What makes an effective healthcare newsletter?

At this point in the marketing game, we all know that content is king, especially when it comes to digital marketing. But healthcare is a unique industry. When you’re dealing with HIPAA and health subjects that can be touchy, how can you provide quality and relevant content to your patients to keep them informed and coming back to your healthcare organization?

Create a newsletter.

Not only are print publications still relevant, they are also an effective way to reach a patient base. But as with all content, it needs to be engaging, interesting, and relevant to your patients. To do that effectively, you’ll need a few elements

Tell a story

First and foremost, people want to read about people. Interviewing patients and getting the story about their health journey is essential to healthcare messaging. Their experiences with your providers and support staff, as well as their descriptions of the quality of their care, are all important to build your brand and instill trust in the readers of your newsletter. A patient story is proof that your claims about your organization are true – that your care is compassionate and effective.

Give a face to your providers

As the main face most patients will come in contact with at your organization, providers need to be approachable. The best way to do that is to humanize them with stories about them and photos of them with patients at work. Their approach to care will be important for patients interested in selecting a provider, and their personality can shine through a newsletter piece specifically about their specialty.

Educate about service lines

What services does your organization offer? Patients might not always be aware of what is available to them, which can lead them to choosing your competition instead. Let them know what you have and how it can benefit them. Specialized articles about particular serv

ices or new technologies shows off your expertise and lets patients know that your organization is up-to-date with the latest methods of care.

To round out the rest of your newsletter, it’s good to keep a few other things in mind:

Contact info – patients need to know where and when they can find you.

Events – what is going on with your organization?

Graphic elements/infographics – enhance your content with some eye catching graphics that are easily digestible and quick to read

Photography – the best kinds of photos are engaging photos with patients, providers, care being given, action. You want to capture your audience’s attention – photography is a great way to do that.

Keep it fresh – update the look every once in a while. Your care is cutting edge – your newsletter needs to reflect that.

With these elements, you can. Need more help? Get started with Jet – we’re experienced in creating healthcare newsletters for organizations of every size. With clean design and a talented copywriter on staff, we can be as involved as you need us to be. To get started, reach out to Jackie today – we’re offering a discount on start-up costs for a limited time.

View some other examples here, here, and here.


Kirsten Queen, Project Manager at Jet Marketing

Kirsten is a big reader, and used to sneak The Boxcar Children under her desk at school in 3rd grade to read during class.


Custom donor publications still relevant in digital age

You’ve probably been told that printed, custom newsletters or magazines targeted to your donors are old school.  Or maybe your governing board wants to save money and encourages the use of Facebook or e-newsletters as your mode of communication instead. After all, they’re free, so why not?

The first step before creating any marketing materials or custom publications is defining your audience. Who do you want to reach? What action do you want them to take after reading?  Depending on your target audience, Facebook or an e-newsletter might be an appropriate part of your mix but keep in mind that social media is often most popular among young audiences whose pockets might not yet be very deep. If that’s your target audience, go for it. Otherwise, you might want to consider a more traditional mode of delivery, like a donor publication.

The Value of Donor Publications

Donor publications are in fact not dead and if done right, they can provide an ongoing mechanism to:

  • Recognize donor gifts
  • Profile key donors and why they give
  • Recognize sponsors and special event participants
  • Announce upcoming events
  • Educate donors about your organization
  • Supplement your “ask” materials for new donor meetings
  • Tell stories of how donations make a difference in people’s lives
  • Introduce and recognize employees and staff
  • Provide a regular reminder or vehicle to encourage gifts
  • Recognize board members to help with retention and recruitment
  • Provide a sense of community among your donors

 

A current client of ours recently sent out an e-newsletter to thousands of donors. Nearly 75% went unopened. The same client sends out a quarterly custom publication and inevitably gets a good response with remittance envelopes. That’s not to say one is better than the other, but for this client, custom publications are their sweet spot. The downside may be the cost of the investment, but you might find that the return on investment is well worth it.

