And the old shall become new again…
It’s been a couple years since radio hosts Jen Jennings and Tom Testa took a deep dive into the world of email marketing but that doesn’t mean their guidance has become dusty and outdated. If anything, it has become more important in this era of slashed marketing budgets across healthcare. In this Healthcare Marketing Podcast Series, I take a look back into the most requested and listened to episodes of Overrated and Underused, which evaluated healthcare promotional tactics not only for their effectiveness, but their cost-effectiveness, while sharing best practice examples and challenging the status quo. While much of the content was designed for health IT marketers, each episode featured a Clinicians Corner segment, where they investigated marketing tactics from a unique provider’s perspective.
Since this was recorded in early 2021, fast forward past the COVID references and jump into the heart of the matter to investigate:
- Targeting and segmenting lists: For social media, we say that it doesn’t matter how well you write a tweet if you only have 100 followers. The same thing goes here. How strong is your list? When was the last time it was reviewed, purged, deduped, updated, and categorized? What percentage of your market are you reaching? Is it a purchased list where you have to worry about your email service banning you?
- Evaluating the right type of content: Are you developing content for Customers (newsletters, tutorials, company/product updates, legislative updates, product/service upsells) or content for Prospects (sales, branding)
- Design tips and trends: Ensure you’re using the most relevant tone and style. Do the colors match your branding? Does the imagery and language match your corporate tone? Is it clean?
- Perfecting the message: Are you zeroing in on one main message? Do you have white space, icons, sharp bullet points and punchy copy, or do you have run-on sentences burying readers in long scrolling paragraphs?
- Content personalization: Studies show that this is where the rubber meets the road. The hosts share tips and tricks on how you can personalize the content to improve your readership metrics.
- Developing the perfect call to action: Get to the point, then bold it, highlight it, and link your point.
- Distribution tools: What platform are you using: This all depends on your sales structure, marketing budget and the sophistication of your marketing process. For some companies, MailChimp and Constant Contact work perfectly fine as a simple distribution tools. Others may need the robustness of a Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365, or HubSpot.
- Measurement: Regardless of the platform chosen, you need to look at how you plan to measure success. Sure, open rates and clicks to the website are great, but what about conversions and actually connecting your campaigns to visits to sales growth? Agencies are often afraid of tying their success to the actual success of the clients, but that’s why we’re in this business – to impact sales, right?
So sit back, turn the dial up to 11, and dive into the churning seas of email marketing with your old friends Jen and Tom.