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Marketing to doctors is especially challenging. They are a very busy bunch that tend to be quite skeptical of marketing materials. You can overcome these obstacles, however, with an effective newsletter strategy. Newsletters are an excellent way to position your physical therapy practice as a true resource. Here are three ways to accomplish this.
The less “salesy,” the better. You want your physician readers to feel you are a trusted resource. You want them to feel your newsletter contains information useful to their practice, not just content about your product or service. Secondly, quality content in your printed newsletter can be recycled into quality content on your blog or website. By posting an electronic version of your newsletter on your website, you open your potential audience up to any physician performing a search engine query about a topic you have covered. In fact, according to American Medical News, 86 percent of physicians use the Internet to gather health information. Once you’ve created quality content, integrate your printed newsletter with your electronic formats to reach both audiences. Here’s a sampling of what you might consider including in your newsletter:
- Features from industry blogs (doctors want to know what their peers are doing)
- Recent studies and research (clinical trials and surveys)
- Tips and how-tos
- Valuable resources (include website addresses to other online resources)
- Company news (feature expansions, new hires, awards and new products)
- Educational opportunities
The average person spends 51 seconds reading a newsletter. Every article is not going to interest every reader. Have a format that is easily scannable, so that doctors can quickly glance through the content. Use bullet points, brief summaries or call-to-action boxes. Use images, but not too many. Keep the layout clean, with straight lines. Give readers an option to find out more by directing them to your website or blog. Be sure your web addresses aren’t complicated with multiple backslashes. Long web links can easily be given a short URL for printing purposes. Technology issues are the quickest way to lose a reader. You don’t want them to get frustrated when trying to type in a really long web address with a lot of signs and symbols.
The best way to start any conversation is to ask a question. An effective marketing strategy involves gathering input. If you were selling a product in-person, you would not jump right into talking about what you have to offer. An effective salesperson gets to know their client. They take a few minutes to ask the physician about his or her needs and challenges. Then, they craft their message based on how their product can address those needs and challenges. While not in-person, newsletters can do the same. Use surveys to gather data. The result is two-fold. First, your physician readers will perceive you as interested in the success of their practice. Go beyond asking, “what articles interest you?” Ask about the techniques and strategies they find effective. Summarize the results in future issues. Doctors will see your publication as a way for them to share information and learn about what their peers are doing. Secondly, you’ll receive valuable data on which to base future newsletters. Don’t frustrate your readers by making them search for a way to contact you. Give options for paper and online submission. Make submission very easy with a pre-paid, tear-out card. Each issue, whether it contains a survey or not, should contain clear contact information, via phone, e-mail, website or mail.
E-rehab.com specializes in helping physical therapists market their business to physicians. Let us help create your marketing strategy. Contact us for more tips about creating an eye-catching newsletter.