Think about the last time you purchased something new. Regardless of the price tag, new typically equates to “better” (and something worth celebrating!). If your previous car got good gas mileage, the replacement is likely even more economical. Your old pair of running shoes are worn down—causing some undesirable knee or shin pain—but this new pair will get you back to your nine-minute mile.
Within health systems, additions such as equipment upgrades, highly sought-after specialists, or cutting-edge technologies are all improvements that deserve attention. They represent technical excellence, hospital expansion, and a dedication to advancing health. But, if the only individuals aware of these advancements are high-level executives and members of the marketing department, it’s almost like the enhancements don’t exist.
A broad, system-wide wrap-up email can come off as irrelevant to many of its readers.
Physicians will go about their days, not realizing the increased potential for in-house referrals. Or, they’ll miss out on growth opportunities that would talk them off that “ledge” of contemplating an open position at a competing entity.
Targeted email is the best way to inform physicians about internal improvements to your health system, but only if you do it the responsible way.
Why Hospital Newsletters Miss the Mark
A hospital marketer might say, “We send out a monthly newsletter to all staff. Isn’t that enough to get the word out?” There are a few problems with that approach. For one, it’s only monthly. In a large health system—one that spans multiple states and consists of a conglomeration of hospitals, clinics, and other facilities—internal changes happen daily. By the time you compiled all the goings-on into one monthly newsletter, you’d have something that rivals the Encyclopedia Britannica.
Messaging can be customized to avoid the irrelevancy of a one-size-fits-all communication.
Plus, a broad, system-wide wrap-up email can come off as irrelevant to many of its readers, relegating it right to the trash. If that happens enough times, you risk those emails skipping physicians’ inboxes altogether and being conditioned to go directly to spam.
While company-wide newsletters do have a place in marketing strategy, a much more effective means for relaying important internal improvements is to combine the ease of email with a high-quality physician email list.
Targeted Strategies, Real-Time Communication
From the list, all other strategies follow. Based on specific, physician-level profiles, your internal audience can be segmented by department, specialty, or other criteria such as referral practices. Then, messaging can be customized to avoid the irrelevancy of a one-size-fits-all communication.
For example, the next generation SCOUT® radar localization system, which enables instant response and real-time distance measurement during breast tumor removal surgery, is a technology expressly applicable to surgical oncologists and plastic surgeons. Publicizing adoption of this technology to the entire health system universe is less impactful than designing a campaign to educate and raise awareness within that specialized community. More precise targeting can take place by tweaking subject lines based on individualized use of the technology (e.g. “Every Millimeter Matters: SCOUT Technology Improves Care & Outcomes for Women with Breast Cancer”).
You’re starting a conversation, rather than providing a generic laundry list of announcements.
Another benefit of deploying customized communications versus universal ones is the heightened invitation for physicians to engage. You’re starting a conversation, rather than providing a generic laundry list of announcements. And, because email is so accessible, physicians are able to participate in the correspondence when it’s convenient for them.
You don’t want to wait for the next monthly newsletter to roll around before you apprise your physician community of important (and exciting) updates. Email serves as a real-time briefing mechanism but also performs as a communication tool that respects the schedule, workload, and patient responsibility to which physicians are held.