Spam filters are the kiss of death with e-mail marketing, and CAN-SPAM legislation puts more limits on reaching customers. You can rise to the challenge by challenging “that everything used to work” and working smarter. This means moving away from mass blasts to unsuspecting audiences and creating more engaging conversations with existing customers who will be receptive. Here are a few tips.

1. Segment your lists and your selling propositions

When customers sign up to get your e-mails, make sure all your information bases are covered, such as their health habits, their current level of engagement, and any other information that will help you get to know them better. This will help you find the “emotional trigger” that compels them to open your e-mail and enable you to maintain their interest with messages that are tailored to their specific needs and interests.

2. Set a social standard

Include linking icons in every e-mail to connect customers to your social media offerings. Make it “all about them,” highlighting the value they will receive by following you. For example, add a newsletter sign-up box on your Facebook business page. A recent study by one e-mail marketing company reveals that incorporating at least three sharing options generates a 55% higher click-through rate than traditional e-mails.

3. Give it away

Everyone loves to win something. Think about incentivizing your audience by creating a fun contest or perhaps a random prize drawing if your customers complete and return a survey. You want to give them a reason to keep coming back to you.

4. Get viral-trigger-happy

Every e-mail you send should include a “send-to-a-friend” option so customers can share your content. Have them land on a branded page that includes a form permitting them to enter several e-mail addresses. Remind customers that you will not give their friends’ e-mail addresses to other marketers. Another tool to extend your reach is on-site social bookmarking, which allows customers to easily bookmark your pages on all their social networks.

5. Liven things up

Think about embedding a YouTube video in your e-mails. Videos have been shown to increase click-through rates by as much as 96%. A truly stellar video also has more of a chance of going viral, increasing your reach beyond measure.

6. Promote an event

Incorporating event-triggered e-mails that are highly relevant to your customers is another great way to engage them. It is easy to set up your customers’ e-mail preferences so you can alert them about an extra-special event. Or increase good feelings by wishing them a happy birthday. You can also set your program up so that your customers have the ability to send event-related e-mails to others in their network (such as wishing Grandma a happy birthday).

7. Content is king

With one template, you can customize hundreds of different e-mails, tailoring your messages and visuals to match your customer profiling data. But your content must always be highly relevant. The more individualized your messages are, the higher your click-through, response, and conversion rates will be.

Keep on talking…

These are just a few top-line ideas. Keep talking to your customers to learn more about their healthcare needs and preferences so your e-mails are informative, relevant, and add value — so they consistently get clicked.

Ken is a great deal more than just the president of a medical communications company. He is something of a hybrid. He’s part marketing manager, part creative director, and part copywriter. To the chagrin of his peers—but to the delight of his clients—Ken is a consummate perfectionist. As a former creative director for a high-end consumer agency, he challenged his creative teams to go beyond the mundane to produce work with real creative impact, something he’s just as fervent about today. From producing and directing TV commercials, to launching DTC and Rx-to-OTC switches, Ken brings his clients a world of experience in OTC pharmaceuticals as well as business, lifestyle, and high-end consumer products and services. Whether huddled with clients behind a mirror in a market research center in Houston, facilitating a strategic workshop in Madrid, or developing a global campaign either in the New Jersey or California office, Ken is always fully engaged, bringing “bestness” to all areas of his hectic but full life.