medical newsletters

How to make medical newsletters work

If you are an entrepreneurial doctor developing a practice, you are always looking into smarter ways to do things. If practice growth is on your radar, take a moment to zoom in on the benefits of a contemporary digital newsletter. 

medical newsletters

How to make medical newsletters work

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice

Kris Borgraeve

July 25, 2022

It’s not the technology. It’s the brand.

newsletter software

It’s easy to get lost in tech talk with medical newsletters. What is the best newsletter software? Can the IT guys set this up for us? How can we link it to other tools? 

Take a breath.

Those questions matter. But they are not the first ones to ask. It’s not always about the technology and the first step should be about your brand.

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice
Kris Borgraeve | Co-founder Digital Practice

"What is the overarching key message you want to convey in your newsletters to your audience? Are you clear about your audience and is it specific and well defined? Those are the starting points for an effective newsletter strategy."

We often discuss avatars in medical marketing strategies. Your avatar is your imaginary ideal audience member. Or someone real who represents the perfect target. 

So what’s the role of your brand in all this? As a doctor in private practice, your brand is the extra layer that goes over your personal identity or the names of your surgeons. It’s who you are as a business, a private health practice with a specific service experience.

The newsletter is the channel to convey the energy of this brand on a regular basis. That mindset will generate a different process when you compare it to just sending out the latest news in your medical newsletters.

Don’t make it look like a newsletter

newsletter templates

A medical newsletter is basically yet another email that competes for people’s attention. And to compete in this busy digital world, you need a strong format. 

This is not about choosing the fanciest template. It’s about creating the experience that fits your audience. If your audience is time-poor and busy, keep it short. If they need depth and detail, add more substance.

medical newsletters

The above example is to the point, concise and visually attractive. The format makes use of an editorial, magazine-style look and feel. Why? Because the audience is used to this. 

The more your layout deviates from an old-school newsletter, the more you will grab the attention of your audience. Typical newsletter templates can be a bit behind when it comes to mimicking this magazine look, but your agency will be able to help you and tweak the templates so your newsletter looks professional and unique.

The strengths we can see in the above newsletter example are:

  • Consistent colour scheme and brand positioning
  • Clear ‘hero shot’ using a personal image of a human to make the brand personable and real
  • Great use of titles (headlines) to give an overview in seconds
  • Short paragraphs
  • Multiple call-to-action buttons

It’s not your news. It’s their news.

newsletter strategy

This is a classic in media and digital content strategies and it should be the mindset you apply to your medical newsletters: Make it about your audience. It’s shocking to see how often doctors write about their research, their surgery breakthrough, their practice, their opinions and their team. 

Why not make it about the audience?

If your audience consists of GPs, go the extra mile by asking around about typical concerns, opinions, experiences or challenges they have. Find out where you can add value.

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice
Kris Borgraeve | Co-founder Digital Practice

"If your newsletter is about the GP's challenges in the field of your specialty, you will cut through the noise and demonstrate empathy. The pitfall is to think that the newsletter is only a vehicle to talk about how great you are."

Five ways to make your newsletter strategy about the GPs in your catchment area would be:

  1. FAQs: List the typical FAQs related to the consultation with a GP at the start of the patient journey that applies to your specialty. Discuss these questions from the GPs perspective and offer your perspective.
  2. Research: Translate the latest research to a story the GP can share with the patient. Remove the jargon, and make it palatable and easy to grasp for the patient when they hear about progress in medical research from their GP. Help the GP educate their patients about your specialty.
  3. What to expect: Create visual ‘what-to-expect’ information the GP can use to educate the patient.
  4. Aftercare: Offer clear information to the GP about how they can support a patient who is recovering from surgery after having used your services.
  5. Prevention: Share prevention tips with GPs in regards to your field of expertise. As counterintuitive as it may seem, helping patients avoid your service may be the best way to establish a genuine and sustainable leadership position in your communication. In your medical newsletters to GPs, you will grab the attention if you choose this angle.

Newsletters and blogs: two tactics, one strategy

newsletter tips for doctors

Medical newsletters are typically emails. A blog is an article that sits on your website. So how do these two relate to one another and how can you make them work together nicely? 

When we say ‘nicely’, we mean in a way that increases your patient conversion numbers or improves your patient pre-qualification.

Your newsletter needs content and ideally, you will guide your audience away from their email inbox to another place where you have their full attention. Even if it’s only for two minutes. The best place to do that is your website.

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice
Kris Borgraeve | Co-founder Digital Practice

"Your website is the space where you bring the GP into your own brand environment. Your colours, images, tone of voice and call-to-action. The ideal workflow guides your audience from the email newsletter to an article on your website."

The best newsletter tip for doctors is to synchronise your blog strategy with your newsletter strategy. You produce articles on your website to feed into your newsletter and all you need to do is define the frequency of your articles and your newsletter. 

There is a major additional benefit when you use this as a workflow:

  • The blog is built around a specific keyword. This ties in with your organic SEO and your Google visibility. If you don’t have an SEO strategy in place as a doctor in private practice, check out our SEO and Content Marketing articles.
  • Your newsletter sends extra clicks to these articles and tells Google they are being read. The SEO and clickthrough output are now reinforcing one another so you are pushing your organic content higher in Google Search.
  • This makes you less dependent on advertising and pay-per-click Google Ads for your private practice.

We can help you with medical newsletters

video newsletters

There are many ways we can assist you with b2b newsletters as a doctor, clinic or hospital.
Our service range extends from the strategic phase through to execution, performance monitoring and list building: 

  • Defining your audience
  • Choosing and setting up the right tools to contain your list
  • Developing a custom newsletter format
  • Using video content to increase your opening rate (x3 with video compared to traditional newsletter emails without video)
  • Linking your newsletters to existing or new blog content
  • Matching your newsletter strategy with LinkedIn, SEO or other digital tactics

Video newsletters are the latest innovation because people will rather click on a play button than read through a long newsletter email. That is why – as medical video journalists using remote video workflows – we are your ideal partner to produce an integrated medical marketing strategy and create results for your practice.

Let's meet

Let’s reinvent your news!

newsletter tactics

Newsletter tactics and strategies are not one-size-fits-all. That’s why our first step is to listen to the story of your practice, your business objectives and the specific needs of your team.
Book your free 1:1 Strategy Session to go over the options to implement email marketing and medical newsletters for your clinic. 

By the way, if you are not a regular subscriber of our own “Grow!” newsletter, subscribe here.

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