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[00:00:00] Dr. Sharp: Hey, everybody. Welcome to another episode of The Testing Psychologist podcast. I’m Dr. Jeremy Sharp.

Before we get into the episode today, I want to give a shout-out to our podcast sponsor. Our sponsor today is Q-interactive once again. If you haven’t heard about Q-interactive, you should check it out. It’s Pearson’s iPad-based system for testing, scoring, and reporting. It’s very efficient. It helps keep clients engaged, especially younger kids because they get to do the tests on an iPad. Sponsorship role aside, it does well in our practice. It shortens the scoring time and kids do love it. If you’re interested, you can learn more at helloq.com/home.

If you’re hearing this before May the 9th, I’m doing a webinar with Pearson to talk about the costs of Q-interactive compared to paper and pencil. That webinar [00:01:00] is on May, 9th at 1 p.m. MST. So if you’re interested in that, you can search on the Pearson website or go to the show notes and find it.

All right, let’s get onto the show, all about building your email list.

Hey everybody. Welcome back to another episode of The Testing Psychologist podcast. I’m Dr. Jeremy Sharp. Today, I’m going to be talking with you about some quick tips on building your email list. We recently sent out an email to our list and got a phenomenal response, and it got me thinking about the value of sharing some tips on how to build a list for yourself.

Before I jump into that, I would like to introduce a special [00:02:00] guest who’s with us today. Her name is Ruby Rae Sharp.

Ruby: Hi everybody! We are at the office today and my dad is going to show you how to build your email list. So let’s get started.

Dr. Sharp: All right! Thank you for that introduction, Ruby Rae. Let’s get into it, folks.

This isn’t meant to be comprehensive, how do you build an email list? How do you develop a substantial email marketing platform? That’s not what this is about. This is the story of how we did it and how that has worked pretty well for us.

There are plenty of people out there who do the email marketing thing and do it well and can coach you through that. If you want to learn, there are plenty of online resources that you could [00:03:00] read up on and get plenty of knowledge on how to build your email list. What I’m going to do is tell our story and reinforce that it can be useful and it can be useful with a pretty low level of effort on your part.

When I say email marketing list or email list, this refers to capturing email addresses of a particular population: maybe that’s community providers, maybe that’s current clients, maybe it’s parents, maybe it’s family members, maybe it’s teachers, counselors, school staff. There are any number of populations that you can look to build an email list.

The idea is that you’re capturing these email addresses, storing those in an email marketing provider software like MailChimp or Aweber or something like that, and [00:04:00] holding on to that list so that you can then send out emails sometimes with marketing bend to them, sometimes with information that might be a newsletter, might be blog posts, but the idea is that you have a list of people that you can send emails to that will hopefully result in gathering more clients.

In our case, we do not market to clients at this point. That’s something that I am putting into place. The email list that has been beneficial for us is the provider email list. I think the provider email lists are particularly relevant for testing folks because a lot of our referrals come from providers.

When I say providers, that could be anyone who is sending clients to your practice. So this might be physicians, it might be referral coordinators at physicians’ offices, [00:05:00] it might be teachers, counselors, attorneys, friends in the community- anyone who is sending referrals to your practice, university staff, who knows? There are all sorts of folks who send you referrals.

One of the first steps in building this email list is to record the email addresses. Many of us initiate marketing meetings or correspond with other providers in case consultation or case management. We’re in contact with a lot of referring providers throughout the day. What I started doing probably 5 years ago was just storing those email addresses and making sure that I had a running list of those email addresses for future group emails that I wanted to send out.

This initially started when I was doing therapy and wanted to send out an email [00:06:00] blast to gather members for my men’s group. I did a men’s process group for several years, which was awesome, but that was the original reason for building the list. I kept a running list of emails. At first, that was very informal. I just had a draft in my Gmail that had all those email addresses on it in the to field. I never sent anything but I built that list.

Now, what I would recommend is keeping a spreadsheet in Google Docs or Excel and it includes very simple fields. All you have to have is the first name, last name, and email address in that Excel spreadsheet. Now you can do this. This will be a great task for a virtual assistant or an intern as well. Start getting in the habit of any time you email a provider or get a referral or talk to a provider over email, record that [00:07:00] email address in your spreadsheet.

After a certain period of time, you can easily import that spreadsheet to the email provider of your choice. We use MailChimp here in our practice. There’s a lot of debate out there about which email marketing provider might be appropriate. I chose MailChimp because I found it more intuitive than AWeber, which was the other one that I tried.

MailChimp is also free up to the point that you have, I think it’s 2000 subscribers or 2000 recipients on your list. That’s more than enough recipients for most of us for the purposes of our email list. So I went with MailChimp. It is straightforward. So then you can keep your list in there.

The cool thing about MailChimp is you can also split the list up if you want to. So you can have a general provider list. You can have a [00:08:00] physician’s list. You can have a teacher’s list, you can have an attorney’s list. So you can split that up and you can send emails to all of those lists or just a few of those lists or a subset of a list. It’s pretty easy to figure out that process.

Once you have gotten a few emails on your list, you don’t have to have a ton, honestly. Like I said, over the years, I’ve slowly built this list up. But recently when we sent out our last email blast that resulted in a lot of new referrals, we have about 100 providers on the list. And like I said, that’s been built over the years, but If you have 10 solid referring providers, that’s great, put them on your email list, that’s your list right there.

Once you have your list going, then you get to decide what kind of content you would like to send to them.[00:09:00] For us, I think it’s cool. Unless you’re doing a regular blog, I don’t think it’s worth it to try to write blog posts and send them out to your list. To make that effective, you need to put a lot of energy into it. It has to be regular blogging. It can’t feel like you’re trying to sell things or sending things when you have a promotion or whatever. You need to blog regularly if that’s going to be your way of email marketing. So we do not do that.

