Physicians might have considered email non-personal promotion in the past. Compared to an office visit from a pharma rep who brings lunch from your favorite restaurant, how could it not be?
Fortunately, times are changing. Though it keeps getting harder for reps to get through the doctor’s door—or even to reach doctors by phone—email marketing is getting more sophisticated.
An email still can’t deliver lunch, but it can be finely tuned to an individual doctor’s real-time interests and preferences. Digital identification technology that reports the identity of the HCPs who visit your website is the key.
Email continues to be an effective channel for engaging physicians, particularly as more offices go digital and doctors carry mobile devices throughout the workday. To make the most of this opportunity, every message you send needs to be personal and relevant.
“Batch and blast” campaigns have already been replaced by highly targeted deployments based on criteria ranging from medical specialty to practice location and hospital affiliations. The next step is to customize your email messages to each doctor’s current interests, just as a sales rep personalizes every interaction.
If you’re working with a quality database, you already have a lot of information about your target doctors. In addition to the segmentation criteria listed above, you have access to prescribing and diagnosis data, as well as insurance plans accepted. You also know who opened your last email, who clicked through on various offers, and the best time and frequency to deploy emails.
This is valuable information for customizing email messages, but it can’t account for the action a doctor takes after receiving your email. As soon as a doctor clicks-through to your website, she becomes just another anonymous visitor. You don’t know what she reads or how much time she spends there. Inevitably, your email communication with a doctor becomes disconnected from her interaction with your brand through other channels.
To be truly effective, email has to be transformed into an identity-based channel that incorporates information about a doctor’s recent online behavior. Technology that reports the name, NPI number, and browsing behavior of the HCPs who visit your website makes this possible.
Once you can identify HCPs online, you can use email to market to them in increasingly relevant and personal ways. For instance, email data can tell you that Dr. Balaji received your email announcement about a recent clinical trial and clicked-through to view the report on your website.
Digital identification data can then tell you how much time Dr. Balaji spent reviewing that report, what other content she viewed, and when she returned to your site. Depending on her interest level, you might follow up with a personalized email or phone call from a sales rep, or send an invitation to an upcoming panel discussion on the topic.
Digital identification is the engine that powers true email personalization. With a steady stream of audience identity management data, you can develop email campaigns that evolve and respond to an individual’s doctor’s changing needs based on her cross-channel interaction with your brand.