This is the second blog in our “Digital Marketing to Physicians” series. The first blog addressed email deliverability. Today we’ll explore how health systems can use email marketing and audience identity management technology to engage with physicians.
Print still reigns in healthcare marketing to physicians, but digital marketing is gaining ground. Recent research from Kantar Media shows that although 61 percent of physicians prefer to read the print version of medical journals, the number of physicians who read both the print and digital versions increased from 68 percent in 2016 to 73 percent in 2017.
Physicians are also receptive to email marketing. Email newsletters to physicians have an astonishing 42.9 percent open rate. Moreover, when physicians receive an email newsletter they’re interested in, 20 percent open it immediately and 58 percent read it within 24 hours. Clearly, physicians are highly motivated to engage with timely, relevant content.
For healthcare marketers who want to take advantage of these trends, here are three ways digital tools are well suited to deliver the content doctors value most:
1. Email is the most effective channel for engaging physicians.
The vast majority of physicians prefer email to direct mail. They routinely opt-in to receive professional information from trusted medical websites and online publishers via email. Often, they even choose to receive it at their personal, rather than office or hospital, email address. In addition, email supports:
Email newsletters to physicians have an astonishing 42.9% open rate
- Precise segmentation and targeting. A high-quality email database that includes medical specialty, prescription, and claims data allows marketers to define a variety of physician audiences and target each with appropriate content.
- Detailed post-campaign analysis. Unlike direct mail, email returns data such as open and click-through rates that marketers can use to evaluate the effectiveness of campaigns.
- Long-term hospital-physician relationships. Unlike traditional marketing channels, email is fast and flexible. It can be used to respond to a physician’s changing needs and to sustain relationships over months or years.
2. Audience identity data delivers new insights into website behavior.
Audience identity management technology reports the name, NPI number, medical specialty, practice location, and browsing behavior of the physicians who visit your website. Marketers can use this information to:
- Develop more effective hospital website content. Browsing data lets you identify which content on your website is most effective for different audiences and adjust your content strategy accordingly.
- Understand where physicians travel online. New data reports the categories of websites and content individual physicians view across nearly 250 medical websites. Find out what medical interests your physicians explore when they leave your website and reflect those interests on your own site.
3. Together, email and audience identity data support integrated marketing initiatives.
By linking your physician email database with real-time hospital website data, you can gain a deeper understanding of how specific physicians interact with your health system brand across marketing channels:
- Know what physicians do after clicking through. Click-through data tells you when a physician clicks the call to action in your email and is taken to your website. Then audience identity management technology steps in to report which web pages that physician visits, how much time he spends there, and which links he clicks.
- Link event and online activity. When you host an in-person event, you know who attended and can follow up personally. With audience identity data, you can also determine when that physician visits your website and what content he views. This knowledge can then be used to improve future events, email campaigns, and website content.
- Provide highly personalized content. With all this in-depth information about individual physicians, you have the opportunity to present content that specifically meets their needs. Make them feel like you know them through personalized email.
Healthcare marketers are already experimenting with digital marketing to consumers. Using email and audience identity management technology, you can effectively extend those efforts to physician marketing too.