3 Email Marketing Tips For Pharma Digital Communication Teams
We recently published a write-up on how doctors are joining and exploring digital platforms to interact with their peers, discuss case studies, and make informed decisions on COVID-19. You can read it here.
It should be a good enough stimulus for pharma marketers to tap digital channels like never before. But first, they need to prepare themselves and learn the nuances. Keeping that in mind, we are starting with a new series called ‘Digital Marketing Playbook For Pharma’, in which we will be explaining different methods and ways to help pharma digital marketing teams with customer communication.
This is the first write-up of this series, and we are starting with Email Marketing. Of course, it is a vast subject, and therefore, we have picked three crucial aspects of Email Marketing for now. We will take up the rest in the upcoming write-ups.
1. Creating organic email campaigns that are relevant to the times
What should you send to HCPs right now, via emails?
You need to acknowledge the COVID-19 situation without dwelling too much on it. The challenge is, you can’t act as if nothing is wrong, and at the same time, you can’t send a barrage of COVID-19 emails to your target audience.
HCPs are generally short on time, even more so during the current crisis. Your content must acknowledge and respect this “lack of time”. Your audience wants to hear from you and support you, but your content must deliver empathy, humanity, humor, and value in return.
Regardless of the situation, you should keep in mind the following pointers while engaging HCPs via emails.
i) Push video content more via emails (considering the time constraints).
ii) Offer advice that you are uniquely qualified to give
iii) Share case-studies more (HCPs always look forward to evidence-based insights)
iv) Avoid using overused, salesy phrases like “Are you looking for” while writing subject lines.
We recently did an email campaign for an interview that we did on the COVID-19 test. Here’s a glimpse of that.
If you observe the subject line, we have used ‘8 Mins’ to show our consideration for the reader’s lack of time. It is an honest subject line,which helped us achieve a good open rate (23%). By using words like “Watch” and “Interview” in the CTA, we tried to create a favorable impression in the minds of readers, as most people will prefer “watching interviews” over reading long paras of information.
2. Timing your email campaigns to perfection
Randomness can kill your email campaigns, and because you are targeting HCPs, you have to be even more precise with your timing.
We, for example, send our emails between 10-11 AM and 7-8 PM, to address our community of 3,80,000+ doctors, as we have observed that HCPs are mostly receptive in these time slots only.
Apart from choosing the right time, you can fix specific days for a specific type of email. This way you can develop familiarity and brand consistency in the minds of your target audience. After a while, HCPs will develop a natural response to your emails, all because your timing and days are fixed.
Timing plays an important role for promotional emails too (the ones that you send to inform HCPs regarding the upcoming medical conferences, health days, webinars, etc). Ideally, you should send the first email a week before the event, followed by a reminder (a couple of hours before the event). Two days after the event, you can send an email sharing the highlights of the same.
Even when you use an email as a connecting link between your sales reps and HCPs, then also the timing matters. You can always coordinate with your sales reps and time your emails accordingly so that HCPs read them just before or after the visit.
3. Bringing A/B Testing into your email campaigns
Change is the only constant. It can’t get truer for email campaigns, and pharma marketers must keep testing the waters or your emails may fall on deaf ears.
By trying out different templates for your email campaigns, you can get to the most effective template for your audience and at the same time, bring innovation and freshness into your communication which can help retain the interest of HCPs. This process is what we call A/B Testing.
It is a potent way to improve your open rate, click rate, and eventually your conversion rate. There are different elements in an email for which you can do A/B Testing, and it’s important to test one element at a time to get accurate results.
Here we will talk about the layout of an email copy, as it greatly impacts click rate. It can be text-based or graphics-based, having single column, multiple columns, and so on. We, for example, use both text-based and graphic-based templates to reach out to our online community of doctors. Out of the two, the latter has given us a better click rate (4.2%). The ideal click rate for the pharma industry is 3-5%.
Switching from text-based templates to graphics-based templates is an experimental shift, therefore, you should create sets of 500 HCPs, to begin with. As experiments fail terribly at times, it is better to limit the number of HCPs for initial trials. While creating such sets, make sure that each set belongs to the same Therapeutic Area.
In case you are making slight changes to your email template, like using multiple columns instead of a single column, then you can create even bigger sets of HCPs.
Most email campaign software like MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, and Active Campaign have built-in tools for A/B testing. But if the software you are using doesn’t support A/B testing, then you can even do it manually.
For example, you can create two separate databases (List A and List B) having 500 HCPs each, sending the first version of your email copy to List A and the second version to List B. Later you can compare the click rate of both the versions manually. Don’t forget to export your data to a spreadsheet, as that will make things easier for analysis.
Hope you liked our first write-up in this series. As a digital solutions provider to pharma brands, we always enjoy seamless collaboration. Yes, we are there to take care of all the technical challenges and glitches. We are there to share our experience and expertise in creating your digital marketing strategies. But we want you to chip in with your understanding of digital channels, to create something out-of-the-box. Something which has a bit of us and a bit of you.
What is your top email marketing tip for engaging HCPs?
If you have any suggestions regarding the content or any queries related to digital marketing communication, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org/ +91 9881969598.
Docplexus – Pharma’s Trusted Marketing Partner
Docplexus is the largest digital network of doctors in India & a trusted marketing partner of pharma & medical device companies. We empower our industry partners to meaningfully engage with the medical community through data-driven, evidence-based marketing & brand management solutions such as Infocenters, Mindset Analysis, KOL Webinars, Sponsored Medical Updates, Online CMEs & more.