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Three Critical Ways to Revolutionize Your Pharma Email Approach

It’s no secret healthcare and pharma brands have deep pockets for digital spending in 2018 and beyond. As a pharmaceutical marketer, you are tasked with capturing both HCP and consumer attention within every possible channel. However, this can be challenging in that the proven paths to success aren’t often followed or are overlooked completely. To maximize your marketing spend, you’ll want to consider these “best-practice” steps:

  1. Understand the traditional approach
  2. Optimize your process
  3. Strategy and planning
  4. Operational excellence

Over a four-part blog post series, I’ll explore each of these best practices to help pharma marketers revolutionize their current strategies to achieve marketing excellence. This first post focuses on the traditional approach to email, as many pharma marketers would like to move away from traditional email development.

The constraints of traditional email development

Gone are the days of a one size fits all message. While the pharma industry seems to be the most heavily regulated of all, there are tactics to tailor relevancy by behavioral data. This goes hand-in-hand with step three, as strategic planning of creative often takes a back seat. Most brands are consistently developing ad hoc campaigns, and there is a constant evolution of “running out of content.” The following are ways to address the static content problem of traditional email.

  1. Tactic: Creating relevant content for segments and funnel stage
  2. Effectiveness: Templates and versioning
  3. Optimize communication: Consider the HCP as a consumer

First, relevant content continues to be a challenge. It’s important to deliver appropriate and contextually relevant messages designed for optimal engagement. Consider segmenting your audience into upper, mid, and lower funnel groups. Those in the upper funnel would receive communication tailored to the brand personality and building awareness. The mid funnel communication is calibrated to engage consumers with the brand but also lead them to consider conversion. The lower funnel messages are simplified with a clear call-to-action to drive conversion. Then, consider your options to customize your message to each group. Perhaps it’s only a subject line or header image, but speak to your audience with what you know about them. The lower funnel segment may be comprised of heavy writers, so get to the point quickly with a direct subject line. Use the same strategy to create a relevant message for each group.

Second, effective content drives conversion. Templatizing content to include regulatory balance and personalized, relevant message versions leads to efficiency. The review of submission packages by med-legal can be time consuming, so identifying efficiencies is critical. As you develop a template, you can modify submission packages to include versions — avoiding a single package for each different creative detail. We know the value of a conversion, so let’s not blow our budget on development.

Finally, optimizing communication to your audience allows your message to resonate. We often forget that the HCP is a consumer, too. Take a stab at personalization. If you segment your HCP audience by Rx activity, you can speak to it with this relevancy. According to MMS 2018 Annual Pharmaceutical Physician Preferences Survey, around 29 percent of HCPs say a subject line is what prompts them to open an email. Understanding your audience is a tactical way to deliver relevant content that drives results.

In summary, taking these three steps will build the foundation for success. Pair these action items with logical and realistic goals, and you’ll find yourself celebrating the wins. Don’t forget to set the performance indicators to ensure success can be measured, but we’ll talk more in the next post about planning.