Have you ever received a promotional email that was so off the mark you wondered if it was really meant for you?
Think of a 20-something getting an email from AARP. Or, even more outrageous, a millennial receiving a message for the dating site "Senior People Meet."
The first time, maybe it’s comical. Second time, it’s annoying. Third? You’re hitting that unsubscribe link faster than Billy the Kid’s trigger finger.
The misstep with these examples can be attributed to two factors:
- Purchasing/using bad data.
- Not properly identifying/segmenting the audience.
Bad data is problematic from the get-go. Even if you’re working with a clean database, you need to be able to speak to your audience in a way that resonates with them. If you can overcome those obstacles, you’ll likely see your unsubscribe numbers decrease and engagement increase.
Segmentation & Targeting
Your database should include details about HCPs that incite contextual relevance—details as granular as prescribing behavior, patient mix, treatment vicinity, and situational/seasonal considerations. That information is your baseline from which to first segment your audience and then target HCPs with personalized messaging. It’s these intricacies that allow you to rise above the competition—particularly those who rely solely on basic demographics and that end up victims to the one-click unsubscribe fate.
A database of this caliber is first-party sourced and third-party verified—ideally verified by BPA Worldwide, which guarantees physician opt-in and confirmation of a preferred email address for the correct HCP you are targeting.
The other problem—heightened by the digital world in which we live—is that individuals get far too many emails, clogging inboxes and shifting relevant messages to spam. This is particularly true of HCPs who simply don’t have the time or resources to weed through all those communications.
Providing relevant, meaningful content is one way to stand out among the barrage of emails. Segmentation and targeting helps to achieve that, but so does offering valuable content. Remember, email is a communication channel. The goal is to build relationships with HCPs; talk to them, educate them, and foster a sense of trust and loyalty. Remember, you are conditioning your audience for the long haul. If you provide relevant content today, they are more likely to open your email again tomorrow.
Let’s Talk Logistics
There are a few things you can do on a logistical level that will help reduce unsubscribes.
1) Test responsiveness. Some HCPs are simply non-engagers. It doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate receiving information. Rather than annoy them with too many emails, gauge engagement and consider sending less frequent communications. You can also directly inquire via a survey if they prefer fewer/more touch points (just keep it painless).
2) Avoid rendering issues. Images can complement text, but consider any potential display issues that might occur. HCPs check email on mobile devices more than 60 percent of the time. Provided their on-the-go schedules, that figure makes sense. It would be a shame to have your CTA render as a blocked image. Test your email templates across browsers and email service providers (ESPs).
3) Follow subject line best practices. A killer subject line can get you through the door, but if the content within lacks relevancy, it’s confusing and even bothersome to the recipient. Make sure your subject line aligns with the message as a whole.
3) Be consistent. A willy-nilly email schedule hurts your efforts. Humans are creatures of habit. A consistent pattern of communication helps cultivate trust and deepens HCP relationships.
Again, meaningful messaging is just one part of the anti-unsubscribe strategy. List quality, logistical tactics, and a targeted plan of action all come into play.