Email marketing is the single most powerful and personalized messaging medium online. It’s the heart and soul of digital marketing.
The reason why it’s so powerful is that it fosters business relationships. For example, you cannot ask for an appointment or send an informational message through social media. You need an email for that.
It’s preferred by most pharma brands as the prominent medium for interaction with healthcare professionals. Because, primarily, it is both personal and formal.
In this blog post, I will share 5 steps to help you kickstart your email marketing strategy.
If you’re a pharma marketer who’s new to digital marketing, this could be the perfect starting point for you.
Already have an email marketing strategy in place? Then, use this post to build up some new ideas.
1. Define goals
The first question that you need to ask yourself before kicking off email marketing is– why?
Write down your goals before you start your email marketing campaign.
It’s okay to have more than one goal, as long as they’re S.M.A.R.T. (Smart. Measurable, Achievable. Realistic. Time-bound).
Whenever you feel lost or out of ideas, you can come back to your goals. They would help you in laying out the roadmap for your email marketing strategy.
Be careful, though. You may have more than one goal, but one email should always focus on achieving one goal.
If you’re writing a sales pitch, keep it plain and simple. Don’t make the mistake of overwhelming healthcare professionals with loads of irrelevant information.
2. Setting up the stage
Once you’ve laid out your email marketing goals, it’s now time to choose a platform for launching.
Although you can always send emails manually, there are many email marketing tools that make the task easier for you.
Now, there are a lot of email marketing tools getting out every month, and choosing the right one can get a bit overwhelming.
If you’re confused about which platform to choose, just download this short fact sheet., which explains the pros and cons of each marketing tool (I’ve shared my favorite email marketing tool, too).
Remember– your choice of platform depends largely on the scalability of your business and the kind of services you would like to integrate into.
So, take a little time to analyze your requirements and choose a tool that fills the gap as much as possible.
Once you are done choosing your email marketing platform, the next step is to ensure that you have a professional-looking website or e-learning page, or landing page before you start shooting emails!
After all, there’s no point in email marketing, if there’s no placeholder for any follow-up
In case you already have a website, make sure it’s intuitive and easy to understand. If it’s all mumbled up, you’re losing out on possible conversions, and there’s nothing emails could do about it.
3. Create a Customized Template
Templates give an aesthetic look and feel to your email. Or should I say– templates give a consistent aesthetic look and feel to your emails.
The first thing you need to understand about emails is that they’re judged based on appearance. If your email has great content but is not well structured and formatted, it would not be well revered.
However, it’s a menial task to adjust the formatting of your content every time you send an email.
Email templates simplify that for you.
By creating a customized template, you can free yourself from formatting, addressing, heading, and signing off your emails, every single time.
You can easily reuse a customized template.
That way you can focus on the content of the email rather than the overall structure. It also helps in building consistency across all your emails, thereby simplifying the task of locating ‘call-to-action’ buttons and finding other relevant information.
4. Build Your List
Here comes the most challenging part of setting up your email marketing campaign– building up your list of email addresses.
But, if you do this right, you can create a great digital marketing campaign. If I say that nearly 50% success of your email marketing campaign depends on how you build up your list, it would still be an understatement.
The easiest way to build up your list is to solicit the email addresses of healthcare professionals personally or to use the information available from traditional sources of pharma marketing. Your sales reps can play an important role, here.
Although I agree that it’s a good starting point, frankly speaking, I don’t think it’s an effective sustainable strategy over time, especially if you plan on growing exponentially in the digital medium.
The right way to build your list…
The right way of building a list is to capture the email addresses of healthcare professionals through digital channels.
You can start off by creating an engaging landing page, an informative blog, an interactive web portal, etc. The list is endless, but the theme is unified through one idea.
The idea is to offer solutions that provide value to healthcare professionals. It’s all about knowing their pain points and what active measures you’re taking to solve them.
I know it sounds like too much work just for the sake of building a list, but, then there’s always an easy way and then there’s the right way.
What you need to understand is that your email subscriber list is your key to success. If you build a list of self-motivated and interested healthcare professionals, it’ll be much easier for you to maintain the momentum.
That’s the reason I strongly recommend going the hard way.
Once you’ve started building up your list, you can also analyze the behavioral patterns of your subscribers and combine them with basic information to personalize emails. In digital marketing terminology, the process of breaking down your target audience based on their distinguishably identifiable taste is known as Segmentation.
By segmenting emails, you can significantly improve your conversions and deliver relevant and engaging content to a wide array of audiences.
5. Track Results
Once you’ve set up the stage and built your list and segmented your audience, you’re off to sending emails. But, there’s one last thing– that final nail in the coffin– that you should be doing once you’re all set up with your email marketing campaign, and that is– tracking results.
“It’s better to see the target and miss it than to not see the target and achieve it.”
If you’re not assessing the performance of your emails, you’re missing out on all chances to improvise the content.
You should continuously evaluate your email marketing campaign with metrics like open rate, click rate, and conversion rates.
By running A/B tests for emails, you can know which subject line worked for your branding, or which ‘call-to-action’ gathered the maximum interest, or which time of the day/week is better for sending emails.
Every behavioral metric can be analyzed and improved upon.
Continuous evaluation of your email marketing strategy would allow you to reiterate your email marketing strategy and would save you from falling off track.
Follow these simple steps mentioned above, and you’ll be off to creating an effective email marketing campaign for your pharma brand in no time.