Doesn’t it sound simple? Collect email addresses from HCPs, and then initiate "Rep Triggered Emails" [RTEs]. The result will be approved content sent by reps, content that is compliant, tracked and recorded in the CRM.
What do we know about Rep Triggered Email?
- RTEs can help to fill the gap of those hard to see HCPs, adding touch points to the promotional efforts, enabling more personalised communication along the customer communication journey.
- Each email should have one clear focus and drive an action.
- Compelling content drives open rates, click through rates and conversions.
And what else have we learned?
- Collecting those email addresses is a bit tricky.
- Creating email templates compatible with the CRM takes some expertise.
- You must determine where replies to the emails go, and,
- The Medical-Legal Approval process seems to take a long time!
- Implementation has turned out to be a year-long process to get it right.
The reality of what is required [a case in point]
Last October, [pharma company x] decided that they should implement rep triggered emails. They had a compelling and positive reason to send a follow-up email since recent educational meetings produced a need for more information about an upcoming development program online. Plus, this seemed commonplace in the marketplace nowadays, so it was almost a must-do cost of doing business to remain competitive. This had the makings of a positive pilot opportunity.
CRM capability was critical so that reps could process gaining opt-in permissions during sales calls. That would require a Privacy Statement and an ‘opt-in’ tick box on the iPad page, but it needed to be fit-for-purpose for the scenario of a rep requesting permission during the face to face sales call.
In this instance, Legal had not been part of the commercial team’s journey to grow CRM capabilities, so this felt a bit out of their realm of expertise. Of course, Legal wanted to use the full Privacy Statement used on [company x] websites – the equivalent to a full A4 page of text, which is not ideal for an iPad screen, nor suitable for obtaining permission during a conversation. Working with Legal, company x’s Digital Manager persuaded them that it could be broken in two: part one being a clear alert to the HCP of what was printed below and what they were agreeing to, and part two being the finer print of the full Privacy Statement.
The next obstacle was a legal requirement to have an ‘opt-out’ option in all future emails or that could be processed by the rep manually; there was a belief in the organisation that this opt-out would also reassure HCPs.
Following the sequence of events, the question arose who would build the email template. The team was surprised to discover that this required a certified CRM digital agency who understood how to build and load such a template and could ensure it rendered well on the iPads. And that required getting in the queue – lodging a work order, having it scoped and agreed, developed, approved, tested etc.
Oh, did I tell you that you about the need to take the reps and sales managers on this journey too? It seems they also wanted to see and test it in order to feel comfortable with the process. So, a training session was developed with both technical and call flow details and tests were run.
Okay, everything was finally ready – for a pilot. Not quite ready yet to fully deploy at scale across several business units. That would require a fully operational model, process documentation, training program, KPIs, analytics and dashboard.
Steps company x wished they knew before starting:
- Find a compelling reason to send an email or series of emails to HCPs;
- Get a coalition of cross-functional team members on the taskforce asap! This includes Medical, Legal, Marketing, Sales, Commercial Excellence – CRM, BI, Training;
- Agree on the business rules in advance – process for initiating, number of emails, the timing of email limitations, alignment to customer preferences;
- Design and develop the email templates with the appropriate digital and CRM experts;
- Develop the training, both technical and selling call flow;
- Document the process and assess for scalability;
- Conduct a small pilot, and make adjustments;
- Deploy, measure, and continue to adjust
To learn more about email and other channels, contact Actando.
The Actando Consulting Team