Health systems that have relied heavily on direct mail to engage physicians – and let’s face it, that’s most health systems – tend to think big when it comes to reach. One large print mailing is always more affordable than multiple, smaller mailings. Whether you’re sending a reminder about an upcoming cardiology event or an announcement about the new 2 million dollar piece of equipment in your OR, you want to connect with as many interested physicians as possible.
If you could reach 500,000 doctors with your hospital newsletter or postcard, why wouldn’t you?
Bigger Isn’t Always Better
The short answer is this: not every physician will be interested in every message, and if you send too many irrelevant messages, you risk alienating the doctors you most want to engage.
Instead of trying to reach the entire healthcare universe, you’re better off reaching the right doctors – even if you’re total audience ends up being smaller.
Email Marketing Delivers Higher ROI
Traditional media doesn’t provide the flexibility and targeting needed to laser-focus your messages to well-defined physician audiences, but email marketing does. Consider these advantages:
- More Flexibility. Producing direct mail is expensive, and delivery is slow. It’s hard to make changes, particularly under short deadlines. And expanding or matching your target list is difficult. Email, on the other hand, can be created inexpensively, delivered instantaneously, and changed easily. With a quality email database, list matching is a breeze.
- Precise Targeting. Most health systems routinely communicate a huge variety of messages to physicians. Successfully defining the appropriate audience segment for each message requires layering medical specialty, prescription and claims data, and many other criteria on top of each physician’s contact information. An email database provides the specificity you need to target precise audiences.
- Measurable Results. You can spend thousands of dollars on a radio or TV campaign and never know if it was money well spent, because these channels return little data about audience engagement. But when you reach out to physicians through email, you know how many doctors opened your emails and how many clicked on your call to action. If your CTA links to your website and you’ve implemented digital audience identification technology, you can even know the names of the doctors who click-through and what other content they view on your website.
- Cost-Effective Campaigns. Because email is more flexible and enables sophisticated targeting, it’s less expensive than print mail. You don't have to "save up" – whether news or money – for one big mailing every quarter. Instead, you can send multiple, highly targeted messages, as frequently as is appropriate for your audiences. Most physicians prefer digital to postal communication, and relevant content is known to drive higher ROI.
The Icing on the Cake
By establishing an ongoing dialogue with physicians, you can deliver the content that is most valuable to specific audiences right now. Sending frequent, timely emails keeps your hospital top of mind among physicians, and ideally, helps doctors improve the patient experience by making care available when and where patients need it most.