Email marketing has been around for a long time and many industries are using it and it is believed to yield the highest ROI among all digital channels. It is new to the healthcare and pharma industry and they are still struggling to use it or paying a hefty amount to use it hence struggling to prove ROI.
As a product manager or strategy guy or business head have you ever wondered, how can you reach doctors or chemists in a cost-effective way? A Couple of your collogues or you must have tried making apps, rolling of fancy websites which seem to be either ineffective from the beginning or become ineffective in weeks. Most of the times these websites are meant to be for one doctor call.
Another effective way of marketing in healthcare and pharma is by using email marketing to promote products. Social media along with email marketing can prove to be very effective marketing channels. Just follow the catch that don’t use social media to pimp products and email marketing for patients. For social media obviously priming products is not great, your customers will hate you and also MCI will whip you up. MCI is also going to whip you up if you email directly to patients.
Cost-effective Email Marketing for Healthcare :
You will see a lot of vendors pitching in solutions and charging you from somewhere INR 0.4 to 0.6 per email. They will provide you stat which will mostly be an excel file and obviously of no use as you can’t use that data now to feed the sales cycle or customer decision journey.
For Cost-effective healthcare and pharma Email Marketing, I would suggest you to use an email marketing tool. Typical features of an Email marketing tool are below and remember you don’t need all the features:
1. Auto follows for people who don’t open the email with change/no change in the subject line. Same for people who opt-in for a certain kind of service or content.
2. Integration with websites and social media with opt-in forms.
3. Choice with single, double or no opt-in
4. A/B testing or multivariate testing.
5. Integration with internal data/ data warehouse by an API call.
6. Condition for auto unsubscribes in case of spam or if a certain number of emails are not opened/actioned.
7. Analytics on who opened, spammed, actioned along with device type and demographics and response time.
8. Scheduling emails.
9. Email automation along with autoresponders.
10. Suggestion on what works for Campaign/List i.e. time, subject etc. based on consumer behaviour.
11. Getting a list of what emails are opened along with what links were clicked – both at subscriber level and also at campaign/list level. We should be able to set rules on the basis of that for email automation.
12. Tagging people automatically on the basis of rules and then set up automation.
12. List/segment creation on the basis of condition.
12. Email Templates/ Adding HTML mails build by external agency and personalization in emails.
For healthcare and pharma, email marketing open rate is 19% as per mail chimp.
Pharma industry doesn’t behave like the eCommerce industry and healthcare and pharma doesn’t need complex tools which are quite expensive. I would suggest Pharma uses AWS SES (https://aws.amazon.com/ses ) to send emails. AWS SES will drastically reduce the amount you will spend on email marketing. Each mail will cost you 0.1$ for every thousand mails which is INR 6.77 at an exchange rate of 67.73 INR. Hiring an outside vendor will cost you INR 400 per thousand mails at least.
On top of AWS you can use an email marketing tool like Seny (https://sendy.co ) or Esend (https://esend.io ) or Emailoctupus (https://emailoctopus.com ) on it for a cost-effective solution. You can see their plans on their websites and choose accordingly. I will recommend Emailoctupus as it is widely accepted and more reliable. Though both solution will have certain features missing.
For Email Marketing you will be using two things in combination.
AWS SES + Email marketing tool
AWS SES will act as server for sending mails while marketing automation tool will provide you with a tool that provides functionalities listed above that an email marketing tool should have. In AWS SES you will have to log ticket to get permission to allow you to bulk send emails. This typically takes 2 to 3 days. They have done this to stop abuse of Bulk emailing service.
Also by using email templates you can save money by building emails yourself using templates. Making an external agency do your email designing typically costs you 5,000 to 1,000 INR.
By thinking a little bit out of the box and trying to do things the way they are not done traditionally and doing email marketing in a cost-effective way can save a lot of bucks. Probably money saved can boost your profitability or make your campaign live longer.