When running a physiotherapy clinic, you’ve got lots of things on your plate, but did you realise that one of the best ways to spend your time and energy, is to create a regular physical therapy newsletter.
Why? – you ask? Well, the stats show that email newsletters can improve daily traffic to your website by 100 – 2000% and 85% of patients enjoy receiving their patient newsletters. And there are so many other, less easily measured benefits… A physical therapy newsletter is one of the best ways to keep in touch with clients, not only to communicate information that is essential to their care but also to keep them engaged in the ongoing management of their own health, and it also builds trust and loyalty.
A clinic newsletter isn’t a new concept, and you might be tempted to dismiss it as just another example of ‘busy-work’ that doesn’t add a lot of value – but that couldn’t be further from the truth! In fact, 40% of B2B marketers cite email newsletters as being critical to the success of a content marketing strategy and 93% of them using email as the primary content distribution channel. It’s really not that hard to do, and it has a number of knock-on benefits in other areas.
5 Compelling Benefits of Sending Physical Therapy Newsletters
Here’s why you can’t afford to ignore newsletters in your practice:
1. Quality Content (for Blog, Social media and SEO)
One of the greatest benefits of committing to a regular newsletter is that you’ll automatically be improving the SEO of your website. A newsletter works in tandem with your website SEO, keeping your blog up-to-date and your SEO efforts on track. When you send the newsletter out, it goes to the inboxes of your subscribers, but it doesn’t end there. Your newsletter can be leveraged to expand your visibility across all your online (and even your offline) channels allowing you to reach new prospects through an integrated content marketing strategy.
Articles that you feature in your newsletter can be published on your blog first, which you can then be used for social media. This can have the effect of driving organic search traffic to your website and boosting your rankings in the SERPs.
2. Thought Leadership
A well-written newsletter will contain interesting information that will help to position you and your practice as a thought leader by showcasing your expertise. People choose service providers that they like and trust. Email newsletters give you the opportunity to build credibility and position yourself as an expert by sharing helpful informative content.
3. Regular Client Contact
Because your subscribers have given you permission to contact them via email, a physiotherapy newsletter is a perfect way to keep in regular contact in a way that adds real value. Are the clients that used your services two years ago, likely to come back to you when they need you again? Don’t underestimate how many of them will have forgotten all about you! (Sad, I know!) Consistent communication with past clients or people who have shown an interest in your services means that your practice stays top of mind so that when they need a physical therapy appointment (or if a friend or family member asks for a recommendation), they’re likely to book with you.
4. Education about Your Services
Your clients probably don’t want to be sold to, but they’d likely be happy to book with you if what you offer meets their needs. A regular newsletter gives you the opportunity to educate your subscribers about the full range of physiotherapy services that your practice offers and makes them more likely to like and trust you as they get to know you. If a client has seen you about a shoulder injury, they may not think of you for an ankle issue – unless they see you writing about it in your newsletter.
A newsletter allows you to address the challenges that your clients face and share expert advice for both preventing and treating the conditions that are relevant to your clinic. As your subscribers learn more about what you do, and how you can help them improve their wellbeing, they are much more likely to feel comfortable making an appointment with you.
5. Relationship Building
Your subscriber list will be made up of past and present clients as well as people who don’t know a lot about your practice but may have signed up on your website at some stage. With this broad spectrum of subscribers, you want to build on existing relationships with clients and establish connections with prospective clients. A regular email newsletter is an ideal way to connect. It’s direct, personal, informal and, as each segment of your subscriber list learns more about your practice and develops trust, they become more likely to use your services as well as recommending your practice to other people in their network.
Think of it this way – if people are reading your messages on a regular basis, they’ll soon feel like they know you, which makes them feel they can trust you with their health issues.
The Practicalities of Sending Newsletters
Now that we’ve covered the benefits let’s look at some of the practicalities, most importantly the format, the frequency, and compliance.
