Spurring Action and Reaction with Email Trigger Campaigns

by Josh Garcia, Copywriter - 07/24/17


The key to a great trigger campaign is notifying your audience of a service precisely when they need it.

Healthcare marketers can take advantage of CRM databases to deliver messages when they are most relevant to consumers.

“Healthcare CRM databases receive updates through EMR data,” says Chris Restle, director of strategic development and innovation at True North Custom. “By examining what’s happening with patients, we can trigger the appropriate campaign to offer services that they’re already thinking about.”

Consider a scenario in which a patient is diagnosed with hypertension while visiting an urgent care clinic. Even if he visited the urgent care clinic for a rolled ankle, he leaves the clinic feeling concerned about his blood pressure. Once his diagnosis is updated in the healthcare CRM, marketers can notify the patient about services related to heart health and hypertension.

5 Useful Trigger Campaigns for Healthcare

Trigger campaigns can be modified based on an endless combination of filters and criteria. Keep these CRM uses in mind when customizing your campaign.

1. Emergency room triggers are great tools for acquiring new patients for primary care physicians.

“If someone comes into the ER, she will likely need follow-up care from a primary care provider afterwards,” Restle says. “We can contact the patient shortly after her hospital visit to help her connect with one.”

2. ER redirects can help healthcare marketers keep ER wait times short.

“Using filters, you can look at people who are attending the ER and examine whether or not they’re receiving the proper services there,” Restle says. “If they’re using the ER in lieu of primary care physicians, we can redirect them to look into primary care. If their issue would be better treated at an urgent care clinic, we can send them a message letting them know that they can receive faster care at a clinic right down the street.”

3. Time between screenings can be used to inform patients that they need to schedule a mammogram, colonoscopy, or prostate exam.

A CRM database keeps track of patients’ annual screenings, which can notify marketers when it’s time to send a reminder.

“The CRM can let us know that it has been 11 months since a patient’s last mammography,” Restle says. “We can send a personalized message to that patient reminding her to schedule an appointment.”

4. Age is a simple indicator that lets healthcare marketers know when to recommend services.

“When a patient turns a certain age, he might need to start scheduling prostate exams,” Restle says. “Alternatively, we can send a message welcoming a patient to Medicare once they reach that milestone.”

5. Nurturing campaigns can use triggers to guide patients through the process of searching for and receiving care.

“The healthcare industry is very different today than it was ten years ago,” Restle says, “Today, people are paying more out of pocket expenses, so they take more time to shop around. Not everyone is at the same point in terms of making decisions on healthcare needs like bariatric surgery or joint replacement.”

A nurturing campaign follows the patient’s lead, suggesting treatment only when the patient is ready. For example, people who are relatively healthy may be sent information regarding preventative measures or seminars for certain conditions. If a patient attends a seminar, then further action can be suggested, such as a screening.

“Not all event triggers are created equal,” Restle says. “A blanket screening reminder letting consumers know that February is Heart Month is not as effective as sending a screening reminder to someone who just found out they have hypertension.”

A Few Things to Remember

Make sure you follow these guidelines when you’re crafting a trigger campaign:

  • Include strong, measurable calls to action in your campaign. The right CTA, such as directing readers to a trackable web page, will help you follow the consumer’s decision-making process and evaluate your campaign’s effectiveness.
  • Establish parameters for excluding people the campaign wouldn’t be relevant for. You don’t want to recommend a preventative screening for someone who has just undergone heart bypass surgery.
  • Personalize your message, but don’t get too personal. It’s okay to recommend a pediatrician to parents, but including the exact number of children they have in that recommendation can make them uneasy.

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Topics: Digital Marketing, Audience Segmentation & Targeting

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