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Inviting HCPs to your Pharma Email Marketing Campaign: Best practices

The first email that you send to your new customer pretty much sets the tone for the rest of your email marketing campaign.

To put it in the words of the great Aristotle, well begun is half done.

Onboarding emails are important because newly signed-up users carry that excitement of experiencing your product/service for the first time.

In case you’re wondering what an onboarding email is, it’s the first email that you send to your target audience to welcome them.

Why are welcome emails important?

Welcome emails take advantage of the elevated eagerness levels of the user to know the product and motivate them to further explore the features of your product.

When healthcare professionals sign-up for a new product or service, they look for instant validation. Your onboarding email should give them their brownie points right away.

From my experience with email marketing, I’ve observed the fact that an onboarding email tends to have a much better open rate and click rate than any other marketing email, primarily because it’s the outcome of self-initiated action.

Therefore, welcome emails are the best way to promote yourself and share your passion with your audience. If you want to put down your core values, mission statement, or any other bragging point of your brand, there’s no better than welcome emails to put it.

How to craft the perfect onboarding email

1.  Say “Thank You”

“The good thing about first impressions is that they last, and the bad thing about first impressions is that they last.”

Considering the fact that healthcare professionals have an insanely busy schedule, you should really show some gratitude. When you say “Thank you”, you appreciate your user’s interest in taking out the time to try your product/service.

Always start your onboarding email with “Thank you for…”.

You’ll be amazed by how long two really simple words can go.

2. Tell them your plans

When healthcare professional signs up for your product or service, they’re clueless about what to expect next.

They saw some sort of value in your brand’s offerings, and are counting on you to deliver it.

The sooner you validate the fact that they have made the correct choice, the sooner they’ll start engaging with your product.

The best way to do this is to tell them your plans in the welcome email itself.

Are you working on something very exciting? Do you have a plan of action on how to use your product? Do you have any planned strategy that would make their life smoother and simpler?

If yes, then here’s the place to share it, or at least get him excited about it.

The healthcare professional expects you to be in charge of delivering quality and engaging interactions. If you can make their life simpler, they’ll always be eager to know what you’re up to.

So, go ahead, and tell them what your plans are. They’ll be glad to know that you have it all figured out.

3.  Have an easy and quick ‘call-to-action’ button

Now that you have told them your plans, the next step is to guide them through it with some baby steps.

The easiest way to do this is through a clear and direct ‘Call-to-Action’ button, like, “Confirm Your Registration”, “Login, here”, “Explore”, or “Get Started”.

Your call-to-action button should be relevant to the context of your welcome email and should tempt the user to click it.

Ideally, it should be the next action on your website or portal that the user intends on completing.

Here’s a good and a bad example.

A Good ‘Call-to-Action’ example: User signs up on your website, and receives a welcome email with an easy “Get Started” button. When the user clicks it, it automatically redirects him to a short introductory video.

A Bad ‘Call-to-Action’ example: The user signs up on your website, and receives a welcome email with a “Complete Your Profile” ‘Call-to-Action’ button.

The first example is good because the ‘Call-to-Action’ button maintains the user’s excitement and allows him to engage with the website.

Although the second example captures the quintessential details of your target audience, which you can use further to optimize your email marketing campaign, it’s a bad strategy for welcome emails.

As I said, it’s very important to maintain momentum, and you cannot do that by imposing complex tasks that take too long to complete. Instead, focus your ‘Call-to-Action’ tasks on events that the user would find interesting, and the ones which he’s much more likely to pursue.

4. Reward them

In his book Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg explains how businesses can create powerful work cultures by understanding some key principles on how new habits get formed.

I’ve explained this comprehensively in my previous post, but here’s the gist of it:

If you want to really engage healthcare professionals for a longer period of time, you have to keep them motivated. And the best way to keep them motivated is to provide instant validation and appreciation whenever they complete a set of actions.

Since signing up is the most important user-initiated action of an email marketing campaign, you should consider how to reward the behavior.

It’s because when you reward the right actions, you give a chance for the right routines to be developed.

The idea, here, is to appreciate their interest and to make them feel special about taking the leap.

5.  Talk in a conversational tone

I cannot emphasize this enough. If your welcome email reads like it’s being written by a computer program or taken right out of a textbook, you need to rephrase it right now.

Welcome emails are NOT sign-up receipts.

It’s so, so important to write your welcome emails in the right tone because as I mentioned at the start of the post, the first email that you send to your new customer pretty much sets the tone for the rest of your email marketing campaign.

Your welcome email should be written in a normal conversational tone, preferably in the second person. In your welcome email, talk them through your product, and let them know what’s so special about it. You can even go on to tell them why you choose to offer your product/service and what drives you towards it. You can also guide them through the next steps and provide them with support information, in case they hit a roadblock.

In case you want to know more about how to write an insanely great email copy, here’s a recommended read.

6.  Allow them to opt-out

Always have an unsubscribe button at the end of your email.

Allow your users to opt-out from the very beginning of your email marketing campaign.

Now, you might be thinking, “I’m afraid that healthcare professionals will unsubscribe from my emails.” Well, here’s another way to look at it. What’s the ROI of a professional who’s simply not interested in your product? If he’s made a conscious decision about it, you should respect it, and take it as a learning lesson.

Besides, if you provide an unsubscribe link, you can track the number of unsubscribes and take active feedback from the community to further improve your campaign.

7. Maintain the momentum

Lastly, remember that the welcome email is just the beginning of your email marketing campaign. You’ll have to stay consistent in your efforts to maintain the engagement levels of your audience with your product/service.

Since most healthcare professionals take a little time to get acquainted with the product, it’s a good strategy to follow up on your welcome email after 1-2 weeks. Ask them how they’re doing, and if they need any help.

If you maintain the momentum, you’ll keep them constantly engaged and excited about your products and services.


Onboarding emails are one of the most important aspects of any pharma brand’s digital marketing campaign. They give you the elevation you need to take off your digital marketing campaign to a good start.

How do you welcome healthcare professionals? Do you have a secret ‘welcome’ recipe for writing engaging onboarding emails? If yes, please share it with us in the comments section below. We’re listening.

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