Health systems know how to engage consumers online, but hospital outreach to physicians is stuck in its traditional marketing tracks. If, like many health systems, you’re still using printed newsletters and postcards to reach physicians, it’s time to take a closer look at email.
Sending targeted email to physicians is the most effective way to convey critical messages to in-system healthcare providers and referrers alike. Here’s why:
- Everyone is online. Consumers prefer digital communication to snail mail, and physicians do too.
- You’re already using digital for DTC. Simply apply the same strategies of segmentation, targeting, and frequency to physicians.
- Email beats social for B2B. Though you may be using social media to engage consumers, email is still the best digital channel for business communication.
- Doctors love their mobile devices. Physicians routinely use tablets and smartphones to access EHRs and facilitate diagnosis. When you reach out via email, you can connect without interrupting their routine.
- They particularly value email. 68% of healthcare providers prefer email for initial contacts. Most will even provide a personal email address when they opt-in to receive professional information.
- Email is painless to create. Designing, printing, and mailing traditional marketing materials is labor-intensive. Email uses pre-approved templates to streamline the creative process.
- It’s also fast. Many health system messages are time-sensitive. When there’s a flu outbreak or a change in your ER protocol, email lets you get the message out in days, not months.
Targeted email is the most effective way to convey critical messages to in-system physicians and referrers.
- You can reach more physicians. A quality physician email database gives you access to accurate information for 90% of physicians with email addresses.
- Segmentation is a breeze. You can use criteria like specialty, prescribing data, claims data, hospital affiliations, and office location to define physician audiences precisely.
- Hyper-targeting increases physician engagement. Once you’ve defined your audiences, you can develop as many highly targeted messages as needed, without the expense or delay associated with print campaigns.
- Email supports frequent communication. To take advantage of economies of scale, health systems often “save up” key messages, which are then compiled into a few large print mailings each year. Email doesn’t impose this limitation.
- Frequent communication builds relationships. Like consumers, doctors need to hear from you often if you’re going to establish a long-lasting relationship. Email makes frequent communication possible.
- Email is measurable. It’s hard to know if your direct mail piece reached its intended audience, but email returns lots of data in the form of open and click-through rates. You can know who opened your email, at what time of day, on what device, and on which email platform.
- Email builds trust. Physicians are especially interested in receiving content that offers unique value, such as patient education materials and news about innovative therapies. When you send customized messages to physicians via email, they learn to trust your brand as a source of meaningful content.
- Email enhances traditional marketing programs. Email acts as the “connective tissue” between direct mail, event marketing, and other traditional channels.
Above all, email marketing is proven. Healthcare came to digital marketing late, which means that other industries have already developed best practices for email design, deployment, and multi-channel integration.
If you’re ready to make the shift to email, or to test the waters with a hybrid print-email campaign, you don’t have to go it alone. An experienced database provider can offer guidance every step of the way.