From zzz to buzz

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

YARMOUTH, Maine - A few savvy CPAP providers have discovered that combining their clinical expertise with their marketing savvy is a good way to keep their names in front of referral sources and patients.

Enter the e-newsletter as a way to deliver both.

"People need to hear your name five to seven times to remember who you are," said Lisa Feierstein, president and co-founder of Raleigh, N.C.-based Active Healthcare. "If on a regular basis they get a newsletter from us, hopefully we are who they think about."

In February, Active Healthcare, which already has a sleep-focused newsletter, launched Breathe Easy. The monthly newsletter takes articles about, for example, allergists discussing the early spring due to climate change and relates it to respiratory issues.

"We try to keep it relevant," said Feierstein. "It's all part of (our efforts) to be a thought leader in our community and in our specialty and disease states."

Such content marketing is generating a lot of buzz these days, says Anna McDevitt, president of Laboratory Marketing. It can be attributed to the rise of social media, she said.

"We all have the ability to share information almost instantly," she said. "Retailers, big box stores--everybody's putting out more content. It's similar in HME because you are establishing yourself as an expert."

That's just what Sleep Solutions aims to do. On the heels of its success with a newsletter for referral sources, the provider in February launched a newsletter just for patients.

"We pride ourselves on education and this is just one more way for us to educate patients," said Robyn Parrott, president of the Detroit-based company.

The monthly Solutions Buzz contains information on everything from insurance changes and new equipment to tricks for successful sleep therapy.

Both providers can track open rates, click-throughs and most read articles to see what their readers are most interested in.

"What we see is they are looking for more education, along with new ideas," said Parrott. "Everybody wants to know if there's something new out there."