starting out, the objective is content that will persuade people to opt-in for an email newsletter. In depth posts provide the greatest response, followed by guides that provide useful information. “Top 10” lists are especially popular and typically result in the highest level of patient response.
Information from BuzzSumo that appeared on OKDork further indicated that content that evokes a positive emotional response is more likely to be acted upon and the inclusion of an image resulted in more social media shares. Mild controversy and strong opinions are shared and liked most often. Answering common patient questions is effective, but above all, the most successful posts are those that entertain.
Clinicians that are at a loss can look at competitors’ topics that received the most interest or provide a case study. Every practitioner has a unique voice and “old” topics can be addressed in new ways. Use keywords and subjects that patients might search. Design and layout is equally important and it pays to examine the formatting of pieces that have attained significant results.
The lead magnet
Creating that first piece of content may take a week or more and clinicians will also need a lead magnet. A lead magnet is something the practitioner offers the reader for free in exchange for his/her email address. It typically takes the form of enhanced information that can be downloaded and the more valuable the information is perceived, the higher the opt-in rate will be.
For the best conversion rates, offer the lead magnet within the body of the content and highlight it so it stands out. Encasing it in a box is practical, easy and especially effective. A lead magnet is the call to action and is typically placed at the beginning and end of the content, but it may also be inserted in the body of the content when appropriate and seems as a natural progression of the content.
The key is getting readers’ attention without being annoying, pushy or invasive, while convincing them of the value of subscribing. HubSpot customer demand manager, Rachel Sprung, noted that bloggers must know their audience and take every opportunity to provide a call to action across all Internet outlets.
The perfect content and an enticing lead magnet won’t help physical therapy businesses if no one reads it. Faced with the wealth of outlets available for pushing content, many clinicians are tempted to provide blanket coverage by posting on their blog and every social media site they can locate. Resist the temptation. It’s far better to receive 100 responses from 2 sources than 10 responses from 50 outlets.
Clinicians have multiple choices of where they’ll post their content and the best option is to focus on one or two. Physical therapy related forums offer an easy way to post content and provide an avenue for driving traffic to the clinic. It’s critical that practitioners participate and are viewed as active forum community members before posting their content to avoid being seen as a spammer.
Another option is to select the most interested individuals from a forum and contact them via email. They’re easy to locate as they’re typically individuals who share and comment. Clinicians can send them a friendly email noting that they commented on a post (name the topic) by (cite the author). Give them a link to the perfect piece of content.
Clinicians may also choose the route of a guest poster, placing their content on a leading physical therapy related forum or blog. It has the advantage of being seen by the site’s regular visitors and a link to the lead magnet can be included, assuming that the site will allow links in content.
Don’t waste the opportunity
Plan ahead and don’t waste opportunities when subscriber responses start coming in. It’s a critical time for a clinic’s blog. Clinicians spend a lot of time and effort writing material, developing a lead magnet, and finding the best place to position their content, but fail to take full advantage of the opportunity when subscribers sign up.
Good manners demands a thank-you email at the very least to let the new subscriber know that they’re appreciated and more than just an entry in a database. It’s also an opportunity to discover more about the people who are reading the content.
Include a short survey or a question about the topics the subscriber would like more information about. Practitioners should kindly indicate that they may not be able to answer every question due to the volume of emails they receive, but they do read each one and do their best to respond.
Blog and grow
Consistent blog entries are essential for physical therapy marketing. It keeps the practitioner and clinic’s name in front of potential patients. Interesting and entertaining content that answers questions and concerns of prospective patients will lead to more subscribers for a clinic’s newsletter. Don’t forget to send subscribers an email when a new blog entry has been posted.
Newsletters can take a considerable amount of time and effort to create. Maintaining the necessary contact with subscribers is considerably easier with the assistance of a done-for-you physical therapy newsletter such as Therapy Newsletter that’s tailored to the practitioner and their clinic.
Physical therapy marketing requires regular tending with quality content if clinicians are to obtain newsletter subscribers for leads. A fully-fledged physical therapy business plan must incorporate the use of valuable and entertaining content that persuade individuals to subscribe to newsletters. The technique is just one method that provides social proof of the clinician’s expertise and ultimately leads to increased patient acquisition, providing the best return on each marketing dollar spent.
For more information about Therapy Newsletter, call 201-535-4475.