If your team or web vendor is doing a standalone e-newsletter for your healthcare organization, make them stop.
By standalone e-newsletter, I mean the e-newsletter content does not live on your healthcare organization’s website. It’s on some server owned by some web company. Or worse, it’s being sent as a pdf to people’s inboxes.
Here are 3 reasons why a standalone e-newsletter is a waste.
And why a blog is a better use of your precious time.
1. Your website should be the final destination
Not some web company’s server.
With a standalone e-newsletter, readers have to do extra clicking to get to your healthcare organization’s website. With a pdf, you have to say a little prayer that the thing loads properly, especially on mobile devices.
Why not just put the content on your site as a blog?
You can still capture emails and send a well-designed message, but that email drives them to exactly where you want them to be—on your website.
But the e-newsletter company writes the content for us:
Obviously, I’m all for outsourcing healthcare web content, especially for vehicles that require a steady feed. But the content should still belong to your healthcare organization. It should live on your healthcare organization’s website, not just in people’s inboxes.
But our e-newsletter vendor puts our links along the side:
You mean, like a banner ad? So, it’s not integrated into the content where you can add some context?
If that’s working for you, great. If not, here’s why: Display ads only have a .01% click through rate, reports HubSpot. People are more likely to survive a plane crash, climb Mount Everest or finish Navy Seal training than they are to click a banner ad.
Putting that content into a blog on your healthcare organization’s own website also allows you to link to the site’s relevant service line landing pages. Much better than a banner ad.
2. Google wants to read your content too
But Google doesn’t read email. (Well actually, they do. Eavesdropping eggheads.) But they are not indexing that content to help your content rank. So basically, you’re wasting the opportunity to have your content found in search engines. Consider this equation:
And if you’re still sending pdf’s and posting a draft on your website, it’s not the same. Google will rank an actual web page higher than a pdf, mainly because pdfs are a pain in the butt.
But we have 5 different standalone e-newsletters:
That’s awesome! Do you have any idea how much love Google would show your healthcare website if you’re regularly publishing five e-newsletter’s worth of great patient content? You’re sitting on a darn gold mine.
If you don’t have time to post all your e-newsletter content on a blog, then start with posting just one or two articles. Then, as you develop a good workflow, move more of your e-newsletter content onto the website.
3. Content on your website has longer legs
Putting the content on your healthcare organization’s web site gives it more opportunity to get found.
One awesome blog post could keep bringing in traffic for months, even years. People can find it on search engines, stumble across it while browsing your site, or find it in your blog’s archives. It’s like the gift that keeps on giving.
On the contrary, a stand-alone e-newsletter gives people a short window of time to see the content. The content is done after they read it. If they didn’t see the content soon after it was sent, the only way they’ll find it is by digging through their inboxes.
To share it, they have to forward it to whoever’s email address they have. But if it’s on your healthcare blog, a simple plugin will allow them to share the content with hundreds of people via social media.
But our e-newsletter is timed for the patient
We’re mainly talking about the pregnancy e-newsletters here. Patients get an e-newsletter that corresponds to their month of pregnancy. It’s a nice idea, but if mom-to-be doesn’t know someone in her exact same month of pregnancy, how likely is she to share it?
If it’s on your site as a blog, your healthcare organization can still send a beautiful email that corresponds with your patients’ particular month of pregnancy, but that email drives them directly to your site where the content lives forever and ever, Amen.
And by the way
Did I mention that sending an email for your blog is super cheap. It will mostly cost you time to make the e-newsletter template and manage your list, or you can outsource that.
Check out ExpressPigeon and MailChimp. These services price by volume, including a free option.