A past client explains it this way:

“Through our custom donor publication we are able to keep 10,000 of our supporters informed about critical advancements each month.  This continued outreach has recently resulted in a $300,000 gift from a former patient. While this is one of our larger gifts, each quarter many supporters contribute funds ranging from several dollars to thousands of dollars. This outreach effort has resulted in a better informed, more engaged and knowledgeable community, which in turn continually increases their financial support.”

Consider outsourcing for good results

Maybe you have the talent to create a publication in house, maybe not. Oftentimes, newsletters are tacked on to someone’s job. The boss says, “Hey, you’re pretty good with computers, why don’t you be in charge of newsletter?” The end result is often more amateur than professional. It’s not that the staff member has poor intentions; it’s that they already have a primary role in the organization.

Worse yet, if the newsletter looks unprofessional and disorganized, it projects that image of your organization to your donors. The last thing you want is for them to view you as not having things together. After all, they might think, “If they are disorganized and unprofessional, will they be able to handle my money well?”

Maybe your primary organization’s internal marketing or communications staff could help?  Yes, they certainly have the talent; but again, is it their priority to help the foundation’s mission? Usually their

first priority is the key organization and your work falls to the bottom of the list. The quality and timeliness of your publication is the first to be bumped when more important projects present themselves. Then you are back to where you started — a publication that is no longer timely or effective.

It is vital that your custom publication be interesting, relevant, professional, timely and in alignment with your organization’s brand.

To do it right, consider outsourcing to a marketing firm or syndicated publisher. While you could go with the latter to purchase a canned publication, where part of your contract is a customized cover and perhaps interior spread, you’ll sacrifice it feeling “custom” for your audience. For example, you might end up with photos of the Florida coastline when your organization resides in the mountains of Colorado.

A better route would be to hire a marketing firm that can create custom content, produce relevant images, and establish a consistent, professional look-and-feel for your publication on a set (and honored) schedule.  A firm like this is usually very motivated to keep you on task and will provide a turnkey product that has an impact with your donors.

If you’re intrigued, give us a call. Creating custom publications for foundations is something we do regularly, with good results.

 

3Lynn Nichols, Content Manager

Lynn enjoys the challenge of creating custom publications that create results and engage donors. 


Brand Personality — Pumpkin-Spiced

 

Every year as summer begins to soften into fall, there are a couple of things I look forward to. The sweater weather, the changing leaves, football season and…Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice latte.

Not only do I love the taste of it, I love the special voice that their marketing team gives the PSL on social media.

Everything from beer, to cereal, to chips and salsa can be pumpkin-flavored, and we can give the credit for pumpkin spiced passion to Starbucks. The PSL was first created in 2003, and has started a pumpkin spice boom every fall season since. From the beginning of September to the end of October (or Pumpkin Spice Season), @TheRealPSL is active on Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr with cleverly curated posts. The PSL has been on social media since 2014. Aside from the Frappucino, The PSL is the only drink on Starbucks’ menu that has its own social media account.

Ultimately, the PSL social media is all about creating and sustaining hype for the drink. The PSL accounts are only active in the fall — first, to announce the imminent arrival of the PSL, and thereafter to remind people they can still get it.

As a major part of Starbucks’ sales, the PSL and its social media are essential.

So what makes the PSL social media strategy so effective? Four vital attributes–audience, scarcity, brand personality and creative content.

Audience

Starbucks knows their audience well. PSL customers tend to be somewhat affluent, health-conscious millennials. Reaching their audience effectively means that Starbucks has been able to gain a lot of followers (37k on Instagram, 17.4k on Twitter). Not only do they have a significant number of followers, the PSL generates significant engagement on their posts as well. PSL posts receive 493% more likes per photo than Starbucks’ regular posts.

By using a mixture of photos, videos, and GIFs, the PSL is able to diversify their social media feed and keep it interesting. And @TheRealPSL adds the bonus of responding personally to its followers.

Now you see where I got the good looks & bad eyesight. #FBF

A post shared by Pumpkin Spice Latte (@therealpsl) on

Scarcity

The PSL only comes around once a year for a short amount of time. Starbucks takes the cue of the changing leaves to start creating hype. By using clever, sporadic posts for the PSL social media, Starbucks drives excitement for the PSL and thus the purchase of the beverage.

