If you’re looking for ways to increase service line referrals and overall case volume, a well-designed email campaign can help you reach referring practitioners quickly and affordably. Engaging the right physicians with a precise, relevant message is essential.
You probably already use email for community newsletters, and maybe even for internal announcements regarding key hires or new equipment. Yet this approach is too broad when your goal is referral augmentation. To increase referrals, you need to convey a strong message about the quality of your most important service lines to a receptive audience. In other words, you need to connect with the physicians who treat patients requiring the specific procedures or equipment your system offers.
The right email list makes this possible. You can identify physicians not only by specialty, but also by NPI number, and ICD-9 and procedure codes. First, though, you need to be sure you’re working with an up-to-date email list.
Work with a Current List
We deploy hundreds of email campaigns every month, and every single list we get from our clients includes dead, retired, and semi-retired doctors. Some of the semi-retired doctors may be in key associations or have professional influence, but an awful lot of names on these lists are no longer relevant.
Additionally, email addresses are constantly changing. Doctors switch email addresses when they join a new practice or when they simply change their email service provider (ESP). Email lists deteriorate very quickly, sometimes in a matter of days. Still, we often see lists that haven’t been updated within 30, or even 90 days. You must update your list daily. Certainly, before you launch any campaign, you should pull the most recent version of your target list from your database.
Email the Whole Practice
Another way to increase the referral impact of your campaigns is to target professionals who make up the whole practice for each referring group on your list. Physician liaisons have limited bandwidth, so in the past, they’d focus on the most relevant doctor in a practice. Email doesn’t impose that limitation.
With email you can easily reach out to all your potential referrers, including not only doctors, but also nurse practitioners (NPs), physician assistants (PAs), and nurses involved in patient care. So, how do you know who is in the same practice? A quality list should be able to link doctors, NPs, and PAs by their practice settings.
Get Creative with Diagnosis Data
You can also improve your email success by using diagnosis data to refine your audience. Ask yourself, “Who are all the professionals who treat cases related to this service line and how do their needs differ?” Then develop emails for each group. For instance, to promote your orthopedic service line, you might create different emails for family practice doctors, geriatricians, rheumatologists, and internists.
By keeping your list as fresh as possible, taking a whole-practice approach to targeting, and carefully examining diagnosis data, you can reach more referrers and increase case volume in key service lines.