Happy New Year! A new year brings new challenges and opportunities for marketers to take their strategy to the next level. Here are some healthcare marketing trends you should consider adopting to prosper in 2024.
Thanks to Google and Yahoo, significant changes are coming for email marketers in the first quarter of 2024. As we’ve previously written about, Google and Yahoo are implementing new requirements for bulk email senders that will involve a lot of coordination and effort for marketers. Beyond the initial implementation of technical requirements like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records, marketers must pay close attention to their spam rates in the future. Keeping your spam reports below 0.3% will be essential to ensure that Google and Yahoo aren’t blacklisting your emails. Marketers must keep their email lists clean, craft relevant campaigns, and use technology to remove unengaged contacts promptly. Over two billion people use Google or Yahoo as their email provider, so adopting these standards is not optional.
Healthcare marketers are also looking at ways to use artificial intelligence to save time and automate processes. 2023 was filled with experimentation with tools like ChatGPT, DALL-E, and Midjourney. Now, marketers are seriously evaluating tools that can assist with business processes like copywriting, graphic design, data analysis, and other functions.
However, it’s essential to carefully vet any artificial intelligence tool if you plan to use it in your marketing efforts. What data sets is it trained on? Are they biased? Some tools introduce legal compliance risks, and it’s essential to understand the risks thoroughly.
Trust is essential in healthcare marketing, and relying too heavily on AI tools can create a negative patient experience. AI tools should not replace marketers. At best, these tools can help marketers complete their work. Guardrails are required when it comes to AI tools, and healthcare marketers should be cautious to ensure their brands are well-represented by the output of these tools.
Automation and APIs
Another way to save time and measure results is using APIs and automation. Many marketers are turning to automation tactics to streamline operations in the face of increasing budgetary pressure. Advanced email marketers can use email APIs to trigger email campaigns when specific criteria are met and use dynamic content to personalize the email content. These tactics make email marketing scalable and ensure your audience receives the proper communications at the right time.
APIs can also be used to organize the results of your marketing efforts. Email APIs can deliver data about your campaigns (delivery status, open and clicks, unsubscribes, etc.) back into your marketing dashboards and databases. This is a way to help you make informed decisions and improve your marketing results. Expect to see more marketers embrace automation alongside AI tools this year.
Personalization continues to be extremely important to successful healthcare marketing efforts. This is a challenge for healthcare providers because they must comply with HIPAA regulations in their email communications. Luckily, with the right tools and patient permission, it’s possible to personalize emails to create relevant campaigns. When healthcare marketers have access to zero-party patient data and the right tools to execute, they can go beyond practice newsletters to create email campaigns that deliver results.
One bonus personalization tip- create culturally competent emails and use the patient’s preferred language. Healthcare communications should not leave anyone behind. With the right tools, it’s easier than ever to segment your audience based on their language preferences and create alternate content that resonates.
Proving Impact and Delivering ROI
Healthcare providers continue to face a challenging economic situation and may be forced to cut marketing budgets. Although some advertising channels may be forced to take a hiatus, email marketing should not be one of them. Not only do patients want to receive marketing communications via email, but email marketing also delivers one of the best returns on investment compared to other channels.
However, the way we track and measure the impact of marketing campaigns must also change. In 2024, open rates are unreliable indicators of marketing success. Apple Mail’s privacy features and the increasing prevalence of email filtering and spam tools mean that marketers will need to rely on different metrics to judge the success of their campaigns. Tracking the clicks and what actions users take in other channels after receiving the email is crucial to understanding the effectiveness of your campaigns. Also, keeping email lists clean and removing unsubscribed and inactive users is more important than ever to keep your IP addresses from being throttled.
What tactics will you be testing out in 2024?