Jun 29, 2010

Managing Healthcare Email Cadences

An interesting point of view article just came across Mediapost on Managing Email cadences by Greatchen Scheiman of Ogilvy One.

The article covered off on basic frequency and portfolio ideas, asking sensible questions from the *sender's* perspective like "do you have new information to discuss," and "how often is the market changing." The example cited are sporting events like baseball: in-season, daily updates on games make sense -- out of season, less frequent news is far better.

However, thinking about Email cadences for healthcare is really more about what the *recipient* is going through in their decision making journey, whether this recipient is a patient, caregiver, or a health professional.
Time-based events are inherent in medicine:

* decisions to visit doctors, scheduling appointments with doctors, patient visits, and follow-ups, referrals to specialists
* time of health progression, like pregnancy, or pediatric growth
* seasonality of conditions like allergies, and arthritis pain
* treatment and medication protocols, as in oncology, psychiatry, or neurology
* refill schedules
* adherence drop-off patterns

Therefore, plan your healthcare email cadence so that your messages are in fact preparing your stakeholders for the important decisions they need to make.

Furthermore, let's not forget other Email best practices like subject line testing, creative testing, clear calls to action, and Opt-out management.
Proper planning can help you make the most of this channel.