Word travels fast, and in the current era of email, text, and social media, it travels faster than ever. That’s great news for home care providers, because word of mouth is still one of the best referral sources for agencies. As noted in Home Care Pulse’s 2018 Home Care Benchmarking Study, word-of-mouth referrals from past and current clients and their loved ones was number one in the top ten referral sources, making up 21% of revenue-generating referral sources for home care agencies in 2017.
These numbers shouldn’t be surprising; word-of-mouth marketing is a powerful resource, particularly in an industry like home care, which relies on a high level of trust. In general, consumers tend to trust someone who gives them a referral for a business because they assume the person was happy with the services or products. In fact, according to Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising report, a recommendation from a friend or family member is the number one most-trusted form of advertising. A close second – branded websites.
Spreading the Good News About Your Business
When considering how to use word-of-mouth marketing to promote your home care agency in a way that utilizes both personal recommendations and your branded website, one of the best tools to use is an e-newsletter. As noted in Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising report, 56% of people polled stated that they trust emails they signed up for, and 63% always or sometimes take some form of action, whether clicking links to read more, filling out a form, or sharing on a social media site, etc. when they receive an email advertisement.
Email, particularly a well-designed, well-written, and informative e-newsletter, is a dynamic tool that can provide value to current and potential clients while building a sense of brand trust. Effective e-newsletters engage customers with your company and brand while helping them solve problems, whether it’s how to modify the home for a wheelchair or tips for caring for challenging Alzheimer’s behaviors. We’re all bombarded with advertisements in our inboxes, online, and on TV. However, offering useful e-newsletter content keeps customers interested, and helps build loyalty to your company. Using your newsletter to provide care tips, health information, news about your business and/or caregivers, or ideas on how to use your services will give your agency a more personal feel and build a sense of trust.
Think Outside the Inbox
While it’s easy to assume that the only use for an e-newsletter is to deliver information via email, it’s important to think outside the inbox and extend the reach of these digital communications. For example, you likely clicked a link in our own newsletter in order to continue reading this article, which sent you here to our blog on our website. It’s a simple tip that far too many people miss, yet linking your e-newsletter articles to your website is an important step that helps you get potential clients out of the inbox and onto your site where they can explore more about your business.
Additionally, your e-newsletter shouldn’t be the end game of communication; in fact, it should be a jumping off point. Your e-newsletter can be the beginning of a nurture campaign that allows you to communicate more and offer potential clients other pieces of information based on what they are interested in. For example, if a reader clicked a link about Alzheimer’s care in your newsletter, she might also be interested in the new Alzheimer’s care support group your agency has established. By tracking which links your readers are clicking, you can gain a better idea of what information they would be interested in in the future, allowing you to offer content that is of value and continuing to nurture the relationship until the prospect is ready to become a client.
Finally, if you want to move your newsletter info out of the inbox, it should be shareable. Make sure to include social share and forwarding buttons within your newsletter design to allow readers to share it with their friends and followers with the click of a button. And don’t be afraid to encourage sharing within the content of your articles too.
Monthly e-newsletters are an excellent way to reach out to current clients and increase word-of-mouth advertising for your agency, but creating the content, designing an eye-catching newsletter format, and tracking link clicks for nurture marketing are time-consuming processes. If you’re interested in ramping up your email marketing campaigns in order to bolster referrals, contact our award-winning home care marketing professionals today and learn how we create newsletters that get results.