When it comes to digital automation in healthcare, lead nurturing doesn’t mean marketing in the traditional sense. It means giving your patients and leads the right content, at the right time, with the right intentions in mind.
Used properly, automation helps a marketer track a lead’s actionable behavior within email activity. It’s also a marketing method that intrinsically accomplishes SMART goals. 91% of the most successful users agree that marketing automation is “very important” to the overall success of their marketing across channels.
Importance of email automation in Healthcare:
Marketing automation in Healthcare has the potential to be used for post-discharge emails to remind patients to schedule a follow-up appointment, to promote loyalty, and to invite patients in for a check-up. Emails provide you the opportunity to engage with patients by giving them information that you anticipate them needing.
In the end, not only does automation benefit your patient but in most instances, they generally want to see your email in their inbox. Healthcare is unique in this way. The service that your company provides generally isn’t working to sell something to them for the sake of profit, but instead for the sake of their betterment and comfort.
Here are a few keys to automation that will help you reach your patients:
1. Build a strong list by creating relevant content
Automation takes the responsibility of assigning content relevancy away from the marketer and allows the lead to self-identify. Therefore, accountability is one of automation’s biggest selling points — nearly everything is tracked and can be broken down into lists that can be used in your workflows or various campaigns.
2. Segment your lists via personas and buyer’s journey.
How do you accomplish this? Utilize your leads’ form field information and site behavior. Qualifying your leads through their behavior and conversions will allow you to create a more accurate prospect list for new promotions, and inform the next round of content.
Furthermore, to fully accomplish this, make sure your company has concrete personas. This persona includes your ideal consumer built off of thorough research of your customer’s wants and needs.
3. Tailor your email copy to your segmented list.
Once your lists are created for each buyer persona, write copy directed toward them specifically. This means you should include language and tone that they will likely respond to. Provide them links to the corresponding content pieces you have in your repertoire.
For instance, if you are writing emails for a diabetes patient, provide a CTA for your latest insulin administration guide.
4. Be clear with what you’re offering and follow through.
Consistency in messaging and timeliness leads to patient trust. That trust, combined with your credibility as a thought-leader and service provider will combine for a powerful marketing tool – brand loyalty.
If you gate a piece of content that is four pages long, but you ask your patient for the name, email, address, blood type, pet’s name, and favorite movie in a form, you’re not likely to have a delighted, let alone qualified, lead. This could also include offering content that is ungated such as infographics as well as gated content that contains more information.
5. Don’t write like a robot.
If you want people to react like humans, you must write to them like a human. Your readers, and especially patients, will not always have the medical vernacular down to a tee. Relate through simple, straightforward language. Avoid being condescending, but be informative.
Also, try to be personal when it is appropriate. No former patient wants to receive an email that says “Greetings Valued Patient.” Instead, try out a personalization token for their first name that allows you to connect on a deeper level with something like, “Hi Alex!”
6. Be cognizant of your persona’s demographic information when it comes to health.
Ideally, your persona segmentation will take care of the demographics when a lead converts on a piece of content, but that is not always guaranteed. Your company should look to have a wide set of personas for the type of healthcare you specialize in. Be careful to write with an open perspective.
For example, a 26-year-old named Jack from Orlando isn’t going to be looking for the right hospice care in Oregon. But, he may have family in the region that he has been searching on behalf of.
7. Back-up your emails with a multi-channel approach.
Automation is a very strong marketing tool, but it shouldn’t be your only weapon. Patients are very active on social media platforms in a variety of groups. Connect to them without being disruptive in these spaces as well. Consider pay-per-click advertising, and start promoting your blog, or try out a custom application build.
Additionally, this could include channels such as social media. Social media allows your Healthcare company to expand brand presence as well as generate more leads.
8. Set strong workflow goals, and only send what you need.
Be careful to not pander patients with heavy-handed comments, or to ask too much of them in your forms. Progressive profiling is key in this way — if you progressively build a lead profile by asking for information in each conversion, you decrease the weight of each ask and gradually learn more about your lead with each visit to your site. It allows you to build an understanding of your leads without being invasive.
9. Check your metrics within your CRM.
Utilizing your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) helps you discover more about your potential consumers. If a handful of your leads clicked on a link within the copy and ignored your CTA, it tells you something about the nature of your content, and what that persona is looking for.
Automation gives us the perfect grounds for A/B testing. Changing an image, CTA, design, etc. will show you what your patients want to see in an email, not what we assume they will engage with.
10. Incorporate your evaluations into the branch logic in your next nurture campaign.
It’s incredibly important to revisit your campaigns after the leads have entered the workflow. After enrolled contacts have worked their way through your emails, take note of where leads dropped out of the workflow, unsubscribed, clicked, and converted. These metrics will help you formulate a stronger, optimized campaign in the future.
Before any of this starts, make sure you’re familiar with HIPAA compliance, and familiarize yourself with the concept of opt-in campaigns for patients (this extends to providers as well). Though the rules surrounding healthcare and automation can be a bit perplexing, understanding them to a tee will prevent any compliance issues and make for a better marketing experience. For more information about patient engagement practices and HIPAA’s impact on your digital marketing efforts, jump over to another blog of ours called Does HIPAA Impact Your Digital Marketing Plans.
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Updated: Feb 10, 2021