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Create An Online Newsletter To Skyrocket Your Practice
| Well, it's no secret that the Internet is the next revolution in marketing. Even with the backlash on Internet stocks, there's no doubt in anyone's mind that the Internet is a communications and marketing tool that is second to none.
And if you're like most doctors that I know, then you're racking your brain trying to figure out how to get the Internet to help grow your practice.
That's why today I'm going to share one strategy with you that will allow you to tap into the power of the Internet.
If you've been on the Internet for any length of time, then you're probably subscribed to a handful of online newsletters.
But just in case you aren't too familiar with the Internet, online newsletters are basically newsletters that are sent by e-mail. There are online newsletters for just about any topic you can imagine - whether it's business, health, hobby, family, or anything else you can think of.
You might be interested in knowing there are several online newsletters for chiropractors. In fact, I publish an online newsletter for chiropractors dealing with marketing and practice building. If you're not already a subscriber, just go to http://www.chirosuccess.com to subscribe.
Anyway, because these online newsletters are delivered by e-mail, they don't cost anything to send out. And for that reason, the vast majority of them are free.
Now that you're more familiar with what an online newsletter is, just imagine the possibility of creating one for your practice...
You subscribe your current patients to it, as well as prospective patients. Since it doesn't cost anything to send out e-mails, it costs you nothing to send out as many issues of your newsletter to as many people as you can get to sign up. And with periodic e-mailings, you can educate patients, reactivate, and keep in constant communication with prospects, and current patients - without any fee. To do this with a traditional "snail mail" newsletter could easily run into thousands of dollars a year!
Initially your online newsletter will be only a relatively small percentage of your practice building activities, but in time, with more and more people becoming subscribers, your online newsletter will take on more importance until finally, it becomes your dominant practice-building tool. But first, how do you create the system for the online newsletter?
Creating Your Online Newsletter
The first step is to find out what options you have at your disposal:
1) Pre-Built Newsletter - There are companies who will do just about all the work for you - give you an e-mail address or web site where people can subscribe to your online newsletter, as well as writing and e-mailing the online newsletter to your patients on your behalf. Companies that offer these services are usually the same ones that create web sites for chiropractors. Off hand, I can think of two companies, eChiropractor.com and NowYouKnow.net. This method is the easiest way to get started, and will take the least amount of your time, though it might cost a little more, and limit what your subscribers can receive.
2) E-Mail Newsletter Services - There are companies that take care of all the work for you as far as the programming, signing up and removal of subscribers, and e-mailing of the online newsletter. One of them, listbot.com, produces a web site address and e-mail address which your subscribers can use for adding themselves to and taking themselves off from your newsletter. The great thing about this though is that listbot.com doesn't charge you anything for using their basic system; they make their money from advertiser sponsorships.
3) Use Your E-Mail Program - Hey, it may not sound as sexy, but your regular e-mail program will work just fine. Whether you're using Microsoft Outlook, Netscape Messenger, Eudora, or even America Online, you can create a list of your subscribers and add to it as needed. And when you decide to send your online newsletter, you just load up your program and send it out.
Growing Your Subscriber Base
Once you've created your online newsletter system, the next step is to get people to subscribe to it. There are many, many, ways to go about doing this. Here are a few suggestions . . .
1) Add Your Current Patients - Ask your patients for their e-mail address so you could add them to your newsletter.
2) Collect E-Mail Addresses of Prospects - Every time you give a screening, talk, or meet a prospect, get their e-mail address and add them to your list.
3) Ask Your Subscribers To Tell Others - In the beginning or end of the newsletter, ask your subscribers to forward the online newsletter, and recommend it, to their friends and family.
4) Joint Ventures - Find other local businesses who have online newsletters and offer to mention their online newsletter in your newsletter, and in exchange they do the same for you.
5) Search Engines - If your online newsletter has a web site where people can sign up, list the web site with the major search engines, such as Yahoo, AltaVista, etc.
NOTE - One strategy that you do not want to use is sending your online newsletter to people who don't know you, and who didn't request to be added to your newsletter. This is called "spamming" and can get your Internet service disconnected, at the very least. Also, when someone requests to be removed, make sure you remove them right away.
Making the Most of Your Online Newsletter
I recommend that you send out your online newsletter at least once a month. This way, your subscribers won't forget about you. Also, you can use your online newsletter for promotional purposes. The key here is to have at least 60% or 70% of your online newsletter broadcasts being a true newsletter (education, tips, advice, etc.). The remaining 30% - 40% can be special offers that you're having, or to invite people to come see you. You can also include a brief "sales pitch" at the end of each newsletter to help get more of your subscribers into your office.
After all is said and done though, I hope you decide to implement an online newsletter of your own. I know that the results will be well worth the effort.
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