Brand Personality

Unlike the other social media accounts for Starbucks, The PSL is very much a brand character or persona. The posts are put into PSL’s first person voice. The more PSL posts, the more the audience learns about the character. Even though it’s a product and it’s not around most of the year, the audience is invested in the PSL story, and they grow to love the PSL character. And because the brand has a well-defined, fun personality the content they produce is top-notch.

Creative Content

To go along with brand personality, the PSL social team has created posts that are eye-catching, entertaining, and fun. We learn the PSL goes backpacking, has a pumpkin-cat named Ginger, and other fun details. And the brand is responsive — engaging with fans that want to interact with the beverage on social.

For another example of a company using a branding character, check out New Belgium Brewing Company’s Voodoo Ranger. He’s a relatively new marketing tool for New Belgium, but he’s already the face of four of their beers.

Utilize the PSL social media strategy for your own marketing goals. But be sure to be original — we all know that the copycats aren’t the same as the real thing! Now, who’s thirsty for a PSL?


Kirsten Queen, Project Manager at Jet Marketing

Kirsten once dressed up as a PSL for Halloween and it’s still her favorite costume to date.


Protecting your Brand against the Unknown

Writing this blog was not on my “to-do” list until news of Hurricane Harvey. Current events spark conversation, so this seemed timely. It is not without sensitivity to those who have lost loved ones or who are dealing with loss of all unimaginable kinds.


The recent events in Houston invoke all types of emotions, by those directly and indirectly affected. For me, the current event was bone chilling because I spent the summer reading 5 Days at Memorial, by Pulitzer Prize author Sheri Fink.

Screen Shot 2017-09-06 at 11.48.48 AM

The book is a real-life account of the 5 days at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. The first half of the book paints the picture of a flooded basement that contained the emergency generator, a helipad that was in disrepair, a lack of electricity, plumbing, food and a lot of patients at various levels of health.

People died. Some on their own, some with the help of physician-directed medication. Healthcare professionals were saddled with a hopeless situation and delivered compassion in the form of dosages of lethal medication as they deemed necessary.

The second half of the book details the litigation that followed those difficult life-ending decisions. Everyone accused was eventually acquitted and the exercise prompted immunity laws that protect workers in an emergency situation today.

The epilogue was maybe the most powerful portion of the book. It reviewed not only disasters in third world countries when medical resources have to be rationed, but also situations like Hurricane Sandy and the Ebola patient at Texas Health in Dallas. It included discussion of ethics and the possible biases of having a limited resource distribution protocol in place. “Fifty patients, six outlets. How do you decide?” — was a quote from the book referring to a real-life situation when all fifty patients needed to be on ventilators.

A thought provoking read and history does, tragically, repeat itself.

What does this have to do with protecting your brand? Nobody can predict a natural disaster, but everyone can make an intentional effort to plan for the worst and practice their crisis plan. The lawyers in 5 Days at Memorial asked hospital executives for their crisis plan — a show of due diligence.

Your communications team needs to be part of the team crafting your crisis plan. Who will talk to the media? Where will press conferences be held? What is the message and talking points? Do you have press release templates and up-to-date media distribution lists?

What are smaller and more likely worst-case scenarios that might affect your business? Maybe it’s a theft, power outage, server failure or more snow than your employees can plow through.

Take some intentional time and brainstorm with your team. Make a list:

  • What could happen?
  • How would we respond to an event?
  • What can we do proactively now to minimize the effects of an event?
  • What is our chain of communication?
  • What/When/How do we inform our customers?

Read about other crisis situations, learn from their successes and failure. Remember Tylenol? Uber? Samsung? Wells Fargo? There are many examples of how the actions of others or actions of your internal staff can damage your brand.

My rule of thumb for a crisis response:

  1. Accept responsibility (not applicable in a natural disaster) — State what happened, clearly and honestly
  2. Apologize — We are very sorry for . . .
  3. Explain how it won’t happen again — new training, education or new processes in place — and set those changes in motion

Brands are an investment, and a good brand reputation can be quickly lost whether it’s the fault of something in your control or not. Nothing brings that home more profoundly than a tragic event. With Harvey on our minds, now is as good a time as any to be prepared.

