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Monday, May 04, 2015

6 steps to write better subject lines for your healthcare e-newsletter

Jeremy Dietz, Executive Digital Editor

If you're like most people, your email inbox is really full. So full that maybe you have e-newsletters you've subscribed to that pile up without getting read.

The people who receive your hospital's e-newsletter are no different.

They've asked for the health content you have to share. But amongst the masses, your message could be getting overlooked or dismissed.

How can you make your e-newsletter stand out in the crowd?

Writing savvy subject lines is a great start.

A well-crafted subject line can grab attention, pique interest and compel readers to open your email right away.

Writing a subject line that does all this isn't easy. Following these 6 steps each time you send an e-newsletter can help:

1. Find your hook. Start your subject line writing by putting yourself in your reader's shoes. What in your e-newsletter will be valuable to them? What will they be curious about? Why should they open it up?

Try to focus on one thing. It could be a stat, important new health information, a giveaway or a new program. That's your hook, and you should build your subject line around it.

2. Add instant appeal. Once you've established your hook, use specific and motivating words to add urgency so subscribers want open your e-newsletter right away. For example, if you're featuring information about an event that's happening this Friday, mention that in the subject line.

3. Play to the positive. When communicating with healthcare consumers, it's typically best to focus on the positive. For example, if your content is about exercise and emotional health, don't make your subject line a bummer: "Inactivity can make you depressed." Instead, give it a refreshing spin, like "3 ways exercise boosts mood."

4. Tighten, tighten, tighten. Subject lines work best when they're short. So, once you're done writing, focus on brevity. Do you really need every single word?

Pro tip: Many consumers view emails on their phones. A short subject line is particularly important on a small screen. Aim for about 30 characters—if you go longer make sure to put the most important words first.

5. Deliver on what you promise. Once you've made the subject line as perfect as you can, double-check it against your e-newsletter content. Make sure you're being true to that. Misleading subject lines could cause people to unsubscribe. They might also land you in the spam folder.

6. Test and improve. Track the results you get from each e-newsletter send. Then try something new with the next issue, and compare. Not sure what to look for? Check out this Coffey blog post for great metrics to monitor.

Need help making your email work for you?

Let Coffey help. Our team can create subject lines that resonate, and we can help you measure your success, too. Call us at 888.805.9101 or email us to learn more.


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