It's not uncommon to see pharmaceutical companies trying to market a single product across multiple healthcare specialties. What's rare is to see them actually succeed at it. The key most multi-specialty email campaigns lack is a healthy respect for how differently various specialties interact with digital messaging.
The way healthcare professionals (HCPs) of different specialties receive, read, and respond to emails is as different as the type of medicine they practice. You wouldn't go to an oncologist with the same symptoms you'd take to a neurologist, so why would you approach these two specialties with a one-size-fits-all email campaign? Instead, try segmenting your list by specialty and tailoring your messages accordingly.
The Standard Batch-and-Blast Approach to Cross-Specialty Marketing Stifles Engagement
Brand managers typically target many different specialties with the same message. Not only is the content identical, but also the deployment techniques. That is, brand managers send the same email at the same time of the day and day of the week to everyone.
The problem with this batch-and-blast approach is that it fails to account for differences among specialties, including office hours, time zones, operating room days, prescribing behavior, and other critical distinctions. This means that the marketing message is not in the right place at the right time, which will destroy your engagement levels.
For example, say your data indicated that primary care providers (PCPs) open the most emails on Tuesday. You decide to send your email to all specialties on that day, ignoring the fact that Tuesdays are surgery days for certain HCPs. You might get the PCP to open your email, but, for the docs in the OR, your email will likely never get read.
Segmenting Your Email List by Specialty Allows You to Tailor Your Content and Deployment to Maximize Engagement
You can't possibly come up with a single email that will engage all specialties equally, which is why list segmentation by specialty can radically improve your results. In a recent HubSpot survey, 38 percent of respondents said they signed up for emails from a company because they expected them to be relevant to their interests. Tailoring your message to specialty segments shows HCPs that you are mindful of how your medication relates to their specialty area. For example, you might customize elements, such as case studies, highlighted product features, and statistics.
To further expand the audience for your product, try reaching specialties that refer, not just treat, patients with specific conditions (e.g., pediatricians and internists). Segmenting different specialties allows you to pull in these adjacent influencers, or referrers.
For instance, if you are unveiling a new nasal spray, you should segment out specialists, such as pediatricians, internists, ENTs, and allergists. You can customize your message by how the spray fits into that particular specialty's practice and A/B test within the specialty to determine the ideal time of day and day of week for that type of HCP.
Sending the same generic email to all specialties to promote a product makes as much sense as going to a cardiologist with a broken foot. It's about that effective too. When you segment your list by specialty, you can factor in key differences in the content you feature and the way you deploy emails to different HCPs.