Expand Your Email Base Beyond Existing Patients

It’s good to share. It was true in kindergarten, it’s true in online forums and it’s true in email newsletters. If you’re among the increasing number of doctors who produce newsletters, including sharing buttons to social-media sites can significantly expand your audience.

Consider recent research from GetResponse.com, which notes that 18.3% of marketers included sharing buttons in their e-mail communications in 2011, an increase of 40% over the previous year. Check out the graphic and consider the findings:

social-sharing buttons, e-mail marketing

Email marketing + social media = a larger audience

  • Of those marketers who included sharing buttons, 91.3% used Facebook, 46.1% used Twitter and 8.5% used LinkedIn. (48% included two or more buttons.)
  • The average number of shares per 10,000 emails opened was 23 for Facebook, 7 for Twitter and 4 for LinkedIn.
  • While the overall number of shares was relatively low, sharing significantly boosted newsletter CTR (clickthrough rates). Average CTRs were 9.6% for LinkedIn, 5.4% for Facebook, 5.0% for Twitter — and 2.6% for emails with no social sharing option.

“Sharing is power,” notes Hanna Andrzejewska, communication and marketing specialist at GetResponse. “Facebook has over 800 million active users worldwide, each with an average of 130 contacts. All are potential ambassadors of your brand.”

Doctor Takeaways

1. Choose share buttons based on your existing traffic

If you get most of your social media traffic from, say, Facebook or Twitter, go to those websites to access their sharing widgets. Conversely, if you want to broadcast as wide as possible, consider a catchall site, such as Add This, which offers links to all the major social and sharing sites.

2. Watch your “web shui”

Web shui, say the folks at SocialFollow, is the art of determining where to put your sharing buttons. Make them easy to find by surrounding them with plenty of white space and placing them up high on web pages so people don’t have to click or scroll to find them.

3. Know what you should and shouldn’t share — and with whom

Spreading the word beyond your immediate network is a good thing — unless you’re sharing information that recipients might consider sensitive, personal or embarrassing. If that’s the case, an email button will limit the spread of information to a more select audience.

 

About Rob Lovitt

Rob Lovitt is a longtime writer and editor who believes every good business has a great story to tell. He has written for dozens of magazines and websites, including NBCnews.com, Expedia.com and the inflight magazines of Alaska, Horizon and Frontier airlines.

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