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Leverage Email Marketing to Improve Patient Adherence

How to Leverage Email Marketing to Improve Patient Adherence And Health Outcomes

Healthcare email marketing can help you minimize patient non-adherence, non-engagement, and non-retention. Read this blog post to learn how...

Nonadherence is a major challenge in the healthcare industry. In the absence of a steady increase in patient volume and retention, the threat of institutional bankruptcy and the subsequent impact on community health is palpably real. 

Telemedicine had been proposed as a potential solution to medication nonadherence. But 40% of physicians did not see any improvement in adherence as a result of telemedicine.  

Many healthcare providers are shifting toward direct marketing efforts to improve the situation. Email marketing, if done right, could play a significant role in that direction. 

As an agency specializing in email marketing, we have worked with clients in the healthcare niche, two of the most notable being CuraLife and Weight Watchers

As a result, we’re no strangers to the challenges that are part and parcel of the industry, the dynamics of the target audience, and the competitive landscape. In this post, we’re sharing our insights into the potential of email marketing to turn the tide. So, let’s begin!

Personalization: The No. 1 Strategy

Health is a personal subject. So, a personalized approach is non-negotiable. While it is an industry-wide practice, it is especially pertinent to the healthcare sector.

In the context of healthcare email marketing, this means recognizing a recipient as a unique individual with a unique medical history. One person may be seeking medical care for general wellness, while another may be grappling with a life-threatening disease. 

In the world of marketing, a cookie-cutter approach can be as serious as administering the right pill to the wrong patient and vice-versa. 

Now, email is personal-friendly by nature. The integration of AI further broadens the scope of personalized campaigns. 

Sending the right message to the right people at the right moment – that’s exactly what AI-powered HRCM platforms can offer. Here is an instance of Salesforce Health Cloud. Using such comprehensive patient records, you can build highly targeted campaigns. 

 Salesforce Health Cloud
Image Source

Invest in Educational Content

Providing relevant educational content in your emails is an effective way to build authenticity. Avoid sending overtly salesy messages. The point is to shift from a mainly product-centric approach to a purely customer-centric approach. 

But what to educate the recipient about? First and foremost, educate the subscriber about your brand. Tell them who you are and why you care about them. In short, establish your credibility. 

Next, share relevant blog articles, in-house surveys, expert interviews, podcasts – whatever you think suitably demonstrates your expertise in and commitment to the niche. 

Third, whenever you launch a product, explain why you feel it will help your audience. Back up your claims with solid medical evidence. 

Below is an example of the use of educational content in email. The more informed your audience, the more willing they are to act on health advice. 

Responsive Design Is Key

According to a report by IBM Watson Marketing, 47.6% of all healthcare emails are opened on a mobile device. So it’s clear that responsive design should be part of email marketing for healthcare.

Responsive design is all about customizing emails for your audience’s preferred device. Here, again, we see the use of a customer-centric approach. 

Responsive Design

Using CSS media queries, responsive emails produce two different copies depending on the recipient’s screen size. These media queries automatically adjust the email layout to the chosen screen. 

A few quick best practices for responsive email design:

  • Simplify email viewing with a single-column layout. Multiple columns may hinder readability.
  • Use at least 14-point font for the body text and at least 20-point for the headlines.
  • Design prominent, well-padded CTA buttons to ensure clickability.
  • Limit the use of hyperlinks whenever possible. Spread them out across the template.

Embrace Email Automation

Email marketing automation will act as a skewer that holds your campaign turnarounds together, from sending educational content to personalization. To begin with, you can extract useful, granular audience data from CRM platforms – one of the best uses of automation in healthcare. 

Email Automation Steps

You can set up automated appointment reminders to increase patient attendance. You can trigger emails announcing, say, the dates for vaccine availability. If the vaccine is available on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, automated reminders will be sent on those days. 

Marketers can build and automate targeted email workflows to deliver funnel-specific (ToFU, MoFu, and BoFU) content to users. 

For instance, you can send a list of expert-written blog articles to all new subscribers via a welcome campaign. The first email would be a welcome email, in which you mainly introduce your brand. Following this, you can send educational content written by SMEs. It’s all part of onboarding the new subscriber.

Next, for those in the middle of the funnel, you can send promotional emails. To reiterate, explain to your subscribers why they should consider buying your product. An informed lead is a willing lead. 

Finally, when the prospect is ready to make a purchase, you trigger emails containing case studies and patient testimonials, such as well-illustrated before-and-after scenarios. 

Other examples include sending follow-up emails after patient visits, personalized recommendations, post-purchase automation such as Thank You emails, product review automation, and so on. 

Send Promotional Emails

Remember when we said, don’t be overtly salesy? But you must send out promotional emails. So, how can you avoid being salesy in these emails?

Much of it depends on how you design the email. Ideally, healthcare emails should be simple, sober, and user-friendly. They should be informative. If you are offering a discount, the font should be sans serif. Avoid bold, scream-out-loud typography. Ditch flashy GIFs and distracting colors. 

As a healthcare service provider, you want to help, not sell. Your emails should reflect this motto. Check out the following email from Omron Healthcare. It’s a perfect illustration of the same. 

Obsess over Email Analytics

You want to know if your campaign is performing well—that’s why email analytics is crucial. More broadly, are you successful in helping your target audience? KPIs such as open rate, click-through rate, scroll depth, time spent reading, conversion rate, etc. can answer this question. 

Email Analytics

Suppose you want to know whether subscribers like your educational content. If you see that health guides are performing better than blog articles, you now know where to invest more. 

You need to identify your subscribers’ stage of the buying journey. Only then can you send relevant emails. You don’t want to send blog posts to someone who is ready to buy from you. 

Email analytics will tell you many things about device optimization. As we said, healthcare emails are generally opened on mobile devices. But analytics will tell you which of your subscribers actually open your emails on the desktop. You can design emails accordingly, which will also take care of personalization. 

The bottom line: email analytics is like a health once-over. It’s a daily checkup, if you will. It tells you whether or not your email campaigns are doing well and spotlights the areas of improvement.

Next Steps…

Building a loyal patient base is not easy. You need robust patient adherence and retention strategies that will help you satisfy patient requirements. Trust us, email can do it. You don’t need to pay a fortune to create an impact. Plus, email is the most cost-effective channel. 

So take the first step. Schedule a discovery call with us. Tell us your needs. Ask us. We will patiently answer all your questions related to healthcare email marketing. 

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A realist at heart and an idealist at head, Susmit is a content writer at Email Uplers. He has been in the digital marketing industry for half a decade. When not writing, he can be seen squinting at his Kindle, awestruck.

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