Okay, I know I promised to provide a list of article topics to write about in your acupuncture newsletters. BUT it occurred to me that there are a few concepts that are important to consider before we get to the article writing. So that post will come after this one, for real this time!
Check out the last few posts for why you really do need an acupuncture email newsletter as well as a comparison of email newsletter services and how to choose a good one.
Let’s cut to the chase:
How to write irresistible acupuncture newsletters to get more reads and more patients.
(Click to jump to tip details below.)
- Determine your audience.
- Provide value to your audience in every newsletter.
- Write compelling subject lines that showcase that value.
- Maintain a single layout and consistent branding.
- Avoid TCM jargon.
- Write at an 8th-grade level.
- Keep it short.
- Always include a call to action.
- Use social media integration.
- Make your contact information obvious enough that your cat could point it out.
- Include pictures.
- Use the seasons as a guide for article topics.
- Send your newsletter regularly.
1. Determine your audience.
This might seem obvious, but obvious is okay. The point of being clear about your audience is so that you can think of them while you write. You should write TO your audience all the time. Your audience will probably be some of your current patients plus a whole slew of prospective patients.
2. Provide VALUE to your audience in every newsletter.
When writing your newsletters, this should be your most important goal. How are you giving your audience something useful to them? Something they need?
- Are you educating them?
- Giving them a great deal?
- Informing them about healthy happenings in your community?
- Letting them know about an event in your office that might interest them?
Only provide information in your newsletter that has value because it’s useful to your patients. Why on earth would they open your newsletter otherwise?
3. Write compelling subject lines which showcase that value.
Make your audience really want to open your newsletter because they can see from the subject line that it has value for them.
Don’t just say, “Ageless Acupuncture – October Newsletter.” Try, “How to Prevent Getting Sick as Winter Approaches” or “5 Top Tips for Preventing Arthritis Pain as Cold Weather Approaches.”
4. Maintain a single layout and consistent branding.
Pick one layout for your newsletters and stick with it. Also, use the same header and color scheme. Don’t jump around with trying out new colors or different header logos – this doesn’t give a consistent picture of your brand, which means you look flaky and prevents your audience from being able to recognize your logo on sight. Consistency is much more professional.
I always kept my layout simple, like this:
5. Avoid TCM jargon.
Most people are not familiar with TCM jargon like spleen qi vacuity or liver qi stagnation. They have no idea what you’re talking about, and frankly, they might think it sounds a liiiiiiittle crazy. If you’re going to use diagnostic terms (and I would avoid using them very often), be sure to explain them as clearly as possible. (Like you would to an 8th grader; see below.)
Don’t leave people guessing as to what on earth you’re talking about; that defeats the purpose of writing the newsletter! You want to clarify acupuncture for people, not leave them feeling confused.
6. Write at an 8th-grade level.
That’s right. Write as if your audience has no more than an 8th-grade education. Keep your sentences relatively short. Provide definitions and explanations whenever you think there’s a chance people will be unfamiliar with your topic. Don’t use vocabulary that requires a dictionary for the average person. You won’t impress people with fancy vocabulary, you’ll just confuse/annoy them.
7. Keep newsletters short.
Two reasons for this:
- Your Audience: The average attention span is now only 8 seconds, less than that of a goldfish! You have limited time to engage your audience before they move onto something else. Having a long newsletter can easily overwhelm your audience and cause them to check out before they even begin reading.
- You: Avoiding burnout as the author. Consistency is key in producing newsletters. If you try to write long newsletters with 5+ articles a month, you may find that you give up because it’s too much work. Commit to a short newsletter and you have a better chance of writing consistently.
8. Always include a call to action.
A call to action is where you tell the audience what you want them to do. Like call you and make an appointment!
I like to include a call to action at the bottom of the newsletter. If it’s a back and knee pain-oriented newsletter, for example:
You could also add calls to action after each article, but I think this starts to feel pushy or sales-y. That’s my humble opinion. Just be careful that your newsletter doesn’t feel like a sales pitch. It should feel educational, not like an advertisement.
9. Use social media integration.
There are two kinds of social media integration you want to have:
One is to put buttons on your newsletter that link to your social media, so your audience can click through to your Facebook page, for example. This allows them to connect with you and follow your business on social media channels.
The second is to add buttons so that your audience can post your newsletter to their social media if they want to, to share it with their friends and followers.
This guide to creating free newsletters walks you through adding both types of social media integration with Mad Mimi.
10. Make your contact information obvious enough that your cat could point it out.
Put your contact info at the top AND bottom of your newsletter. Don’t make the audience have to search for your phone number or the link to your website.
Seriously, we all know that when it comes to the internet, we want everything to be at our fingertips. Having to search for something means we lose interest quickly (remember the 8-second attention span?). So make your contact information easy to find right away.
11. Include pictures.
It’s undeniable; we live an age of visual culture. (I sound fancy when I say that, right?) Images have never been more important than they are today. Think of Pinterest and Instagram; these social media sites are based on images alone.
You have to include images in your email newsletters because if you don’t, you risk losing your audience immediately. It’s both boring and intimidating to look at paragraph after paragraph of text. But if you break it up with images, people will be much more drawn to the content.
You can use free stock images from a website like Stockfreeimages.com to find pictures to pair with your articles.
12. Use the seasons as a guide for article topics.
This is especially helpful when you have writer’s block and don’t know what to write about. Seasonal concerns are relevant to your readers. They do want to know how to avoid back pain from shoveling in winter, or how to avoid allergies in spring! Next post I’ll provide a list of 103 starter ideas for acupuncture newsletter article topics, and many of them are arranged by season.
13. Send your newsletter regularly – once a month.
Most people need to see something over and over before they finally decide to take action. Newsletters are a great opportunity to put your business in front of potential patients again and again. It’s important to be consistent so you aren’t missing that opportunity to remind potential patients that you exist, that acupuncture is safe and effective, and that it can really help them.
Have other suggestions for writing outstanding email newsletters, ones that get read and shared? Let us know in the comments section below!