Whether your laboratory is evaluating its current newsletter or just starting out, keep these tips in mind:
Decide what you want your newsletter to accomplish—do you want to increase name recognition, or simply make announcements to existing clients? To help you pinpoint what its best use will be, ask your clients. Take your idea or initial format to two or three key accounts and find out what type of information they want or need the most.
Be sure to inform. "Don't be we, we, we, I, I, I all the time," suggests Lawrence Forbes of Hub Dental Laboratory in New Brunswick, Canada. "Dentists don't want to read how good your laboratory is every three months." Be educational. Report on industry trends—attend trade shows, summarize important articles into brief "capsules" or update them on the newest product on the market.
Don't forget to include potential clients on your mailing list. Become an information source to prospects and they may be more likely to send you cases.
Keep it brief. "We found that dentists wanted short, large-type headlines to easily scan the piece and pick out what most interested them," says Scott Clark, vice president of marketing and sales at Dental Arts Laboratories, Inc. in Peoria, Illinois, a 285-persongroup of labs.
Be consistent with the look. Stick with one title, color and format in every issue. Make it easy for your dentist-readers to associate your newsletter with your laboratory.
Make it easy for your readers to find out more information—include a perforated reply card or simply make sure your telephone numbers are visible.
Be committed to getting the newsletter out. If you say quarterly, do it quarterly. Like all marketing materials, your newsletter is a reflection of your laboratory and the quality of service you provide. If you can't meet your newsletter deadline, how can you meet theirs?