Email newsletters are an effective method of disseminating important information to physicians and other health system support staff, as well as highlighting achievements within the health system community. Recent hires (or retires), newly acquired state-of-the-art equipment, alumni announcements, and timely updates such as the learned ineffectiveness of the flu vaccine are just a few potential communications that require a prompt execution.
The challenge is getting targeted recipients to engage with those emails.
If your newsletter open rates are lacking, it may have nothing to do with the content you’re sending. In fact, in all likelihood, it’s your email list that is not up to par.
What constitutes a high-quality, clean physician email list?
First-Party Sourced, Third-Party Verified
Digital marketing strategies such as email are cost-effective in terms of swift execution and reach, but one area where cost should not be spared is your email list. You may hear hospital marketers talk about "list pedigree," which refers to the purity of an email database.
The challenge in creating an effective email newsletter is getting targeted recipients to engage.
A list that is first-party sourced means physicians have opted in to receiving communications and their contact information comes directly from “the horse’s mouth,” as the saying goes, so you can be assured you’re deploying to viable, preferred email addresses. While they may eventually choose to opt out of receiving emails—for whatever reason—a first-party sourced list guarantees physicians proactively requested to be informed.
All lists should also be authenticated against the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Physician Masterfile, which contains data on more than 1.4 million physicians, residents, and medical students.
Third-party verification of your database via a trusted source is also crucial. BPA Worldwide is the leading auditing service for B2B communications. A BPA certification guarantees physician opt-in and confirmation of a preferred email address.
Unique Physician Data Points
Beyond authentication and verification, unique physician data points can also help improve open rates. Insurance claims records, medical specialty, level of expertise, procedure and diagnosis codes, and geographic location can all be used to segment your audience and refine outreach accordingly. Identifying advanced practice providers (NPs/PAs) or nurses as such allows you to further tweak messaging so your communications are meaningful and relevant—thus encouraging engagement.
Assess Effectiveness & Reassess Strategy
As you see your open rates begin to climb, you can then assess the receptiveness of physicians to engage. Are they clicking through to learn more or only going as far as to open your email? High open rates that elicit few click-throughs may indicate your message isn’t resonating, even though you’re reaching your intended audience. On the other hand, CTAs that incite eager interest reveal insights about both the audience and the content.
Testing should be an ongoing part of your email marketing strategy to determine which message fits best with a particular audience.
Whether you curate your own physician email list by collecting opt-ins on your website (utilizing audience identity management technology) or you employ tactics to verify and authenticate an external database—or a combination of both—the resulting opportunities for personalization of content is the foundation for boosting email opens, improving engagement, and fostering physician relationships.
Keep an eye out for our upcoming Personalized Marketing Blog Series, where we’ll explore the myriad of reasons why personalized, meaningful content is crucial for successful physician engagement.