A Beginner’s Guide to Incorporating Automation into Your Healthcare Marketing Efforts
Using Marketing Automation to Boost Patient and Prospect Engagement
Marketing automation is here to stay. With more than 51 percent of companies utilizing this technology in their business communications, marketing automation—the system by which emails are triggered based on specific action someone takes on a web page, social media post or prior email— is a powerful asset for any company’s customer acquisition and relationship management strategies.
While you may not think marketing automation applies to your healthcare business, the technology works across all industries and audiences and can be as beneficial for new business development as it is for client, patient and employee retention.
Though many sophisticated automation platforms exist (such as Pardot, Marketo and HubSpot), there are a variety of cost-effective and relatively user-friendly options on the market. Leading email service providers like Emma, Constant Contact and MailChimp have all incorporated automation features into their email platforms, making it easy to get started before gradually building to more robust workflows.
Use Automation to Acquire Customers
Marketing automation is traditionally used to generate and nurture leads to become customers. For example:
1. Nurture leads after an event.
If you attend a conference, trade show or speaking engagement, create a workflow to automate your follow-up communications to cultivate new leads, referral partners or other prospects. Tailor your email content to your specific buying cycle to maximize the efficacy of this strategy.
2. Follow up after a prospect call.
If you’ve had a call with a prospective client or partner, trigger one to three automated emails to thank them for the call, provide answers to frequently asked questions and set the expectations for next steps. You could also send standard follow-up communication, such as brochures, PDFs or comparison charts; however, automation is not recommended if you need to send customized information to a prospect.
3. Welcome your new customers.
When you close a new client or business partner, create a series of three to five welcome emails. Send information such as important points of contact, next steps in the onboarding process, and access to valuable resources.
Strengthen Existing Relationships with Automated Emails
Automating communications within your healthcare business or clinic can also deepen your relationships with your employees, clients or patients. Some examples include:
1. Welcome your new patients.
After a new patient visits your office for the first time, send a thank you note, remind them of available tools and resources, and provide an option for asking questions.
2. Deliver caregiver instructions.
Develop general post-procedure or post-visit communications with care instructions, medications reminders and important treatment information to assist patients and their caregivers after a medical visit or procedure. Be mindful not to share protected health information (PHI) in these emails to maintain HIPAA compliance.
3. Celebrate your employees or customers.
Send a note to your employees, customers or patients on their birthday, employment anniversary or other special date to increase retention and satisfaction.
While there are many ways to use automation in your marketing efforts, simply beginning regular communication tailored to your audiences’ interests and interactions with your business can help generate awareness and loyalty for your organization.
Jessica Hopson is an Account Supervisor at Lovell Communications. Connect with Jessica at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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