However, many healthcare organisations make the same mistakes when it comes to lead nurturing:
- Not devoting enough people to it
- Not dedicating enough time to it
- Expecting instant results
Companies can't run a nurture programme once, then email or call a potential lead twelve months later and expect the lead to remember your company, let alone become a customer.
There are numerous reasons why lead nurturing is a good idea:
- Healthcare sales cycles are long and can be complex, so potential customers need to be nurtured
- Consumers have too much choice between different healthcare organisations. They need to be shown what makes your brand the right choice
- To turn a visitor into a loyal customer, you need to build trust in your healthcare brand
Healthcare companies need to commit time and resources to lead nurturing. Because it works.
Increasingly, healthcare consumers expect personalised advice, care, and support. Healthcare providers are creating solutions to gather more user-generated data to offer customised services, and producing wearables to monitor health, and influence the course and choices of care.
Savvy healthcare organisations know they need to invest in digital channels that can guide well-being, and capture the necessary data to improve treatment and health.
But before all that, they need to turn that lead into a customer. Here’s our 5 steps to effective lead nurturing in healthcare.
1. Nurture unknown prospects
Of course, you can nurture the prospects you know. But what about those you don’t know? The ones who haven’t signed up for a free trial or your newsletter – the ones who haven’t given you their email address? Shouldn’t they be nurtured, too?
This is where the real value of having a website that personalises content and the user journey for visitors comes into its own. Investing in a website platform which allows you to push tailored content in the right place, at the right time, to the right person, will mean your organisation can:
- Specify the conditions under which content on your website is delivered to a visitor, based on where they’ve come from or what they do.
- Use visitor profiles to dynamically adapt the content shown to different website visitors, in real time.
- Design visitor journeys, assess where people are on that journey, and use triggers to move them through the journey based on where they are at any given moment.
By using personalisation right from the very start of a person’s journey with you, you can create a fluid brand experience, offering them relevant information that will benefit them, and guide them through services and products of interest; a journey where what you offer adapts to their behaviour and changes in need-state in real time.
By researching and understanding customer needs, intent and behaviour, healthcare organisations can start to map out all possible customer journeys and begin creating relevant messaging and content, all with the aim of driving leads down the buyer journey to becoming a customer. It's about creating unique experiences for each person, whenever and wherever.
Contextual personalisation is a powerful tool that is becoming critical to the success of lead nurturing in healthcare.
2. Offer content of value
More than ever before, people are taking a greater interest in their health and want to self-manage.
Patients now willingly allow data to pass wirelessly from electrocardiograms and pacemakers and take part in virtual asthma reviews and diabetes checks. Patients can now do more for themselves at home, the data can be sent to the relevant healthcare provider, and the patient is able to review their own results and adapt their own level of care.
From 30-day yoga video programmes to one-to-one fitness sessions and diet advice over Zoom, increasingly more consumers are turning to the Internet to get their fitness kick and health advice. Blog articles, how-to videos, success story advertorials, customer ratings, user-generated content and influencer-sponsored vlogs. In the past, nurturing happened through conversation. Today, it happens through digital content.
Healthcare content needs to provide real value to provoke an emotional effect of trust and well-being, and a positive physical reaction in terms of producing a sale.
How does your service or product help people get healthy, monitor their health, or achieve their health goals? What physical and emotional benefits do people see after using your service or product?
The content you create needs to answer questions.
3. Don’t sell. Answer questions
Lead nurturing is all about value exchange. It’s not about selling.
It’s about transforming your organisation’s mind-set to one of “in return for your potential future custom, our healthcare organisation will provide you with unique, valuable insight – for free.”
This is difficult for some organisations to fathom – that you don’t always have to sell hard to get customers, that you don’t have to hide every piece of literature you produce behind a gated landing page, that people are actually interested in hearing how your company and your products and services can help them and not just what it does.
By developing content that provides consumers with unique, valuable insight – something they can't get from others – you develop more credibility, you secure an enhanced reputation, you imbue trust, and when the time is right, you’ll have no problem in persuading a lead to purchase your services or products and become a customer.
4. Educate. Inspire. Reassure.
Recent changes in consumer demographics and healthcare needs have driven a huge rise in new entrants to the healthcare market, and with it, more competition. This increase in competition allows consumers to be choosier and demand results.
Most of the time, healthcare consumers visiting your website won’t be ready to buy. They need nurturing.
Healthcare consumers need education. They need inspiration. And they need reassurance.
Once again, this comes to value exchange and slowly building up trust.
Let’s imagine someone has seen your organisation speaking at an event, talking about how your product enables healthcare professionals to improve patient outcomes. They want to know more, so they sign up to the webinar you have planned on a real-life story of a healthcare professional who used your product and the results they’ve seen. They enjoy the webinar, so they download a couple of case studies from your website to learn more.
In each of these dealings, there’s an exchange of value. Your organisation is offering potential customers information that educates, inspires, and reassures, and – in exchange – your organisation is gaining trust. It’s that slow growth in trust that enables the final value exchange – the purchase itself.
5. The right content at the right time
As a potential customer goes through the purchase process, they change. Their opinions change, their perceptions change, their behaviour changes, and what they need from your organisation changes.
Healthcare organisations need to understand this, and provide the right content at the right time or risk being alienated by someone right in the middle of the purchase process.
For example, if a potential customer is at the start of their journey with you – they’ve only just come across your brand – then they need education. Inspiration and reassurance won’t help them. Likewise, if someone has viewed lots of educational content and is still returning for more information, it's likely they’re getting close to buying your product or service. Sending them a 'How to' video won’t help.
Knowing which individual or which company has visited your website, and which pages they have visited – and therefore how far along the purchase path with you they are – is a vital piece of information in the healthcare marketer’s arsenal in helping to drive leads. It could confirm if a recent marketing campaign has been effective in driving traffic to your website. It may make you aware that an older prospect is rekindling their interest. It will show you when a certain lead is more likely to convert.
Healthcare organisations need to provide the right kind of assistance – in the form of content – at the right time.
It’s not easy. But with the right technology in place, with enough resources, and when done correctly, lead nurturing in this way reaps infinitely bigger rewards.
How we can help
We work with some of the biggest names in healthcare – from med-tech to pharmaceutical – helping them transform the digital experience for their customers, and potential customers.
Our expertise in helping healthcare brands define their lead nurturing strategy, choosing the right technology to drive better customer experiences, and optimising customer journeys and digital marketing channels, will ensure you’re able to gather the right data to make the right decisions to convert more leads and drive more revenue.
If your healthcare organisation would like to know more about how we can help with lead nurturing, putting the right technology in place to drive personalised experiences, or defining your customer journeys, just get in touch.
5 Steps to Effective Lead Nurturing in Healthcare is part of our series of articles dedicated to the healthcare profession: