Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, a number of our users were either restricted from visiting their assigned practices or needed to find scalable ways of informing and connecting with providers of care in their market. Checking email is still a part of every physician’s workday, making it a cost-effective way of distributing information and staying connected. That said, emailing providers in a way that creates engagement can be both an art and a science. As someone with over 10 years in marketing, I’ve collected 8 physician email marketing tips that liaisons should consider when it comes to creating compelling emails that physicians and advanced care practitioners will want to open.
1. Be focused.
Rather than using the same email content for all your clients and prospects, segment your targets thoughtfully by one or more of the following criteria depending on the key message you are wanting to impart. For example, you might want to limit your recipient list to a specific specialty or sub-specialty or those providers who are known to cater to a specific market or patient population.
2. Be goal-oriented.
Something that can help you be more succinct is creating a single goal – one objective you want achieve within the email. This will help your message be delivered in a more clear and focused manner.
While your goal is certainly important, simply providing promotional information will likely limit your readership and negatively impact open rates. Make an effort to treat emails as an educational resource and build the content around information that will add value to them, their practice or their patients.
3. Be simple & succinct.
In my experience, writing email copy is similar to creating website content. That means it’s important to keep your paragraphs short and conversational. I typically recommend that you include 3-5 sentences and bullet points or subheadings to make your emails scannable and easy to digest.
When doctors check email over the course of the day, there’s a good chance they are doing so on a smartphone or tablet. MobiHealthNews noted that around 80% of doctors use their mobile devices for professional purposes. Consider your email format and length when viewed on these devices to better understand if you are sending mobile-friendly messages.
4. Image matters.
Research also shows that if emails feature large images or fonts that are hard to make out, they are less likely to be read and may get stuck in the physician’s SPAM filter. Any landing pages you link to should also be easily displayed on a smartphone or you might miss out on valuable opportunities for deeper engagement.
5. Consider a call-to-action.
The purpose of any email outreach is to create an opportunity to interact with your audience. If you and your team are using an email marketing platform, you will be able to see your open rates, click-through rates and bounces to better understand your reach. Others using Outlook or a similar email client may be able to assess engagement by including actionable links like ‘Read More’ or ‘Respond Now’ and track engagement that way.
6. Create a captivating subject line.
This is one of the most important physician email marketing tips that we often overlook. Physicians are extremely time-strapped and their inboxes are already bombarded daily with all types of recruitment offers and promotions. Whether the physician is scanning their inbox from a desktop or mobile device you can be sure that the email sender and subject line have the most direct impact on whether they choose to open, ignore or delete an email. That’s why it’s important to send emails from an individual when possible (for example, their assigned liaison over a generic email tied to your organization).
Based on research that shows the number of characters that drive the strongest open rates, I also recommend that you use 5-10 words in the subject line that include the most important key words at the beginning as subject lines are sometimes cut off depending on how the physician is viewing their inbox. Emails with stronger open rates tend to go one step further and use WIIFM (what’s in it for me – from the physician’s perspective) to offer compelling (and brief!) reason to open.
7. Watch your timing.
An important consideration when establishing any email marketing initiative is deciding how
often to reach out and when. It can be a delicate balance between seeming pesky versus being out of sight, out of mind. Most of our clients aims for one message a week depending on the provider’s specialty or market. Typically, sometime around 10 am or 4 pm midweek can yield the strongest engagement. If you have email marketing analytics, utilize these to begin testing days and times to understand when your open rate is the strongest.
8. Leverage your time in the field.
During your outreach visits or meetings, make time to confirm what email address is the best to use to share key information and whether your physicians prefer to hear from their firm monthly, biweekly or every week.
Just like any marketing and communication effort, email marketing is a process. Learn from your open rates, build on your processes and continue to enhance your communication efforts over time. If you’re interested in chatting more about physician email marketing tips, I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to connect with me on Linkedin, or schedule a free, customized demo of our growth suite with one of our solution specialists.