Do you remember when sorting the mail – personal from bills from marketing – was a daily chore done at the kitchen counter, or maybe over the recycle bin? It didn’t take much to identify the junk. Ugly fonts masquerading as handwriting, too-good-to-be-true offers, and ridiculous deadlines jumped off the slick paper from across the room.
Still, every now and then, one of those envelopes would hold your attention long enough to avoid the trash heap. Occasionally, you might even open one, consider it, and take some action in response. What made the difference?
Relevance. The company behind that successful direct snail-mail campaign probably knew a lot about your needs, wants, and interests. More importantly, they made good use of that information by putting it right on the envelope, perhaps in the form of a specific, relevant offer or product description.
A successful HCP email marketing campaign works just the same way, but the envelope is now a subject line.
Message Relevance: Grab Their Attention
If you use a high-quality email list, you should have access to a lot of information about your target audience, including medical specialty, sub-specialty, geography, practice group, affiliations, and prescribing history. It’s time to put that information to work.
To tailor an effective appeal in your subject line, you’ll want to be as precise as you can:
- Mention a specific product by name
- Describe a common problem in recognizable terms
- Refer to a timely issue
Better yet, make your audience an offer. Samples, co-pay cards, and event invitations are all proven winners in the industry.
To maximize open rates, keep your subject lines brief and front-load the keywords that will grab your target’s attention. Within the body of an email, it takes three inches of content to grab -- and keep -- the readers’ attention. But when it comes to the inbox, your subject line is one of many, meaning pharma marketers have a split second to beat out the competition for HCP eyeballs. Crafted in a succinct and compelling way, an optimized subject line will touch a chord with your readers, prompting them to give your message some attention.
Message Delivery: Hold Their Interest
Squeezing your key message into 35 to 50 characters is hard enough, but when it comes to subject lines, it’s only half the job. Once you’ve narrowed down your focus, you need to frame it in appealing terms.
Let’s go back to the snail-mail junk pile for a minute. We know that the envelopes that grabbed your attention spoke directly to you in some way. If they held your interest long enough for you to actually open them, it’s likely because they also appealed to you on an emotional level.
Marketing to HCPs is no different. People love things that can make them smarter or richer, or make their lives easier. As you write and test different subject lines, keep these tips in mind:
- Help your HCPs become more effective in their jobs by improving patient outcomes or sharpening their skills
- Teach them how to make or save money by attracting more patients, growing their businesses, generating sales, improving margins, or trimming expenses
- Show them ways to streamline their workloads and save time
Getting all of this into a concise subject line isn’t easy. After writing direct mail campaigns for years, only the pharma marketers who have adapted their copywriting skills to align with email best practices [read: designed for mobile] have been successful. Once you begin these conventions become implemented, your subject lines will become more and more effective.