How to improve your patient email newsletters: 5 quick wins

By Melanie Graham

healthcare newsletter

Email marketing is one of the most powerful channels available to healthcare marketers today; it’s one of the only opportunities we have to communicate 1:1 with our followers and potential patients. So, when it comes to email newsletters, we need to be harnessing the power of every send.

But with the constant influx of email these days, it’s easy for a newsletter to get lost in the shuffle. Standing out in the inbox is one of the biggest challenges we healthcare writers and marketers face.

If you’re thinking you need a total redesign or strategy to move the email needle, relax! Take a deep breath. You can improve email open rates and click-through-rates (CTRs) with only a few tweaks to your content.

Here are a few tips for quick wins to help improve your patient email newsletters:

1. Find which content performs best

As with any marketing channel, it’s crucial to look at data and performance on a regular basis. Dive in to your email analytics and see which stories or pieces of content get the most clicks or have the most engaged users on your website. Then, try to include this type of content regularly or, better yet, aim to lead your newsletter with these top performers.

2. Change up your subject lines

Do you use the same subject line style for your newsletter month after month? Perhaps it’s something like, “May News: Skin Cancer Awareness.” These subject lines can work for some audiences, but you may want to try switching it up from time to time. Subscribers may be less likely to gloss over your email if the subject line is something different from what they’re used to.

Also, it’s important to remember that your subject line is like a headline—will it encourage the reader to click to read more? Going back to the skin cancer awareness example, you could try a subject line like, “Know these five warning signs of melanoma.”

3. Use your preheader text

Are you taking advantage of your preheader (or preview) text? This is the text that appears after or next to the subject line in the inbox. It’s another way to draw in your readers and encourage them to open your email.

Make sure your preheader text is as engaging as your subject line. It should also offer additional information that supports the subject line, for example:

Subject line: Know these five warning signs of melanoma

Preheader text: Learn how to find skin cancer and melanoma early by knowing your ABCDEs. Plus, find tips for preventing skin cancer.

4. A/B test your email

A key to email success is to always be testing. Frequent testing can help you drill down into the type of content that resonates the most with your audience. You can test almost anything: subject lines, layouts, or even button styles.

To a/b test, send a standard version of your email to half your audience, and another version with a variation to the other half. Remember to change only one element in the variation at a time. Then, see which version performs best and use that knowledge in future newsletters.

If you have a large enough subscriber list, you could try doing a small a/b test with a portion of your list and then send the winning version to the rest of your readers.

5. Consult your readers

If you’re wondering what type of content to put in your patient email newsletters, ask! Online surveys can be a powerful tool for email marketing. Try sending a survey to your newsletter subscribers asking what type of stories they want to see, or how often they wish to receive the newsletter. This information can help you hone your strategy to fit your subscribers’ interests.

How do you stand out in your subscribers’ sea of emails? Share your ideas and opinions in the comments section below!

Looking for email writing help?

WriterGirl is here for you! Our team of healthcare content experts can work with you to craft custom email newsletters and campaigns that fit your hospital’s voice and marketing needs. If you want to learn more, we’d love to talk.

 

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