Covid-19 Communication Strategies Continued
If you aren’t already sending regular newsletters to your patients to keep them updated during the Covid-19 crisis, now is a good time to start. In makes really good sense for businesses to stay in-touch with their clients during this difficult period, so that when services resume, the business concerned is still “top of mind” and trading begins again apace. Dentists are no different and we are helping numerous clients with various mechanisms to achieve this, ranging from e-newsletters through to video consultation services.
In today’s blog, we’ll take a look at e-newsletters and the cost-effective mechanisms you can use to get your campaigns up and running quickly. But before we jump into the mechanisms, let’s recap on what ‘e-news’ actually is and why it’s particularly useful in this context.
E-newsletters for dentists
The title is fairly explanatory here. An e-newsletter is simply a document, typically fairly short and to the point, sent by a business to a client to keep them updated about various aspects of their services, current news etc. In the dental context, the vast majority of e-newsletters are sent by dentists to their patients, however we also have a fair number of specialist dentist clients who use e-news very effectively to stay in touch with and nurture their referring GDPs.
Let’s take a look at a simple and very cost-effective system you can use to get your dental e-news up-and-running and then we’ll take a quick look at the type of information you will be sending.
By far the most popular system used by our clients is MailChimp. This is a secure online system where you set-up an account, configure it and then import your email list. Once the basic set-up is done, you then choose an email template, make it bespoke using your branding and add your content. You can then test your email before scheduling a time to send it. It sounds pretty easy and actually it is once you’ve practised.
The hardest part from a technical perspective is making sure that your email template not only looks good but also displays correctly on the many different email browsers your patients will use. These could be on desk-top, tablet or all types of mobile ‘phones. You really do need to be sure that your emails will display correctly; if not you will not only have wasted your time but you will also appear unprofessional. Whilst MailChimp provides a couple of free, simple templates, you may wish your designer to build you something a little bit better – the team here at Dental Media can help you with this.
It is also very important to make sure that you are complying with data control regulations e.g. GDPR and broader ICO requirements. You must have permission to use people’s email addresses if you propose to contact them with marketing information i.e. they must have opted in. The specifics of this are covered elsewhere in this blog but the bottom line is that you can’t simply just upload all of your contact emails and then start firing out e-newsletters; you have to do it in a compliant fashion or risk the wrath not only of your users, but potentially the regulators too.
You can also add a subscription form to your website and blog to gather new email addresses, so building your email list progressively.
Why can’t I use my normal e-mail system?
This is something that we’ve seen a number of our clients try, only to be thwarted very quickly. This is simply because commercial systems are not designed to send hundreds of mass emails at the same time and hence they kick them out as spam. MailChimp is designed for this purpose and does not suffer from this issue.