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Digital Newsletters: The Life Cycle of HCP Engagement

Many of our clients maintain and nurture their relationships with affiliated doctors through the regular publication of newsletters.  Many have found this an effective way to drive engagement with content, including the learning channels we have helped them develop.

Over the last three years, BroadcastMed has delivered nearly three million newsletters to physician directed audiences across the country.  In the interest of sharing our lessons learned, I asked Drew Chorzempa, BroadcastMed’s Senior Marketing Manager to share his thoughts on how clients can enhance their internal newsletter strategy and optimize campaigns to drive HCP/Physician engagement.

The Life Cycle of HCP Engagement

The life cycle of healthcare provider newsletter engagement follows three simple steps: Open, Read, Click.


Engagement Begins With Opens

Successful newsletter deployments begin with your internal HCP’s opening the email. A compelling subject line is crucial to attracting your internal audience and beginning the engagement process. Subject lines should include attention-grabbing words that are front-loaded within the first 45 characters. It is important to remember that your subject line should be no longer than 85 characters, and research has shown that the best read rate is around 55 characters in length. In order to peak the interest of your internal physicians, your subject line should describe the content that is available in your newsletter and focus on your organization’s latest news and updates.

Include Pre-Header Text

Pre-header text is the copy that appears below the subject line in your inbox. Think of pre-headers as a second subject line for your emails. They should complete the message of the subject line with a goal of providing a valid reason for the HCP to open the email. Pre-header text should be 35-75 characters and like subject lines, front-loading your pre-header text is pivotal, as content is displayed variably based on ISP/user settings. Adding pre-header text allows you to tease content available in your newsletter, which in turn increases your open rates.


Feature Interesting Content

The key to optimizing newsletter engagement begins with interesting content designed to engage your internal HCP audience. Throughout our history, BroadcastMed has delivered millions of emails and email newsletters, and one thing is clear – physicians prefer surgical content. Our recent physician survey research series found that 77% of healthcare providers state that video impacts their surgical techniques. If you want your internal HCP audience to engage with your newsletters, start by featuring surgical content that is intriguing and educational.

Personalization Increases Performance

Tailoring an email directly to internal healthcare providers by using personalization has been proven to increase open and click-through rates by 4-5%. Many healthcare marketers feature personalization in the body of their newsletters, but should also consider using personalization tokens in their subject lines. Personalization is not limited to displaying the name of the recipient, and can include attention-grabbing information such as specialty, title and geographic location. When possible, personalize your newsletters to increase engagement and gain an immediate advantage generating opens and clicks.


Optimize Your Call to Action

Many times, healthcare marketers load up their newsletters with multiple calls to action thinking that more CTA’s equate to more clicks. Based on data provided by a major HCP email provider, emails perform the best when featuring one prominent call to action and no more than two secondary calls to action. CTA’s should be large, a different color, centered and not be crowded by content. Most importantly, your CTA should have a clear value proposition that gives your internal audience a reason why they should click-through to view your content.

Responsive Design is Imperative

Even the best subject lines and pre-headers are worthless if your audience cannot properly view your newsletter. With 60%+ of all email engagement occurring on mobile devices, and more than 83% of that occurring on an iOS device, it is more important than ever for your newsletters to have a responsive design. This will allow your internal newsletter to render properly based on screen size or device and offers the most control over layout. Responsive design is the best option to ensure that your internal audience can properly view, read and click through on your newsletters.

Drew concludes by sharing, “Engaging your internal audience and providing relevant, educational newsletter content doesn’t have to be difficult. If you follow these best practices throughout the life cycle of HCP engagement, you optimize the chance that your newsletter will be opened, read, and clicked. If you would like to gain more insight into the many additional factors of newsletter best practices please visit the EngagedMed homepage and contact us to set up a meeting.”