First there was the Horse Whisperer, then came the Dog Whisperer, and now there’s a patient whisperer.

The idea’s simple: To change behavior in sensitive animals, you need a whisperer who persuades without shouting, whipping, hawking, bleating, pushing, grabbing, or resorting to ham-fisted behavior-mod techniques.

And this is the voice I recommend for e-newsletters. They are a special breed of marketing tool. They aren’t like ads or commercials or telemarketing or door-to-door vacuum sales. They are not about the hard sell. They are about the soft whispering sell. The let-me-educate-you-and-then-you-make-up-your-own-mind sell.

Getting the voice right in your e-newsletters is pivotal when it comes to deciding how frequently to send them. Monthly distribution is ideal for solo professionals, but some doctors are afraid to send monthly messages for fear of becoming pests. Not coincidentally, these doctors tend to be the ones who use their newsletters solely to announce new equipment. When they announce this equipment they insist on representing it as The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread—”Revolutionary. Unprecedented. Life-Changing.”

While these newsletters do trigger some immediate bookings, they also likely trigger lots more opt-outs. Frequency isn’t the problem here, it’s tone. The problem is using an intimate, private platform like your patients’ private e-mail in-box for a hard-sell message suited to ads. Make sure you educate your patients in your e-newsletters, offering them real information in an even-handed, professional tone. They are looking to you for the real answers behind the hype. they don’t mind you being in touch once a month—as long as you’re polite…

Put another way, if you whisper, they will not opt out.

About the Author

Joyce Sunila is the president of Practice Helpers, providing e-newsletters, blogs, and social media services to aesthetic practices. You can contact Joyce at [email protected] or visit the Practice Helpers Web site at