What we do instead is send periodic updates to the provider list when cool things are happening in the practice. I like to mix it up a little bit where it’s not just like I said, trying to send promotional stuff or trying to sell things.

I’ll mix it in like, if a new version [00:10:00] of a test comes out, I might send an email to these providers and say something like, Hey, we got a new tool. This new tool assesses cognition in a different way than we have before. Here are some of the benefits. Thanks for your continued referrals. You can look for this updated assessment instrument in the reports that we’ll be sending you, something like that, just to stay in touch, just to let them know that we’re keeping on top of the research, we are incorporating new measures, we’re trying to keep our game sharp with assessment. So that’s one type of email I might send. That’s pretty infrequent. That might be like 2 or 3 times a year.

The other kind of email that I might send is if there are particular services here in the practice that I think might be beneficial. We, in the past, have launched an adult ADHD coaching group. That went out to the [00:11:00] email list. More recently, we’re trying to build an anxiety workshop in a group format, kind of a class. That went out to the list as well. 

One of the biggest things that’s been super helpful for us is to send updates on our waitlist and our staffing. This was the most recent email that went out that got a pretty good response. So we recently hired 3 new psychologists to help out with assessment. Prior to that, we had a long waitlist. It’s taken me a long time to find some quality psychologists for our practice.

So our waitlist for child assessment was getting to be 6 or 8 months away or 6 or 8 months long. So this is a big deal. I’ve talked to several people in the community about the waitlist and how it’s not ideal and thanks for bearing with us and that kind of thing.

[00:12:00] When we finally brought on some new folks, I was excited to announce that. So, we sent out an email that said, Hey, meet the new members of our team. Here they are. We put their picture, we put a little bio, and we made sure to be very explicit and say, thanks so much for being patient with our waitlist while we searched for the right people for this job. We’re so happy to welcome these folks and our waitlist is now only 4 to 6 weeks out. We welcome your referrals. Contact us with any questions. We really put front and center that our waitlist was a little lower than usual and that we were open for business, so to speak.

That email has gotten a great response. People have reached out personally. We’ve gotten several phone calls from clients. I’ve firsthand seen the benefit of an email like that.

Now,[00:13:00] if you’re not in a group practice and it’s just you, that’s fine. Many of the folks that I consult with, we’ve been talking recently about what happens over the summer. My waitlist goes down over the summer. I get a little less busy. What do I do? My calendar is empty, that kind of thing.

This would be a perfect time for a solo practitioner to have an email list of providers where you could shoot out an email and say thanks for your continued referrals. I just wanted to let you know that things are a little more open over the summer and if you have any cases that you may have been holding off on referring, they can get in pretty quickly right at this point. So feel free to send them in our direction. That can be helpful for folks.

So I think this is an example of a case study of sorts of using an email list of providers to generate [00:14:00] some referrals in your practice. As testing folks, we may not have the same need as other clinicians to maintain an email list of clients, although that can be helpful as well. I think there’s a lot of debate around whether or not that is something that you need in your practice or not.

The whole field of email marketing I think is always evolving. There are many things to consider as you’re thinking about putting in place an email list. But I see this as a simple way to start building a list and a pretty safe way as well. Providers are usually happy to know of other resources around the community.

So, if you want to dive into it, it’s pretty easy. Like I said, you can check out MailChimp, Aweber, or Constant Contact. There are several options for doing an email list [00:15:00] and see which one fits your needs. If nothing else, you can start building a list of practitioners who have referred to your practice and use those going forward for any new services or staff or availability that you might have.

I am by no means an expert in this area. In fact, I’m going to link to an article in the show notes from a woman named Kat Love, who is a marketing and website guru who works specifically with therapists. She aggregates a lot of helpful info about email marketing, and pulls in other blog posts and so forth. I’ll link to that in the show notes. I think it’s very informative if you want to read through it. There are lots of opinions and ideas about how to go about email marketing. But hopefully, with this episode, you are maybe considering instituting an email list and starting to have that work for your practice.

I really appreciate you continuing to listen to the podcast, [00:16:00] or if this is your first podcast, thanks for coming to check us out. 

I will be interviewing some more folks over the coming weeks. I know that I’ve got on schedule Cecilia Briseno talking about immigration and hardship evaluations. I’m also going to be interviewing Robin Peterson, who’s a dyslexia expert. I feel like there is one more that I’m really excited about, but I can’t remember right at this point in time. Either way, lots of good interviews coming up. Thanks again for continuing to listen.

If you have not joined the Facebook group yet, I would love to have you in the Facebook group. It’s called The Testing Psychologist Community on Facebook. You can search for it right there. In that group, we talk about all things testing from business to case consultation to research, and all sorts of things that are relevant for testing. We’re about 1000 strong at this point [00:17:00] and would love to have you in there.

If you have not taken just a second to rate or review the podcast, that would be such a huge favor to me. I really appreciate that. It takes just a few seconds in iTunes or Stitcher, wherever you might listen to podcasts. I would really appreciate that.

Lastly, as the summer is coming up, now’s a great time to take stock of your practice and see where you’re at and how your services are doing if your income’s where you would like it, and if your schedule is where you’d like it. So if any of those things are not on point and it feels like you might want a little guidance, I would love to help you with that. You can find out lots of information about my consulting services at thetestingpsychologist.com/consulting. I will talk with you for 20 or 30 minutes on the phone, totally complimentary. And we can figure out if consulting is a good move for you. So if that sounds interesting, [00:18:00] go check it out and shoot me an email and get on my schedule.

Otherwise, y’all enjoy the spring, the oncoming summer, and we’ll talk to you soon. Bye bye.

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