Many dentists who start sending a newsletter expect instant results. But they’re often not even sure what results they should be looking for. You can expect your newsletter to maintain your connection with patients. When they need a dentist, they’ll be more likely to think of you. Patients will also be less likely to miss their check-ups and exams — a leading cause of patients leaving a practice.
Unfortunately, these results are harder to quantify and directly connect to your newsletter. In the short-term, however, turn to the analytics provided by Mailchimp and other newsletter services. But it’s easy to feel overwhelmed if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
We like to keep things simple and usually refer back to 3 key metrics:
- Open rate – 30% is a good goal for most dental practice newsletters. Keep an eye out if this number drops for 2-3 months in a row. You may need to rethink the subject line and content of your newsletters.
- Clicks – Are people interacting with your newsletter and visiting your site/reading the blog posts you’re linking to?
- Unsubscribes – Don’t stress out too much if a few people unsubscribe from your newsletter. It’s actually a good thing! If someone unsubscribes, they don’t want to get your newsletter. If they kept getting it, they might eventually mark it as spam which is MUCH worse. If you do notice more than 5% of your list unsubscribing every month you might need to reconsider your approach and look for ways to reengage your audience.
Pro Tip: Use Google’s UTM code generator to append tracking codes to links in your newsletter. It will make tracking results in Google Analytics much easier!
Most importantly: Ask your patients! This is the best way to get feedback about your newsletter. After an exam or at the front desk, just ask:
- Do you get our newsletter?
- What would you like us to write about?
Use the answers you get to guide and inform the content of future newsletters. Over time you’ll develop a sense for what patients want to read and putting your newsletter together every month will keep getting easier.