- September 20, 2023
Building Your Healthcare Email Marketing Strategy: A Step-by-Step Approach
Healthcare marketing today has progressed into an innovative process of finding creative ways to interact and engage with patients during the entire process of patient care. Patients are actively involved and engaged throughout their healthcare journey and are keen on getting back to great health. This is why it is even more critical to develop an effective healthcare marketing strategy to reach, educate, and engage with new and existing patients.
Healthcare marketing refers to the continuous efforts undertaken by healthcare brands, and all professionals from the healthcare fraternity to promote their services, build awareness, and interact with patients and the global healthcare community to ensure patients are aware of the latest trends and technologies that can benefit them the most. It involves analyzing patient behavior and the channels they use to consume healthcare insights, to tap these marketing channels to effectively communicate the value and benefits of healthcare services, treatments, and medical products.
Healthcare marketing is all about connecting and engaging with the right audience, whether they are patients seeking medical care, referring doctors, or healthcare industry brands. By using market research, data analytics, digital platforms, and traditional marketing approaches, healthcare organizations can boost their visibility, nurture trust, and ultimately increase patient loyalty.
Effective healthcare marketing campaigns often focus on providing educational content; however, the most successful campaigns are the ones that prioritize patient well-being, focus on building lasting relationships, and address individual patient concerns that might be very specific and unique to the individual.
Why is targeted healthcare marketing important for brands today?
The healthcare industry is constantly evolving and patient education and information are increasingly becoming a top priority for all healthcare brands. The healthcare world is even more competitive today with local competition increasing. With large hospital systems in the market dynamics, it is getting tough for brands to differentiate themselves, stand out from the crowd, and promote their medical services effectively.
Healthcare marketing helps you increase your visibility on local search engines and social media platforms. Another reason why healthcare marketing is important is that an effective healthcare marketing strategy can allow you to reach potential patients and position yourself as a thought leader across the industry.
So how do we develop a robust health marketing strategy?
Crafting a marketing strategy begins with creating goals, objectives, and the benefits you expect to derive from them. Follow this by evaluating all available resources as well as those needed and craft a strategy for the what, when, and how to achieve those goals. Digital healthcare marketing is unique in a way that it benefits you with the most cost-effective way to reach the most suitable prospects or potential patients at the most suitable time, so you never lose your chance to influence and impact them toward the desired outcomes. It is critical to stay in touch with patients especially when they are in most need of your service or offering. To ensure this, a healthcare marketing strategy should consider all aspects of the business, and include potential patients and competitors as part of their campaign audience.
Let’s look at some of the critical steps that will help you create a patient-centered healthcare marketing plan that will boost engagement and ROI.
Step 1 - Segment your Target Audience
Conduct comprehensive online and offline research based on geographic, demographic, psychographic, and behavioral information to determine the most appropriate target audience who can benefit from your offering. Then, craft a marketing strategy, that can garner the attention of these interested prospects and customers. By segmenting your target audience under various behavioral and demographic clusters you can increase the effectiveness of your campaign by custom crafting campaigns that resonate with their top concerns.
Step 2 - Research your Competition
Your target audience is most likely to be on the prospect list of your competitors too. This is why it is critical to pay more attention to what your competitors are doing as a way of continuous learning and ensuring innovation. Pay close attention to the platform, messaging, and the pricing your competitors are offering. Explore ways to move past these and offer more value to your prospect audience as a way to garner your competitive edge.
Step 3 – Run a Gap Analysis
Conduct a SWOT analysis. While it is important to be aware of the areas of strengths and opportunities, pay close attention to the gaps and weaknesses. Let your internal teams be aware of these and ensure to be open and transparent about these to your prospects. Customers often look at this as a sign of trust and it builds their confidence in your brand, unlike most other brands that lure patients with over-promise and under-delivery.
Step 4 - Stay Aligned to the Overall Purpose
What are your long-term and short-term goals? Do you constantly review these as a way to stay aligned with your overall purpose as a healthcare brand? Most marketing plans or strategies are designed for about a year, but the best marketing plans are those that maintain a long-term focus and stay aligned with the brand’s short-term goals. The key however is to keep reviewing these as you move along. Reflect on what’s working and what’s not and revise these to ensure optimal performance and measurable returns.
Step 5 - Plan your Budget
Why is it important to plan your marketing budget, after all, it is to drive revenue, isn’t it? Imagine this, you have a certain budget fixed for your marketing campaigns at the beginning of the year. You realize that not much MROI is realized at the end of quarter 1, and you are hopeful about an eventful quarter 2, so you end up spending more than the allocated budget. Fast-forward to your review meeting and you realize your marketing campaign has not had any returns in over 6 months and the team is looking to stop marketing campaigns completely while giving your competition the perfect opportunity to influence prospects that could easily be your long-term customers. You don’t want to be in a situation this way, do you? This is why you need to plan your marketing budget and monitor it very closely.
Step 6 - Set KPI
The value of a healthcare marketing plan lies in its effectiveness, which requires timely implementation and monitoring of results. It is important to measure results against the standards you set when you create your business goals. Periodically review your marketing plan, perhaps every quarter, and compare the results with the progress. There are various ways to measure your progress including, measuring ROI, and reviewing patient surveys. By regularly evaluating and monitoring your marketing strategies, you’ll be able to revise your plans in time and try out more promising approaches.
The main benefit of applying a healthcare marketing strategy to your healthcare operations plan is that it allows you to anticipate and assess opportunities and threats, prepare and build a roadmap to combat them, and find new ways to improve results.
It helps you predict and assess financial risks and identify procedures that help to avoid or minimize their impact. With a healthcare marketing strategy, you can better manage critical aspects of your business. However, the value of the plan depends on your determination to implement it. Your marketing plan is more than just a document on the shelf. Instead, it should be a rolling plan that tracks your progress and guides your efforts continuously.