Maybe you’re one of those people who checks their email every few minutes, even if you aren’t expecting anything. Maybe you keep the tab open at all times, or the mail app icon on your main bar.
In any case, email is the fastest way to connect with the majority of the people you want to reach; people will check it at work, at home, and even while they’re driving (not that they should!). If you want to reach the largest group in the shortest time, an effective email marketing campaign is still your go-to.
Email marketing is a great tool for a number of reasons. You can quickly and effectively let subscribers know what’s going on with your biotechnology company, share any new information about products, and how your company can help solve your customers’ problems. Everyone uses it, it’s relatively inexpensive, and can help you get the right message, to the right people, at the right time.
But, is investing in email marketing really worth it for a biotechnology company?
In the age of digital marketing, there are countless ways to connect with your customers, whether it’s through your website, social media, or blogging. With the amount of spamming and scamming going on via email, you may wonder if it’s worth the time or the effort to do email marketing for biotechnology companies at all. Should you get an email marketing campaign up and running for your company?
To put it simply, yes: email marketing is an essential piece of any biotechnology marketing plan.
Although plenty of people have tried to ruin its credibility over the years, I challenge you to find a single person who doesn’t check their email daily, or at least a single person who simply doesn’t have an email account. Once you realize that email touches the lives of everyone in the consumer world, it’s simply a matter of knowing how to best utilize it for your own needs. Here are some pointers to get you started.
1.) Create a template
Think about the last time you received a memorable marketing email, and ask yourself these questions:
- Did you know which company is was from before opening it?
- Did you know what to expect to see when you opened the email?
- Were you surprised or confused by any of its contents?
- Was is visually appealing?
- Did it match other emails you’ve received from the company before?
When a subscriber gets an email from your biotechnology company, they should know who it’s from before ever even opening the email. Be sure that you are using a clear “from” address and name, and write concise subject lines that don’t sensationalize. If your subscribers are unclear about who the email is from, or don’t know what to expect upon opening the email, it will go straight to the trash bin.
It’s also important to create an email template so that your branding, messaging and content are consistent. Even if it’s the first email your subscriber has ever seen, it should still look familiar and fall in line with the rest of your digital content.
The template should consist of a header containing your logo and some navigation that links to your website. By creating navigation in the email, your email acts as an extension of your website, driving traffic back to your site and ultimately driving conversions.
Your template should also contain a footer that includes all of the elements necessary to comply with the CAN-SPAM Act, including your physical address and an unsubscribe option. Including these CAN-SPAM compliance features in your template will ensure that you are meeting the rules with every message you send.
A template will also help your subscribers become familiar with your emails. It contributes to its ease of navigation and creates a visually appealing element with every message you send out.
2.) Create a strategy
Before you consider whether or not your biotechnology company can succeed at email marketing, you need to consider how you’ll define success. When your email campaign ends, how will you know if it was successful?
Not only will defining your goals help you to determine whether you’re succeeding, but it will also help you to tailor your entire strategy accordingly. The lessons learned from email analytics can be useful in other aspects of your business.
Here are a few categories of metrics to consider:
- Email performance (open rate, click-through rate) – How well are your emails performing? Are they being opened and clicked?
- Website analytics (site visits from email, time spent on pages) – Are your emails driving traffic to your website?
- Dollars in Sales – Are your emails generating actual sales? You’ll want to look into attribution models, but using last interaction is one easy way to start.
Once you have established when a successful email campaign looks like, you can then look toward your next task – how will you achieve each of the goals you’ve set? What can you offer that will return the highest click rate? How will you convince subscribers to visit your website again? Are your emails helping people move through the sales pipeline?
Maybe your emails aren’t returning the results you were hoping for. Maybe they’re meeting your goals, but not improving. Or, perhaps your emails are far exceeding your goals, but you simply want to do better. This is where email optimization comes in.
Optimizing is the interminable process of making your emails more effective. The process begins with analyzing data from your previous emails (like open rates and click rates), and determine which factors where most effective. This process can also include A/B testing – a process of side-by-side testing to a random group of recipients. This will allow you to incorporate the features that perform well, and ditch the ones that don’t.
Picture this: when a new person starts working your company, you likely have a process for getting them up to speed on everything that’s already going on. You’re introducing them to key players, showing them around the office, and communicating company culture. The same things need to happen when someone joins your email list. They should be brought up to speed on the products you offer, guide them around your website, and communicate your company’s mission.
Create a series of automated emails that will help you do just that – a designated series of emails sent at set intervals that are intended to educate your subscribers about your biotechnology company. The series should begin when a subscriber joins your list, and educate them on how your products can solve their problems.
5.) Make it personal
If you have the time and the resources to commit to it, you can make an email uniquely personal to engage with your subscribers and customers, especially in the business of biotechnology. By segmenting your list, you will be able to pinpoint which messaging to direct at which customers, making your email marketing the most effective it can be. Regardless of how valuable your content is, if you’re sending it to the wrong people, you’re wasting your time. Use conversational tones, speak to your customer, and make the message about them.
You’ll also want to be sure that you are keeping your list clean. You won’t be able to effectively send to the right people if you only have the wrong people on your list.
- Grow it organically. Do not buy contacts – they are almost never worthwhile. Instead, optimize your website for conversions and send emails to people who are genuinely interested in the products you have to offer.
- Trim the fat. Yes, I know it is painful to click that delete button on hard-earned contacts – but sometimes it’s necessary, especially if you’re using an email service provider that charges per contact (ie Hubspot, MailChimp). If a contact hasn’t opened your last ten or so emails, then it’s probably time to accept that they’re not going to open your next one. This will help to increase your credibility as a sender, and it will make sure that you’re getting an accurate read on stats like click-through and open rates. On top of that, you will save money. If you truly want to invest in culling contacts from your list as accurately as possible, consider creating an automated re-engagement campaign that specifically asks inactive users if they’d like to stay on your list. If they don’t respond, they are automatically removed at the end of the campaign. If they want to continue receiving your content, they can opt to do so.
- Segment your list. The more customized you can make your email marketing, the more rewarding and valuable it will be, both for you and your customers. What variables matter to your business? Would you speak differently if you were speaking only to a younger audience, or to an audience of past customers, or to an audience that clicks on your newsletter 75% of the time? Segmentation can provide more relevant messages that your audience will be more likely to engage with.
So, there you have it: five tips for you to use email marketing for biotechnology. Now, create a strategy, get out there, and develop relationships with current and potential customers. Put email marketing to work for you.