Now, more than ever, you have a variety of options when marketing your practice. From traditional advertising such as radio and television ads to new channels continuously emerging in social media marketing; the decision of where to invest your time and money can be a difficult one. Your choice will be dictated by your marketing goals. If your goals are to stay top-of-mind with existing clients and encourage referrals to new clients, the marketing tool that is proven to be most effective might surprise you.
The printed and mailed newsletter format has been found to be most effective for retaining client loyalty, keeping your practice top-of-mind for past and current clients, and generating new clients from referrals.
What are the advantages of a printed and mailed newsletter over other channels?
Lasting Impact - According to a recent survey by Epsilon Targeting, half of all respondents concur with the statement, “I pay more attention to information I receive by postal mail than if it was received by email.” A print newsletter allows you to provide helpful tips and information to your clients and prospects in an easy-to-scan and read format – much easier than attempting to convey that information in a 140-character Tweet. Recipients have the flexibility to read the newsletter at a time most convenient for them. Adding a recipe, word puzzle or quiz gives the reader a reason to pick the newsletter up again and again. The tactile nature of a newsletter psychologically creates a deeper connection between the reader and you. The printed newsletter is also a very easy way for a recipient to pass along your information to a friend or relative in need of your services, making the printed newsletter a great word-of-mouth marketing tool. In fact, according to some reports, pass along readership can be as high as four-to-one.
Perceived Value – Think about your own personal mailbox at home. Have you noticed a decrease in the number of printed newsletters that you receive? Take advantage of that fact and stand out in the mail. High quality paper, eye-catching 4-color graphics, powerful headlines and your personal branding can grab the recipient’s attention within seconds of opening their mailbox. In the Epsilon Targeting survey, consumers report getting an emotional boost from getting direct mail. 60% of those surveyed agree they “enjoy checking their personal mail boxes.” This is especially true in niche demographics, such as seniors, who perceive printed mail as not only more valuable, but also more legitimate.
Deliverability - A newsletter mailed to a physical mailing address is an outstanding value. For the price of a postage stamp, your newsletter will avoid being caught in a spam filter, will not be inadvertently directed to the Junk Mail folder, won’t be lost in a Twitter stream or overlooked in a sea of electronic messages. It isn’t necessary for your reader to type a web address that they’ve remembered from a radio advertisement or billboard, they simply open their mailbox. And instead of purchasing ads from social networks in order for your message to be seen in your customer’s newsfeed, you can use the client list that you have already compiled for delivery.
Brand Reinforcement – Your current and past clients are the core referral network for your practice. Keep your brand in front of that network to stay top-of-mind. Utilize your logo, photo, email address, website address, contact information and any slogans or taglines that you use for your business. Writing a personal message for each newsletter issue connects you to readers.
To create a quality newsletter, you’ll need access to a great writer with the ability to create educational articles specific to your services. In addition, a professional designer and professional production and mailing services are a requirement. If you do not have writers and designers on staff, consider finding a partner with a proven track record of results in your specific industry like Integrity Marketing Solutions.
by Christy Buchman