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5 Tips for Effective Email Campaigns

Lola Basic

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E-mailing is a tried and true method of reaching consumers, and one often under-utilized by pharmaceutical companies. A recent Epsilon branding study shows consumers actually appreciate getting e-mails from pharma.

  • The majority of respondents said receiving e-mails from pharmaceutical companies made them view those companies more favorably (60%) and increased their feelings of loyalty toward those companies and products (53%).
  • Even more importantly, consumers reported taking action as a result of receiving those e-mails: 78% downloaded or printed a coupon, 72% clicked on a link in an e-mail to learn more, 53% asked for a drug by name, and 49% downloaded a discussion guide or info packet.

Making Your E-mails Work

It can be challenging to make your e-mails stand out in crowded inboxes. And, your persuasive power may be blunted by legal restrictions unique to the pharmaceutical industry.

Still, you can effectively market to your audiences through email, despite these challenges, if you follow these best practices.

5 Best Practices for E-mail Campaigns:

1. Keep your e-mail database robust Your e-mail database is key to the success of your campaign. Get serious about keeping your database robust, updated and smartly segmented. A great message delivered to the wrong customer — or worse, not delivered at all due to an outdated e-mail address — can be a waste of your marketing dollars. A thorough e-mail validation and qualifying process can assist the delivery rate of your campaign.

2. Got segments? Smart marketers enjoy high e-mail performance, as measured by open rates and click-through rates, which far outpaces that of their less savvy peers, thanks to customization driven by segmentation. Tailoring e-mails by segment can help maintain a laser-like focus on the single-minded purpose of the e-mail, even though it feels tempting to load it up with every possible desired call to action. The lift in performance is especially pronounced for prospects that have spent the longest time in the database. As those leads mature, they lose interest in communications that are not highly relevant to them. For additional details on segmenting, read our article, Increase ROI and brand identity with smart segmentation.

3. Don’t e-mail for the sake of e-mailing. E-mails, like all marketing communications, should be approached from a consumer-centric standpoint. While Manhattan Research reports that e-mails are the single most preferred source by pharma consumers for receiving various types of communication (“ePharma Consumer,” January, 2009), e-mail recipients view e-mails that arrive too frequently as a nuisance. They assume the e-mail does not include useful content and may consider it as spam.

4. Make your e-mails work hard (but not too hard). E-mails that elicit action from consumers aren’t shy about doing so. The number of links in e-mail creative tends to positively correlate with click-through rates. At the same time, a multitude of research and ample anecdotal evidence show that most consumers’ interest in e-mail content drops off dramatically as their eyes travel down the e-mail. So make your point in the very beginning of your email, and provide consumers with links and a call to action before their interest wanes.

5. Use effective e-mail subject lines.It can’t be said enough: the e-mail subject line is one of the first things your consumers will see. It will influence their decision on whether to open the e-mail or delete it. Use compelling text that conveys the objective of the e-mail. Limit the number of words used. Short and simple can be more impactful than long and complex. 

Your customers are a unique group. Seek advice from marketing experts who understand your brand, your campaign objectives and the laws and nuances of email marketing. To learn more, contact your Intouch Solutions representative, or contact us at



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