When it comes to targeting healthcare professionals, email marketing has become the preferred method to communicate a specific product, service or offer. Even more challenging is trying to pique the interest of an already busy HCP.  

So how do you ensure your campaign will be informative, personal, and relevant, while still resonating with your audience?


Consider implementing the following 10 best practices into your next email marketing campaign:

1. Storytelling

Every organization has a story. Using this narrative to find common ground with potential customers can serve as your initial engagement. Tactics such as background information on how a specific product was developed, or challenges experienced  during the process—and how you overcame them—can provide a personal connection. 

"Customer reviews and establishing the original story highlights your company’s longevity, reputation, and retention rate."

Adding testimonials and success stories furthers your company’s position. It also demonstrates a proven commitment and ability to effectively attract, engage and delight customers that have previously done business with you. 

Customer reviews and establishing the original story highlights your company’s longevity, reputation, and retention rate. It also shows you can connect and establish long-term relationships built on both high and low points. 

2. Subject Lines

Since this is your initial point of communication, it’s important to have a strong and relevant opening to commence your customer engagement process. The first few seconds when your prospect sees your email subject line will determine if they will open and click, or delete and unsubscribe. 

For higher quality subject lines, consider running an A/B test to determine audience response. SaaS marketing platform HubSpot cited in a recent blog post that, “47% of marketers say they test different email subject lines to optimize their emails' performance.”

More on this will be discussed in tip No. 10, but in short, you can run tests in different subject lines to facilitate where you might need to adjust your wording to resonate better for increased opens and clicks.


3. Actionable Requests

Including a call to action (CTA) click trigger is valuable because it motivates your  audience to do something. It also shows you recognize they are a busy HCP and they’ve taken the time to learn more about your company, products and services. In return, it’s good business sense to offer them a content piece they can absorb as a takeaway or leave behind

Still, many companies make the mistake of including too many (or not enough) CTAs. This can cause distractions, or worse, your offer will be overlooked. Placing your CTA in a prominent spot, such as above the fold, will yield more clicks. 

Avoid general wording such as Click Here or Enter Now. Instead, let the prospect know what they’re receiving: Download This Case Study, or Read the Article. Adding specific dates or time stamps, such as Offer Ends at Midnight, or Don’t Miss This One-Time Event, can increase engagement. This sense of urgency creates a Fear of Missing Out element, leading to quicker responses.

4. Personalization

Personalization is a proven tactic in the email marketing world. A personalized and relevant messaging provides potential customers with a sense of community or familiarity. According to data cited in a “State of the Connected Customer” study conducted by customer relationship management provider Salesforce, “More than half (52%) of consumers are somewhat likely to switch brands if a company doesn't make an effort to personalize their communications to them.”

For reaching HCPs, personalization can help with targeting the correct type of information with the right audience. This can also be done through segmentation—more on that in tip No. 9—to avoid generalizations. For instance, a dentist wouldn’t be interested in the same type of information as a cardiologist. 

Extra steps, such as adding the subscriber’s name or a call out to their location can lead to increased engagement. Instead of addressing the email Dear Customer, consider adding a specific to and from element. The recipient sees the email is intended for them, and it’s being sent by an actual person—not a mass, auto-generated mailing. 

Once the prospect has converted to customer, personalization can be useful to highlight past purchases. This is helpful to busy HCPs who might not remember a specific product they previously ordered and used 


5. Remove the Fluff

HCPs have even less time to sort through email messaging, so all the more reason to offer educational and informative content. Cutting self-promotional fluff and extra words is even more critical when reaching this audience. Most are already bombarded with this approach both on the phone and in-person, so they’re less likely to respond to the same method online.

To get that initial connection with your prospects, include a vendor-neutral resource or reference material. You could choose to cite this within your marketing information, or can include it as an aforementioned CTA element. 

If you’re targeting a pediatrician, it could be a research report on a new medication pertaining to children and adolescents. If dentists are within your realm, consider offering a content piece on a dental-specific topic. A HCP prospect is more likely to convert if offered a value-add that’s immediate and applicable to their practice area.

6. Avoid Promises

Don’t convey specific promises within your campaign that you might not be able to keep—this could inadvertently lead your customers to an adverse experience. 

Offering specific ROI or another type of assurance is likely to backfire. When targeting HCPs, you wouldn’t want to state that by using a specific product they are guaranteed to have a specific result. This tactic can potentially damage your credibility with negative reviews and unfavorable word-of-mouth marketing. 

Don’t convey specific promises within your campaign that you might not be able to keep—this could inadvertently lead your customers to an adverse experience. 

A 2017 study by American Express, as cited in an article by CRM app provider Nutshell, notes that “Customers who have a bad customer experience tell an average of 15 people. In other words, one broken promise has the potential to alienate 15 people against your brand.”

If you want to maintain the positive image and brand you’ve worked to establish as noted in tip No. 1, it’s best to provide relevant content, instead of struggling to maintain unrealistic expectations.


7. Feedback & Conversation 

Establishing a professional persona is important, but conversational content is also a preferred tactic. This can increase personalization levels to keep the prospect engaged and involved. 

Ask your recipients for feedback through an opinion poll or question, such as: What do you like (or don’t like) about our products? Letting them know that you value their thoughts can also be a starting point for further discussion on social media forums.

A customer posts a positive experience on social media, and if you take the time to respond, it shows you went the extra step of letting them know you value their business and customer loyalty.

This also can be said of negative feedback. Learning and understanding why someone was not happy with your product shows you value their experiences. It also demonstrates your willingness to ensure a positive experience going forward. 


8. Automation

This process might sound rote or cold, but it can be a time-saver. An automated campaign ensures messaging is conveyed appropriately when a recipient performs a specific action. It’s especially helpful when segmenting your list, which will be discussed more in the following tip. 

When including a CTA download, automation can facilitate sequential, targeted follow-up emails for ongoing contact engagement. This could be a quick Welcome or Thank You email when the contact signs up. It signifies communication efforts and establishes a stepping-off point.

Automation requires an extra process step, but when applied appropriately, it’s an effective method to ensure regular and consistent customer engagement.

 

9. Segmentation

This is in concert with the aforementioned personalization topic. The first part ensures correct messaging is getting to the right audience, at the right time. 

Segmentation enables you to divide your list into specific groups based on specific criteria. Rather than sending a general email to all contacts, you can separate your list by variables such as location, common goals, and industry specialization. 

For HCPs, segmentation is almost a necessity to ensure proper audience outreach. You can also conduct research on which emails they’re opening and clicking, and then ensure they continue to receive those specific types of communication going forward. 

For example, if certain subscribers are gravitating toward campaigns specifically advertising new medications, then you’ll want to create a segmented list based on that.

 

10. Metrics & A/B Testing

A/B testing and associated metrics provide data on what’s resonating (or not) with your audience. This can be used for campaign elements, such as your subject line, header, CTA, and main text.  

The sum of these parts equals one whole—that’s your A/B test formula. If your subject line doesn’t resonate, neither will your CTA and main text.

When performing an A/B test, pick a random sampling of your list, and use a subject line A, while a different group will receive subject line B. You’ll then have measurable and actionable data to confirm what works for your next campaign.


Consult a Campaign Professional

When reviewing these tips, remember guidance and expertise are available through a trusted company that specializes in proven direct email marketing campaigns. They can also help achieve desired metrics and follow-through with appropriate content to increase audience reach.

 

Want to learn even more about crafting the strongest emails for your marketing campaigns? Download our free Email Guidelines and Best Practice Suggestions Ebook.

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