The two options for physical therapy newsletters are email or print. Email is far more common because it’s easy to do once you’ve set up your mailing system, it’s more cost-effective, and you have the best chance of getting your past and current clients to read it. Printed versions of your newsletter are a good supplementary option as they can be printed and displayed in the waiting room for clients to read or distributed within the local community at coffee shops or other medical practices to help grow awareness about your practice and the services you offer.
The important thing to keep in mind is consistency which is why many physical therapy practices choose to send out a monthly rather than an ad-hoc or weekly newsletter. A monthly newsletter is more manageable both in terms of a time commitment from you as the practice owner, but also for your clients who will be receiving the mail. Ad-hoc newsletters tend to not to get sent very often as something that can be done anytime, is often done no time! The best thing is to commit to a realistic schedule that you can maintain.
Ensure that you and the email sending services you use are HIPAA compliant. We’ve covered this in more detail in the article, “Is Your Practice Compliant? How to Stay HIPAA Compliant in Email Marketing (+ a FREE Checklist)”. This includes getting permission from your subscribers to keep in touch with them.
Content Ideas for Your Physical Therapy Newsletter
Feeling like you’re all set up but aren’t quite sure what to cover? Here are some sections that you could include:
Injury Treatment Advice
If your physical therapy practice focuses on a specific demographic or specialises in certain types of injuries, this is exactly the kind of content that you want to cover on your blog and in your newsletter. Your articles should address concerns that many of your clients have, which means that they’re more likely to open the email and read your content. The effect of this is that you remain top of mind when they decide to get professional help for their injury, and they’re more inclined to trust your services over another physical therapy practice because they know you have in-depth experience in treating the specific concern.
Everyone knows that prevention is better than a cure, and your clients are no different. If you run a sports physiotherapy practice, teaching your clients practical ways to avoid common injuries will make them more likely to read your newsletters when they hit the inbox. And, because you have specific expertise in that area, they are more likely to book an appointment.
Everyone loves a bit of evidence-backed advice. So, whether you write up your own case studies or reference others, they’re an excellent way to inform your clients about effective rehabilitation programs, share new best-practice therapy interventions and showcase your expertise.
You’re probably reading leading industry journals and have access to the latest research as it becomes available. This is something your clients will definitely be interested in as new techniques and updates to existing procedures that will make your treatments more effective have a direct impact on their wellbeing.
News from the Clinic
This could include any new services you have added, changes to opening hours, and any recent changes to the practice. You could also use this section to highlight a particular service that you offer.
News from the Team
Share personal and professional insights from your therapists. This could be anything from new staff members that have joined the practice, professional achievements such as new courses that a therapist has attended or additional qualifications that they have completed. Special milestones such as the birth of a baby can also be celebrated in the newsletter. One of the best options is to include a ‘get to know you’ section in the newsletter where a different staff member is profiled each month and has the opportunity to share professional and personal highlights.
Our Top Tips for Physiotherapy Newsletters
Having worked with thousands of physical therapy practice owners, we’ve seen a lot of newsletters over the years, and there are some common threads amongst the ones that work well:
- Don’t cram too much information into the space; rather include a short paragraph of an article and link through to your website so the reader can finish the article if it’s of interest to them.
- Make the design simple and easy to follow; an uncluttered design with plenty of white space is easier for the reader to follow.
Following these two tips ensures that your newsletter is scannable and easily digestible, meaning that the reader is able to focus on the points that are of interest to them, without being distracted.
Your physical therapy newsletter should form an integral part of your marketing strategy as it’s the one email that gets sent regularly to your entire subscriber list including all past, present and (hopefully) future clients. Also, because they’re focused on adding value to your clients, not selling a particular product or service, they are a powerful way to grow your relationships with subscribers. This ties into Gary Vaynerchuk’s jab jab jab right hook marketing method. Jabs are the value that you offer to clients such as the content you share and the free advice that you offer (both of which are included in a newsletter). The right hook that follows is the ‘ask’ when you go in for the sale. Every so often you can feel free to encourage clients to book an appointment, but because you’ve already given them so much incredible value, clients are typically much more receptive and more likely to make a time to visit your practice.