Marketing Automation Tips for Healthcare Systems

measurementOne of the most powerful attributes of marketing automation software is its ability to segment your audience into highly specific categories based on demographic and behavioral characteristics. As a healthcare organization (say, a hospital system), you can appreciate the diversity in your audience and how in your messaging, one size usually doesn’t fit all. Imagine being able to segment with exact precision (e.g., women over 50 who live in Cuyahoga County who have attended one of your health fairs in the last year) and then set up delivery of messages that apply to this specific audience once they click on a link in your standard health newsletters. That is the promise (and reality) of marketing automation.

So, you’ve set up marketing automation. What should you be paying attention to as a health system?

  • Growing your email list via phone appointments, the office, and community events (read more detail about growing a hospital email list and how to solve patient retention challenges).
  • Creating efficiency among service lines. Is each service line publishing its own materials and conducting its own email marketing campaigns? How about data collection? Is your data housed in separate systems, or can information be shared from one central location? Along with one system for the production and management of web assets, marketing automation software allows for the use of appropriate permissions for creative approval and sending authorization, whether between departments or external agencies.
  • Automating your webinar process. If your health system conducts webinars, taking 3-5 hrs. to properly set up webinar forms, email/page templates and synchronization with virtual meeting applications will save a lot of time when promoting future webinars.
  • Measuring response rates. When you target audiences with laser-like precision, the response rates should be higher than traditional “batch and blast” sends. Measuring “conversion events” means tracking any desirable action taken by a visitor: Collateral downloads, event sign-ups (both virtual and physical), and most importantly, new appointments for a particular institute or department. A competent marketing automation program assigns values to each distinct action, allowing for both precise tracking of return on budget and proper analysis of an ever-growing pool of marketing data.
  • Using data to make smarter, faster marketing decisions across the organization. Having such an integrated collection and understanding of marketing data and the relative profitability of specific marketing dollars lets hospital senior vice presidents and chief communications officers make smarter business decisions … and make them more quickly.

Marketing automation software subscriptions cost anywhere from $500/month to upwards of $50k. Boost returns on your healthcare system’s investment by applying the above methods.


Check out Fathom’s white paper on social media in the top 15 health systems.

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Photo courtesy of Joel Penner via Flickr.

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