First things first, what are you going to write about and how often? Determine whether you are going to write your newsletter monthly, every other month or quarterly. I highly recommend a monthly newsletter because it keeps a consistent contact between you and your clients. The opportunities abound in maintenance care and you can truly use the message to create healthier pets through tips and recommendations.
Let’s say that you are going to do a monthly newsletter. Begin by creating themes for your newsletter based on the time of the year. For example you could write about flea and tick season in the spring and weight gain in the winter months. There are plenty of other examples and I am sure that you can list a number of them quickly right now. Create a file on your computer with different themes for your newsletters. That way, when you see an article that you think would be of value to your clients or reinforce the message you want to convey you can immediately pull it from your file. Throughout the course of the year you will read articles and topics that will benefit your clients and you should grab these articles and place in your newsletter files.
Encourage your staff if you have them to do the same and have them participate in the newsletter process. They also will have great ideas and you want them to be supportive of the newsletter when discussing with your clients.
As I mentioned in the last blog, what is more important than a newsletter filled with technical articles is to write about you, your staff and the animals that you care for. This is truly what your clients want and they want to know more about you. The more you can share about yourself the more trust that your client develops for you, your clinic and staff. Refer to instances that you encountered with your own animals and what you did. Share recipes that you use for your family and for your animals!
Take photos and encourage your staff to take photos of clients and their animals (always with their permission) and share in your newsletter. People love to see what their neighbors are doing and are always interested in seeing a photo of themselves as well!
Basically, if you do all these things regularly, you will have plenty of content for your newsletters. Then it is just the process of putting the newsletter together. You can do it yourself if you have the time. However, I rarely find a veterinarian who has that time so I recommend that you assign the newsletter design and monthly construction to a staff member. You could even hire a high school student a couple of hours per month. You can find newsletter templates in Microsoft WORD and PUBLISHER. If you use GOOGLE Office they also have a number of templates that you can use. You can also go online and search for newsletter templates and there are hundreds of options (just be careful to download only from a trusted source).
And, if you do not have the time and do not want to have your staff working on a newsletter you can purchase newsletters that are done for you. There are many options available such as www.newslettersforvets.com you can even find pre-designed newsletters from companies associated with the AVMA. I don’t recommend building newsletters this way because it eliminates the personal connection of articles created by you and your staff but if it is the only way to get your message to your clients on a monthly basis than it is better than nothing!