As pharmaceutical brand managers know, the most important goal in HCP marketing efforts is to develop an ongoing relationship with targeted healthcare professionals (HCPs). After all, it costs exponentially more marketing dollars to acquire new customers than it does to retain the customers you already have. However, the current state of the pharma industry requires innovations to supplement or support face-to-face relationship building.
In email marketing, the call to action drives the campaign. But, what if the focus shifted to a call to conversation? HCPs have demonstrated a keen interest in online peer-to-peer interaction for networking and information-sharing on HCP social sites like Doximity. Could the desire to engage in a conversation be harnessed to increase email marketing effectiveness? Current trends indicate a resounding "yes."
Call to Conversation Versus Call to Action
Most marketers know the basic ingredients of a great call to action (CTA): a clean design, effective placement, and compelling copy. The components of a great call to conversation (CTC) are slightly different: stimulates interest, requests feedback, and makes it simple for the recipient to engage.
Suppose that an HCP responds to an offer to download a white paper from your landing page. A call to conversation might take the shape of a follow-up email that asks for feedback on that particular white paper. Some conversation openers might include: "Did the report include the information that you expected?" or "What other topics would you like us to address?" A portion of your target audience that has responded to an offer is ripe for a dialogue with your brand via email.
How can broadcast emails be transformed into personal two-way conversations? This is a question that has vexed marketers who rely on multi-channel digital marketing to nurture engagement. Using behavioral data, design a campaign with personalized messaging.
For example, campaign analytics may reveal a subset of the target audience who viewed but did not act on a particular offer. Further analysis will highlight commonalities in demographics or prescribing behavior. A follow-up email campaign, based on this shared behavior, would ask for feedback or offer a follow-up action. A sample call to conversation might read like this: “Thank you for looking at our offer X. For an updated report on Y, request next month’s report here.”
Keep It Simple
To start a conversation with busy HCPs:
- Provide a streamlined and painless response mechanism:
- Use a clear subject line
- Put the CTC in the first or second sentence
- consider embedding a brief survey in your email for instant feedback
- Schedule your deployment for the day of the week and the time of the day that your target audience is most likely to open emails
- mobile-optimize your entire email, including the CTA
- consider marketing automation to deliver personalized messages in real time, based on results.
Ultimately, make it fast, simple, and worthwhile for your target audience to engage.
Once you've invited your target audience to join a conversation, don't let the dialogue stop after the first contact. The actionable intelligence that you glean from engagement efforts can help improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and even identify potential advocates within your client base. Consider implementing other online engagement activities (http://blog.clientheartbeat.com/customer-feedback/), such as a customer feedback portal or a hosted customer community to foster ongoing dialogues.
Sophisticated digital technology makes it possible – and desirable – to transform email marketing from a digital bulletin board to a powerful tool that builds and sustains relationships. Put the power of data behind your next campaign, and issue a call to conversation.