As health systems continue to buy up physician practices and coordinate care across multiple hospitals and clinics, maintaining consistent communication with physicians is becoming increasingly important. Yet the size and scale of many systems makes this difficult.
Physician liaisons can’t reach everyone, and developing traditional, printed materials is slow and expensive. As a result, health systems are seeking new ways to engage their large and geographically dispersed medical staff. More and more often, they’re turning to targeted email marketing.
Email marketing is an ideal communication channel for health systems for a number of reasons:
- Almost everyone uses email. Despite the popularity of texting and social media, email is still the best digital channel for business communication. Regardless of age, most Americans check their email frequently and consider it an integral part of daily life.
- Email fits the cadence of a physician’s day. Physicians already use mobile devices throughout the workday. When you reach out via email, your messages reach them on the device they prefer, without taking them out of the flow of their practice.
- Physicians are receptive to email. In fact, they often provide a personal email address when opting in to receive professional information.
- Email builds trust. Physicians are most receptive to content that offers unique value, such as information about innovative therapies or patient successes. When health systems send out customized, tailored messaging through email, physicians know they can trust your brand as a source of relevant, meaningful content.
- A well-crafted subject line is irresistible. Like the rest of us, physicians are motivated to improve their lives. Write subject lines that clearly indicate how they can become better or more efficient doctors, and you’ll be rewarded with high open rates.
- Email supports traditional marketing programs. Health systems already know how to engage physicians through events, newsletters, and other traditional marketing channels. Email enhances these initiatives by providing insight–in the form of open and click-through data—into the messages specific physicians prefer. And, unlike print communications, email content can easily be modified to appeal to a variety of audiences.
- Email marketing is proven. Though health systems may be new to email marketing, other industries have been using it successfully for years. Hospitals can simply implement proven best practices for effective copy, mobile design, optimal deployment, and multi-channel integration.
Email is a very effective channel for delivering meaningful information to physicians. When you use a high-quality database, you’ll have access to accurate, up-to-date information for 90% of physicians with email addresses, as well as a wide range of segmenting criteria.
While implementing an email marketing program may seem overwhelming at first, there are many excellent resources available to help you get started. With a little planning, you can develop strategic campaigns to build physician loyalty, stem out-migration, and augment referrals.