Importance of Email Marketing Segmentation in Healthcare

June 12, 2016

Developing and scheduling a successful healthcare email marketing campaign has its challenges, mainly because a healthcare audience can be very diverse. If you consider all the different types of visitors that sign up for health tips and tricks, from patients with hearing problems through to healthcare professionals, it can be daunting attempting to target each customer with the right content. You can have the most fantastic content in the healthcare industry, but unless you are sending that content to the right people, it can go unnoticed. This is why email list segmentation and testing are vital to your email marketing campaigns. Find out why and how to utilize this strategy in this article.

Who is your audience?

Understanding your audience is the first step in any effective marketing campaign and even more so for the healthcare industry. You don't want to target a young 26 year old with an article about bladder control aimed at geriatrics. Unfortunately for healthcare marketers, the types of audience personas can be vast and there is always that curveball that a user may be looking up information on behalf of someone else. Ways to help target visitors to your website more efficiently is to give them options when they sign up to receive emails. This way you can group email subscribers into age brackets, geography and or interests. Additionally, it is a good idea to track what content they open in your email campaigns and group them based on this data so you can target them with relevant information. Collect as much data as you can on each user and then use that data to personalize their experience.

Email segmentation

In a recent article released by Mailchimp, a segmented email campaign is likely to drive a 14% higher open rate and a 60% higher click rate than a non-segmented campaign. List segmentation ensures that you are targeting the right users with relevant information to them. There are several reasons why segmentation is so important to the healthcare industry:

  • Online healthcare patients and professionals all have different needs;
  • Each email segment requires different settings in terms of times of day, days of week and so on;
  • It can target consumers at the different stages of the user journey;
  • It provides a personal and valuable content which develops trust with the audience.

For example, your healthcare group could build out a healthy living email campaign for families, designed to encourage families to adopt better habits via recipe and weekend activity ideas. The user journey can be based on the articles they read from the first email campaign that then pushed them through a user funnel all the way to a conversion. That conversion could be a download, share, book an appointment or selfie on their Instagram account. Marketers can use many different data services to decipher how to target users appropriately.

Content Personalisation

With the overwhelming amount of content lying in email inboxes each morning waiting for recipients to seep through, it is ever more important to create engaging, personalized content to catch user's attention. There are two main rules of email marketing:

  • Don't bombard your subscribers with daily irrelevant content
  • Make sure there is a point to your email - what do you want your user to do?

There are some ways you can help to capture users attention.

  • Putting a time frame in the title helps users to get some context: 'It's been 4 weeks since your appointment, have you asked yourself these key questions?' or '5 days until your next check up - here is what you need to bring.'
  • Fill your title with keywords you know will catch their attention: 'Congrats on running the half marathon this month - here are some recovery tips for your body.' or 'It's National Diabetes Month - How's Your Blood Sugar Looking?'
  • Use their Name: It is a simple and old-school tactic, but users still love to see their own name. It is like when you were first able to buy birthday cards with individual names, it is exciting to see that your name all sparkly on the card. This especially applies to healthcare where the aim of any healthcare business is to build a strong, trustworthy relationship with recipients. It's like the local doctor who still knows your name from when you were young.

Test for Success!

Testing any campaign is important to determine success. A/B testing your email campaigns is a great way to test open rates, click through rates, conversion rates and segmentation success. You can test different placements of a Call to Action button within the email, different colours and different content types. Regular testing of your email campaigns will help to identify any underlying problems that may derail your campaign, such as technical glitches or broken links.

Have you begun to segment your lists for your business? Share your story with us on LinkedIn Facebook and Twitter.

Written by
Alexander Rauser
Alexander Rauser


Alexander Rauser is the author of Boardroom Guide to Digital Accountability and Digital Strategy: A Guide to Digital Business Transformation, and creator of the DSX Program, a digital strategy and transformation program for Enterprises.

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