Sending our prayers for those in Houston.


Swag Stats: Ten Things That Might Surprise You About Promotional Products

IMG_0215
Stylin’ in Jet shades

We all know that marketing has changed significantly over the last few decades. There are certain things that have remained consistently effective when it comes to brand recognition, swag items being one of them. People still like receiving promotional products and especially useful ones. Depending on distribution, it may be more effective to select something of higher cost that the user will value and keep longer, maybe an insulated tumbler. If the goal is to reach a broader audience, go with something less valuable but perhaps just as useful like a pen. Let these statistics* help guide your decision to get the best ROI for your business.

1. 85% of people remember the name of a company that has given them a promotional product

2. Consumers are 2.5x more likely to have a positive impression of promotional products compared to internet advertising.

3. 87% of consumers keep promotional products for over a year.

Here are some examples based on popular branded giveaway categories among US consumers:

4. 50% own a promotional writing instrument.

5. T-shirts are the most popular with consumers over the age of 55

6. 50% own a promotional bag. Among 18-24 year old women, 57% own one.

7. 53% own logoed drinkware, 50% of them use the item 2-3 times per week.

8. 45% own promotional USB Drives, and 91% keep them because they are useful.

9. 29% own branded calendars, and 76% of those consumers have them displayed in their home or office.

10. 50% of consumers own logoed outerwear and 75% of those keep them because they are useful.

Danielle
A Jet mason jar tumbler in action!

It is also important to consider the timing of a product — Think outside to box to gear your goods towards an event or the time of year. Is your audience going back to school? Think USB drives or cord wraps. Are they going to a football game? Maybe a clear tote bag. Do you want to engage your audience in social media posts? Give out something like trendy sunglasses to encourage fun photos. Regardless of the timing — go with a unique, useful and memorable item to make your brand stand out.

The right promotional product is out there for your business. There are endless options, and if you need help finding the perfect fit, we can help!

 

 

 

 

 

 

FullSizeRenderKatie proudly sports her Jet coffee mug almost everyday. She loves finding the perfect swag items for clients and then seeing them in action!


The “always” in customer satisfaction

Being from Northern Colorado, I love the Human Bean coffee shop. Here’s why:

  • Their coffee drinks are consistently good
  • The staff is always friendly
  • They have drive-up service
  • I get a chocolate covered espresso bean on top, every time
  • They back up this goodness by donating generously to community causes

My Human Bean visits are a consistently positive experience. As marketers, we know that brand consistency builds brand loyalty. I’d add that brand sincerity does, too.

What do I mean by brand sincerity? They walk their talk. They don’t promise one thing and do another. They don’t fake a smile when they hand you your coffee to hide the stress they feel when cars are piling up behind you. They don’t give to various local causes simply to boost their marketing efforts. They don’t forget to make you feel special by placing that bonus bean on top.

Brand sincerity is a tricky thing, because you have to leave a positive impression every time you touch a customer, from the front door to the final transaction. The 17586583_1659281251047525_2502153972765163520_noutcome–that great cup of coffee–is most important, but customers decide who you are every step of the way. If you hit the mark each time, they’re yours to keep.

If you are in healthcare like many of our clients at Jet Marketing, you know consistency can be hard to achieve when a patient experiences 10 to 20 interactions in just one visit. Consider how many chances you have to be less than perfect: A patient sets an appointment, walks through the door, is greeted, sees a nurse or medical technician, sees a doctor, gets lab tests or imaging scans, gets a treatment plan, receives care instructions, checks out, receives a follow up call with results…and that’s all from one doctor visit. Imagine a hospital stay.

One grumpy interaction with staff or missed step along the way can result in a “usually” rather than an “always” on the HCAHPS patient satisfaction survey where healthcare customers rank their satisfaction on a scale of never, sometimes, usually and always. The only answer that generates full federal reimbursement from Medicaid and Medicare for hospitals and clinics is “always,” the most desired box to check on the survey–hence, hospitals thrive or nosedive by their Top Box results.

