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Monday, July 06, 2015

7 ways to boost your e-newsletter subscriber numbers

Jordan Knapp, Client Advocate/Project Manager

Great content is the foundation of a successful hospital e-newsletter. 

But no matter how good your e-newsletter content is, it can't help you reach your healthcare marketing goals if you don't have a healthy list of subscribers who want to receive it.

There are a variety of ways to build your subscriber numbers. You could go for what seems like a quick fix and buy an email list. You could also take email addresses you've gathered through another avenue, like patient registration, and add them to your list.

But those tactics aren't likely to get you an engaged group of subscribers who actually read what you send. Worse yet, they could get you flagged as a spammer.

A good alternative is to grow your subscriber list organically. That takes time and effort. But the result will be an audience who's truly interested in hearing from you.

How to get the word out about your hospital's e-newsletter

1. Add e-newsletter promotions to your hospital's website. Your home page is a great place to promote general e-newsletters, such as those that deliver health news or updates about your facility.

For e-newsletters about specific health topics, focus your efforts on service pages and event listings. For example, promote your pregnancy e-newsletter on your obstetrics service page along with birthing class event listings.

2. Use social media. People who follow your hospital on social media are also potential e-newsletter subscribers. Invite them to subscribe with posts that show them a value: "Get the latest diabetes news delivered to your inbox each week." Or create a curiosity gap that subscribing can fill: "Are you sitting down? Find out why that's a problem for your health in this week's e-newsletter."

You can also create paid promotions to reach specific groups of people in your community who don't already follow you. 

Pro tip: If you use Coffey's e-newsletters, you can schedule automatic e-newsletter promotions on social media. Ask your Production Specialist for details.

3. Add a call to action to your Facebook page. This is an easy and effective way to promote your e-newsletter. The slideshow below will walk you through the steps:

1. Go to your hospital's Facebook page.

2. Click "Create Call to Action."

3. Choose the "Sign Up" button type.

4. Enter the URL for your e-newsletter subscription page.

5. Choose "Website" to send mobile visitors to your website.

6. Click "Next" to finalize the CTA button.

7. Check Facebook Insights to see how many people have clicked.

4. Add an opt-in link to email signatures. Ask staff members who email your patients to include a short message and a link to the subscription page in their email signature. Be as specific as possible here. Promoting a pregnancy e-newsletter in emails from your billing department probably won't be as effective as promoting it in emails sent by your obstetrics staff.

5. Make it easy. Look for ways to get people through the subscription process as quickly as possible. One great option is to use a quick-subscribe widget that lets people enter their email address right from an e-newsletter promotion rather than going to an opt-in page.

Don't cut corners though. We recommend using a double opt-in process to make sure you build your email list with people who truly want to hear from you. Double opt-in means that when someone subscribes they get an email asking them to verify their subscription. It's an extra step, but an important one.

6. Collect email addresses at classes and events. For example, cholesterol screening events are a great place to promote nutrition and heart health e-newsletters.

As noted in tip #5, make subscribing easy. Print out flyers with scannable QR codes and short, easy to remember URLs. You can also invite people to give you their email address when they register for the event. (Be clear about what kinds of emails you're going to send them and how often.)

7. Appeal to your hospital's magazine readers. Create a small ad or promo for your e-newsletter in your printed pieces. Just make sure that when you do this cross-promotion, you focus on the value your e-newsletter will provide.

Need help building your subscriber list?

Coffey specializes in creating compelling e-newsletters for hospitals and health plans. To learn more about how we can help you, call 888.805.9101 or email us.


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