Email inboxes are the new home pages. The four billion people using email today curate the information they want from the brands and sources they trust – right in their inboxes.
A mental health email newsletter is one of the most cost-effective ways to keep in touch and build ties with your clients and community. Your subscribers will learn more about you and your treatment center or wellness company, and you’ll gain their trust.
The connection you can build through a thoughtful mental health newsletter can also make it less intimidating for a client to seek help.
And you’re not intruding. Nearly half of email users said they like receiving weekly emails from brands they are invested in.
Content Journey helps businesses deliver well-crafted email newsletters to thousands of clients each month. These newsletters help our clients maintain relationships and support conversions.
So, where do you start with an email newsletter? Here’s the info on the who, what, when, where, and why that you need to know to successfully launch your newsletter.
Understanding your target audience
Let’s start with the who.
Who do you want to reach with your information? Create a list of groups you’d like to stay connected with via email, such as current clients, potential clients, community members, and other mental health treatment professionals.
Consider their demographics: How old is your average subscriber? Will they read your email on their phones on the train? On their computers at work? You can tailor your content to make it easier for them to stay engaged.
Defining Your Objectives
Next, we’ll skip ahead to the why.
Your email subscribers have been kind enough to invite you into their inboxes. Let’s be respectful of their time and make it worth their while.
The next priority is identifying the main objectives of your newsletter. One helpful way to do this is with a newsletter strategy positioning brief. Check out this Google doc template by Inbox Collective to help you think through what you want to achieve.
Do you want to create a community for your subscribers to help them connect around mental health support? Would you like to update them about events at your treatment center? Defining your objectives before you begin emailing your audience can help you start strong with subscribers and avoid confusing them by switching gears along the way.
Once you have clarified these goals for yourself, you can more easily explain the benefits and value to your potential subscribers.
Choosing the Right Newsletter Platform
Where will you send your newsletter from?
Once you know what you want to accomplish, it’s time to get set up with a newsletter platform. You’re looking for the right email service provider (ESP) for your specific needs, and there are many options.
As you start to research, keep a list of the features you like from each company. If you have some awareness of the number of subscribers you expect to have and how often you will email them, you’ll be able to compare prices more accurately.
Some features you might like to have for a mental health newsletter are:
- Drag and drop/ WYSIWYG email creation – WYSIWYG is an acronym for “what you see is what you get.”
- Lead capture forms or landing page templates
- Audience segmentation features
- A/B Testing
- Reporting capabilities
A common email platform for those just starting with their newsletter is Mailchimp. A free version is available for those sending less than 1,000 emails a month. Campaign Monitor is another popular, user-friendly ESP starting at $11 monthly. We use ActiveCampaign here at Content Journey and love its simple design and duplication options. All would be great options for a mental health newsletter.
Design and Branding
Your mental health newsletter will ensure that you stay on the top of your subscribers’ minds. To do this effectively, select colors that match or neatly align with existing branding on your website or printed materials. You’ll also want to choose a design that is easy to read. Simplicity is key when it comes to designing your newsletter. When you test your emails, look at them on both a computer and your phone.
Securing Quality Content for a Mental Health Newsletter
We’ve made it to the what. It’s time to determine the type of content you will include in your newsletter.
You want your subscribers to look forward to opening your emails because of what they’ll learn or how it will make them feel. Your newsletter goals and the target audience you’ve already defined will help shape what your newsletter needs to say.
Some of the best-performing content on any platform is developed from personal stories. Allow your subscribers to step into someone else’s shoes and go along for the journey. You’ll deepen your relationship with your readers, and they will be more loyal to your newsletter and your organization.
Fact-based information is always helpful to include. When sharing information, take the time to ensure it is evidence-based and credible. False statements or rumors can lead to distrust. If the information you provide seems untrustworthy, your readers will eye not just your newsletter but your entire brand with suspicion. They may not feel it’s worth their time to engage with your emails or your services.
Guest writers and experts are perfect for newsletters. Not only will they be able to teach your subscribers something new, but your experts may also want to share the edition with their networks, compounding your reach and increasing your subscriber base. Consider getting your counselors or other experts to contribute to parts of your newsletter or even take turns writing a specific section.
Establishing a Publication Schedule
When should you send your newsletter? That depends on how much you have to say and how often you want to say it.
For most companies, we encourage a weekly newsletter. You’ll be able to stay top of mind, remind people of upcoming events, and share news before it goes stale.
For some, a monthly newsletter will work better. Readers can still stay in the habit of keeping up with your company, but a cadence allows you time to secure quality content. Monthly can also be one of the most cost-effective options, as ESPs often reset your monthly email quota.
A few companies can get away with a quarterly newsletter. This one will likely be a little wordier. It’s like a Christmas card letter to your subscribers four times a year.
Whatever you choose, the most important thing is to stay consistent. After you’ve gotten your audience in the habit of opening your emails at a specific cadence, warn them if you will change your schedule for upcoming holidays or time off.
Growing and Engaging Your Subscriber Base
If your target audience includes current clients or customers (and it should!), ask for email addresses and explicit permission to email them when they file their initial paperwork, complete online forms, or book appointments online.
Include a section to sign up for your mental health newsletter on your website’s homepage and every blog page. If you post on other channels, be sure to invite your audience there to subscribe to your newsletter. For example, social media accounts and email signatures are excellent places to encourage email subscriptions.
You might also choose to add an “email gate” to valuable content. When you create this lead magnet, a pop-up window or overlayed form can prompt your visitors to sign up for your newsletter to access your report, guide, or worksheet.
Privacy and Security Considerations
Your subscribers are trusting you with their data. Let them know that you take the responsibility seriously. At a minimum, they want to know you will not sell their email addresses and will let them unsubscribe whenever they want.
Be cautious about third-party programs that can access or read data about your subscribers. That includes social media and advertising plug-ins with your ESP. Know what they are accessing and why.
And even if your organization is not required by law to follow GDPR or the CCPA guidelines (the European and California data privacy laws), it’s still good practice to know what data you are collecting and honor all subscriber requests to delete it.
Analyzing and Measuring Success
Most ESPs come with a slew of reporting features, but not all metrics are important for all companies. Determine what metrics best measure your progress toward your goals.
If you’re sharing short snippets of stories in your mental health newsletter and encouraging subscribers to click to read more on your site, the click rate will be a critical measurement for you.
If you publish all your information in a detailed email and your subscribers don’t need to click to learn more, your open rate may be consistently high while your click rate stays low, and that’s great, too!
One metric you might not have heard of is “risk.” Risk can be a handy metric because you calculate it based on what is important to you. You can choose opens, clicks, or conversions and divide it by those who have unsubscribed + those who have marked your email as spam.
Monitor that number over time for an early warning sign if your engagement starts to slip.
We’ve included more metrics you might like to track in our post on measuring email marketing success.
Send Your Newsletter
You’ve put in the work. Now let it fly! Test different aspects of your newsletter over time to see what works best for your audience – gather feedback from your metrics and from discussions with your subscribers.
Mental health newsletters are a great option to keep in touch with your clients and community. You’ll stay top of mind so they know who to call when they need you, and you’ll deliver helpful information they can trust. It’s one of the most dependable ways to grow your audience.
Despite the benefits, an email newsletter is undeniably a lot to take on. If you need a hand, consider letting Content Journey get your newsletter off the ground. We understand mental health centers and their audiences. We know your goals and the care you take with your clients. If you want Content Journey to focus on the email marketing piece of your marketing strategy, we can get to work, leaving you time to focus on giving your clients the care they need. Contact us today to learn more.