Therapists and Email: How to Effectively Use Your Email Newsletter
A Therapist's Guide to Email Newsletters

How to Use Your Email Newsletter

You want everyone to know that you are the therapist in the area to see. So, you’ve started collecting email addresses (or you will be in the near future), but you’re not sure how to create a must-read email newsletter? You’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’re going to dive right into discussing how to make an email marketing campaign that turns prospective leads into clients and hopefully superstar referrers.

What Should You Include In Your Email Newsletter?

Not sure what to discuss in your email newsletter?

While it may be tempting to promote your private practice in every newsletter, it’s definitely not a good idea. Some self-promotion is fine, and we’ll discuss how in greater detail next, but the majority of your emails should be about building trust and a relationship with your subscriber.

The strategy behind your email marketing is to prove your future benefit to the subscriber. You don’t do that just by pushing your service. You do that through demonstrating your value now. Here are a few ideas you can use in your newsletter:

  • An advice column
  • Answers to frequently asked questions
  • Hot topic news and opinion
  • Blog post promotion
  • A roundup of resources and useful blog posts from other sites

 

How Often Should You Send Your Email Newsletter?

I highly recommend that you send out one newsletter per week.

That may sound like too much, but studies show that most subscribers expect to receive a weekly newsletter.

Here’s another reason to send weekly: you’ll score a spot in the subscriber’s weekly routine. If you send out your email newsletters every Wednesday, the subscriber will eventually tie that day of the week to receiving your newsletter. They will begin to expect it on that date, which will increase the likelihood of them opening your email newsletter.

Consistency is key.

Another good practice is to tell your new email subscribers when to expect your newsletters during your welcome email.

How Often Should You Self-Promote?

I subscribe to an 80/20 self-promotion philosophy. Only promote your private practice 20% of the time, but invest in your clients 80% of the time.

Although there are different strategies to do this, the easiest way is to send out four newsletters where you answer questions and share resources or other valuable information. Then, on the fifth email, send out a newsletter where you discuss something related to your service.

For example, if you specialize in anger management, highlight that service by discussing how someone could benefit and providing free anger management worksheets for potential clients to use. from it or promote your eBook.

Craft a Winning Subject Line

The success of your email campaign will live and die due to your subject line. Studies show that subject lines make the biggest impact on whether a subscriber will open or ignore. It can also impact whether a subscriber reports your email as spam.

So, what do you need to know about your subject line?

Shorter is usually better. Subject lines need to get to the point quickly, and they also need to give the subscriber a reason to click, even if that reason is simply curiosity.

Here’s a look at some of the best types of subject lines you can choose for your email newsletter:

  • Ask a question
  • Offer a “how-to”
  • Present a list
  • Show them the reasons behind something
  • Tease a benefit
  • Create a sense of urgency

Always Include a Call to Action

Engagement is important in your email newsletter. You don’t just want people to casually open your newsletter and read it. You want them to interact with your content in some way. For example, if you’re promoting a blog post, you want them to click on the link to be taken to the blog post. These interactions help to reinforce the idea that your content is actionable and not passive “good to know” fluff that doesn’t add much to their day-to-day existence.

Include a call to action in every email. A call to action is usually a button or link that pulls people from their inbox and into a second destination, such as your blog, registration for an upcoming event, a link to download a free eBook, or a collection of resources on another site.

Keep It Short

When compared to longer emails, shorter emails get better responses. And when you think about it, it definitely makes sense. Shorter emails get to the point quicker and drive your aforementioned call to action.

People see your call to action quicker and are more likely to engage.

On the other hand, if you have a lengthy email, a lot of people will click away before they ever see your call to action.

So what’s the perfect length? It turns out that the ideal email length is approximately 100 words.

Time is short. Attention spans are even shorter. Get your point across as quickly as possible while pushing your call to action so that the subscriber can read the full story over on your site or elsewhere.

Segment Your Emails for Better Content

Segmentation is a fancy way of saying that you should group your email subscribers into categories. You can segment in many different ways. Segment based on:

  • Demographics
  • Where they are in your funnel (for example, lead vs. client)
  • Type of service they’re interested in
  • Behavior (for example: how often they click on the links within your email)
  • How they signed up for your email list (for example: via a blog post, through a general inquiry)

The list goes on, but you get the point.

The reason for segmenting is simple: When you group people, you can create a more targeted message for them. For example, if you offer multiple services, some subscribers are naturally more inclined to learn about only one instead of the whole suite of services. By knowing this, you can offer the right email to the right group when self-promoting.

Ask Them to Whitelist Your Address

Here’s a practice that very few people do but one that can have a significant impact on your email newsletter open rate. Ask your subscribers to whitelist your email address.

Whitelisting is a process where the subscriber adds your sender email address to their contact list. This tells the subscriber’s email service provider that you are a trusted “friend”, and not spam. So, any newsletters that you send from your email address will be treated as a priority. In other words, your newsletters won’t be considered junk mail or spam. Hooray.

In your welcome email, ask your new subscriber to add your email address to their contact list.

Create a Win-Back Campaign

It’s a very good practice to shake out your email list periodically. Dead subscribers (those who never open your emails) are, well, dead weight. While having a lot of subscribers can be a boost to your ego, it can also hurt you in the long run.

How?

Some email service providers (such as Gmail, Apple Mail, Outlook, etc.) use your open rate to determine whether your content is spam or not. A low open rate could affect your future email deliverability, meaning that your emails will bypass the primary inbox and be sent directly to the promotional, or even junk, email folder.

So, get rid of subscribers who aren’t opening your email. It’s recommended to do this every six months. But don’t just delete. Give them a final “hey, would you still like to be a part of my mailing list?” email to test the waters. If no response, it’s time to say goodbye.

Additional Resources