“If you’re not talking to your customers, odds are your competition is.”
That’s a fairly common understanding in marketing. You drop the ball, someone else is sure to pick it up. Of course, for the purposes of hospital and health system recruitment, “customers” translates to “physicians,” but the core message still stands: It’s a competition.
As the nationwide physician shortage intensifies, communicating to and engaging with physician prospects becomes even more critical. In a previous blog, I discussed how multichannel marketing can be a strong driver of recruitment success if used strategically and digital methods take the lead. However, if your strategy doesn’t include a calculated follow-up plan—primarily using email—your initial efforts may suffer the consequences.
Email: The Connective Tissue Of Your Multichannel Efforts
Using a number of channels—radio, print, direct mail, social media, email, website—to kickoff a recruitment campaign expands your reach and supports a powerful yet consistent front. A multichannel approach also allows you to utilize each channel differently based on specific strengths.
You drop the ball, someone else is sure to pick it up.
For example, social media is an effective tool for getting physicians’ attention; it just may not be the appropriate vehicle for furthering a hiring discussion. Your website is an essential resource for prospects, but you can’t rely on organic search only to drive docs to it (or enough docs). Additional forces are needed.
Email is the only channel that is truly the “connective tissue” that binds all channels together and is superior in every tactical aspect. This holds especially true when it comes to follow-up, which can be approached in two ways.
- Multichannel efforts resulted in noted interest (e.g. click-through to website, requesting more info, etc.)
- Multichannel efforts did not result in an action/response
The first is promising—you have a nibble. The second presents more of a challenge, but can still be addressed.
In both cases, email is the fastest, simplest, safest, and most cost-effective outreach and follow-up channel. Think about it, you’d never re-deploy a direct mail campaign based on a positive response. One, it makes absolutely no sense to do so and two, you need to move faster than that. You could reasonably repeat print or direct mail upon a non-response, but given the cost, sluggish distribution, and the fact those avenues are almost impossible to measure, why would you?
Email Integrity Is Integral
The caveat to email’s value—both in initial and follow-up communications—is that you must be working with a high-quality physician list in order to reap the benefits. An authenticated, 100 percent opted-in, third-party verified database means you:
- Can be assured doctors want to hear from you.
- Reach the right doctor every time with the right message.
- Send to a doc’s preferred email address, thus respecting their privacy (this is particularly touchy in recruitment).
- Segment and target appropriate geographical areas, specialties, and level of expertise.
- Meet doctors where they most often consume content.
- Send personalized and relevant content that is of interest to your target doctor.
- Have access to response metrics from which to fine tune future deployments.
It’s not an easy time for physician recruiters. Implementing a multichannel approach to initiate campaigns coupled with a concerted focus on email as a follow-up mechanism allows you to not only talk to your “customers,” but do so in a way that leaves the competition speechless.