Though email has traditionally been considered non-personal promotion, it doesn’t have to be. In the hands of savvy marketers, email becomes a personalized channel that allows you to build strong, ongoing relationships with physicians.
As in any relationship, your first interaction with a physician makes a lasting impression. If your email message is compelling and relevant, it sets the tone for a mutually beneficial relationship. On the other hand, if it is irrelevant or unwanted, it encourages the recipient to associate your brand with spam.
Changing this first impression is difficult, so it’s important to condition HCPs to see your email messages in a positive light from the beginning.
Establish a Strong Foundation
Most of us automatically filter out email messages we haven’t requested or don’t expect to receive; that aren’t focused on our current interests; or that arrive when we don’t really have time to look at them. Physicians are no exception.
Before physicians will engage with your email messages, you have to build a foundation of trust. The following three guidelines are an effective way to accomplish that.
1. Send Only to Physicians Who Have Opted-In
Physicians who have indicated an interest in receiving professional content via email will be more receptive to your messages than those who haven’t.
Using an authenticated email database ensures that you’re sending only to opted-in physicians. If some of your targeted physicians haven’t opted-in, consider reaching out to them through another channel first to gauge their interest and prepare them for future email messages from you.
2. Send Only Highly Targeted Content
Physicians are most likely to read and value content that is directly related to their current interests.
Condition HCPs to see your email messages as valuable from the beginning.
A quality physician email database supports highly targeted deployments based on criteria ranging from medical specialty to procedure codes, claims data, and prescribing behavior. Audience identity data that reports the online behavior of identified, double opted-in physicians enables even more precise targeting.
3. Send Only at the Physician’s Preferred Time
Physicians are known to read professional email at different times depending on their clinical schedules.
Benchmark data indicates the best day of week and time of day to deploy for each specialty, and this is a good place to start when scheduling your campaigns. The next step is to use an automated testing platform to determine when the specialists on your target list are most likely to check email. Follow-up testing can then be used to identify additional refinements that will generate incremental increases in open rates.
Trust Grows Over Time
When you consistently follow these guidelines, you demonstrate your respect for your audience’s time and interests. Physicians will begin to associate your brand with quality content. As they read more of your email messages, they’ll discover that their investment pays off in increased medical knowledge, familiarity with new therapies, and the ability to provide better patient care.
By training physicians to recognize your content as valuable, you’ll be on your way to building lasting relationships and greater brand loyalty.