The Communicator
The Communicator
  February 1, 2010 

Expand Your Web Content -- Bring Your Newsletter Online!

At 11:25 a.m. on December 18, West Hills Assisted Living’s online newsletter has five visitors:

  • a family member taking a peek at her iPhone to confirm the time of the holiday party
  • a prospective resident who googled up the names of local senior living communities and is checking out West Hills online before planning a visit
  • a hospital discharge planner researching options for a patient
  • a search engine “spider” indexing the content of the West Hills website
  • a geriatric care manager who searched for “new years resolutions for seniors” and is now reading the monthly healthy aging article.

Whatever your niche in the senior services world—a professional organization, long-term care or senior living community, geriatric care manager, hospice or home care company—you’ve probably noticed that those you serve rely more and more on the internet for
The bimonthly Aging in Stride eNews, published by IlluminAge, offers tips on healthy aging and caregiving.

Baby boomers, your huge upcoming client base and your current largest family caregiver demographic, already prefer web-based information about products and services. And studies this year demonstrate that seniors of every age now go online in greater numbers than ever. For seniors and families today, your website will quite likely be their first introduction to your organization.

Your website should be attractive and functional—that’s a given. But in today’s competitive climate, your site should also serve as more than an online brochure or billboard. Users seek a realistic window into your organization. They want to get a feel for the services you offer the older adults, families and professionals you serve. Bringing your newsletter online is a great way to inspire that trust. For example…

  • If you are a senior living community, web visitors can get a taste of your activities and wellness program, see photos of residents enjoying an outing, “meet” key staff members, and witness the warm social atmosphere of the monthly birthday celebration.
  • If you are a professional organization, information about your membership helps potential members and consumers alike understand the value of your mission and your field.
  • If you are a service provider, an informative newsletter for families and seniors helps build confidence in your expertise and the benefits you offer your clients.

Posting your newsletter online also promotes good search ranking. When your web content changes regularly, search engines index your site more often, helping to ensure a higher position in results.

Bringing your newsletter online

What’s the best way to transition to an online newsletter? The simplest step is to post a PDF of your existing print newsletter, which users can read online or print out.  But why not take greater advantage of your website’s potential by offering a fully functional, integrated e-publication? An online newsletter…

  • is visually appealing and easy to read
  • builds your content collection with each issue
  • can be quickly updated if something changes
  • supports search engine optimization (SEO), helping to ensure that potential residents/clients/members can find you.
  • saves money and is a good “green” option
  • can still be printed for readers who prefer a hard copy.
What about email-only newsletters?

If your communications program typically consists of frequent short bursts of time-sensitive information targeting a limited readership, an email-only campaign is an effective choice. The information appears right in the email, not on your site—somewhat analogous to a phone call campaign. On the other hand, an email-only newsletter has several disadvantages when compared to a newsletter located on your website:

  1. The email format is smaller and harder to read, so content should be brief
  2. Email has a short life; readers usually read and delete
  3. The publication only reaches users who have signed up to receive the email
  4. Internet search engines cannot access the email content.
The best of both worlds

The greatest impact comes from an online newsletter combined with an email announcing each new issue. Clicking through from the email, users can read the current issue, and browse the archives if they like. The newsletter you are reading right now—the IlluminAge Communicator—is a good example. We notify our readers of a new issue with an attractive email highlighting each article. Users can read all the articles or just the ones they want, see archived issues, and use the search function to locate topics of interest. And don’t forget that the email provides an extra “touch” to bring your organization to mind.

IlluminAge can help!

If IlluminAge is your web partner, we would love to talk with you about bringing your current newsletter online, or creating an enhanced newsletter program for you. You will receive the same high level of service and responsiveness from our newsletter department that you do from your web services team.

IlluminAge online newsletters can also be seamlessly integrated into your existing website if you work with another provider.

IlluminAge online newsletter services cover the spectrum from simple to full-service. We can create:

  • a PDF newsletter, with full or partial content support from the extensive and frequently updated IlluminAge content library
  • A full HTML newsletter with optional email and content support
  • An online newsletter platform that your own staff can use
  • Email-only newsletters
  • List management strategies to ensure you don’t inadvertently find yourself blacklisted or caught up in spam filters.
IlluminAge’s 15 years of experience in electronic communications, combined with 20 years as the communications partner of choice for leading aging services and health care organizations, makes us the ideal partner for your online newsletter.  Contact us for more information.


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