If you are not publishing a regular email based newsletter you should be. It should be local, for your senior community not a corporate monthly or quarterly newsletter. The newsletter does two things for you and your community:
- Marketing - A regular newsletter keeps your name in front of prospects. You should add to your email list, every single person who walks through your door: inquiries, vendors, referral sources. While you should be aggressive about growing your list you should also make it easy to get off the list. As an example, at the bottom of every Senior Housing Forum email, there is an unsubscribe button. In addition, once or twice a month someone will email me asking to be taken off the list. I respond by immediately taking them off the list and then letting them know it’s done.
- Family & Friends - It is a way to say to family and friends, we are doing a great job of caring for your loved one; We are doing a great job creating a high quality of life for them. In addition these people are your best referral sources.
How To . . .
- Set a schedule and never ever blow it . . . unless it is to publish a special edition if there are unique noteworthy happenings at your community. What is the right frequency? While weekly would be great, once or twice a month should do the job. Quarterly does not allow for enough touches and you will be tempted to make it too long.
- Use pictures of residents.
- Use a commercial mailing service, like Constant Contact or Mailchimp. Mailchimp, the service I use for Senior Housing Forum has a crazy forever free version for up to 2,000 email addresses.
- Don’t make it too long. When I write a blog post like this, my target length is 300-600 words. If you edit carefully you can say a lot in that amount of space. Long newsletters and blog posts don’t get read. This article is less than 500 words.
- In a recent article at Fast Company Dave Pell’s Tips On Building a Huge Email Newletter . . ., by Chris Dannen, Pell offers some great tips:
- Remember that people’s inbox is a personal and sacred place
- Provide useful information
- Be personal; let your personality shine through the writing
- Write fast
- Pay attention to reader responses good and bad, use that information to do a better job on the next email
I would love to hear from you:
- Do you write send out a newsletter?
- How often do you send it out?
- How long is it?
- What works well for you and what have you quit doing or changed about the way you do it?