Email as a primary marketing channel is making a comeback in pharma marketing. While there was an oversaturation of email marketing not too long back, the power of automation and incorporating analytical capabilities has improved its effectiveness.
Besides delivering memorable content, the current challenge for pharma marketers lies in getting recipients to open their email in the first place. Today, omnichannel marketing strategies should include a renewed focus on email, in which a consistent, high-quality message can effectively drive traffic across multiple platforms.
Launching a successful pharma marketing campaign requires a familiarity with email automation, integration with other relevant marketing channels, and keeping on top of email marketing trends like powerful video content. Understanding timing and recipient behavior are important considerations in developing email marketing strategies. This post will further address best practices when it comes to optimizing a cross channel marketing message for email, including how to craft a subject line and the value of preview text.
Ideally, email marketing should be part of a bigger pharma marketing campaign and should direct recipients to other relevant healthcare channels. The strongest omnichannel marketing strategies for pharma first require a company to identify the most valuable channels in reaching their stakeholders. Relevant platforms used for marketing communications should offer important medical information, engage the user, and elicit their feedback. Furthermore, they should be seamless in the experience they offer stakeholders, however, that does not mean cross-posting the exact same content on different channels.
Successfully integrating omnichannel communications requires crafting a coherent story, but the elements of the story should be uniquely tailored to each channel to maximize engagement. When leading a campaign with email, the first consideration is creating a message that drives stakeholders to want to explore additional channels and discover related healthcare content. The second consideration is to fit the email with the most engaging content, including professional medical videos.
Trends in Email Content
The most successful email campaigns should include content that considers omnichannel marketing strategies. In line with today’s biggest media trends, emails with ‘video’ in the subject line are opened more often than other emails. Furthermore, emails with integrated video content make it simple to engage with the recipients: valuable healthcare information can be accessed immediately and is easier to remember than text alone. Even a video link used as a primary touch point creates a call-to-action for users, directing them to other marketing channels.
Whether email content is used to redirect recipients to the pharma company’s YouTube channel, website, or a relevant blog post, analytics derived from email automations can inform what content to leverage across other platforms. Email automation further allows for the tailored timing and personalization of emails, in which who responds to what type of copy or what style of content is captured in clicks and identified by analytics. These metrics support best engagement practices and inform a receptive omnichannel marketing strategy, but depend on recipients opening the emails in the first place.
Best Practices in Email Marketing
Because of a renewed focus on email in omnichannel marketing strategies, it is vital to understand and follow best practices in email marketing. Creative and engaging content is one thing, but if the recipients aren’t compelled to open the email in the first place, then efforts are moot. Best practices need to consider how to optimize text used in the email subject line and preview text, drawing on the demands of a pharma stakeholder audience.
The subject line is the catalyst for a reader to open a text. Leading with the medical condition, followed by words that designate the benefits of your product, is typically the most straight-forward and effective formula in phrasing a subject line. Personalization, or leading with the recipient’s name, for example, also recalls familiarity and helps with open rates. The preview text, sometimes called a pre-header, is the text displayed behind the subject line seen before the email is opened. This should be succinct and convey relevance to the subject line, but moreover engage and direct attention to the main subject.
Finally, as with most things in life, timing is everything. The best way to engage with busy stakeholders is to understand their preferences for when they receive emails and provide them the content they desire. Email automation allows you to change the timing and content of emails to better engage readers. Analytics captured by automation can also be used to identify these preferences and allow pharma companies to adjust marketing strategies to improve engagement with their stakeholders.
The beauty of email automation is that while you should still continue to craft a valuable marketing message, the email is sent automatically when an individual triggers a specific action. For example, if someone signs up for a newsletter (the trigger), an automated ‘welcome’ email will be sent (the action). This creates a timely, relevant, and personalized response for the individual user. Automated emails that are sent when an individual meets a trigger can be harnessed to introduce the stakeholder to additional features of your pharma company website, for example, or request feedback that can help you tailor future engagement.
A call-to-action helps motivate the stakeholder to become a more frequent user and helps automate marketing efforts for you. In fact, email automation is a fantastic way to develop a targeted email campaign while alleviating extra time and expenses spent on pharma marketing. Setting up automation and defining the actions that trigger an email to be sent requires some technical know-how; this approach to email marketing in the realm of pharma advertising is best facilitated by a medical communications agency.