The ideas on creating engaging email campaigns intended for physicians are constantly evolving, and skilled pharma marketers are always looking for new ways to improve content perception rates and content creation processes. Pharma is gradually digressing from the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach in the ways of producing both medications and digital content accompanying their distribution.

The demand to develop more individualized treatments and content as well as the readiness to respond to these needs were accurately wrapped into the ‘Pharma 4.0’ concept. It encompasses the shift from maladaptive albeit automated universalism into a flexible set of solutions to make products, which would be specifically tailored to its audience and occasion. What does this shift suggest for email marketing strategists? What would be the starting point to embrace the changes to come? Let’s find out!

The state of email pharma marketing

In recent years, it’s been implied many times that will all the disruptive tech invading pharma marketing (e.g. health apps, VR, AR, social media platforms), email is doomed to become obsolete as a channel for meaningful engagement. However, according to the recent statements during Veeva Marketing Summit in Madrid, it’s been specified loud and clear that pharma emailing fading into obscurity is not the case at all. By the end of 2017, 3,5 mln emails received by physicians from pharma is just a part of a continuous exponential growth of email use in pharma marketing – thus, emailing maintains its significance. And to be fair, why shouldn’t it?

Physicians are highly uncertain of and disinterested in accepting social media as a platform for professional updates, as 2017 DRG Digital report states. Compared to other marketing channels, views of respondents on the effectiveness of email marketing remain favorable. Emailing is a clear winner, with 53,6% of respondents of SmartInsights 2018 report on marketing automation rating email marketing as excellent or good – higher than any other digital channel. HCPs are also highly accessible digitally, as most of them are using smartphones daily, be it in or out of workplace. Finally, the investment figures also speak for themselves. Many marketers viewed email marketing as a positive investment in 2017. Over half of the businesses (58%) are planning to increase their email marketing budget this year, with just 7,5% stating that their investment will decrease.

This all means that whatever new types of digital content are introduced, email remains still the most frequently checked, engaging and convenient channel for physicians. The only thing is – how do you make it even more efficient? This has to do with how it is produced, not distributed (there are email automation solutions for that), and there is a high chance to once again learn to work smarter, not harder.

businesses are planning to increase email marketing budget

Keep branding consistent and personalize your message: the divisive challenge

By the end of year 2019, it’s expected that the number of email users will be around 3 bln – meaning that over one-third of the world’s population will be using email. How do you make emails personalized – this is a question of anybody’s (any industry’s) guess, not only pharma’s. One answer is the classic segmentation trick – separate and filter out your audience by specialization, contact occasion etc. The Email Marketing Industry Census 2017, by Econsultancy, shows that segmentation (80%) remained the most prioritized technique used in email marketing campaigns of 2017.

After segmentation, evaluate your decisions through the post-analysis by various criteria. However, this provides only a part of the answer and it presumes the digital content is prepared and ready to use in a perfectly suited state. Let’s skip over to a stage earlier – into the digital content creation. How can you personalize here?

Now, this is where everything seems to get too complicated. First thing that comes to mind – you need some kind of an intelligent AI system to sort everything out for you, otherwise personalization all-the-way is quite resource-consuming, maybe even intimidating and, frankly, unneeded. How should pharma leverage creativity and personalization while keeping its brand identity, not to be scattered among other messages? Short answer: modular content. Long answer: modular email content.  How should it work?

content modules

Introducing the modular content

It is about building upon already existing, efficient content creation by extending its possibilities of being reused and repurposed across channels and devices. Preferably, this should concern not only emails, but also other types of digital pharma content, creating a unified module-based content system. What is the advantage of the modular way of creating emails has in comparison with the traditional options?

  • Change a single piece of content rather than a whole email;
  • Version and track each module or its components individually;
  • Rapidly build new content assemblies from a selection of modules/components to meet new needs;
  • Translate content based on only the modules/components that have changed, rather than the whole email.

In addition, every component of the module should save you the trouble of testing your email campaign over and over for various platform inconsistencies. Whatever device your audience will choose to see the email from – desktop, tablet, mobile – you can be sure that all the building blocks are displayed as it has been planned.

Don’t forget the post-campaign analysis – it should be as easy as possible to measure your marketing team’s efforts. Since only 17% of marketers report being able to measure the ROI of each content asset and value of each email sent, the fact that modular content still retains the pre-set KPIs at every turn is an enormous effort-saver. Last, but not least – your components and modules should not exist in a separate dimension, but be plugged into your content management system instead, with all approval and authorizing procedures observed.

Instead of conclusion

With all the necessary measures kept up, your emails will have a consistent layout across different brands, occasions and regions with such solutions as eWizard Email Templates, providing you with the “impossible” dichotomy of unified branding and personalized message.  With all the templating opportunities of module-based content creation, the expectations of higher quality, more efficiency will be easier to fulfill for pharma. So, drop our marketing experts a line and explore the opportunities that component-module-template based approach will provide for you and for your audience.