email marketing to healthcare practitioners

Email Marketing to Healthcare Practitioners: Dos & Don’ts

Patrick Dodge

Founder

Feb 13, 2020 4:37:20 AM

Are your marketing emails to doctors, chiropractors, and other medical professionals on life support? Or maybe they just need a little rehab?

Email is still a critically important tool for growth, and the tools at your disposal can offer great insight into how people are responding to those messages.

Your open and click rates are the building blocks for nurturing relationships with prospects and customers. Here are a few tips that will help you increase both.

Don’t Schedule Emails in the Morning.

During those precious hours of restful sleep in the night – and let’s hope you got a few in there – emails piled up in your inbox like a January snowfall. It’s the crack of dawn, and already you are facing an ambush of branded emails, all wanting to sell you something.

So, what’s the first thing you do after opening Outlook?

Delete. Delete. Delete...

Even though people are fresh in the morning, you have to remember practitioners often face pretty heavy responsibilities at this time. They are either preparing to see patients, teaching students, or trying to keep up with a myriad of administrative tasks to run their practice.

Generally speaking, we find emails have a greater impact in the mid-to-late afternoon when medical professionals are more likely to have a little downtime. 

Does this mean no one will respond to your email if you send it in the morning? Of course not. There are exceptions, and you always should test and see what works best with your buyers.

Build a great customer experience into your growth plan. Check out our guide  and learn. No personal info reguired! 

Do Send Emails From a Real Employee.

People like hearing from people, not brands. 

Emails that come from info[at]yourcompany.com are impersonal, flat, and uninteresting. If you have an opportunity to connect with a user one-on-one, why not send personalized, conversational emails that make the message more interesting?

Email marketing should help you build trust, and you won’t do that by interacting with people as a logo.

"Sending marketing emails to contacts that don’t know you will confuse and annoy them. And even if you do manage to get one or two people to respond, think about the costs..."

 

Don’t Ever Use Purchased Lists.

I recently talked to a couple business owners that purchased lists from a third-party vendor with the intention of sending them marketing messages.

Folks, please don’t ever do this.

Sending marketing emails to contacts that don’t know you will confuse and annoy them. And even if you do manage to get one or two people to respond to you, think about the costs:

Hard bounces and spam reports will damage your brand’s credibility with your email service provider, which will hurt future deliverability rates.

You might be breaking the law as well.

California just enacted the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), a new law that looks somewhat similar to Europe's GDPR. The law states rules companies must follow in order to protect consumer data, and businesses that aren’t based in the state are not exempt from compliance.

Take a few minutes and get familiar with these regulations. It doesn’t take long to put a few safeguards in place.

Rule number one is never send marketing emails to anyone who hasn’t opted for them (consent is usually gotten in a website form or chatbot). Clearly state up front what you intend to use their email for and make it easy for them to unsubscribe at any time. 

Do Make Your Emails Timely & Relevant

I am a serial subscriber. I can’t help it.

I sign up for blog updates and newsletters from lab testing companies, nutraceutical providers, and other healthcare innovators all the time.

I do this because I am curious. Now that I’ve given them permission to keep in touch, what will they send me?

More often than not, they don’t email me anything for weeks or months. That's not good. The more time passes between people signing up and getting the first email, the less engaged your new contact is likely to be.

If you are using a marketing automation platform, you can set up workflows to schedule emails to new contacts, offering relevant information for their continued learning. The key word here is "relevant." It does no good to send people an email that bears no resemblance to the topic they've shown interest in, at least at first.

If someone downloads your guide on how hormones impact weight loss, you might follow up with more content about how thyroid function impacts the body’s metabolism.

Sending timely and relevant information shows me that your company is paying attention and wants to offer high-value content that helps people solve problems. 

Your contacts might be interested in a lot more than hormones and weight loss, and you can test their interest in other topics later. For the short term, stay focused on what you know they are after. 

Don’t Send “Email Blasts.”

Please think twice before you blast your entire list with any message, especially something like a “flash sale.”

Emailing your entire contact list is a great way to get people to unsubscribe or report you as spam.

Why? Email blasts almost invariably focus on some internal company priority that buyers just don’t care about. A better approach would be to segment your lists and customize your emails according to the context of the buyer. If there's a portion of your list that checked off "updates about sales offers" in their email preferences -- save the flash sale email for them.

Do Add a Call-to-Action 

Email marketing is not a passive activity. Each email should have a specific objective that leads to one user action.

Your call-to-action – a button, hyperlink, or graphic – should offer the person something that will entice them to take the “next step” in their journey.

What should that step be? It depends on who they are and what stage of the customer journey they are in. It might be a downloadable template or resource that helps them solve a challenge. It might also be an interesting article that takes them deeper into a topic they’ve shown interest in. Eventually, it might be an invitation to speak with an expert on your sales team.

Any action that provides value to your prospect and gives you insight about their challenges, needs, and desires – that’s a good call-to-action for your email. Make sure you use only one call-to-action per email. Otherwise, you risk diverting the user's attention from the main purpose of the message. 

 

When your email marketing is tightly woven into a broader content strategy, its easier to stay focused on best practices and get the greatest ROI from your time and effort.

Keep your lists segmented into small buckets, then focus on sending relevant, personalized messages that take them deeper into their learning. When it’s time to connect them to your solution team, the buyer will already know a lot about your company. And your salesperson will have plenty of insight into what your buyer’s challenges are.

Is there a better way to start a sales conversation today?

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