Make Your Newsletter Work for You in 2022

Michelle Troutman

Michelle Troutman, owner, Classy Writing

Your senior care community’s newsletter is a highly valuable marketing tool. It’s also a line of communication with residents, their families, staff, and more. But are you maximizing your newsletter’s effectiveness and truly putting this tool to work for you? Evaluating and strategically changing your newsletter in 2022 can ensure you’re getting the most out of the time and effort that you put into every edition.

Tips for Evaluating Your Current Newsletter

Before you start planning your 2022 newsletter strategy, it’s important to evaluate your current newsletter to determine what’s working and what needs to change. Classy Writing owner Michelle Troutman, who specializes in creating e-newsletters for senior living facilities, suggests that you survey your residents and newsletter recipients to get their thoughts on your newsletter content. Your recipients may have suggestions and feedback that can help to improve your newsletter content and strategy.

She also notes that it’s important to follow the Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design. The standards are designed to make online content accessible to people with disabilities, and the resulting Web Contact Accessibility Guidelines can help inform everything from website development to e-newsletter creation. These standards provide guidance for details like text spacing, font selection, and overall design principles.

Common Newsletter Mistakes to Avoid

As you evaluate your newsletter, you’ll want to make sure that you’re not performing any of the mistakes that are so common in newsletter creation. According to Christian Velitchkov, Co-Founder of Twiz LLC, some of the mistakes that he sees most frequently include:

  • Not sending a welcome email right when a new reader subscribes
  • Overloading an inbox with too many emails
  • Failing to optimize the emails for mobile readers
  • Not sending newsletters on a specific schedule
  • Failing to add an effective call-to-action button in the newsletters

Troutman notes that she has seen mistakes that include typos and clashing text and background colors, which can make a newsletter difficult to read. Instead, she suggests that you keep the text and design simple. “Stay up-to-date on the best e-newsletter practices,” she says. “Find out what works and what doesn’t work for other marketers in the industry. Listen to your readers.”

In addition to creating your newsletter, it’s important to maintain your email lists. Troutman explains that removing subscribers who don’t read your newsletter regularly can improve your open rates. You can remove these subscribers yourself, or you can email them to ask if they wish to continue to subscribe. “Some email marketing platforms, like MailChimp, automatically “scrub” invalid email addresses from a list,” she says.

Developing Your Newsletter Strategy for the New Year

Gregory Yong

Gregory Yong, chief experience officer, Convincely

As you develop your e-newsletter strategy, Troutman suggests that you incorporate your marketing goals while also considering your calendar. “For instance, if your facility plans to start building new residences, start featuring the progress along the way. Consider what makes sense to spotlight based on the time of year. If the residents plant their own gardens, for example, the winter is a good time to offer some planning tips.”

Gregory Yong, Chief Experience Officer at Convincely, explains that it’s also essential to find the right publishing schedule for your newsletter. He says that publishing too little or too often is one of the most common newsletter management errors made. Instead, it’s better to ensure that you’re providing value to your audience every time you send out a newsletter.

“If you’re publishing a newsletter just to meet your monthly quota, people are going to notice,” explains Yong. “Equally, prolonged lulls in contact makes it harder for your senior care community to stay front-of-mind, which discourages people from reaching out, engaging with the newsletter, and sharing it with friends.”

When it comes to the best newsletter frequency, Yong says that marketing best practice suggests an ideal frequency is around twice a week. However, that can vary. “Remember, your readers do want to hear from you, but your mileage may vary,” says Yong. “The needs of your audience may change over time, so it’s always best to reach out and talk to your audience before going all-in.”

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