|April 16, 2015||
Grow Your List to Grow Your Integrative Health Business
Guest post by Glenn Sabin, FON Consulting
Why you must develop a subscriber list & 27 ways to make it happen.
There’s no single magic silver bullet approach for growing integrative health and medicine practices today. It requires comprehensive strategy featuring a range of digital and non-digital communication tactics of which email marketing is incredibly important.
Neither the newest nor sexiest digital ‘tool’, email remains the most direct, effective method to engage consumers.
As the centerpiece of your marketing communications strategy, email messages must be consistently delivered, relevant and helpful. Yes, self-serving promotion and sales efforts should be tastefully added to your editorial-based content mix but to build trust, you must stay focused on your customer’s needs, not yours.
Your List is Critical to Success!
While the payoff potential is enormous (and evergreen), it takes time to develop a sizable, healthy opt-in subscriber list that becomes a core part of your ‘community.
Truth is, similar to growing your patient volume, product and program sales, there’s no one specific approach for building an amazing email subscriber list.
Here are 27 proven ways to grow an amazing list:
1. Create amazing content!
People will stick around, consume and share your work IF your content—text, images, video—shines and engages.
2. Create exclusive content in exchange for email addresses.
Provide a ‘gift’, i.e., an e-book or guide both popular forms of lead capture. Just ask for your new subscriber’s email address in exchange.
3. Add a sign-up form prominently placed on your homepage.
Consider highlighting an image and text promoting your ‘gift’, along with a subscription form. (Tip: ask only for name and email—asking for too much too fast kills your conversion rate. You can ask for more info later after they subscribe.)
4. Use an auto-timed pop-up form upon entry or exit to your site.
Yes, these can be annoying but they’re incredibly effective when properly done. Use the pop-up form to feature your ‘gift’ or to highlight the benefits of subscribing using pithy bullets. Focus on the type of quality content folks can expect from you.
(Note: FON’s signup conversion rate increased over 500% since launching its pop-up form).
5. Send a one-time email to your larger group of customers/patients asking them to join your list.
After identifying your customers’ core needs and interests, succinctly communicate (see #4) how your content will clearly benefit them as a subscriber. Also mention your special email only offers and discounts. Let them know you’re only asking for them to subscribe once to avoid perception as a spammer.
6. Paper signup sheet… sometimes old school’s best!
While speaking at events, pass around the ‘ole clipboard, composition book or legal pad and pen to collect email addresses.
7. Add a signup form to your Facebook page and include a call-to-action (CTA) ‘ask’ on your Facebook cover photo.
8. Include a CTA form at the end of each blog post on you website.
Consider including a form on your sidebar, if applicable. Try a textual CTA, i.e., “if you enjoyed this post, don’t miss the next—subscribe today!” and/or add a simple [SUBSCRIBE] graphical button.
9. Ask for email signups during webinar registration processes.
10. Cross-promote or provide content (i.e., articles, videos or blog posts) to brand-aligned partners.
Consider exchanging or syndicating existing content among organizations with which you share similar holistic healing and living philosophies. Everyone appreciates really great content. Getting yours in front of new readers within your greater community is a terrific way to increase your clinic or business visibility. Make sure to mention your awesome newsletter or free gift AND link to the form!
11. Tweet about your email newsletter and ask folks to join.
While at it, tastefully and frequently inform followers across all social platforms of your useful newsletter.
12. Ask folks to subscribe within your contributed articles, posts or commentary.
When contributing content to external outlets—i.e., websites, magazines, radio, TV—ask people to visit your website to receive their ‘gift’ (and by default join your mailing list”) at the conclusion of each article or segment.
13. Commenting on external blogs and media outlets.
Another valuable opportunity for sharing your opinions and linking back to your website, just ensure there’s a visible CTA in place on your site for converting new subscribers!
14. Include a subscription CTA across your e-commerce pages if your website features items for sale.
15. Provide a link from your Yelp listing to your subscription form.
16. If you feature online surveys, include a subscription CTA.
17. If you publish newsletters, include a subscription CTA.
Since newsletters are often forwarded, this provides a good opportunity to convert new subscribers from powerful word-of-mouth activity.
18. Add a ‘forward to a friend’ option on your newsletter making it even easier to share… and subscribe, too.
19. Add social share buttons on your newsletter to facilitate sharing.
20. Add a link to your subscription form from your email auto-signature.
Think about how many emails you send daily. Get everyone on your team to do the same and those total impressions grow exponentially.
21. Use an iPad or other tablet to collect names in-store, in-clinic, at conferences and talks.
Many email marketing vendor partners provide free apps. Or skip it and simply ask folks if you can sign them up manually (they will still confirm the subscription later.)
22. Ask customers to sign up for your list via all applicable printed collateral and packaging.
Print ads, brochures, packaging labels and even cash register receipts can include a CTA. Use abit.ly or other URL shortening tool, or even a QR code (the funny looking scan-able codes) to make it easier to access your form.
23. Add a short CTA and QR code or shortened URL to your business cards.
24. Include a pre-checked subscription box on contests and sweepstakes.
25. Create a contest by offering employees a bonus or gift certificate for signing up the most new subscribers.
26. Use AdWords and other paid advertising.
Often it makes sense to direct paid digital advertising to useful content, not sales pitches. Once a prospect gets to your landing page (the page linked to your ad) featuring solid content, preferably your ‘gift’, you are on your way to capturing that coveted email address!
27. Your receptionist, customer service reps or any other first line contacts with clients, patients and prospects should ask for email addresses.
Train first line engagers to explain the value of your organization’s awesome, information-rich newsletters and special email-only offers.
Follow these approaches to grow your list and start converting readers into patients and customers.
By the way, are you a FON subscriber? Join over 3000 readers by signing up here!
FON is a leading business development and consulting firm delivering customized solutions to integrative health organizations—focused on growing patient volume, program and product sales—driven by innovative marketing, messaging and branded storytelling, all rooted in fiscally viable business models that work.
Contact us today to schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your career strategy or business development needs.