Hospitals face a variety of branding challenges related to their size, location, and focus. Whether you’re a community hospital competing with teaching hospitals for recognition or a top-tier specialty hospital trying to attract patients nationally, you need to connect with referring physicians throughout your market. Email can be a highly effective way to accomplish this.
You may already publish newsletters that highlight a range of achievements—a recent hire in cardiology, a pediatric neurology success story, advanced imaging equipment in your surgery center—but busy healthcare providers rarely give these general publications a second look. To engage physicians through email, you need to focus on specific audiences and the news that will be most relevant to each. Try these 5 tips to get started.
Engage Physicians Outside Your Network
You know your own doctors, but what about all the other doctors in your city or region? How are you communicating with them? Many of these out-of-network physicians treat patients who will someday need the expert care your hospital provides. Email is an easy and affordable way to educate a large group of targeted physicians about your hospital’s strengths. For example, if you have some of the best ophthalmologists in the country, let all the general practitioners in a 200-mile radius know about it. And don’t be shy about asking for their referrals.
Reconnect With Alumni
Alumni, regardless of where they now live, are another valuable group of referrers. Take any excuse to reach out to these physicians who are usually eager to reconnect with their medical school and former classmates. When you purchase a new piece of equipment, are growing a specific service line, or receive a U.S. News & World Report ranking, let alumni in the related specialties know via email. Remind them that their alma mater has a strong reputation and encourage them to be ambassadors for your hospital brand in their local communities.
Talk Up Your Facilities
Once you’ve made a connection with local, regional, and alumni physicians, you can use email to promote any aspect of your hospital system. Develop targeted emails to raise awareness of cutting-edge facilities in your key service lines. For instance, if your hospital wants to do more spinal surgeries, send an email describing how the Jackson table, intraoperative CT, and C-arm in in your operating suite makes surgeons’ lives easier. Invite them to come take a tour of your facility to see why they should do their cases there.
Email is also an efficient way to let interested physicians know about upcoming medical conferences, CME events, and webinars. These events increase awareness of your hospital’s clinical specialties, and even when physicians don’t register, simply knowing about your offerings may raise your profile in their eyes.
Highlight Patient Content
You should also use email to notify physicians when you publish patient content or valuable offers on your website. Sharing these resources with their patients makes both your physicians and your brand look good.
All of these tactics can be used in combination, as long as you’re careful to send only relevant content to interested doctors. Identify the precise audience that will benefit from each message, and be sure not to email too often. By developing ongoing email campaigns, you can build and maintain strong relationships with physicians both within your network and beyond.