The Coffey Blog

Healthcare newsletter tips: Promote your service lines like a pro

Posted on: Monday, October 9, 2017

Josh Moulton, Client Advocate/Project Manager

When it's time to start planning your healthcare newsletter or magazine, you're likely to be quite popular with service line leaders. They know that the pages of your publication hold many opportunities for promotions. And making sure you optimize those promotions is likely one of your key marketing goals.

You can make sure to reach your goals—and keep those service line leaders happy—by ensuring that the content you share keeps readers' interest and encourages them to act. Here's what to keep in mind as you work.

Aim to educate

Effective service line articles are built on a solid foundation of education. These articles give pertinent facts about a health issue:

  • What it is.
  • Who it affects.
  • What can be done to prevent it.
  • How it can be treated.

It's this core information that helps readers appreciate why your service line is so important. And sometimes, these are the tidbits that help prompt people to make a change.

Writing a comprehensive health article—from scratch—can be time consuming. Save time by starting with a piece from a syndicated library. Then make that piece your own. Supplement the article with quotes from your own experts, or attribute portions of the article to them. (More great ideas to help you personalize a syndicated piece are in this blog post I wrote back in June.)

Another benefit to this approach: You'll start with something that is free of jargon, and that reduces your editing time. If you set your doctors to work on writing, that might not be the case.

Show the benefit

We're very familiar with the terms "state of the art" and "leading edge" in healthcare marketing—and so are your readers. It's not enough to simply state that your new technology or procedure is the latest and greatest. Your readers want to know what precise benefits come with choosing your organization.

One quick way to get started: Think about your service line from a patient's perspective. Then start asking questions:

  • Do your doctors offer a new procedure that's better than the old one?
  • Can you offer quicker recovery times?
  • Are your facilities conveniently located?
  • What makes your doctors special?

When you find a clear, crisp benefit, emphasize that.

Even better: Find patients willing to share their experiences about how working with your facility got them back to doing what they love. This is a true and relatable experience that makes a firm connection between your hospital and your community.

Did your service line win an award? Include a paragraph or two about that. Just be sure the message of patient benefit isn't overwhelmed by boilerplate information about the award's history and the organization that presented it, national-level statistics that may not resonate with local residents, and a list of everyone at the hospital who made winning the award possible.

You can also use the syndicated library article as a guide. Build on the benefits already mentioned in the article by giving specific information about your service line.

Encourage and track response

All articles end, so give your readers something to do next: a call to action (CTA). Avoid the nebulous "for more information" line and give a more engaging task. Need inspiration? Check out this blog post with before-and-after CTA examples.

Take this strategy one step further and include a way to track responses. Consider:

  • Trackable phone numbers.
  • Custom, shortened website addresses.
  • Custom online forms.
  • Call center volume tracking.

Grab baseline data before you hit mailboxes, so you'll be able to see how well you really performed. And be sure to share this data with your service line leads. You'll be even more popular during the next planning session, when they see the results you can deliver.

Find the right partner

While it's true that starting with a content library can help you save time, you'll need an experienced publishing partner in order to make this strategy really work. At Coffey, we've been working in the healthcare print industry for over 30 years. We'd love to partner with you. Contact us to find out more.

Related reading

Which mailing list is right for your healthcare newsletter?
Create a stellar healthcare magazine: Tips from our designers
Publishing with purpose: 5 steps for setting goals for your healthcare magazine