Marketers know that engaging consumers and business customers is the key to success for any email campaign. Getting in touch with potential customers is an important start, but messages must consistently drive conversions to provide the value that organizations are looking for. And optimizing engagement is particularly crucial for businesses that are targeting narrow audiences with specialized interests like doctors.
In the 2018 edition of the Annual Healthcare Professional Communication Report from HealthLink Dimensions, 79 percent of respondents expressed their preference for email as a communication channel for receiving industry news, product updates and announcements or information about research and educational opportunities. Of course, that doesn’t mean physicians will open just any email, much less give it their full attention. Life sciences firms and payers that are seeking to establish productive relationships with doctors and other healthcare providers must find ways to capture and hold these professionals’ interest.
1. Act on up-to-date information
“Effective engagement starts with high-quality data.”
Effective engagement starts with high-quality data. For marketing and sales teams, gathering current details about medical professionals is an indispensable first step toward making contact. They must have an extensive database that includes each doctor’s latest email address and other essential pieces of information for segmentation, such as their institutional affiliations and areas of specialization.
Missing, out-of-date or duplicated information in a master database or customer relationship management system can become huge obstacles to engagement strategies. By enlisting data append services, organizations fill in any gaps and get a clearer perspective on the healthcare providers they are trying to reach. An automated data hygiene process streamlines the work of maintaining entries and ensures that emails are going out to the right addresses.
2. Compose the subject and headlines for maximum impact
Doctors are busy people who receive numerous messages, often taking just a few minutes to look over their emails between appointments. It can be a major challenge to stand out in an inbox that’s crowded with promotional materials and updates on professional opportunities. Marketers and salespeople seize their chances by making a strong initial impression before medical professionals even glance at the contents of their emails.
The first thing a medical professional sees is the subject line and, in many email platforms, a short preview of the first sentence or two. These few lines have to be carefully formulated to convince recipients that it’s worth their time to open a message. As concisely as possible, present a compelling argument for how they or their patients will benefit from a product, service or educational opportunity.
Use strong, urgent language to catch the reader’s attention and persuade him or her to open an email immediately. Personalization is one way to deepen the impact of the subject line and heading. By directly addressing the recipient, an organization makes the first move toward forming an individual connection right way.
3. Focus on relevant facts
For healthcare providers, engaging content is not about clever branding or jargon; they want to know how they can achieve improved operations within their facilities or practices and better outcomes for patients. Emails should concisely lay out clinical findings that demonstrate how a product or service will help to achieve measurable results. With just a quick look, providers must understand why a message should matter to them.
Thoughtful segmentation allows marketing and sales teams to customize messages and make them highly relevant to medical professionals. Doctors may have very different priorities depending on their specialties, whether they work in hospitals or long-term care facilities and the demographics they serve. By gaining insights into a provider’s history of treating particular conditions and preferred methods, organizations can gear their messaging to hold the attention of very specific audiences.
4. Think mobile
The design of an email has a significant impact on whether it keeps a recipient reading. Unappealing or hard-to-read formatting can mean a message is soon headed for the trash. Doctors are likely to check their emails using a mobile device, which makes it extremely important to create emails with a small screen in mind.
Text should be highly legible, even when viewed on a smartphone, drawing the reader’s attention to key points. Keep images minimal so that loading problems or limited data won’t detract from engagement. It’s always wise to test out a few potential designs before deploying a campaign, determining what appearances work best for driving conversions among the target audience.
5. Spotlight next steps
A great deal of research and discussion goes into purchases for a medical facility or changes in payer relationships. Stakeholders with a wide range of backgrounds may be involved in these decisions, and it’s important to offer plenty of information at every juncture. An email can be the beginning of these conversations, and it must offer providers a clear way forward.
Prominent, well-designed calls to action play a tremendous role in physician email marketing. They show readers where to go next and provide a clear metric for measuring conversion. Make sure the calls to action are highly visible, and tie them to a downloadable asset that tells medical professionals more about what your organization has to offer.
Developing a strategic approach to engagement that’s based in robust information on doctors and their patients can make all the difference in medical email marketing efforts. A thoroughly tested, data-driven campaign produces more reliable and deeper connections with medical professionals.