Recently we’ve been discussing your web content and the importance of clear communication with your patients and potential patients online. Your marketing copy is one of the primary ways you communicate with people. This includes everything from what you post on your website to your social media to your e-mail blasts. All of it must be clear and effective, or it’s no use to your practice as a marketing tool. There’s one key aspect to your content that can mean the difference between it being read and it being skipped over or deleted from a patient’s inbox: fantastic headlines.

One of my favorite illustrations of this is a story I like to call, “There will be no school next Thursday.” This is actually a story from the author and playwright Nora Ephron. When she was a student, she received a journalism assignment for her school’s weekly newspaper to write an article about a faculty workshop on the Thursday of the next week. Her teacher gave her and her classmates the facts: the principle and staff would be going to an all-day workshop on new teaching methods.

When Nora and her classmates wrote the story, they tried to summarize the facts and make it all as succinct as possible. Then they crafted a headline outlining the story. These headlines said something to the effect of, “Next Thursday, the high school faculty will…” and so on. Their teacher read everything aloud in class. Then he informed them they’d gotten it all wrong.

He told them their headline would be, “There will be no school next Thursday.”

I love this story because it so vividly illustrates the key hook and vital part of marketing copy that so many medical professionals miss. Journalism calls this your “lead.” Marketers call it your subject line. Whether it’s a website article, a blog entry, a newsletter piece, an e-mail, or even a post on your social media, if you want your patients and potential patients to read it, it must get their attention.

This ties in neatly with writing clearly and effectively. You need to catch someone’s attention by using language that people clearly understand and speaks directly to the concern you are trying to address (the concerns that are already on your patients’ minds). You only have seconds to capture their interest before a person decides to move on—your patients are busy, after all.

Learning to writing marketing copy that is clear, effective, and attention-grabbing isn’t as hard as you might think. Really, anyone can learn it, which is why we have our very own Copywriter’s Workshop for medical professionals and their marketers. Don’t settle for less than the best and risk missing patients in the process. Contact us for more information by calling (717) 725-2679 or e-mailing [email protected]
Rem Jackson
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Founder and CEO of Top Practices, LLC
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