One of the most common mistakes healthcare marketers make in email marketing is gauging success by the quantity of healthcare professionals (HCPs) reached rather than the quality. Email deliveries alone become a measure of success, ignoring more meaningful metrics, such as unique versus total opens, interaction times, click-throughs, and engagement actions taken. This misguided mentality leads to choosing email lists by how many HCPs are on them, rather than how relevant the HCPs are to the campaign.
You will get some results from the bigger-is-better approach, but they will pale in comparison to the return on investment (ROI) that a more targeted approach offers. Study after study in the marketing industry shows that targeted emails yield higher open rates, higher conversion rates, and fewer unsubscribes. The rigorous schedules of today's HCPs leave little time for irrelevant email content. Precision email targeting is how you can deliver the relevance modern physicians demand.
Segmentation Matters, Even Within the Same Specialty
Healthcare marketers tend to think that targeting by specialty covers the list segmentation needed for a strong ROI. For instance, we've had clients come to us requesting the email addresses of all the oncologists in our database. Understandably, they reason that an email message about an oncology medication should go to all oncologists.
However, targeting a specialty alone is not enough to deliver clinically relevant content. Let's say the medication described in the email specifically treats breast cancer. If the client requests emails of all oncologists, the list would include pediatric oncologists. Breast cancer is exceptionally rare in children, so targeting all oncologists would actually be targeting outside your core audience.
If a busy pediatric oncologist sees an email about breast cancer meds pop up on her phone, she'll likely delete it without a second thought. If she does give it a second thought, she’ll likely unsubscribe. These actions hurts your campaign performance, your ROI, and, potentially, the deliverability of your messages.
Improve Key Email Marketing Metrics with HCP List Segmentation
Batch-and-blast healthcare marketers are asking, "How many HCPs did we reach?" when they should be asking, "What kind of engagement did we establish?" The proper email metric is not the number of addresses on a list, but rather the open rate and engagement level. Aligning the message of each email campaign with the clinicians to whom it is most relevant will do wonders for your open rates and engagement levels, as the following statistics will attest:
- A case study by MarketingSherpa found a 208% increase in conversions when a company switched from batch-and-blast to targeted email campaigns
- MailChimp reported a 14% increase in open rates with email list segmentation
- Another case study found that segmented category emails delivered a 23% higher ROI than emails containing a wide variety of discounts
Blasting HCPs with unsegmented emails is like trying to hit a bullseye while blindfolded. You may know the direction in which to shoot, but you have no idea what you're actually hitting. Precision email targeting can help you more accurately define your audience to improve your match rate and maximize the ROI of your campaign.