An e-newsletter can be a great tool for showcasing your hospital’s specialties and for increasing patient volumes. But if your subscriber list has remained flat, or if your newsletter hasn’t generated the response you’d hoped for, it could be because you haven’t given people a reason to sign up.
It’s not enough to just tell people to visit your website and subscribe to your emails. You have to offer something enticing that will persuade your audience to hand over their email address.
That’s where e-books come into play.
Sometimes called a “lead generator” or “bait piece,” an e-book is a free PDF publication that people receive when they sign up for your e-newsletter. E-books are typically about 10 to 20 pages long, including images and graphics.
E-books aren’t brochures meant to sell your services. They’re also not white papers presenting a business case for a new technology or innovation.
Instead, e-books offer helpful information about a topic of interest to your target audience, often in a “how-to” format. The text includes links to existing content on your website, a strong call to action at the end (“next steps”) and a soft pitch of your hospital’s services.
An example of an e-book topic might be: “9 Questions to Ask Your Doctor after a Cancer Diagnosis.”
Here’s how e-books can help your content marketing efforts:
1. The helpful information you provide will position your hospital as an authority on the topic, whether that’s oncology, pediatrics, cardiology, hospice care, or another specialty.
2. A popular topic with a catchy title will attract more e-newsletter subscribers, giving you more email addresses for marketing purposes.
3. Since e-books are online, search engines can easily crawl them. A well-written e-book containing relevant SEO keywords will generate more traffic for your hospital website.
Data from the Content Marketing Institute shows that e-books work. In its 2018 Content Marketing Trends study, 71 percent of B2B marketers said they use e-books for content marketing. E-books also topped the list of the three most successful content marketing types, outperforming case studies and social media posts.
Even if your website doesn’t have an opt-in mechanism like an e-newsletter sign-up form, you can post your e-book as a freebie on a “patient resources” page. When you provide people with free and helpful heath care information, you become the source for their medical needs.
People download e-books to solve problems, so your topic has to be something practical and of high interest. Where to start?
Check past entries from your hospital blog (you do have a blog, right?) to see which posts have generated the most interest and comments.
Ask your IT department to generate a list of high-traffic web pages.
Talk to your customer service department to create a list of questions callers ask repeatedly or health-related topics patients want answered and addressed.
Once you identify your target audience’s most pressing problems, you’ll be able to start generating some great e-book topics.
A web-ready e-book that really hits home with your target audience is the right “shot in the arm” for boosting e-newsletter subscribers and turning your readers into patients.
What are some e-book topics that might work well for your hospital? Please share your ideas below.