By Tanya Handy
During the past several years, I’ve written copy for small business owners worldwide. Over time, I’ve helped them grow their businesses using the power and reach of the web, and had the chance to learn from great marketing examples, too.
If you spend time studying direct marketing techniques and methods as much as I do, you no doubt run into some really smart ways to gain more business.
May I share one story that I heard about not too long ago? The story is all about how one doctor got anywhere from 20-50 additional patients entering his clinic and spending money on services (and the way he does it every month).
The irony is how what he did is so simple yet so effective.
I connected with the doctor recently on a webinar and he told me the story of how he stumbled onto a Monthly Email Newsletter Model that worked so well for him.
I’m going to walk you through the doctor’s exact model so that you can use it in your business, too. Believe me, this is worth implementing in your business, even if you’re not a health-related service provider.
The doctor explained how he started the email method when he was first starting out in practice and had initially sent printed letters in the mail.
The Story Behind How A Doctor Used A Monthly Email Newsletter to Build His Practice
The doctor explained how in the first few years of his practice, he would write a short letter and send it out to patients via postal mail. He did it once a month and, as his practice grew, it got really expensive. Paper, envelopes, and stamps would cost quite a bit of money.
He kept mailing the old-school way because, even though it cost more, it consistently worked and it resulted in many patient visits and new business each month.
Then, an idea hit him like a bolt of lightning. He decided to stop the printed mailers and just start emailing his monthly newsletters to patients. Within a few minutes of hitting the send button, the doctor’s phone rang. A patient of his that hadn’t been in for a while, but had received his email newsletter, decided it was time to schedule an adjustment. That wasn’t all. The doctor continued getting calls to book new appointments.
The doctor said he ended up accounting for an additional 34 patient visits that month and averaged between 20-50 patient visits every month that he sent the newsletter out.
He went on to say that it was so effective in his practice, he had to hire a writer to help him produce articles, because he had gotten so busy from all the new patient visits.
Why Does This Monthly Email Newsletter Model Work?
The peculiar thing about the email newsletter that the doctor sends is that they never offer discounts or promotions and they rarely talk about medical topics that you’ll see most offices talk about all the time.
The doctor went on to say that the secret to his emails was that the people he sent them to were actually interested in the content. He always wrote about topics that were relevant to the Season or month of the year and made sure that each topic positioned him as the expert in his field, without positioning him as boring and uninteresting.
The email newsletters drew people back into the office because they served as an unobtrusive excuse to remind folks that he still existed and that they loved his business.
The list of people that received these emails were already customers and they were already fans of the business. All he needed to do was send them a subtle and entertaining reminder that he was still around and open for business.
But be not misled.
Regardless of how great your business is, people rarely spend much time thinking about you as they go thru their daily battles. An email newsletter is a good way to remind folks that your business is around and that they should come back (without you offering a discount for your product or services).
How To Write and Send the Same Kind of 300-500 Word Newsletter That A Doctor Did To Attract Visits Each Month
The technique for writing great email newsletters that your customers/leads will open and act on is to ensure that what you’re writing inside the email newsletter is something that your audience actually wants to read.
There are 2 huge mistakes that companies make when sending email newsletters to their customers and both of them can drastically affect results:
Email Newsletter Mistake #1: Sending Promotions Only
One of the mistakes you can make with your email newsletters is to send promotional emails only. It may sound backwards because people love getting great deals (especially from local businesses), but this happens a lot. When the only email that you send is a promotion, recipients can actually get bored with that.
If your email does not offer deals that are drastically reduced, you’ll end up having less and less opens over time.
It’s also not a sustainable tactic, because you’ll create a culture of “sale seekers” in your customer base. Customers and prospects will only come in with a coupon or will wait to come in when you offer a deal.
Promotional or deal emails can be useful as an occasional tactic but it can hurt your business a lot if this is the only kind of email you send each month.
Email Newsletter Mistake #2: Sending Boring Content
A lot of business owners make this mistake, because they just get too busy and the process of writing great content for their monthly newsletter just becomes one more task to complete on a longer list…because they know they should. This frequently results in poor newsletter content that isn’t a pleasure to read or even open up from a business again.
The secret to creating an email newsletter that actually brings people through the front door is to offer content that entertains and that teaches a lesson (all while positioning you or your company as the expert.)
An Example of the Type of Email Newsletter that Works:
SUBJECT LINE: Packing Hot Lunches For The Cool Days Of Fall
BODY: Happy September!
After a long, hot Summer, we all look forward to Fall. And with cooler weather coming in, our menus change. Why not change the lunch you pack for your kids as well? Salads, wraps, and cold sandwiches are great late Summer options, but when the temperatures start to drop, your little ones will appreciate a hot dish in their lunch box.
Here are 3 ideas for packing hot lunches for the Fall:
IDEA #1: Soup And A Hot Sandwich
One of my favorite school lunches as a kid was tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. Who doesn’t love soup and a hot sandwich for lunch on a cool, crisp, Fall day? If you thought those were outside your packed lunch capabilities, think again. All it takes is a small thermos, some aluminum foil and ideally an insulated lunch box.
Make the soup the day before from scratch, or heat up some canned soup in the morning, right before school. Get it piping hot, and if possible, run some hot or even boiling water in the thermos first to get everything as warm as possible. Pour the soup in the thermos and sit it in the insulated lunch box. Don’t forget to pack a spoon. Lastly, make the hot sandwich. Grilled cheese, or grilled turkey and cheese are always a favorite around here, as are any type of Panini. Fix the sandwich as usual and then wrap it in several layers of aluminum foil. If you’re worried about the bread getting soggy, wrap it in a paper towel first, then the foil. Keep the sandwich in the insulated lunch box and everything should be staying toasty warm for hours. Mix and match the soup and sandwich combos for endless portable lunch possibilities.
IDEA #2: Chili and Stew
Of course you’re not limited to just soup. A nice hardy stew or a bowl of chili with some corn chips or a side of fresh cornbread make a nice addition to any lunch box. Make a batch of your favorite chili or stew and put it in your kids’ lunch boxes for the following days.
IDEA #3: Leftovers Galore
Last but not least, don’t forget about leftovers. They make for great lunch box additions. There are wide mouthed thermos out there that can hold a variety of leftover food from pasta dishes, to things like fried rice, or anything you can think of that would work well put in a bowl.
Does your son or daughter need nutritional testing for maintaining better immunity this Fall? We can help! Give our office a call at 555-555-1234 and Sandy will get you scheduled as soon as possible!
The email newsletter above works because:
- It is topical (sent out in the month of September).
- It contains actionable information.
- It helps the reader do something… versus educating them about your business.
- The “Call to Action” at the end is topical, but not pushy.
When you construct content like this, readers will open it and immediately connect with the business that sent it (who they already like since they are a customer). This leads to the customer wanting to return and do business with you.
How To Get Similar Results Without Wrestling With Tech Or Writing Your Email Newsletters
LET HANDY COPWRITING DO IT FOR YOU!
Tanya Handy is an author and copywriter with 10+ years experience in direct response marketing and has wrote and published content for many years. I work with entrepreneurs and companies–software, construction, aerospace, medical, oil & gas and others–helping to convert words into sales using response-getting content and would love to connect with you. Download my 20 Tips For Sending Successful Email Newsletters and get started right away.