How can a hospital that has dozens of outlying clinics and a long list of services deliver top care consistently? How can they maintain brand sincerity when so many fingers are in the patient pie? Here are some ideas:

  1. Choose a motto and give it meaning with action.

    For example, our client Campbell County Health in Gillette, Wyoming chose “Excellence Every Day” which they’ve integrated into their daily team huddles and process improvement efforts.

    Provide scripting for front-end staff, technicians and nurses.

  2. Regardless of what facility your patients call, they get the same greeting and warm response. Some of our hospitals have employed the acronym AIDIT, which stands for Acknowledge (by looking in their eyes, calling them by name), Introduce (say your name and what you will be doing for them), Duration (if there is a wait, tell them how long), Explanation (explain the procedure) and Thank you (for choosing us, for calling).
  3. Enlist volunteers to greet your patients at the front door and offer to walk them to their destination.

    Our client Montrose Memorial Hospital did this with excellence on our first visit–complete with a charming older gentlemen who linked arms with us and walked us to the marketing director’s door.Always Blog graphic

  4. Educate patients they will be receiving a patient satisfaction survey and ask them to fill it out.

    While you can’t ask patients to respond with an “always,” you can let them know you want to hear their feedback, and that it helps you improve and makes a difference with federal funding. With that said, don’t let the HCAHPs survey be the end-all goal. Patients are savvy. They recognize when staff are insincerely nice just to get good scores. At the end of the day, an “always” is achieved by consistent, genuine and positive experiences that create loyal customers who are convinced you are great and expect nothing less. In other words, they trust you to deliver that delicious bean on top.

 

3Lynn Nichols, Copywriter, Publication Specialist

Around the office, our copywriter has earned the facetious nickname of “Dr. Lynn” for her off-the-cuff diagnoses of team ailments from her years of healthcare writing.


The Unboxing Experience

Even if we don’t admit it, some of the same things that we were excited about as kids still give us the same feelings as adults. Online retailers finally figured this out and as marketers, we can tap into the same ideas and principals.

BirchboxIt’s the excitement and anticipation of opening a gift — even if we already know what’s inside. A curated and thoughtful un-boxing experience makes the consumer feel special and it increases the perceived value of their purchase. More and more companies are upping their game by shipping orders in colored or patterned boxes, carefully wrapping the items in fancy tissue paper or placing them in cloth bags, enclosing a personalized note or putting your receipt in a nice envelope. When you receive a package like this, you are excited to open it for more reasons than just the item inside.

We can apply this theme to many other aspects of marketing a business — even if the company does not offer something tangible. It’s the attention to detail and the element of surprise that can make the customer (or potential customer) feel special and elevate your brand.

Add a surprise to your next promotion to make your audience excited to dive in. This could add cost to your campaign, but if it draws attention and conversation, it is well worth it.

Business Card Example from Moo
Business Card Example from Moo

The possibilities are endless, but here are some examples to get the wheels turning:

  • Design a direct mail piece with a unique shape or even put it in a padded envelope with a clever item that aligns with a campaign. Anthropologie’s birthday mailings are great inspiration.
  • Everyone loves a giveaway, and promotional items are a great way to boost brand awareness. Consider taking it to the next level by packaging it or surprising your audience with something unconventional. Jet Marketing recently branched
    Anthropologie
    Example of Anthropologie’s Birthday Mailing

    out with miniature chairs as part of a school health center campaign to keep students out of the nurse’s office and in their chairs.

  • Add foil or print your business card on a heavy or unique paper. Use an interesting pattern or quote on the reverse side of the card to invoke emotion.
  • Present a proposal or bid in a pocket folder or bind it in a unique way to make it memorable.

Keep it unexpected, interest the audience, and don’t forget your end goal. In an increasingly impersonal world, this mindset will add personal elements to your product or service. A plain brown box just doesn’t cut it anymore.

 

Katie O’Hara, Project Manager

Katie loves the challenge of finding ways to help clients stand out in a crowded world. She believes that finding inspiration in unlikely places is the key to great ideas.