Creating email content that catches the eye of busy medical practitioners can be tricky. A common best practice for standing out is to make sure the message has value to the reader. The question is what do physicians and nurse practitioners find valuable?
According to our most recent study on medical communication preferences, healthcare professionals strongly prefer email messages that contain educational content. Specifically, three quarters of respondents to our survey said they wanted pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers to provide them with opportunities to learn more about their industry.
Educational content can be an effective way to stand out and create a mutually beneficial relationship with contacts, but the marketers need to have a strong grasp on what content is helpful rather than just promotional.
Sharing, not showing off
Educational materials may include industry studies, detailed breakdowns of new products or collected insights on patient demands. This information should be helpful for medical professionals who need to make buying decisions or communicate options to their patients. The key point here is that educational materials should be presented as beneficial to physicians rather than the company that produces it.
The Harvard Business Review suggested many companies that advertise to other organizations try to present themselves as thought leaders, sometimes to the detriment of audiences. Medical professionals want the information delivered to their inboxes to be accurate representations of science and trends, rather than messages interpreted by a business with an agenda. Educational content may appear more valuable if it is presented as unbiased results rather than the opinion of an organization trying to appear smarter than its competitors.
Don’t forget patients
Our survey of medical professionals found 79 percent of respondents currently use patient education materials and 56 percent want more. When medical device and pharmaceutical manufacturers create delivery schedules for email marketing campaigns they need to include content for both physicians and patients.
This could help distribute content to a wider audience. Forbes magazine said medical professionals need to prioritize their own marketing campaigns to support and grow their practices. If vendors deliver valuable educational materials patients will find relevant, hospitals and other institutions may share the content.
More than just text
No matter how valuable content may be, it won’t appeal to readers if the data is not easy to recognize. Marketers shouldn’t force medical professionals to dig through blocks of text to find the material relevant to them. Med City News said a great way to share educational materials is to present them like an educator.
People learn in a variety of ways. The layout of email messages should be intriguing and present key points through diverse tactics. It’s usually wise to include a simple layout, images, graphs, bullet points and other features to make materials more digestible and memorable. Hands-on experiences usually stick with people better than when they act as passive observers. Marketers should provide links or other calls-to-action so physicians and nurse practitioners can take part in their own education.
What the sender can learn
A Medical Email Marketing campaign can send vital information to a list of contacts, but it can also bring in valuable data to the company launching the messages. Replies to information or tracking interest helps an organization plan future marketing tactics and take the next step with opportunities and leads. If a medical manufacturer sends out new educational materials, it needs to see how its target market responds.
B2B Marketing, an information resource for companies, said each email message should build the relationship with a contact on an address list. When a company doesn’t update its collection of physician emails based on communications or other changes, it won’t know which educational materials hit the mark.
To read more insights and view the report based on our study, click here to download the Annual Healthcare Professional Communication Report 2016.