Start your multichannel journey with approved email

A not so crazy idea? Start your multichannel journey with approved email

Take a second to think about multichannel marketing in the life sciences. What do you see? You likely pictured a big, expensive and highly complex project – websites, microsites, e-detailers, apps, messaging, AI systems, data tracking. But what about the humble approved email?

If you considered it at all, it was likely just a part – probably a minor one – of a constellation of channels and systems.

Yet, might approved email actually be a driving force in your multichannel strategy? Especially for companies just starting out with multichannel, its very simplicity makes it a great way to get going.

Not convinced? Here are just five ways that approved email can springboard your multichannel HCP engagement.

 

Key points:

  • Approved email is a great foundation for a multichannel strategy
  • It kickstarts a modular content approach, paying dividends for years to come
  • It makes ‘customer journey’ creation a natural part of a rep’s working day
  • It connects existing channels and content together for increase ROI
  • It is simple and very cost effective

Looking to get started with multichannel?
Get three articles that explain the basics

Looking to get started with multichannel?
Get three articles that explain the basics

Approved emails build a multichannel content store

Approved email requires providing reps with pre-approved content that they can send to their HCP contacts. Reps take this material and then communicate it, depending on a particular HCP’s needs or interests. This is actually a new kind of content for pharma and medtech.

Rather than developing the content for a specific e-detailer or website, you are now taking a modular content approach. You develop different kinds of materials – texts, images, videos – on numerous topics, which reps can draw upon. And this modular approach to content can drive a multichannel strategy going forward.

Multichannel requires switching from isolated silos of information to connected channels of related information. You don’t put everything you might need to say into one channel and hope the customer finds what they need. Nor do you copy the same information across channels. Rather, you orchestrate customer experiences by linking channels and content elements to unfold a story (or series of stories) over time.

By starting with approved email you’re better able to create these kinds of experience because you already have a store of ‘modular’ content that can be deployed in other channels. The nature of approved email content means that you have the building blocks to design different kinds of customer journeys – and the internal capabilities to scale up this kind of engagement in the future.

It involves the reps from day one

Multichannel marketing can be completely automated – run on purely digital channels with no human involvement with customers. But in the life sciences there is a tradition and appreciation for human agency in communication and the personal service that reps provide.

So rather than seeking to replace reps, many companies look to use additional channels to enhance their work. It isn’t an opposition but an extension. Customer teams aren’t just another channel through which you deliver a message, but rather ‘experience orchestrators’ – matching specific content and channels to individual HCP needs.

Approved email is a good first step to achieving this. The skills and practices that make approved email effective can be extended to other channels as they become available. Your offering will become more sophisticated by providing reps with more tools (channels and content) but the fundamental skills are already embedded in your customer teams.

Email is connective

All channels connect but some do it more easily than others. You can build in connections to other channels from an e-detailing presentation – it’s not difficult – but it’s hard to beat the simplicity of a link added to an email.

You can connect to all kinds of channels from an email. And it’s simple to add forms for information requests or even online or in-person meetings on specific topics. The simplicity of email means that you can use it as the ‘glue’ in customer journey – linking together disparate channels into an experience for HCPs.

This is especially helpful when you’re starting out with multichannel marketing. It’s likely that you have existing materials that currently live in isolation, like a portal website, that can be activated in this way. In a recent study by EPG Health*, 56% of HCPs reported that they accessed medical websites via an email link at least once per week – significantly more than via other channels or recommendations.

And approved email can go further than just raising HCP awareness of content resources if you orchestrate an experience. A series of emails, each linking to specific pages or materials, is a simple but very powerful way to tell a story or unfold a message over time.

It gets you going with data

Beyond the standard open and click-through rates, approved email enables you to start working on a more granular level. You can start to find out what interests specific HCPs and then feed this information back to customer teams to improve their work – whether for a future approved email or direct contact, either in-person or remotely.

Moving forward, data should be continually informing your multichannel engagement. The simplicity of email, the relative speed with which content can be developed for it, and the ability to quickly generate a response, makes it a great foundation for your data strategy and internal processes.

It is also a good way to quickly test content and continually improve your content library. While it might be hard to develop several e-detailing presentations for A/B testing, multiple versions of approved emails are straightforward to create. You can easily test messaging, topics, graphics, CTAs, and rapidly develop an understanding of what performs the best.

Email is simple and cost effective

As we said, if you think about multichannel you may likely picture a big, expensive and highly complex project. The potential of email can be overlooked because of its very simplicity, ease of use and relative cheapness. But, as we’ve outlined, there are very good reasons to take it seriously – and even place it at the heart of your multichannel approach.

Multichannel isn’t just a collection of channels that you put ‘out there’, it is a way of working that delivers customers better experiences. Approved email is a great way for an organization to learn these skills. It starts you working with content in a modular way, it makes multichannel engagement a natural part of your customer teams’ day, it builds data, and it connects your existing materials and channels.

For those companies just starting out with multichannel, the cost effectiveness of email should be a key factor. You don’t have to wait. Likely, you can get going now with the materials that you already have. And that means that you can quickly start providing great customer experiences and build a foundation for by embedding multichannel practices in your organization.

What’s not to like?

Pharma multichannel made easy

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How an approved email solution works

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References

EPG Health: The evolving role of websites for healthcare professionals, April 2019

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