When it comes to interacting with your existing audience and promoting your brand to potential attendees, email marketing is one of the most effective marketing tools available today. This efficacy spans from the wide variety of purposes that different email marketing campaigns can serve, including event registration deadline reminders, the dissemination of breaking medical news, abandoned cart reminders, and sharing relevant success stories.
Proper email marketing application turns leads into attendees and one-time registrants into returning buyers. It is the most direct and flexible approach to communicating, nurturing, and converting prospects into active registrants for your CME activities.
Top Advantages of Email Marketing
- When it comes to sheer visibility, email marketing cannot be beat. Email is the #1 online communication channel out there right now. The estimated rate of individuals who regularly check their email accounts is around 99%.
- You control and curate your email list. When it comes to social media, your accounts are beholden to each site’s Terms of Service; they could be suspended or deleted outright at any time, without notice. With an email list, those leads are secured and free of deletion risk from third parties.
- Email marketing simply converts better. The number of healthcare professionals who register for a CME event marketed via email is higher than those who do not receive email offers. In fact, email marketing has a staggering estimated Return on Investment (ROI) of over 4,000%. Its average order value is at least three times greater than that of social media.
1. Segment your audience
Whether your target audience encompasses physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, or any combination of healthcare professions, you can target them based on their skills and experience with email marketing. The key is advertising the right CME activities to the right people at the right time. This is where segmentation comes into play.
The best email marketing strategies rely on judicious and thoughtful audience segmentation. You want to group up members of your audience with similar interests or professional experiences. For example, it would be a waste of time and resources to mass-email your entire list with a CME offer related to a specific specialty, such as neurology; at worst, this could result in HCPs unsubscribing from your email list altogether.
Instead, you want to connect your CME activities to the individuals who stand to gain the most from them. Audience segmentation allows you to deliver tailored and pertinent emails to your subscribed HCPs by dividing them into smaller groups according to specific criteria.
Good segmentation practices increase your email open rates, improves your click-through rates (CTR), and lowers your unsubscribe rates. Your list can be broken up in a variety of ways, according to your specifications. Here are a few suggestions:
- New subscribers – For HCPs who have just opted into your email list, you can send them a welcome email to help them get started browsing your available CME events.
- Digital information preferences – To avoid potentially alienating your audience with irrelevant emails, ensure that you are promoting content to those who are actively interested in receiving it. (For example: subscribers who enjoy receiving blog post updates vs. subscribers who only want CME event notifications)
- Specialty – Pay attention to which specialties each HCP has opted into and avoid sending CME opportunities to those who would find them irrelevant to their interests and careers.
- Location – If you segment your audience by region, this allows you to promote CME events that are local to them.
- Engagement rewards – Grouping your subscribers who have high CTR and open rates can provide you opportunities to thank them with special offers or discounts, which will promote their continued engagement with your content.
- Inactivity – For your subscribers who have not engaged with your emails in some time, a reminder email with a call to action can guide them back to their initial interest in your content.
- Lead magnets – Provided you have given your subscribers different options to opt into, take advantage and send targeted emails according to whatever lead magnets they have selected.
- Shopping cart abandonment – For those who have added CME events to their online cart but left your site without checking out, email them a quick reminder with an itemized list of what is in their cart.
2. Keep your list up-to-date
Periodically remove inactive subscribers to keep the list fresh. Anyone who has not engaged with any email in the past 6 months or more can be considered an inactive subscriber. Another approach to maintaining list integrity is periodically asking your subscribers if they would like to update their contact information.
3. Perfect your timing
When choosing the time and day to send your emails, keep in mind that timing can have a significant impact on both the number of subscribers, who opens them, and your overall conversion rate. It is impossible to determine the ideal time at the very start of your email marketing campaign; however, through A/B testing, you can discover which timeframes seem to work best and consider those for future advertisements.
4. Choose the right subject lines
When it comes to CTR and open rates, your subject lines are everything. Make them interesting, but try to avoid seeming overly clever. You want to make your subscribers curious enough to open, but you don’t want to dissuade them with subject lines that are so cryptic that they have no idea what your email may entail.
Include eye-catching numbers and maintain a friendly, conversational tone. Additionally, it is crucial to write in the language and style that your attendees use themselves.
5. Write as though you are addressing a single person
When you draft your subject line and message content, it is far more effective to write as if speaking to an individual person, with a personal subject line and a personalized message. Avoid acknowledging that you are sending this email to a range of people and, instead, focus on engaging your audience on a level that they feel is more individualized.
To write personalized messages, it is crucial that you know your buyer persona well. Their values, their goals, their likes, and their dislikes—all of these factors should be considered when constructing your email.
6. Provide amazing content—100% of the time
The actual content of your email plays an important role in your open rate. Your subscribers are more likely to open your emails in the future if they enjoy the content you provide. They might even start looking forward to your emails.
On the other hand, if a subscriber is unhappy with what they received in your email, they are unlikely to open it again and may even unsubscribe from your list completely.
Make your messages interesting: include a link or two to useful resources, such as a webinar, a great blog post, or a free eBook. Take care not to send emails just for the sake of sending them. Each one needs to deliver something of actual value to your audience.
7. Optimize your emails for mobile devices
Mobile email makes up almost all email opens, though this will vary depending on your audience, product, and email type. Your email should be responsive and contain media that loads quickly. Because mobile screens are smaller, long subject lines will likely be truncated, which will hinder your open rates; take this into consideration when constructing your email content.
8. Promote relevant CME events
This step may seem self-explanatory, but your ultimate goal is to boost sales, which can only be achieved through actively utilizing your email list to promote your activities. As mentioned above, try to match your specific events with the type of HCP who will be the most likely to take interest and register. This includes taking into account your event’s subject matter, specialty, profession, and whether it will take place in-person or online.
9. Track and analyze your campaigns
Utilizing the latest online marketing tools, you can quickly learn how your audience responds to your emails. Open rates, read rates, CTR: it is in your best interest to track all of these metrics and consider how to optimize your future email campaigns. You can also gather information on HCPs who are interested in CME events and use this data to inform the topic or location of your next event.
10. Reduce your marketing costs
Email marketing can be profitable on its own. In the United States, every dollar spent on email marketing has an approximate ROI of $44. Investment in email marketing may be the best line of action if you want to enhance registrations to your CME event while preserving your budget.
Conventional marketing strategies, like direct mail, are significantly more expensive; you will pay for printing and postage—and likely receive subpar results for your efforts. In a recent survey, 75% of people who use email marketing ranked it as “good” or “excellent” for ROI. Additionally, these participants believed email marketing to be more successful than social media, paid search, SEO, and content marketing.
When utilized correctly, email marketing outperforms all other forms of advertising and yields a significant ROI. Use email to gather segmentation data on your audience, promote your CME activities, measure your marketing campaigns, and lower costs.
While any of these tips can help you improve your email marketing tactics, the best advice is always to discover what works best for you. Allow yourself some flexibility to experiment and find the strategies that work best for your organization and your subscribers.