In today’s world of texting, social media, emails, and emojis, print marketing might seem to be a relic of a time long past. Downtrodden advertising executives and small business owners might grumble that everything (and everyone) is online now. The assumption is that the only way to reach prospective clients is through the Internet, and, furthermore, that no one will actually take the time to read a longer piece of promotional material. Focused on instantaneous communication and 280-character snippets, of course they wouldn’t even give a newsletter a second look.
However, this simply isn’t true. Especially for specialty medical practices such as audiologists, custom patient newsletters offer a variety of advantages you might not consider in this seemingly digital-consumed era. We should know: at SMG, we generate, print, and send successful custom patient newsletters for audiologists, chiropractors, dentists, and other practices every day. Read on to learn why this marketing tool isn’t a waste of time.
Is Print a Thing of the Past?
First off, let’s address the myth that print is completely obsolete nowadays. While many marketing efforts have indeed moved online, print is still very much alive and well. A recent article in Entrepreneur magazine points out: “Today, the death of ‘old’ media and offline media is wildly and foolishly exaggerated. For a wide variety of businesses, newspapers, print magazines, merge-mail [bulk mailing]…Direct-Mail, printed catalogs, and even the Yellow Page directories not only continue to work but provide improved and improving returns on investment.” Given that these print advertising avenues have clear potential and ROI, it’s downright silly not to use them.
Of all these surviving, successful print options, Entrepreneur highlights newsletters as one of the best: “One of the forms of media most vociferously pronounced dead is the printed and mailed customer newsletter. Bloggers and social media experts love to conduct its funeral. But they’re dead wrong. Their opinions –and that’s all they are– are ignorant and dangerous.” While misinformed digital devotees are quick to pronounce print dead, it actually offers specific kinds of value over Internet marketing. Entrepreneur notes: “consumers place a higher value on printed publications. One 2014 survey…found that more than 80 percent of respondents indicate they always read the print newsletters and magazines they subscribe to or receive free, regularly, from businesses they have relationships with.” This is compared to “ezines, blogs, and other digital media included in paid subscriptions,” which they read just “about 20 percent of the time.” True, it’s easy to send a promotional piece online and your clients can open it instantly, but it’s even easier to immediately erase it with the click of a button, which is why “a whole lot of online communication is killed with the delete button and has no value placed on it whatsoever.”
Far from being outmoded, promoting your practice in print is still not only viable but an excellent idea to stand out from the digital crowd and truly capture your clients’ attention.
Out of Mailbox, Out of Mind
One of the most important aspects of marketing is simply staying on your clients’ minds. Particularly in the medical field, they may not be rushing over to see you constantly, but name recognition and familiarity goes a long way. By delivering a regular custom print newsletter to your clients’ mailboxes, you’ll ensure that the next time they need a consultation, diagnosis, treatment or another service, they’ll think of (and be more likely to trust) your clinic over competitors.
As Entrepreneur explains: “customers recognize and appreciate the fact that you’re investing real money in communicating with them, providing information and entertainment, and expressing appreciation for them. This engages reciprocity.” Don’t underestimate the value of goodwill generated by custom patient newsletters.
Why Custom Content Matters
As we’ve explained, a patient newsletter can help you connect with your current and potential clients on a more personal level, showing them you care enough to publish and send helpful information in the mail. To create even more rapport with your clients and ensure name recognition, it’s important to customize your newsletter. If you lack time or resources to write your own articles, you can make the newsletter your own by using our high-quality, pre-written content alongside your practice’s logo. You can also write your very own pieces to send in the newsletter. Many of our clients also use some combination of these two custom content strategies to reach their clients while streamlining their newsletter creation process.
The Power of Patient Education
Medical practices are in the unique position of needing to both advertise to and educate their existing and prospective clients. Everyone knows what bakeries, clothing retailers, and pet stores offer, but most of your patients likely don’t fully understand the value you practice offers. Once your clients comprehend what an audiologist can do for their hearing, why it’s so important to get regular dental x-rays, or how chiropractic can improve their athletic performance, to name a few examples, they’ll be much more likely to come in for an appointment. Custom patient newsletters are the ideal format in which to educate your patients about their health and how your services can improve their lives.
In addition, Modern Healthcare discusses why patient education is even more important in today’s market: “A growing organization for healthcare organizations in shaping their marketing strategies is that patients are on the hook for an increasing portion of their healthcare costs…providers want to convince these consumers that they are the highest-quality and most affordable option.” This definitely rings true for medical practices and clinics. With patients making more and more of their healthcare choices, proper education becomes paramount. In this way, custom patient newsletters both benefit your clients’ wellbeing and encourage them to seek your care.
How SMG Can Help
Custom patient newsletters offer tremendous value and are most certainly worth your time, especially if you partner with SMG. Our team handles the printing, mailing, and even the content (if you so desire) to streamline this process from you. With our assistance, you can experience the myriad benefits of a custom patient newsletter while avoiding any possible hassle.