Welcome to step four of our “Marketing to Doctors” blog series. This comprehensive playbook is designed to help people in virtually every sector (e.g., healthcare businesses, device and supply companies, SaaS, etc.) market their products and services directly to doctors, physicians, surgeons, and other healthcare professionals.
If you haven’t read steps 1-3, I highly recommend doing so. Here they are again for your ease of reference:
Step four will teach you how to effectively promote and distribute your content to physicians and other healthcare professionals. No matter what you’re marketing, getting your content seen by your target audience is critical. This means choosing the right platforms, promoting your content through social media and other channels, and measuring the results so you can do more of what’s working and less of what’s not.
Smart promotional tactics on the right channels can result in more leads, sales, and business success.
In this blog post, I share:
- The importance of investing in email marketing to doctors
- Seven best practices for developing engaging emails
- Beyond email: 10 ways to promote & distribute content for doctors
Invest in Email Marketing to Doctors
Doctors are extremely busy. Email marketing to doctors is a fast, effective way to help them stay connected to your products and services. Moreover, 66% of doctors prefer email communications for industry news, product updates, announcements, research, and educational opportunities.
Why email marketing to doctors?
Today’s doctors and physicians are bombarded with online search engines, websites, and social media advertisements. You can bypass all that noise by sending personalized, relevant content with an engaging subject line and a clear call to action.
Email is the fastest, most profitable marketing channel. Period. It has a return on investment (ROI) of $36 for every $1 spent—that’s a higher return than any other form of marketing (including digital advertising).
A clear, concise email that identifies a solution to a specific challenge is a great way to fuel your inbound sales pipeline, but there are several other ways to improve your email marketing to doctors.
7 Best Practices for Developing Engaging Emails for Doctors
1. Text versus branded HTML
While HTML email suffers from compatibility issues, it still wins over plain text emails regarding overall user experience, visual display, and brand consistency. However, plain text emails are very reliable in terms of email deliverability.
We recommend sending both versions to your audience simultaneously to increase accessibility by leveraging the power of MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions). This technology allows the reader’s device browser to transparently and automatically choose the best email display for its standards.
2. Optimize frequency and timing
Generally speaking, people are most likely to catch up on emails in the morning. However, reviewing your email analytics and reporting tools is essential for determining your unique target audience’s optimal send day and time. Depending on the circumstances, we usually recommend two emails per month, spaced two weeks apart for long-term strategies and weekly emails for shorter campaigns (30 days or less).
3. Stay relevant
Email allows you to segment your audience and create highly relevant, personalized, and custom experiences. This strategy increases engagement and deepens brand awareness with leads, new customers, and returning customers.
4. Shorter is (usually) better
Keep emails short and sweet. Doctors have a lot on their plate, so keep copy lengths between 50 and 125 words. Email copy between 75 to 100 words typically results in the best response rates.
5. Subject line and email preheader lengths are critical
Keep subject lines short and sweet so they are fully visible on mobile devices. Twenty-nine characters for mobile devices and 35 characters for desktops (no more than 3-4 words) are considered best practices for 2022. Email preheaders should be 35-53 characters for mobile devices and a maximum of 140 characters for desktops.
6. Multiple links
When writing email copy, focus on what you want it to accomplish. Do you want people to read your latest blog post? Register for an upcoming event, webinar, or podcast? Try to keep links in emails to three or fewer. Include 1-2 links to your primary focus throughout the copy. Sometimes, a secondary link that directs users to your homepage or contact form is beneficial, especially if you have an audience that’s reluctant to convert.
7. Test everything
Double and triple-check spelling and grammar to avoid credibility issues, and always, always confirm your links are working.
Beyond Email: 10 Ways to Promote & Distribute Content for Doctors
While email marketing to doctors is fast, affordable, and highly effective, several other content distribution channels are great for promoting and distributing content as well. They can be organized into three categories: owned, earned, and paid.
Let’s look at these three categories and their unique channels in more detail.
Owned Media Channels
Owned media channels are the content properties your company owns and include anything you can control when and how content is published:
1. Website, blog, and online forms
Drive more traffic to your website, blog, and online forms with robust content marketing and SEO strategy. Leveraging online forms in your content marketing for doctors can pre-qualify prospects quickly, allowing your sales team to follow up on high-priority leads and potentially shorten their sales cycle.
2. Social media channels
Keep your content fresh and connect with followers on social media to humanize your brand and build brand loyalty. Engage with posts, questions, comments, and feedback to strengthen your community and encourage them to visit your online properties often.
3. Email newsletters
Build stronger relationships with your target audience by sending email newsletters consistently. Not only are email newsletters a great way to share topical or timely information, but they’re also a great way to drive traffic back to your website or other online properties.
Earned Media Channels
Earned or “shared” media channels include anything that customers, journalists, bloggers, or other third parties promote on your behalf for free, such as:
4. Social mentions, likes, or shares
5. Forums, discussion boards, or review sites (e.g., Google, Yelp, Facebook, etc.)
6. Guest posts
Paid Media Channels
Paid media channels refer to channels in which your company pays for content distribution, including:
7. Direct Mail
Engage doctors and other healthcare professionals with first-class direct mail. Here are a few tips to elevate your next direct mail campaign:
a. Spread it out. Don’t send a massive heap of junk mail all at once. Spread out your mail drops into smaller batches to increase your effective deliverability.
b. Add meaningful customization. This is more than just adding their name to the salutation. Be intentional with your messaging and include things they can personally relate to.
c. Add a personal touch. If you have a prospect almost ready to convert, consider sending a hand-addressed package with a short handwritten note. Not only will your message be more likely to reach its intended recipient, but it will also communicate sincerity.
d. Test sending in first class. In some circumstances, it pays to send your message and elevate your sentiment with first-class postage.
8. Email communications and marketing automation
Use marketing automation to support sales efforts by segmenting, nurturing, and convincing doctors. Marketing automation is far more powerful than email alone. It enables lead scoring (parsing your contact list data based on conversion potential) to identify your best prospects. It also allows you to send customized lead-nurturing emails based on their unique interactions with your past emails and online content.
If you have a CRM (customer relationship management software), integrate it with your marketing automation software to leverage your data and further customize your emails. Many modern vendors, like Hubspot.com, offer integrated solutions.
9. Pay-per-click (PPC), social media ads, and retargeting ads
a. Stay in front of doctors digitally with paid social media and programmatic digital advertising. Did you know you can map a doctor’s NPI to their email address? It’s true and can help target your advertising on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, CTV, digital radio, and other websites in your ad network. Retargeting is a powerful marketing tool that “re-targets” website visitors with paid ads after they’ve left your site, helping your brand stay top-of-mind.
10. Sponsored content
Partner with publications, associations, corporations, or influencers (as either editorial or paid sponsorships). Sponsorships help increase credibility, improve public image, build brand prestige, and boost engagement rates. If you’re sharing highly personalized content that piques the interest of your audience, 75% of consumers say they’ll engage with it—even if they know it’s sponsored content.
Partnering with credible third-party resources when writing eBooks and white papers or hosting webinars and podcasts can also improve thought leadership and build trust with your audience.
When you know where and how to promote and distribute your content, you can attract and engage more doctors more effectively and grow your business.
In the next step of this blog series, you’ll learn how to build doctor referrals through integrated marketing strategies: Implement Marketing Strategies to Build Doctor Referrals or Direct Sales.